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Tastiest pound cake contest a favorite at annual ArtFest


By Melissa Robinson
Contributing Editor 

  Creamy butter, farm-fresh eggs, real sugar and pure vanilla extract are a few of the ingredients to make a true Southern pound cake and Henry County’s best will be on display at the second annual "Tastiest Pound Cake Contest" that is a part of McDonough Arts Spring ArtFest, to be held on Sunday, April 21 on the McDonough Square.

Wanda David holds her winning pound cake at last year’s Tastiest Pound Cake Contest.                                                                                     Special photo

  If family members rave about your baking skills or friends at church always go for that second slice of your dessert at the potluck supper, then organizers are looking for you to enter this year’s pound cake contest.

  Entries will be judged in the categories of Southern traditional, Southern traditional glazed or iced, any type of chocolate and a brand new category just for the men, where “anything goes.”  

  “We decided to add a category exclusively for men this year to generate interest among male bakers,” said Judy Neal, McDonough Arts Council member and Chair of the Tastiest Pound Cake Contest. ”Men are quietly competitive and all seem to enjoy eating pound cake.”

  Kathy Shepherd, owner of Incredible Southern Pound Cakes in Stockbridge, will be the “celebrity guest” and on hand to coach the judges, give tips and teach them what to look for as they taste the different varieties to determine the winners.

  All the judges for this year’s competition are men and include several from the "Real Men in Pink" 2013 campaign.

  Neal said the pound cake contest was a natural progression as it had become a custom for the Board of McDonough Arts to sell homemade sweets and sliced pound cake at the festival and said Board members are constantly exploring ways to include all types of art in its events. 

  Neal said that no matter how you slice it, competitors will be serving up delicious offerings, many using longtime family recipes.

  “Many who sign up to compete tell us that they will be using a treasured family recipe which has been handed down by mothers, aunts or grandmothers. Others work for weeks creating a new competitive recipe.  Everyone has their own idea about what makes a terrific cake,” she said. 

  Neal’s own personal hint about baking the perfect pound cake?

  “Let the butter sit out for at least six hours before beating,” said Neal. “Another baker I know, who insists that she has the winning recipe handed down by her grandmother, was adamant that the butter must sit out overnight. Either way, it seems that soft butter keeps sad streaks from forming.”

  ArtFest will be held on April 21 from noon until 5 p.m. In addition to the pound cake contest, there will be art demonstrations, an Artists’ Market featuring everything from paintings to jewelry to pottery, and Kid’s Corner. There will also be live entertainment, music and food.

  Think you have the winning recipe? To enter the pound cake contest, email name, phone number, mailing address and cake recipe to Neal at or for more information call her at 404-660-3813.



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