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
83 Comments on “Best Pound Cake”
Greetings from Johannesburg, South Africa. When I searched for a pound cake recipe, I chose yours because of the very full details you gave. The very first attempt was a success, as were the many subsequent bakes (2-3 times a month). I thought I should send some gratitude your way. I’ve also tried it with just 2 cups sugar and it suits my family’s taste just fine!
Hi, Zimbili, Thanks so much for your kind note. I’m so happy this recipe has become a regular for you! And I appreciate you taking the time to let me know. Happy baking!! xo
Greetings from Johannesburg, South Africa. Having made it a few times this year I thought I should send some gratitude your way. I’ve also tried it with just 2 cups sugar and it comes out just fine!
Can this be turned into a lemon pound cake by adding lemon juice & zest?
I haven’t tested with this recipe, but I think it should work. I’d add 3-4 tablespoons of lemon zest and 4 teaspoons of lemon juice. I have a lemon loaf pound cake and doubled the amounts used in that recipe. Let me know how it goes if you give it a try!
For your reference:
Hi I’m using salted butter should I omit the salt?
Nope, you’ll be fine. I always use salted butter and reduce the salt if I’m adapting someone else’s recipe. Hope you enjoy this cake, Jo!
When do you add the salt. Did not see it in the instructions.
Hi, Nancy! Add salt right after the vanilla. Thanks for catching that omission. I’ll edit the post. 🙂
Nothing more lovely than the simplicity of pound cake.
So simple, but such a great cake!
This is the most perfect pound cake ever!
The crumb on this pound cake is a dream. Perfect in every way!
Perfection! I want a big slice!
We are big fans of your pillowy and sweet pound cake. So good.
I can’t believe this is made from scratch, it looks SO perfect. Wowza!
This looks like the best pound cake ever!! ♥
If I’m using a 9×13 pan how long would the baking time be. I’m using this pan so that when I cut the cake into cubes for my trifle it will look somewhat even.
If I bake this in a 9X13 pan how long should I bake it for. I am making a trifle dessert using pound cake and would like the cake to cut fairly evenly for looks!
I’d bake it for 45-60 minutes. Just make sure to check the center with a toothpick (which should come out clean) and tap the center with your finger to make sure it pops back up to see if it’s bake through to the middle. Also when you start smelling a yummy aroma, go ahead and check it at that time in case it bakes faster than you expect. I have not made it in a 9 x 13, but it should work. Your pan will be pretty full, so feel free not to use all the batter (3/4 full would be a good amount) so it doesn’t overflow. Good luck! Please let me know how it goes and I can make a note in the recipe 🙂
I just made this cake – made it in 2 loaf pans and it turned out beautiful. Delicious to eat and beautiful to look at.
And it was quite easy to make. I broiled it at the end to brown the top. And it was picture perfect.
Thank you for sharing the recipe.
This will now be my ‘go to’ pound cake recipe.
I’m so glad you love this recipe, too, Fatima. It’s my absolute favorite pound cake!
Question for ya ,
Your two sticks of butter are those 1/2 cup sticks each ( so 1 cup total)
And if you do the smaller loaf pan version with less eggs is it less butter too or any less of other ingredients? Thanks !
Yes, you’re exactly right! 2 sticks of butter equals 1 cup.
And to make this recipe in a loaf pan, I cut all the ingredients in half. I just mentioned that I divided one egg in half (by whisking it and measuring out half as best I could) as baking requires more precise measurements than cooking—-so it’s better to use a half egg vs. 3 or 4. Hope this helps!
This is the 1st time I’ve seen a cake recipe that bakes with cold oven. What is the rationale behind this?
Lola, I’ll need to google to figure that out! I’ve been making this recipe for years as the original recipe stated—-so never wanted to mess with a good thing! Hope you’ll give it a try.
Liz, you’ve done it again! Another delicious dessert recipe. This is such a lovely cake and perfect for topping with pieces of fresh fruit.
I love pound cake, definitely need to try this!