This classic pound cake recipe is a rich, buttery, moist cake perfect for any occasion. Made with 7 simple ingredients, this melt-in-your-mouth pound cake recipe is a pantry staple recipe you will want to make again and again. Serve with fresh whipped cream, berries, or a warm cup of coffee for a delicious dessert everyone will enjoy!

Loaf of buttery pound cake with a piece sliced off.

I have a definite affinity for rich and decadent desserts, but I also love anything that can serve as a vehicle for lots of fresh fruit and piles of whipped cream. Without a doubt, my favorite such vehicles are angel food cake and pound cake.

While I have a killer recipe for cream cheese pound cake, which I LOVE, I have wanted to get my hands on an equally awesome classic pound cake recipe. This is definitely it, and it deserves a place on your summer baking rotation.

What is Pound Cake?

Rich, buttery, and moist are truly the only words to describe this decadent cake. It’s believed pound cake originated in northern Europe in the 1700s with the earliest American recipe dating back to 1796. The classic recipe called for one pound each of flour, butter, sugar, and eggs thus resulting in the name “pound cake”.

Over the years many changes or adaptations have been made to the original recipe from adding flavors and fruits to leavening agents or additional dairy, such as cream cheese or sour cream. Regional differences also impact the recipe, here are just a few different takes on the classic pound cake recipe:

  • French pound cake, called quatre-quarts, meaning four quarters to discribe the equal parts of the ingredients. One French variation uses whipped egg whites instead of whole eggs to act as the leavening agent.
  • The Mexican version is called panqué and has a very similar recipe to the United States version but many popular variations include walnuts or raisins.
  • Colombian and Venezuelan version, ponqué, is drenched in wine and often glazed with a cream or sugar coating.
  • Russian Pound Cake, typically made with equal parts butter, sugar, and raisins is served with coffee or tea.

While I have recipes for both a chocolate pound cake and a cream cheese pound cake, there is a soft spot in my heart for this classic vanilla pound cake recipe.

Ingredients You’ll Need

A traditional pound cake would include one pound of flour, butter, eggs, and sugar. I’ve made a few changes to the traditional recipe for the BEST cake to grace your dessert table. The ingredients you’ll need include:

Ingredients for pound cake prepped in bowls and labeled.
  • Butter- Unsalted butter gives this dense cake a delightful buttery flavor and a melt in your mouth finish.
  • Eggs + Egg Yolks- The eggs give structure to the cake while also working as the leavening agent in the cake.
  • Vanilla- Adds a refreshing vanilla flavor to the cake.
  • Salt- Helps enhance the flavor of the cake.
  • Sugar- Sweetens the cake.
  • Cake Flour- Keeps the cake tender and moist.

Step-By-Step Directions

What I love most about this moist pound cake recipe is that the ingredient list for this cake is quite short and the preparation is very straightforward. This cake is easy to throw together and pop in the oven for a simple summer dessert.

  • Cream together the butter, salt, and sugar until light and fluffy. You’ll cream it longer than you may be used to, but keep going!
  • Add the eggs and vanilla and beat to combine.
  • Sift the flour and fold into the batter.
  • Pour the batter into a loaf pan and bake until golden brown.
Pound cake batter in a silver loaf pan.

Flavor Variations and Mix-In Ideas

If you want to add a little flavor or crunch to this traditional pound cake recipe here are a few mix-ins to try:

  • Lemon– Add about 1 tablespoon of lemon zest and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice to the batter for a lemony flavor.
  • Dried fruit– Mix-in 1 cup of dried fruit such as raisins, craisins, or cherries to the cake batter.
  • Chopped nuts– Stir in 1 cup chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds for a nutty bite in your cake.

Serving Suggestions

One of the most classic ways to enjoy a fresh slice of pound cake is dusted with fresh powdered sugar. Here are a few other ways you can top this moist pound cake recipe.

Slices of pound cake on a wax paper-lined cooling rack.

Storage and Freezing Instructions

For maximum freshness and longer-term storage here’s how to best store your moist pound cake.

  • Storing– Wrap the cooled cake tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing– Double wrap the cooled pound cake in plastic wrap and then wrap in foil before storing in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Thawing– Remove from the freezer and allow the cake to come to room temperature completely before unwrapping from the plastic wrap and foil.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between pound cake and regular cake?

A pound cake has a richer flavor and a denser texture than a regular sponge cake.

What is the secret to a moist pound cake?

Some recipes use sour cream or cream cheese to keep the cake moist. Another trick to keeping this cake moist is to make sure you don’t over-bake your cake. The longer it bakes the drier it becomes.

What is the best flour to use for a pound cake?

With a lower protein content than all-purpose flour, the best flour for a light and moist pound cake is cake flour. It prevents the cake from being too dense and also allows the focus of the cake to be on the rich buttery base.

Moist Cakes to Bake Next

Slice of pound cake on a cooling rack with a large bite taken out of the corner.

Moist, buttery, and perfect to the last bite, this pound cake recipe needs to be in your recipe box! This easy-to-make cake goes great with fresh whipped cream, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or a creamy vanilla buttercream frosting.

If you make this recipe and love it, remember to stop back and give it a 5-star rating – it helps others find the recipe! ❤️️

Classic Pound Cake

Buttery, moist, and perfect for your fresh summer berries, this pound cake recipe is a classic dessert you will want to make again and again.
4.5 (20 ratings)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, chilled
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • cups (248 g) granulated sugar
  • cups (196 g) cake flour

Instructions 

  • Cut butter into 16 pieces and place in the bowl of an electric mixer; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to soften slightly. In a small bowl, use a fork to beat together the eggs, yolks and vanilla extract. Let stand at room temperature until ready to use.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8½ by 4½-inch loaf pan.
  • Beat the butter and salt at medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl once. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and gradually pour in the sugar. Once all of the sugar is added, increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, 5 to 8 minutes, scraping the bowl once. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and gradually add the egg mixture in a slow, steady stream. Scrape down the bowl, then beat the mixture at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape down the bowl.
  • Sift the flour over the batter in 3 additions, folding gently with a rubber spatula after each addition.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Let cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely, at least 2 hours, before serving. The cake can be stored, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Notes

  • Serving Suggestions: Topped with fresh whipped cream / Served with a side of blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries / Drizzled with an orange glaze / Frosted with a vanilla buttercream frosting / Topped with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream
  • Storing– Wrap the cooled cake tightly in plastic wrap and store it at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing– Double wrap the cooled pound cake in plastic wrap and then wrap in foil before storing in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Thawing– Remove from the freezer and allow the cake to come to room temperature completely before unwrapping from the plastic wrap and foil.
Nutritional values are based on one serving
Calories: 471kcal, Carbohydrates: 52g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 27g, Saturated Fat: 16g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 196mg, Sodium: 176mg, Potassium: 66mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 32g, Vitamin A: 896IU, Calcium: 29mg, Iron: 1mg

Did you make this recipe?

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Photography by Dee Frances.