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Traditional Pound Cake is made with equal parts butter, sugar, eggs, and flour. Anything else is just a variation!

Pound Cake with two slices at one end.

Why do they call it pound cake?

Pound cake gets its name from the weight of each of the ingredients needed to make the cake. Pound cake requires exactly one pound each of flour, sugar, butter, and eggs.

Where does pound cake originate?

The recipe for pound cake was included in the very first American cookbook, American Cookery, published  in 1796. Despite these early American origins, it’s thought that pound cake migrated from Northern Europe. The French lay claim to the pound cake as well, though it’s called quatre-quarts or four quarters.

How many eggs are in a pound?

Eggs vary in weight since not all eggs are the same. Large eggs tend to weigh just short of 2 ounces each. It takes between 8 and 9 large eggs to equal one pound.

Slice of Pound Cake with sliced strawberries and whip cream on it.

POUND CAKE VARIATIONS

Vanilla Pound Cake: Add 2 teaspoons vanilla extract to the batter with the eggs. Make a vanilla glaze by whisking together 1 cup powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons water and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Pour over warm, baked cake.

Almond Pound Cake: Add in 2 teaspoons almond extract to the batter with the eggs. Make an almond glaze by whisking together 1 cup powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons water and 1 teaspoon almond extract. Pour over warm, baked cake.

Sour Cream Pound Cake: Replace half of the butter with sour cream. 1 cup, or 8 ounces will equal 1/2 pound. Sour cream produces a more moist cake.

Cream Cheese Pound Cake: Replace half of the butter with cream cheese. One 8 ounce package will equal 1/2 pound.

Rum Pound Cake: Add 2 teaspoons rum extract to the batter with the eggs. Make a rum glaze by heating 1/2 cup butter, 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup dark rum, and 1/4 cup water over medium high heat. Bring to a simmer. Poke holes in baked cake and drizzle with rum glaze while warm.

Lemon Pound Cake: Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice to the batter with the eggs or 1 teaspoons lemon extract. Make a glaze to put on after baking by whisking together 1/3 cup lemon juice with 1/3 cup sugar until dissolved. Drizzle over baked cake

Cornmeal Pound Cake: Replace half of the all-purpose flour with finely ground cornmeal.

Feel free to try any of the above variations to Traditional Pound Cake, or their glazes. Each of them is delicious and allows you to experiment with this classic cake and suite it to your own personal taste preferences.

You may also be interested in the following classic cake recipes: 

STORAGE: Pound cake needs to be stored in an airtight container to keep it from drying out. Be sure that it is completely cool before placing it into a storage container or plastic bag to prevent condensation from forming.

Watch the video below where Rachel walks you through every step of this recipe in The Stay At Home Chef Cooking Show. You can find the complete collection of episodes on YouTube, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Slice of Pound Cake with sliced strawberries and whip cream on it.
Traditional Pound Cake is made with equal parts butter, sugar, eggs, and flour. Anything else is just a variation!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 cups softened salted butter or 1 pound
  • 2 cups sugar or 1 pound
  • 9 large eggs or 1 pound
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour or 1 pound
Instructions
  • Lightly grease 2 (9x5 inch) loaf pans with butter and dust with flour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to cream butter until light and fluffy. Beat in sugar until smooth.
  • Add in eggs one at a time and beat until smooth. Slowly add in flour, mixing in between additions.
  • Pour in prepared pans.
  • Bake in the preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour. Tent with aluminum foil to prevent over browning. Cool in the pans for 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Notes
***Cake can also be baked in a bundt pan. Allow approximately 30 minutes more for baking when using a bundt pan.
Vanilla Pound Cake: Add 2 teaspoons vanilla extract to the batter with the eggs. Make a vanilla glaze by whisking together 1 cup powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons water and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Pour over warm, baked cake.
Almond Pound Cake: Add in 2 teaspoons almond extract to the batter with the eggs. Make an almond glaze by whisking together 1 cup powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons water and 1 teaspoon almond extract. Pour over warm, baked cake.
Sour Cream Pound Cake: Replace half of the butter with sour cream. 1 cup, or 8 ounces will equal 1/2 pound. Sour cream produces a more moist cake.
Cream Cheese Pound Cake: Replace half of the butter with cream cheese. One 8 ounce package will equal 1/2 pound.
Rum Pound Cake: Add 2 teaspoons rum extract to the batter with the eggs. Make a rum glaze by heating 1/2 cup butter, 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup dark rum, and 1/4 cup water over medium high heat. Bring to a simmer. Poke holes in baked cake and drizzle with rum glaze while warm.
Lemon Pound Cake: Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice to the batter with the eggs or 1 teaspoons lemon extract. Make a glaze to put on after baking by whisking together 1/3 cup lemon juice with 1/3 cup sugar until dissolved. Drizzle over baked cake
Cornmeal Pound Cake: Replace half of the all-purpose flour with finely ground cornmeal.

