My grandmother, Gladys Payne Gittens, came here from Barbados about 1906. She read this to me over the phone when I was in law school in 1978. Thanks to my friend Elayne, the Soulful Yenta, to whom I gave a copy, I was able to find this on Mother’s Day. It’s a great simple pound cake, good with tea.

Barbadian Plain Cake


  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups butter
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon almond extract
  • 2 cups milk


1 Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Lightly grease and flour one 9 or 10 inch bundt pan.

2 By hand with a spatula cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs all at once and beat well.

3 Sift the flour and the baking powder together. Add to butter mixture along with 1 cup of the milk. Continue to beat well (the batter will be doughy). Add the remaining 1 cup of milk along with the vanilla, and almond extracts. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

4 Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 1 hour. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and continue baking for 15 minutes longer.


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