Vanilla Pound Cake is one of the most versatile dessert recipes you can make. It can be served with a variety of toppings, from fresh fruit to ice cream and fudge sauce.

Plus a Simple Pound Cake Recipe can also be cut up and turned into a trifle or parfait.

Slice of Vanilla Pound Cake on a white dessert plate topped with berries.

Why You Must Make

We packed our bags and headed out on our annual summer trip to visit our family. My mother-in-law, spry as can be at age 87, just froze 8 quarts of strawberries, so I wrapped up this Vanilla Pound Cake and tucked it in amongst the suitcases.

  • A simple vanilla pound cake is very versatile.
  • Slices can be served with a Fresh Strawberry Compote or other berries and sweetened whipped cream, ice cream with fudge or caramel sauce, or just with a dusting of powdered sugar.
  • Leftovers can be used to make a trifle by layering cubes with berries, jam, and whipped cream.

Ingredient Notes

  • Kitchen Staples – Flour, Salt, Sugar
  • Baking Powder – Baking soda has a long shelf life, but baking powder does not. Check the expiration date and if it’s been around a while, you can also test it by putting a spoonful into a cup of very hot or boiling water. If it bubbles vigorously, it’s still active.
  • Unsalted Butter – With unsalted butter, it’s easier to control the amount of salt in the cake.
  • Eggs – large and at room temperature
  • Milk – at room temperature, I used 2%, but whole milk is fine, too.
  • Vanilla Extract – Don’t use imitation vanilla.
Whole Vanilla Pound Cake on a white ruffled plate topped with berries.

Recipe Tips

Well, Jane declared this the best pound cake she’d ever eaten, and I must admit it rivals my Best Pound Cake for that title. Tight crumb, moist, with the perfect punch of vanilla, this cake doesn’t require cake flour, which makes it ideal for those whose pantry isn’t fully stocked. And if you’d like to try a special cake for Christmas, this Holiday Cream Cheese Pound Cake will have everyone talking once you cut a slice!

  • Use your stand mixer with the paddle attachment if you have one. This prevents too much air from being beaten into the batter and creates a fine, moist crumb.
  • Make sure to measure your flour properly. It’s best to scoop a cup of flour out of your bin, then swipe the excess off with an offset spatula. This prevents too much flour from being packed into the cup.
  • Use large eggs so you have the correct amount for this recipe. Having them and the milk at room temperature allows for easier incorporation into the batter.
  • Follow the instructions on when to add each ingredient and how long to mix. This will help obtain the fine dense crumb that a pound cake is known for.
  • If you realize you don’t have unsalted butter on hand and use salted butter instead, decrease the amount of salt added to the batter.
  • Using a nonstick tube pan minimizes the chance that the cake will stick after it’s baked, but you should also butter and flour the pan.
 Whole Vanilla Pound Cake on a white platter with a slice removed and berries piled in the middle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is a Cake Called a Pound Cake?

The original pound cake called for a pound each of butter, sugar, flour, and eggs.

How Do You Ensure a Moist Pound Cake?

First, don’t overbake. Start checking your cake with a toothpick 10-15 minutes before it should be done. As soon as the toothpick comes out without batter when it’s removed, the cake is done. Also, follow the specific mixing instructions. Creaming the butter and sugar well, adding the eggs slowly, and using the paddle attachment all help make a moist, dense cake.

How Do You Store a Pound Cake?

Leftovers should be wrapped in plastic wrap so they don’t dry out. They can be kept at room temperature for 5-7 days. A pound cake can also be frozen for 2 months if wrapped airtight. Just defrost overnight in the refrigerator, and bring to room temperature to serve.

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Vanilla Pound Cake | Perfect topped with summer berries

Vanilla Pound Cake Recipe

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Yield 12 servings

A dense, delicious, versatile pound cake.


  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (8 oz each) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temp, lightly whisked
  • 1 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Mind you, I do not sift & this cake was still totally delicious.
  2. Beat the butter with a paddle attachment (or handheld mixer) at medium speed until smooth. With the machine running, add the sugar in a steady stream. Scrape down the sides as needed. Beat until light and fluffy - about 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. With the mixer still running at medium speed, add the eggs in small additions (about a tablespoon at a time). If the mixture becomes too watery or shiny, stop adding eggs and beat more. Scrape down the sides as needed. The mixture is properly combined when it appears white, fluffy, and increased in volume.
  4. With the mixer running on low, add the flour mix and milk alternately - 4 additions of flour, 3 of milk, scraping as needed and mixing until the batter is smooth after each addition.
  5. Add the vanilla and mix just to blend.
  6. Bake in a buttered and floured bundt pan or 10-inch tube pan at 350 degrees for 55 to 65 minutes (until a toothpick comes out clean).
  7. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes and then invert out of pan and cool to room temp.
  8. Serve in thin slices.


Recipe adapted from Baking with Julia. From Flo Braker.

Make sure your baking powder is fresh. Its shelf life is not nearly as long as baking soda.

If you use salted butter, decrease the salt in the recipe.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 290Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 223mgCarbohydrates: 59gFiber: 1gSugar: 33gProtein: 6g


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