Best Pound Cake
A couple of tricks like using cream, cake flour, and alternating the wet and dry ingredients make this the Best Pound Cake Recipe you’ll ever taste! Dense and moist, with a fine crumb, it’s an amazing staple for your dessert repertoire.
The pound cake got its name from the simple proportions used to make the batter. British in origin, the first recipes called for a pound each of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour. I’m not sure what my ingredients weigh, but I guarantee this Whipping Cream Pound Cake is scrumptious!
Why You Must Make
I made my first pound cake for Junior High Home-Ec after browsing my mother’s cookbooks and spotting an easy recipe. Even though I forgot the vanilla, my teacher admired the wonderful taste and texture. And I learned that I could bake! Years later I found this easy pound cake recipe in Gourmet magazine. I promise that it’s the BEST!
- It’s Elvis’ favorite pound cake! So it’s a tried and true recipe that’s been around for decades.
- A vanilla pound cake is a perfect way to showcase fresh seasonal berries, ice cream, whipped cream, and more!
- It’s dense, buttery, and delicious. Just look at the perfect, dense crumb.
From Jacqueline on Pinterest: Awesome! This cake is the BOOM BAM BOOM! I have branded myself as a baker with this recipe.
- Kitchen staples: Sugar, Butter, Vanilla Extract, Salt – Check your supply
- Eggs (you’ll need 7!) – Have them at Room temperature for the best incorporation into the batter
- Cake Flour – find this in the baking aisle in a box. PRO-Tip: You can make your own cake flour by substituting 2 tablespoons of each cup of flour with 2 tablespoons of corn starch. This decreases the amount of gluten in the flour making it more suitable for tender cakes.
- Heavy Cream – One of the unique ingredients in this pound cake. It should have 36% butterfat content.
Elvis Presley’s Best Pound Cake Recipe
When Epicurious became my primary recipe resource about 2 decades ago, I discovered Elvis’ Favorite Pound Cake. Cream and cake flour gives it a marvelous crumb.
With all the fabulous seasonal berries, it is a wonderful spring and summer dessert. Try it with a sauce made of frozen raspberries in the winter or with a dusting of powdered sugar and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Make sure to bake up this cake for your next gathering but take note that it’s delicious any time of year. You won’t be disappointed. Plus, it’s got Elvis’ endorsement!
As with most cakes, there are a few universal tips, like having your eggs and butter at room temperature. But some other pointers are a little different for making a perfect pound cake.
Mixing the Batter
- PRO-Tip: Start with room temperature ingredients. You can set the eggs, butter and cream out on the counter about an hour before mixing. On occasion, I will hurry along the process by putting my eggs into a bowl of warm water.
- Using room temperature ingredients will help increase the volume of the batter.
- PRO-Tip: Use the paddle attachment to beat the butter and sugar. This will ensure a velvety batter without incorporating a lot of air. This assists in giving the pound cake the dense crumb for which it’s known.
- Like with a cheesecake, you only want to beat the eggs until they’re just incorporated. Do not over mix.
- Use cake flour for a finer, more delicate crumb. Sifting three times lightens it up even more.
- Also do not over-mix the flour once it is added. Over mixing will activate the gluten, making for a tougher cake.
Baking the Cake
- Grease and flour your tube pan or use a non-stick flour and oil spray like Baker’s Joy.
- PRO-Tip: Do not use a 2-piece angel food cake pan as the batter will spill out of the bottom as it bakes.
- PRO-Tip: This recipe calls for starting the cake in a cold oven. I’m not a chemist, but this may be because it will delay the leaveners from forming carbon dioxide. CO2 is responsible for making air bubbles and therefore creating a lighter, airy cake. This step is unique to some pound cake recipes.
- Most pound cakes take an hour or more in the oven. Be patient. Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. It should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs when the cake is done.
- Let the pound cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes before gently shaking it from side to side, then flipping it out onto the cooling rack to finish cooling.
Storing Your Cake
- Keep your pound cake covered at room temperature for up to 3-4 days.
- To store any longer than 4 days, cover with plastic wrap, then heavy-duty (or regular) foil, and freeze.
Frequently Asked Questions
You’ll need a tube pan, which looks like a tire from above. The opening in the middle helps the cake to bake evenly instead of having the outside fully baked and the middle raw. But do not use a two-piece angel food cake pan, which has a removable bottom. When the batter is poured in and placed in the oven, there will be leakage out of the seams where the two components meet. This will make a mess in your oven.
Scroll down to see a link to the nonstick tube pan I use. Note that you can also use a Bundt pan to bake this cake or divide the batter between loaf pans, decreasing the baking time.
The culinary term Pound Cake came from the original measurements which called for a pound each of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour.
Pound cake freezes very well. Just wrap your cake so that it’s airtight and freeze up to 3 months. I wrap first with plastic wrap, then aluminum foil. This gives a double dose of protection from freezer burn. Make sure to mark the date on the outside of the packaging so you can use it while it’s at its prime.
You May Also Like
- Million Dollar Pound Cake from Melissa’s Southern Style Kitchen
- Sour Cream Pound Cake
- Strawberry Pound Cake
- Streusel Pound Cake
- Lemon Pound Cake
- More of my Best Cake Recipes
- More of my Best Dessert Recipes
Best Pound Cake Recipe
Elvis' favorite pound cake recipe. Adapted from Gourmet Magazine.
