Victory by the pound for 9-year-old baker

July 31, 2012|By CRYSTAL SCHELLE |
  • Edey McDougal of Smithsburg won the grand champion prize in 4-H baked-goods category at Washington County Ag Expo & Fair for her Champion Vanilla Butternut Pound Cake.
By Yvette May/Herald-Mail staff photographer

Edey McDougal's favorite subject at school is math.

The 9-year-old, who will be a fourth-grader this fall at Cascade Elementary School, said she's an enrichment student and likes math because "I'm really good."

"I like solving things and figuring out problems," she said during a telephone interview from her Smithsburg home.

This summer Edey has combined her love for numbers with another hobby, baking, where being precise is just as important.

Edey's  Champion Vanilla Butternut Pound Cake was named grand champion in 4-H baked goods category at the Washington County Ag Expo & Fair, which was from July 21 to 28.

For Edey, though, it was a tough choice on what to enter.

"I had to pick cakes or cookies," she said. "And I picked the cake because I like cakes."

She said she likes cakes because they're fun to make.

"I like putting all the ingredients in and mixing them into the mixture," she said.

 Edey, who is the daughter of Mary and Dan McDougal, said she's been in the kitchen since she was 6 years old. And was taught by her mom how to bake.

But her favorite thing to make is brownies.

The winning recipe was one her mom had found many years ago out of a newspaper. Mary McDougal said she had called it "champion" because the recipe had won a prize.

Mary McDougal said she makes it semi-frequently in their home and when her daughter was looking for something to enter, she thought about the recipe.

"I told her pound cakes were kind of easy and to try this one," she said.

Edey said this was her first time ever baking this cake.

And she said she had her doubts when it come to if she was going to win, especially grand champion.

"I felt I overcooked it," she said. "But the judges said it was fine, and moist in the middle."

It was Edey's grandmother, Nancy McGuirk, who broke the news to her that she had not only won, but had taken the top prize.

She had baked the cake at her grandmother's house, who helped to supervise. Edey said her grandmother had told her she was going to the building to look at her projects. It was her grandmother who spotted the big prize next to Edey's cake.

"She saw the ribbon and then she told me," she said.

For her award-winning entry, Edey said she won a purple ribbon, along with other ribbons. A slice of her  cake was displayed with other grand-champion winners.

But the cake didn't go home with Edey, it was auctioned for $200, which goes back into 4-H Youth Development Program through the University of Maryland Extension at Washington County.

Baking isn't Edey's only award-winning venture at this year's ag show. Edey has been a member of of Greensburg 4-H Club for two years, where her mom is the 4-H leader, so she had other projects at the ag expo. Her guinea pig, Clementine, won grand champion and best in show. Her market goat, Trudy, won second place in market goat and showmanship. Her nubian goats, Liz and Molly won grand champion and reserve, respectively.

Her slew of ribbons and medals will reside in her bedroom, where they'll be on display.

As for next year, Edey is already thinking about defending her title.

"Maybe (I'll enter) another pound cake," she said.

Champion Vanilla Butternut Pound Cake

1/2 cup shortening

1 cup margarine

3 cups sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

5 eggs

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup evaporated milk

2 tablespoons vanilla butternut extract

Heat oven to 325 degrees.

Cream shortening, margarine and sugar. Add salt. Add eggs one at a time. Add flour and powder, alternating with milk. Fold in flavoring by hand. Bake in well-greased tube pan for 1 hour and 35 minutes. 

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