Nutrition

Calories: 3424kcal | Carbohydrates: 356g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 204g | Saturated Fat: 123g | Cholesterol: 1224mg | Sodium: 1908mg | Potassium: 545mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 201g | Vitamin A: 6740IU | Calcium: 196mg | Iron: 13mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Eurpoean
Keyword: Pound Cake

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Christina

5 stars
Made vanilla (1 extra tsp) & sour cream in Bundt pan…it was done (clean toothpick) @ 1hr & 5min. Delicious! This recipe is a keeper! Thank you.

Roberta

5 stars
I made a sauce with this cake, one that was an old one from my Grandmother Nellie, who was born in 1898. Here’s the recipe:
Butterscotch Sauce: Stir together 1 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and 3Tablespoons flour. Add 2 cups boiling water. Stir until thick. Add vanilla or other flavoring. My grandmother always added both juice from half a lemon and vanilla.

Ayesha

5 stars
Wow it’s really generous of you to share her recipe, I’m off to try it with this pound cake lol

Renee C

Yum! Thank you for sharing the sauce recipe.

Phoebe

5 stars
This is the recipe that my family has used since a friend gave it to us in the 1950’s. However, recipe had 6 eggs to equal a pound and last time I made it, it seemed dry. This time I’ve got a scale and 9 eggs makes a pound. Glad we all enjoy a real pound cake.

Becca

5 stars
Made my first pound cake today using your recipe after some urging from hubby. He wanted one like a lady he used to know made and swore none would live up to hers but he said this recipe was better than what hers was so thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe! ?

Niharika

Awesome recipe..thanks a ton

Jimmie Oing

5 stars
Looks so delicious. I have always wanted to make this; but, never had a good recipe. Thank you for the information and video with step by step process.

Hollie Hightower

I have made this pound cake before. I love the recipe. I make a marble one and also a chocolate one. Really good.

Karen

Do you weigh the eggs when in the shell or cracked open in a bowl?

Weigh them cracked in a bowl.

Hi, I want to try this recipe. Since I dont want to make a whole pound, can I equal my ingredients? Like, 100g flour =100g sugar =100g butter = 100g eggs? Thanks.

Rae carr

Is the butter salted or unsalted?

I use salted.

Joe

4 stars
This recipe worked out very well! The texture was firm but not heavy and the taste delicious! Truth be told, I used 2 teaspoons of vanilla and a wee bit of salt. I’m keeping this recipe. I will use it again and again!

Ambrose

4 stars
I made my first pound cake using this recipe and it came out great. I tented my two cakes early. Probably could’ve waited towards the end of baking to tent with the aluminum foil. But still came out golden. ?

Sigrid

5 stars
Hi! I loved the recipe:). Can you please tell me when to tent the cake with foil?

Yasmin Ali

I’m looking at the ingredients for your pound cake recipe and noticed no baking powder. Is that correct?. Thanks

5 stars
This was a delicious simplest pound cake ever! I got my husband to stop buying store bought pound cake cause I can now make it by scratch! Thank u

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