- 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
- 3 cups sugar
- 7 eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups cake flour, sifted twice
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Butter and flour (or use a flour and oil cooking spray like Baker's Joy) a 10-inch tube or Bundt pan (do not use a 2 piece angel food cake pan).
- Cream butter and sugar, using paddle attachment if using a stand mixer. Beat on medium high for 5 minutes.
- Scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla, then mix in the salt.
- With mixer on low, mix in half the flour, then all the cream, and then the rest of the flour. Scrape down bowl, and beat on medium high for 5 more minutes. Batter will be satiny.
- Pour the batter into your prepared pan. Drop the pan onto the counter once or twice to remove air bubbles. Place in lower third of a cold oven. Set oven to 350º and bake 60-75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or with just a couple crumbs.
- Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Remove from pan onto serving plate and cool completely.
I have also baked half a batch using 3½ eggs (estimating the volume of a half of a large egg), and baked in a loaf pan for 45 minutes.
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Serving Size:1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 564Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 171mgSodium: 257mgCarbohydrates: 78gFiber: 1gSugar: 51gProtein: 7g
85 Comments on “Best Pound Cake”
A must try
Holiday season cakes plus plus
Yes, it’s a tasty, versatile recipe to have in your repertoire, Drucilla! Thank you!!!
Checking on the sugar/flour ratio. I always used 3 cups sugar to 4 cups flour for my pound cakes. Do you think if I decreased it to 2.5 it would mess up the crumb?
Hi, Carolyn, Great question and I wish I had a definitive answer for you. I wouldn’t think that the relatively small percentage decrease would make a huge difference. FYI the King Arthur Flour website does mention that with a 25% reduction of sugar, their tests with pound cake came out drier, but the cake was still sweet enough and no mention that the crumb was altered. So you’ll have to let me know if you give it a try—fingers crossed for you!
My Grandmother baked delicious pound cakes, I never could master these until I tried this recipe! It is a melt in your mouth taste of scrumptious butter and vanilla pound cake. This will forever be my “go-to” when I want pound cake! The tips were wonderful and I followed the recipe exactly. This is the bomb!
I’m so, so glad to hear this, Julia!! Thank you for the kind words!!
It looks delicious. Thanks for sharing this recipe.
Looks amazing! My grandmother used to make a pound cake and decorate it with jello and strawberries, it was my favorite cake growing up.
You read my mind, Liz. I’m working on a menu for a dear friend’s birthday and thought that an individual trifle version of strawberry shortcake would be fun. Guess what I was missing? Just the right recipe for pound cake and now this! Thank you so much – it looks perfect and your recipes are always spot on.
I wouldn’t say a pound cake is my favourite (It’s a bit too simple to my liking.), but this looks and sounds wonderful – such beautiful texture! I actually love a slice of toasted or even grilled pound cake, with some fruit (like grilled pinapple) – this really elevates it to a totally new level!
I wouldn’t say a pound cake is my favourite type of cake (It’s a bit too simple to my liking.), but this looks and sounds wonderful – such beautiful texture! I actually love a slice of toasted or even grilled pound cake, with some fruit (like grilled pinapple) – this really elevates it to a totally new level!
If I could choose only one cake, it would be pound cake! I have no doubt your title is 100% accurate Liz, wish I had a piece right now:@)
That’s perfectly perfect pound cake! The crumb looks the BEST!
Do you use salted butter or unsalted butter
I use salted butter, Debbie. I’ve decreased the salt in the recipe to accommodate for the salt in the butter.
I’ve found that the color is more golden and the texture is lighter when baked on 300 degrees.
It also looks great in the large fluted Nordic pan.
It’s a great recipe.
Thanks, Kevin! I haven’t tried changing the baking temperature, but next time I’ll give it a whirl! So glad you are a fan, too.
Frank and I love Pound Cake and your recipe is a winner Liz! Thank you for posting and what a great photo to entice!
I just made my very first pound cake ever, using your recipe. My boyfriend was saying It is his favorite cake and since I love to bake I searched pinterest and your recipe looked so good. The aroma in my home right now is heavenly ! I dont have a stand mixer or bundt pan so I used a hand mixer with the 2 beaters and 2 loaf pans as you had suggested. I will definately be making this again! Thank you so much!
Wonderful, Judy!! It’s a cake you’ll make again and again. Hope you both enjoy!!!
This has become my “go-to” pound cake. The outside crunches like a cookie, while the inside is like eating a cloud! I’ve received so many compliments on this cake! For me, a light dusting of confectioner’s sugar is all it needs. It’s great alone, or with fresh berries, a dollop of whip cream, or both. Thank you so much for sharing this!!! About to make another one now!!!????
Oh, I’m so glad to hear this! It’s a winner and happy you are a fan, too.
Can self rising flour be used? I’ve just seen that I am down to only TWO cups of all purpose flour!
Since the self rising flour has baking powder in addition to the flour, I’m concerned the extra leavening could mess up the dense texture of the pound cake by making it rise more than it should. You could make half a batch with AP flout and bake it in a loaf pan. If you end up trying it, let me know how it goes!