Pound Cake

August 20, 2019

Heavenly Pound Cake! It’s deliciously buttery and moist, amazingly soft and melt-in-your-mouth tender and it has an irresistible flavor. It’s the perfect dessert for any celebration and it doesn’t even require a frosting!

Slice of pound cake on a dessert plate with a side of fresh fruit and whipped cream.

Pound Cake Recipe

A cake so good it doesn’t even need a frosting!? How often do we come across that? This homemade pound cake recipe is one my favorites!

It’s perfectly delicious plain without any added toppings, but it does make the perfect base to dessert sauces or colorful fruit and whipped cream to take it over the top. It’s fun to dress it up and get creative (see my ideas below for inspiration, the possibilities are endless).

This is quick and easy to make and only requires a few basic ingredients which you may likely already have on hand. It’s just one of those recipe book staples that you’ll want to make time and time again.

Trust me, no one can resist this old fashioned classic! It’s just like Grandma made!

Pound cake with one sliced removed on a cake stand garnished with a ring of fresh fruit around the edges.

Pound Cake Ingredients:

  • Cream cheese – don’t use low fat cream cheese or cake won’t turn out the same.
  • Unsalted butter – to bring to room temperature quickly you can soften in 4 second intervals in the microwave rotating after each until just softened.
  • Granulated sugar – I’ve found the traditional 3 cups in this classic recipe to be too much so bumping it down to 2 1/2 cups seems just right, if you’d like you could probably even bump down to 2 cups but no more than that or it will start to compromise the tender texture of the cake.
  • Salt – don’t forget it or cake will taste bland. There is some salt in the cream cheese but not enough.
  • Eggs – to bring to room temperature quickly place in a bowl, cover with warm water and let rest 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Vanilla – don’t skip this! It adds key flavor to the cake.
  • Unbleached all-purpose flour – this builds up the structure of the cake. I don’t recommend any substitutes (no wheat flour – too dense/off flavor, no cake flour – too dry, no gluten-free flour – wrong amounts. Use a different recipe with different ratios for that).

Ingredients to make pound cake shown here including flour, sugar, butter, cream cheese, eggs, salt and vanilla.

How to Make Pound Cake:

  • Heat oven: preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • Cream fats: in the bowl of an electric stand mixer blend butter and cream cheese until smooth.
  • Add in sweetener and salt, mix until fluffy: add in sugar and salt and whip on medium-high speed until mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape bowl.
  • Blend eggs one at a time, add vanilla: mix in eggs one at a time, until just blended, and adding in vanilla with last egg. Scrape down sides of bowl.
  • Add flour at once and mix: add in flour then mix just until combined.
  • Prepare baking pan: grease and flour baking pan (bundt or loaf pan, continue below).

Showing steps of making pound cake batter in an electric stand mixer bowl.

How to Bake Pound Cake in a Bundt Pan:

  • Prepare pan: spray a 12 cup (10-inch) bundt pan or tube pan (without a removable base) generously with non-stick cooking spray, be sure to cover entire surface everywhere if an area is missed cake will stick. Dust with flour and shake out excess.
  • Tip: not sure the size of your pan? You can measure out cups of water to the top of the pan to get the total. Drain and dry thoroughly.
  • Pour in batter, spread and bake: pour batter into pan and spread even. Bake at preheated 325 F for about 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes.

Pound cake batter in a bundt pan before and then shown after baking.

How to Bake Pound Cake in Loaf Pans:

  • Butter two 9×5-inch loaf pans (or 8 1/2 by 4 1/2-inch), line each with a sheet of parchment paper leaving a 2-inch overhang on sides, butter parchment paper and dust with flour and shake out excess.
  • Pour batter into pans, spread even and bake at preheated 325 F about 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes.
  • Recipe can be halved to make 1 loaf.

Pound cake batter in two parchment paper lined loaf pans before baking then shown after baking.

Can I Use a Hand Mixer?

Yes. A hand mixer will work fine too. Just be sure to whip ingredients until light and fluffy, which will take a little longer with a hand mixer vs. a stand mixer.

How to Store Pound Cake:

Store pound cake in a well sealed airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days, or refrigerate and store up to 6 days. Let rest at room temperature before serving.

Can I Freeze it?

Yes. Pound cake will freeze well wrapped in foil or plastic wrap in an airtight container for 3 months.

Variations on Flavor for This Recipe:

  • Try mixing in 1 – 2 Tbsp lemon zest or orange zest for an added citrus flavor.
  • Add seeds 1 vanilla bean along with 1 tsp vanilla extract.
  • Use 3/4 tsp almond extract for a birthday cake like flavor.
  • Add 2 Tbsp poppy seeds along with lemon zest or almond extract.

