A traditional, delicious Pound Cake that’s super easy to make. Simple, elegant and such a classic! This pound cake is sweet, dense and fabulous!
I really love making cakes, but for some people, cakes can be intimidating to make, which is why I love simple cakes like this. With a handful of ingredients, you simply cannot go wrong in making this cake! It really is a fool proof recipe that, believe it or not, has been made for hundreds of years. So why mess with a good thing?
WHY IS IT CALLED POUND CAKE
Every wonder why a pound cake is called that? The answer is really simple, my friends. The name refers to amount of ingredients. Traditionally a pound cake is made with a pound of flour, a pound of butter, a pound of eggs and a pound of sugar.
In this recipe I cut the amounts in half. You can totally double the recipe, which will yield two loaves for you.
INGREDIENTS IN POUND CAKE
In a traditional plain pound cake there really are only 4 ingredients, the other 2 are just flavor enhancers. Here they are:
- Vanilla extract
HOW TO MAKE POUND CAKE
First, prepare your oven and loaf pan. Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees and generously spray the loaf pan with cooking spray.
Mix in the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs in one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract and salt.
With the mixer on low, gradually add half the flour and mix just until combined. Add remaining flour and mix it again until combined. Do not over mix!
Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan and bake for about 1 hour. The cake is done baking, when a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Let the cake cool in the loaf pan for about 15 minutes. Run a knife around the sides of the loaf pan to loosen the cake in case it’s stuck and turn it over onto a cooling rack. Turn it upright and allow it to cool completely before slicing.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU OVER MIX CAKE BATTER?
Every wonder why I always say “Do not over mix!”? First of all, you should only mix the flour into the butter and sugar until you can no longer see anymore flour. Once that happens, you should immediately stop.
Usually what happens when you over mix cake batter, the gluten in the flour can form elastic gluten strands. Why is this bad? Because this will give you a more dense and chewy texture. Chewy texture is great in cookies, we all love those chewy cookies, but not so great in cakes or pies!
WHY DID MY POUND CAKE CRACK ON TOP
Pound cakes will often have cracked tops and this is because the batter is so dense. Don’t worry about it! The cake is still delicious. What happens is that the exterior of the cake cooks first, which can cause the batter to rise up and crack in the center.
As you can see, mine cracked. Am I worried? Nope. Because it still was yummy, crack or not. If you really can’t stand cracks, bake the cake in a tube pan, instead of a loaf pan.
HOW DO I KNOW WHEN MY POUND CAKE IS DONE BAKING
I always go for the toothpick test when making cakes, muffins, quick breads, etc. Insert a toothpick into the thickest part of the cake, and if it pulls out clean, your cake is all done. Since this cake doesn’t have any melty fillings such as chocolate chips it’s really easy to tell when the cake is done.
Take a close look at that toothpick. Do you still see any batter on it? Leave it for another 5-10 minutes at a time until no batter sticks to the toothpick.
OTHER INGREDIENTS YOU CAN ADD TO POUND CAKE
There are so many other great ingredients you can add the pound cake. How about some of these:
- Lemon zest or orange zest
- Chocolate chips, white or dark
- Nuts such as walnuts, pecans
- Different extracts such as almond extract or rum extract
- Cream cheese
- Sour cream
WHAT TYPE OF PAN SHOULD I BAKE MY POUND CAKE IN
You can use different pans to bake the pound cake in. I used a regular size loaf pan, but you can use other pans such as bundt pans, tube pans, round or square cake pans.
Using different pans may affect the baking time, so keep an eye on your cake if you use one of these options.
TIPS FOR MAKING THE BEST POUND CAKE
- Always bring your ingredients to room temperature when making this cake, especially the butter, otherwise you will have a difficult time beating it with the sugar.
- Do not over mix your batter. See above. 😉
- Measure accurately!
- Spray your loaf pan generously. You can also butter it and flour it. I find just spraying it with cooking spray is much easier and works just as well.
- Do not open the oven door before the cake is done baking!
- Use a toothpick to check for doneness. See above.
- Do not remove the cake from the pan too early. Let the cake cool in the pan for at least 10 to 15 minutes before removing it from the pan. This will allow the cake to become firm enough to remove from the pan. Do not wait too long to remove it from the pan either. If you wait too long, the cake will become damp and stick to the pan.
HOW TO SERVE POUND CAKE
- Best way to serve it is with whipped cream and fresh fruit such as fresh berries, peaches, apricots, some mint leaves and dust it with powdered sugar! Delicious!
- How about with some sweet syrup and nuts. Try some honey or maple syrup then sprinkle it with some almonds, walnuts or pistachios.
- How about with pudding and bananas. Cut slices of pound cake into squares then layer them in a glass just like you’re making a trifle. Cake, pudding, banana, repeat.
- Serve pound cake slices with ice cream and chocolate syrup.
- Ricotta and figs!
HOW DO YOU STORE LEFTOVER POUND CAKE
I recommend storing leftover pound cake on the counter at room temperature tightly sealed. I usually wrap it in plastic wrap or cut it in slices and keep it in a covered cake plate. It will last anywhere from 3 to 4 days at room temperature.
CAN YOU FREEZE POUND CAKE
Pound cake is great for freezing. Wrap it up tightly with aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap and store it in the freezer for 4 to 6 months.
TRY THESE DELICIOUS CAKES:
- Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake
- Banana Chocolate Chip Cake
- Lemon Yogurt Cake
- Cream Cheese Filled Banana Cake
- Lemon Orange Cake with Lemon Honey Glaze
Pound Cake Recipe
- 1 cup butter unsalted, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar granulated
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven and prepare pan: Preheat your oven to 350 F degrees. Spray a 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.75 inch loaf pan generously with cooking spray.
- Mix butter and sugar together: Using a stand or hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy.
- Add in eggs: Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg.
- Add salt, vanilla and flour: Mix in the vanilla extract and salt. With the mixer on low, gradually add half the flour and mix just until combined. Add remaining flour and mix it again until combined. Do not over mix!
- Bake: Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan and bake for about 1 hour. The cake is done baking, when a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool, slice and serve: Let the cake cool in the loaf pan for about 15 minutes. Run a knife around the sides of the loaf pan to loosen the cake in case it's stuck and turn it over onto a cooling rack. Turn it upright and allow it to cool completely before slicing.