Perfection Pound Cake



When a cake is revered for containing a pound of butter, a pound of sugar, a pound of eggs, and a pound of flour, can you really blame us Dorie groupies for wanting to jump on her version of the recipe? I have to say that, with the exception of homemade bread, I don’t think my kitchen has ever smelled better when something was in the oven. If you have seen the movie “Because I Said So” you may appreciate this… towards the end of the movie, Johnny says to Mandy Moore’s character: “I love that when I breathe you in you smell like cake batter.” In my mind, the smell of this cake baking is exactly what he is talking about. And really, for a baker, what better compliment is there??

Obviously the ingredient list for this cake is quite simple and the most important elements of the recipe lie in making sure that all ingredients are at room temperature, and that the recommended mixing times are followed. It was tempting to cut corners and move on to the next step after everything appeared to be incorporated, but I remained disciplined and I think my pound cake was all the better for it.

The recipe recommends checking the cake after 45 minutes to make sure it isn’t over-browning. When I checked mine it was pale, but I think it started to brown soon after that, so I would recommended covering with foil right at 45 minutes anyway since the browning seems to creep up on you!

Dorie also recommends wrapping the pound cake in saran wrap as soon as it has cooled to room temperature, and letting it sit on the counter overnight. She states that the taste and texture of the cake becomes even better after “ripening”.

MrsPresley at Good Eats ‘n Sweet Treats has joined the Tuesdays With Dorie group (welcome! :)), so be sure to head over to her blog to check out her take on the pound cake. And don’t forget, of course, to take a look at Laurie’s and April’s buttery creations.

Check back next Tuesday to see Orange Berry Muffins.

Last week: Hidden Berry Cream Cheese Torte

Perfection Pound Cake

(Source: Dorie Greenspan “Baking: From My Home to Yours” p. 222)

2 cups all-purpose flour (or 2-1/4 cups cake flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Getting Ready:
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9×5-inch loaf pan or an 8-1/2 x 4-1/2-inch loaf pan. Put the pan on an insulated baking sheet or on two regular baking sheets stacked one on top of the other.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar on high speed until pale and fluffy, a full 5 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and beater and reduce the mixer speed to medium. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 to 2 minutes after each egg goes in. As you’re working, scrape down the bowl and beater often. Mix in the vanilla extract. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, mixing only until it is incorporated – don’t overmix. In fact, you might want to fold in the last of the flour, or even all of it, by hand with a rubber spatula. Scrape the batter into the buttered pan and smooth the top.

Put the cake into the oven to bake, and check on it after about 45 minutes. If it’s browning too quickly, cover it loosely with a foil tent. If you’re using a 9×5 pan, you’ll need to bake the cake for 70 to 75 minutes; the smaller pan needs about 90 minutes. The cake is properly baked when a thin knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven, transfer the pan to a rack and let rest for 30 minutes.

Run a blunt knife between the cake and the sides of the pan and turn the cake out, then turn it right side up on the rack and cool to room temperature.

Wrapped well, the cake will keep for 5 to 7 days at room temperature (stale cake is great toasted) or up to 2 months in the freezer.

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43 Responses to “Perfection Pound Cake”

  1. BMK on January 22, 2008 at 8:30 am

    Looks perfect. I just got my Baking at Home Cookbook and can’t wait to try this one!


  2. Michelle on January 22, 2008 at 8:32 am

    Thanks BMK – you will love the book (and the cake)!


  3. April on January 22, 2008 at 9:26 am

    It looks great! I loved this poundcake too!


  4. Michelle on January 22, 2008 at 9:28 am

    Thanks April!


  5. slush on January 22, 2008 at 10:58 am

    It looks perfect! And I love that movie! I watch it all the time on HBO on Demand when nothing else is on. That sequence at the end is killer. I agree, this is a keeper. I will make it again too.


  6. Michelle on January 22, 2008 at 11:06 am

    Laurie, I’m so glad someone else could appreciate that line! It’s one of my favorites. It made me want to put some cake batter behind my ears 😉


  7. stacielk on January 22, 2008 at 11:26 am

    Mmmm, I just made banana chocolate chip pound cake (haven’t posted it yet) and boy was that good!


  8. Michelle on January 22, 2008 at 11:37 am

    Stacie – that sounds fabulous! I can’t wait to see it!


  9. Amber on January 22, 2008 at 11:39 am

    This looks amazing. I have never made a pound cake before so this will have to go on my list of stuff to make. I also happen to love the movie Because I Said So!


  10. Michelle on January 22, 2008 at 11:45 am

    Thanks Amber! Definitely give it a try – it’s a great base for many different desserts.


  11. Kate on January 22, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    This makes me nostalgic for my mom’s 20 pound cake – you think pound cake is decadent…..


  12. Michelle on January 22, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Kate – I would love to see the recipe for that cake!!


  13. Dorie on January 22, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    I’m so glad you liked the cake ! I think your cake’s innards (a.k.a. the crumb) look terrific — ditto the color.


