It's been a while since I shared a recipe so I thought I'd pass along one that I've enjoyed since childhood. I almost hesitate because it's heavily dependent on an ingredient that can be hard to come by, but it's so good that it's worth a little extra shopping effort. Without further ado, I present:
Butternut Pound Cake
3 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
2 sticks butter or margarine
5 large eggs
1 small can evaporated milk with water added to make one cup
2 tablespoons vanilla butternut extract*
3 cups flour
Cream shortening, butter, sugar and salt. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Alternate adding portions of the flour and milk, ending with flour. Mix in the vanilla butternut extract. Note: This can be beaten with an electric mixer or mixed by hand; an electric mixer will produce a lighter cake and hand mixing will create a more dense cake. Pour into a Bundt pan and place into a cold oven. Set oven for 325 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes (do not open oven during baking). Cool in pan for 20 minutes and turn out. Cake may seem alarmingly brown on the outside, but that's the way it's supposed to look.
*I've observed that vanilla butternut extract is easier to find in the southern U.S. than in the Midwest. I can only speculate about its availability in other parts of the U.S. and abroad. McCormick makes an Imitation Vanilla Butter & Nut Flavoring (which is the brand I buy these days). I found a few other brands online, but many were colorless, which would rob this cake of its beautiful, deep yellow color. Don't be fooled by a flavoring called Butternut Extract - it's not the same!
This cake serves a lot of people, so it's a great choice for a party or potluck. Keep an eye out for the flavoring and try it the next time you're in the mood for cake.