Skip to Content

Pound Cake Perfection is possible

After months of research and testing I created Pound Cake Perfection. This is the ultimate old-fashioned, buttery pound cake that melts-in-your mouth. I think this will become your go-to recipe.

A sliced pound cake on a white tray

How to achieve Pound Cake Perfection

A really great pound cake should have an even crumb with a melt-in-your-mouth texture and buttery, vanilla flavor. It’s beautiful in it’s simplicity.

While I’m not opposed to a little glaze or powdered sugar on a pound cake, I think pound cake is meant to be eaten without any frosting. You want all the richness in the cake itself. If you’ve got a really great cake recipe, there’s no reason to hide it under a pile of sweet frosting.

So why is it called “pound cake” anyway?

Pound cake got it’s name based on the original formula of 1 pound each of butter, sugar, eggs and flour. It’s called “quatre-quarts” (four-fourths) by the French.

Let’s make a Better Pound Cake Recipe

There are about a bajillion pound cake recipes out there on the interwebs and, frankly, I’m shocked at how many of them still use the original 1:1:1:1 formula.

Personally, I find that recipe is less than ideal. It’s fairly dense, a little chewy and has a slightly flat taste.

I decided to tweak the original quatre quarts recipe to make it better. If you’re a baking geek like me, you can read all about how I adjusted the percentages in this comprehensive post about creating a great cake recipe.

If you still haven’t slaked your thirst for all the knowledge about cake batter, go ahead and read through my 7-part Cake Batter Series.

To develop my Cake Batter Series of posts I baked over 100 pound cakes over several months of research and testing. I tested each ingredient and how it works in the cake. I also tested various mixing methods, ingredient temperatures and alternative ingredients.

Through all this testing and tweaking I learned exactly what I needed to do to create my ideal pound cake.

Here are the changes I made to the original recipe:

To lighten the cake I added a little baking powder to the recipe. A pinch of salt and a teaspoon of real vanilla extract were added to enhance the flavor.

I upped the sugar just a bit for some added sweetness and tenderness, extra egg yolks for richness and a little milk for moisture.

Pound Cake Perfection, Achieved:

My Pound Cake is the perfect melt-in-your-mouth buttery cake that I was looking for.

I also created variations using sour cream and honey. I love all three cakes for different reasons. The sour cream variation has an extra moist and tender crumb and the honey variation has a lovely tawny color and slight caramel flavor. If you love chocolate try Chocolate Pound Cake or Marple Pound Cake

I baked all the cakes in a 9”x5” loaf pan, but they also bake up beautifully in a Bundt pan. A friend even baked the batter as cupcakes with great success.

Two slices of pound cake on a white plate. Wooden table

Pound Cake Perfection


If you love classic recipes like this you’ll love my new book: Easy Baking From Scratch: Quick Tutorials, Time-Saving Tips, Extraordinary Sweet and Savory Classics. The book contains over 100 recipes that have been well-tested and are presented in simple, clear language. It’s available now on Amazon.

Now that you’ve made this recipe what should you do with all the extra egg whites? Check out this collection of recipes that use extra whites for some great ideas.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please consider leaving a 5-star review.

Perfect Pound Cake

Pound Cake Perfection

Yield: 12 slices
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Baking Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

A really great pound cake should have an even crumb with a melt-in-your-mouth texture and buttery, vanilla flavor. This is a really great pound cake!

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs plus 4 yolks (8.5 oz, 238g) room temp 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz, 60 ml) whole milk , divided
  • 1 ¾ cups (8 oz, 225 g) cake flour
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 cups (10 oz, 285 g) granulated sugar 
  • 2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons (9 oz, 255g) unsalted butter, room temp 

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to at 350°F. Butter and flour a 9"x5" loaf pan or 12 cup bundt pan.
  2. Combine the eggs, yolks, vanilla and half the milk in a small bowl, whisk to combine and set aside.
  3. Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Add the sugar to the flour and mix at low speed for 30 seconds. Add the butter to the flour and mix until combined. Add the other ½ of the milk and increase the speed to medium high. Mix for a full 2-3 minutes. The batter will lighten in color and texture. If your using a hand mixer add another minute or two to the mixing time.
  4. Scrape the bowl and paddle thoroughly. On low speed, add the egg mixture in 3 increments, scraping the bowl after each addition. Mix just until the eggs are incorporated.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth to an even layer.
  6. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean (about 55-65 minutes).

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

You Might Also Like:

Two pieces of cake on the ends of two forks. Gray background
Mixing Methods
Four forks with a piece of cake at the end of each fork. Gray background.
Salt & Leaveners
Six pieces of cake set in a pinwheel pattern on a white backgound.
Flour in Cake Batter
Four forks each with a piece of cake at the end on a gray background.
Eggs in Cake Batter
Two slice pound cakes, one taller, side by side with a white background.
Sugar in Cake Batter
Five slices of pound cake on a marble background. Text overlay shows different types of fat used in the batter.
Butter in Cake Batter

Else Baugh

Friday 17th of June 2022

Is there a way to make it into a banana pound cake? Love your recipes and insights!

Eileen Gray

Saturday 18th of June 2022

I'm sure there is, but it would take some testing.

Zaakirah

Friday 18th of March 2022

Good day ... what is the difference between salted and unsalted butter in recepis. Will it be ok if I substitute with salted butter

Eileen Gray

Saturday 19th of March 2022

If you use salted butter you might want to reduce or eliminate the salt in the recipe. I always use unsalted butter so I can control how much salt is in the final recipe. The amount of salt in butter can vary by brand.

Ben

Thursday 9th of December 2021

Why don't you whip the egg whites to add extra fluffiness? Or would that not be the result? Also, would a little oil in place of some of the butter add extra moistness? Thanks!

KathrynT

Wednesday 15th of June 2022

@Eileen Gray, In a pound cake wouldn't beating the egg whites make the cake as tough and rubbery as a basket ball?

Eileen Gray

Thursday 9th of December 2021

Well, you could do those things but then it would be less like a pound cake and more like a butter cake or layer cake. I have a vanilla cake recipe that has whipped whites and I have a buttermilk cake that uses oil.

ACL

Thursday 25th of November 2021

Made this for Thanksgiving today. Everyone loved it, best pound cake ever, truly decadent. After 1 hr it was still soggy in the middle, at 70 min it was perfectly done. Start checking at 60 min, it is a thick batter so don’t be alarmed. It will work out.

Cheryl D

Sunday 26th of September 2021

This recipe is truly Pound cake perfection! Utterly buttery, beautiful crumb & crust. Any skepticism I had about the amount of eggs or the unique reverse creaming method were thrown out after I tasted a slice; super yummy. Rave reviews received as I shared it with a neighbor, saying it was the best cake they'd tasted even better than ones from the bakery. BTW I am an amateur home baker so don't hesitate to give this recipe a try. Thank you so much Eileen for your well explained blog and perfect recipe. I wish I give you more than 5 stars!

Skip to Recipe