It’s all in the family at Emily’s Heirloom Pound Cakes

Published 4:20 pm Thursday, August 14, 2014

Emily's Heirloom Pound Cakes bakes homemade cakes according to a traditional family recipe. (Contributed)

Emily’s Heirloom Pound Cakes bakes homemade cakes according to a traditional family recipe. (Contributed)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—A fixture at local farmers’ markets, Emily’s Heirloom Pound Cakes comes from simple beginnings. The Pelham-based business started with an opportunity, a goal and a family recipe.

Around the fall of 2013, owner April McClung’s two sons were offered the opportunity to travel abroad as student ambassadors. McClung knew she would need to raise money in order to afford the $14,400 cost to send her sons on the trips. McClung’s husband suggested selling pound cakes, and Emily’s Heirloom Pound Cakes was born.

“Over the years, whenever we would go some place or have people over, we would bring a cake,” McClung said, noting her husband has always been the baker in the family. “When it came time for the fundraiser… he taught us how to do it.”

Each cake is crafted from scratch and by hand using a family recipe passed down from McClung’s husband’s grandmother, Emily Magnolia McClung, affectionately known as Big Mama. The McClungs still use Big Mama’s mixer to this day.

Baking is an “all hands on deck” family affair, McClung said, adding even her two sons bake cakes.

Sold at $40 per cake, the pound cakes were a hit, raising more than enough money to send both boys on their trips.

“It was just amazing how generous we learned people were,” McClung said. “Even today, it is just so amazing.”

And the business has continued even though the fundraising is over. Emily’s Heirloom Pound Cakes is a regular at the Urban Cook House farmers’ markets, and has also appeared at the famous Pepper Place market in Birmingham. McClung also operates an online business and fills order for cakes from across the country.

“I have not met one person who does not love the cake,” McClung said. “People say it reminds them of their mother or grandmother.”

McClung bakes around 50 cakes each week, and recently acquired a rental commercial baking space. She is also working on program to help schools fundraise through pound cake sales.

Although McClung is looking to grow Emily’s Heirloom Pound Cakes and turn it into a full-time business some day, “it’s still a family business,” she said.

More information about Emily’s Heirloom Pound Cakes can be found online at, on the Emily’s Heirloom Pound Cakes Facebook page.