  14. Michelle on January 22, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    Dorie – thank you so much for the comment! You have made my day!


  15. Moni on January 22, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    Wow, Michelle, this looks so perfect and yummy!! Everything you make always looks perfect and makes my mouth water. lol. Really tho!


  16. Michelle on January 22, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    Aw thanks Moni! You’re so sweet :)


  17. MrsPresley on January 22, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    your pound cake turned out so beautifully! i definitely need to go get myself an oven thermometer….


  18. Michelle on January 22, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    Thanks Jaime! Definitely check out an oven thermometer – you may be amazed! My oven is only a year and a half old and the preheating sensor is apparently not accurate!


  19. Your fabulous sister Lauren on January 22, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    So I just sliced this up and heated it in the microwave for 30 seconds and then put some peanut butter on it. MMMMMMmmmmmmmmmm it was soooooooo good!! I don’t think any of this made it to grandma. Mom and I have been polishing it off little by little!! LOVE YOU!


  20. Michelle on January 22, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    Oooh peanut butter! I’m glad you guys are enjoying it. And share with grandma :)


  21. Ashley on January 23, 2008 at 1:14 am

    Ooo looks good! I need to try making this and love the tuesdays with dorie idea!


  22. Michelle on January 23, 2008 at 8:27 am

    Thanks Ashley, let me know if you try it and how it turns out for you! I am really enjoying plowing through Dorie’s book :)


  23. megan on January 23, 2008 at 11:31 am

    Great picture! Makes me want to put out some butter and make a loaf..


  24. Michelle on January 23, 2008 at 11:36 am

    Thanks Megan! You definitely should… and let me know how it turns out!


  25. Deborah on January 23, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    I love pound cake, and have really been craving one lately!


  26. Michelle on January 23, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    Deborah – I hope you try this one, and if you do, let me know how you like it!


  27. SharonaMay on January 24, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    Your pound cake looks wonderful. Did you serve it with any special?

    Sharona May


  28. Michelle on January 24, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    Thank you Sharona! I actually sent it home with my sister for my grandma – she had been in the hospital. I hear she is enjoying it though :) The one piece I snuck I ate with ice cream!


  29. Alanna on February 3, 2008 at 12:22 am

    I love that lauren didn’t let the pound cake get to your gram! haha.. I would’ve probably eaten it to it if were in front of me. .. looks great!


  30. Michelle on February 3, 2008 at 12:29 am

    Haha thanks Alanna! I’ll just have to make another one for my grandma I guess 😉


  31. Adelina on November 20, 2009 at 9:13 am

    I do realize your post about Dorie’s Perfection Pound Cake was more than a year ago but I honestly found this recipe to be not at all “perfect”. I don’t think a pound cake is too complicated to make, providing that one weigh all the ingredients correctly. Dorie’s pound cake was rather dry and not tasty, to me, personally. I made it for a friend and we both literally “choked” after taking a few small bites – it was really dry! I love Dorie, but I don’t think this recipe is a go to recipe for a pound cake, at all!

    Thanks for posting and for sharing your creation!


  32. Michelle on November 23, 2009 at 12:07 am

    Hi Adelina, Thank you for your comment and for sharing your feedback. I definitely didn’t find this pound cake to be dry at all, but I suppose many things can cause differences in outcome such as air temperature and humidity, as well as variations in oven temperatures.

    Would love to hear if anyone else has made this recipe!


  33. Sunshine on January 5, 2011 at 1:58 am

    I’d have to agree with Adelina about the pound cake coming out too dry. I was pretty disappointed as it looked and tasted very nice, but it was way too dry for me.


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  36. Ejam on December 20, 2011 at 10:21 am

    I agree with some of the comments. I tried this recipe and the pound cake was too dry.


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  38. Emily on April 18, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    this is a perfect pound cake. just made this recipe this morning and tried a piece this afternoon. its amazing. im going to bake up one when hubbie arrives home from afghanistan in a few weeks and top it with cool whip and strawberries! thanks for the recipe!


  39. Melanie on June 14, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    Michelle, I recently found ur website & I am ADDICTED!! This pound cake absolutely lives up to it’s name! It is Delish!! Thank you for this recipe!!


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  43. Maureen T on July 2, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    I have certainly learned today what ‘room temperature’ means relating to the butter. It is NOT summer room temperature. My butter was still in the stick form, but between beating it for as long as this recipe requires. My loaf cake boiled over onto the insulated cookie sheet. I say boil because it was bubbling in the loaf pan nd butter was on top. This was only about 1/2 of the original volume and nothing cake like at all Cannot even salvage it as strange cookies. Doesn’t taste like any cookie I have ever baked. One big gloppy mess. Ugh. I will try it again, but certainly will just make sure the butter allows me to barely put an indentation in it….I have baked for over 50 years. I don’t know what happened here except the overly soft butter. I measured the ingredients very carefully. .


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