What Toppings to Serve Over Pound Cake:

  • Fruit sauce (berry, mango etc.)
  • Fruit curd or jam
  • Fresh fruit or grilled fruit
  • Whipped cream
  • Ice cream
  • Sweetened ricotta (with pistachios and mini chocolate chips for cannoli flavor)
  • Nuts
  • Caramel sauce
  • Chocolate ganache or Nutella
  • Drizzle top of loaf with a lemon or almond glaze
  • Dust with powdered sugar

Overhead image of whole pound cake on a cake stand with colorful fresh fruit around edges.

Tips for the Best Pound Cake:

  • Use unbleached all purpose flour for the best flavor.
  •  Stick with unsalted butter so you can control the amount of salt added.
  • Weigh ingredients with a kitchen scale for most accurate and consistent results.
  • Add room temperature ingredients (eggs and cream cheese) so ingredients blend well and cake rises better.
  • Whip ingredients until light and fluffy. This will incorporate air so cake fluffs up better.
  • Use real vanilla or cake won’t taste as good.
  • Add eggs one at a time and mix just until you see orange yolk blend into the batter. Otherwise if added all at once you’ll have to beat longer and cake may come out with a slightly rubbery texture.
  • Don’t forget to scrape mixing bowl throughout mixing. This way you don’t end up with unblended ingredients at the bottom in the end.
  • Grease baking pan well and dust with flour. Be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies. I like to wait to grease too until I’m just ready to pour batter in so it doesn’t run down the sides to the bottom.
  • Tent with foil as needed to prevent excessive browning. I’ve never had to do this but some ovens (i.e. gas, older models) may increase browning.
  • Test for doneness with a wooden skewer to ensure cake is baked through. It should come out clean.
  • Careful not to over-bake or cake will start to dry.
  • Don’t let pound cake cool in pans too long or it will stick. I’ve learned this the hard way. Also run a knife around edges (into grooves as needed) to ensure it’s loosened before inverting.
  • For clean cut slices let it cool through completely.

Three white dessert plates with slices of homemade pound cake.

More Classic Cake Recipes You’ll Love:

Pound Cake

5 from 4 votes

Heavenly Pound Cake! It's deliciously buttery and moist, amazingly soft and melt-in-your-mouth tender and it has an irresistible flavor. It's the perfect dessert for any celebration and it doesn't require a frosting!

Servings: 16
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, at room temperature*
  • 1 1/2 cups (340g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups (500g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract**
  • 2 1/2 cups (354g) unbleached all-purpose flour (scoop and level to measure), plus more for dusting pan

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer blend butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add in sugar and salt and whip on medium-high speed until mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl.

  3. Mix in eggs one at a time, until just blended, and adding in vanilla with last egg. Scrape down bowl.

  4. Add in flour then mix just until combined.

  5. Spray a 12 cup** (10-inch) bundt pan or tube pan (without a removable base) generously with non-stick cooking spray, be sure to cover entire surface everywhere if an area is missed cake will stick. Dust with flour and shake out excess.

  6. Pour batter around into prepared pan then spread evenly.

  7. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden skewer or toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes.

  8. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 20 minutes, loosen edges with a knife, then invert onto wire rack to cool completely.

  9. Once cool slice and serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream and berries or fruit compote if desired.

Recipe Notes

  • *Room temperature ingredients are used so ingredients blend together better and cake rises better.
  • **In addition to the vanilla extract you can also flavor the cake with lemon zest, orange zest or 3/4 tsp almond extract for extra flavor.
  • ***If you aren't sure how many cups your bundt pan or tube pan will hold you can measure out and count 1 cup increments of water into pan until it's full. Drain and dry thoroughly before proceeding with recipe or cake will stick.
  • Cake can also be baked in two loaf pans (9 by 5-inch) instead. I recommend greasing and also lining with parchment (and greasing parchment). Bake time is the same.
  • Don't cool in pan too long or the moisture and steam from the cake can cause it to stick to the pan.
  • If at any time during baking you feel the top is browning too much tent with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning. I never need to but each oven varies.
Nutrition Facts
Pound Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 427 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Fat 24g37%
Saturated Fat 14g88%
Cholesterol 123mg41%
Sodium 145mg6%
Potassium 71mg2%
Carbohydrates 49g16%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 32g36%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 811IU16%
Calcium 32mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Pound Cake
Author: Jaclyn