SC State Fair: Prize-winning lemon pound cake is a family legacy

brantin@thestate.comOctober 19, 2013 

  • At the fair The South Carolina State Fair continues through Sunday at Rosewood Drive and George Rogers Boulevard in Columbia. Here are some things to know. General information

    Admission: $10 ages 6-54; $7 ages 55 and older; free for children 5 and younger.

    Parking: Free in the Fairgrounds parking lot

    Daily gate promotion: Free admission for active and retired military and their dependents (with proper identification).

    Youth entrance policy: Anyone under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent after 7 p.m. each day.

    Today’s highlights

    Hours: Gates open at 9 a.m., Midway open at 10 a.m.

    Rides: Two rides for the price of one from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    Youth entrance policy: Anyone under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent to be admitted to the fair after 7 p.m. each day.

    Grandstand entertainment: The Temptations, 7 p.m., free with gate admission. Wristbands for the show can be picked up beginning at 4 p.m. at the Grandstand ticket booth. Compiled by Bertram Rantin. Follow @bertramrantin on Twitter.

Whitney Harrison and Ashley Boykin have long known their family had the winning ingredients for tasty lemon pound cakes.

For years, their late grandfather, Mendel Boykin, prepared the cakes and passed down the recipe to his children, who in turn passed it down to theirs.

“He taught my mom and her three brothers and they taught us. I’m not really sure where he got the recipe from or if he came up with it himself,” said Harrison, an attorney with McGowan Hood Fedler in Columbia.

The elder Boykin’s pound cake claimed blue ribbon honors at the S.C. State Fair in the late 1960s, and this year Harrison and Ashley Boykin duplicated the feat when they also claimed a blue ribbon in the same category.

“My cousin (who also lives in the area) and I decided to bring the recipe back and see if we could win a blue ribbon as well,” Harrison said.

The two have had lots of practice.

They make the cakes every Christmas Eve and at other family gatherings with other cousins, but this was their first time entering it at the fair.

“We are so excited. It was so unexpected,” Harrison said. “All of our family members were equally excited about it. There was definitely some stiff competition. I was pretty nervous when we dropped the cake off.”

Harrison said she’s not sure whether they’ll enter the cake at the fair again but suspects they have started a new tradition.

“It would be kind of hard to pass up that blue ribbon if we were not successful with it, but we’ll probably compete.”

The State is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service