IT WAS national Pound Cake Day a few weeks ago and I’ll admit, it’s been a while since I baked a pound cake for the family.

It was also a great opportunity to bake one for my wife Kathy’s birthday.

I am usually busy with much more complex and fussy cakes, and often forget about the simplicity of these cakes, which are generally baked in a loaf tin or Bundt mould, if you’re lucky enough to own one.

I believe the pound cake dates back to the early 1700s and was a Northern European dish, which today is a very popular cake in America, and which was published in the first American cookbook.

The British equivalent of this classic cake is the Madeira cake, which I often use in my trifles.

Traditionally in the UK, the pound cake was a large cake and the Victorians did bake big cakes, throwing everything in the mixing bowl with no faffing or fuss.

There were equal measurements of butter, sugar, flour and eggs – hence its name pound cake.

It was also an easy recipe to make by memory, but my version has slightly different proportions, scaling down the quantities to make an ideal midweek pick-me-up cake.

There are many, many variations nowadays, being sandwiched together with buttercream or jam making a nice addition. Purists would lightly dust the cake with a little icing sugar once cool, making it a little lighter and less dense.

In my eyes, the best part about a pound cake is its versatility – it keeps well and tastes great as a chocolate cake, or maybe add a few handful of rum-soaked raisins in a marble version, or lemon and orange drizzle icings.

There are so many options. It’s fun to dress up a pound cake – it’s all good to me.

I was also interested to read that Elvis Presley’s favourite cake was a pound cake, and how can I not share this recipe with you now!

The recipe is simple and will suit all levels of home bakers. It also smells heavenly when baking, and I could not wait to put the kettle on – I practically stood over my cake while it cooled.

As I sat eating yet another piece of this yummy birthday cake, writing up this column, it had me thinking: maybe it’s called pound cake because that’s what you put on!

Could it be? I mean, Elvis apparently loved it...

I’m all shook up now, but I did it my way! Enjoy.

lHave you missed any of Baker Mike’s previous Friend in Knead articles in the Keighley News? If you have, don’t despair as they are still available to read online. All you have to do is visit the website, click on the What’s On tab at the top of the homepage, then select Food & Drink, and you’ll find all the previous articles and recipes for your delectation and delight.