Traditional pound cake recipe


    Pound cake holds a special place in the hearts of many, with its dense, moist texture and rich buttery flavor. This timeless classic has been enjoyed for centuries, making it a staple dessert in households around the world.

    History and Origins of Pound Cake

    The origins of pound cake can be traced back to Europe in the early 18th century. Its name comes from the traditional recipe that called for a pound each of four main ingredients: flour, butter, sugar, and eggs. This simple yet decadent cake quickly gained popularity due to its ease of preparation and delicious taste.

    Traditional Ingredients for Pound Cake

    To make a traditional pound cake, you’ll need:


    All-purpose flour is typically used for pound cake, providing structure and stability to the batter.


    Unsalted butter is the key ingredient that gives pound cake its rich and buttery flavor. Make sure the butter is softened to room temperature for easy mixing.


    Granulated sugar sweetens the cake and helps to create a tender crumb.


    Large eggs are used to bind the ingredients together and add moisture to the cake.


    Vanilla extract is commonly used to flavor pound cake, but you can also experiment with other extracts such as almond or lemon for variation.

    Step-by-Step Guide to Making Traditional Pound Cake

    Follow these simple steps to create a delicious traditional pound cake:

    Preparing the Ingredients

    Gather all the ingredients and preheat your oven to 325°F (165°C). Grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan.

    Creaming the Butter and Sugar

    In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.

    Adding Eggs and Flavorings

    Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract or other flavorings of your choice.

    Folding in the Flour

    Gradually add the flour to the batter, mixing until just combined. Be careful not to overmix, as this can lead to a tough cake.

    Baking the Cake

    Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake in the preheated oven for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

    Tips for Success

    • Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature for even mixing.
    • Do not overmix the batter to avoid a tough cake.
    • Use a light-colored loaf pan to prevent the cake from overbrowning.
    • Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.

    Variations and Additions to Traditional Pound Cake

    While traditional pound cake is delicious on its own, you can get creative and experiment with different variations and additions. Some popular options include adding citrus zest, chocolate chips, or nuts to the batter.

    Serving Suggestions

    Traditional pound cake pairs well with a variety of toppings and accompaniments. Serve slices of pound cake with fresh berries and whipped cream for a light and refreshing dessert, or drizzle with a simple glaze for added sweetness.

    Storing Pound Cake

    To keep pound cake fresh, store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. For longer storage, wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. Allow the cake to thaw at room temperature before serving.


    With its rich history and simple ingredients, traditional pound cake continues to be a beloved dessert for generations. Whether enjoyed plain or with added toppings, this classic treat is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.


    1. Can I use salted butter instead of unsalted butter?
      • While you can use salted butter, it’s best to use unsalted butter to control the amount of salt in the recipe.
    2. Can I make pound cake without a loaf pan?
      • Yes, you can use other types of baking pans such as bundt pans or round cake pans, but adjust the baking time accordingly.
    3. Can I substitute other types of flour for all-purpose flour?
      • All-purpose flour works best for traditional pound cake, but you can experiment with alternative flours such as cake flour for a lighter texture.
    4. How can I prevent my pound cake from sinking in the middle?
      • To prevent sinking, make sure not to overmix the batter and avoid opening the oven door during baking.
    5. Can I freeze pound cake?
      • Yes, pound cake freezes well. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store it in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months.