One of the most classic dessert recipes that are guaranteed to please everyone in this old fashioned pound cake recipe. Very simple to make, richly flavored, and a moist thick cake, it's absolutely perfect on its own and delicious when topped with fruit or chocolate syrup. This is the base for trifles, perfect for shortcakes, and ideal for serving as a simple sweet snack tucked into a lunchbox. Make this easy to follow pound cake recipe and wow everyone at your table!
Old Fashioned Pound Cake Recipe
Growing up, I remember my Granny making this cake a few times and wondering how it could be so delicious while still being simple. She didn't add any fancy icing or syrup on hers. Just a simple slice of this cake served up on a plate to my grandpa and he was a happy man. As an adult, I understand why. Pound cake is one of those amazing desserts that is shockingly easy to make and never fails to satisfy.
A small slice of this has just enough sweetness to satisfy cravings but also enough flavor to make it feel like it's more than just ordinary cake. A hint of lemon is usually in the background of every bite, but even if just using vanilla, this is sure to be a favorite for everyone at your dinner table.
Why is Pound Cake Called a Pound Cake?
Originally, the creation of the pound cake in the 1700s started with one pound each of sugar, butter, eggs, and flour. As you can imagine, the richness of that recipe was beyond decadent. Over the generations, it has been adjusted a bit here and there with many different variations available. The recipe below is one that closely resembles a classic recipe without using a pound of everything.
How do You Make Pound Cake Moist?
A few things make your cake a little bit softer and moister. While not all of the things below are always recommended, if you find this recipe isn't as moist as you want, try one of these tips next time.
- Replace the all-purpose flour with cake flour.
- Use room temperature ingredients when mixing them.
- Add oil or an additional egg to the batter.
- Don't over mix your batter. Mix until just combined instead of beating for a long time.
What is the Best Flour to Use for a Pound Cake?
For this recipe, a good all-purpose flour works absolutely wonderfully. If you prefer to use cake flour, it is a great investment, but in general, the recipe won't be that much different from this change. For convenience, I still with all-purpose flour in most baking recipes like this one.
Why is There No Baking Powder in Pound Cake?
A pound cake is a very dense and decadent cake. Unlike most cakes, it is not as airy and light. While you do want the cake to rise somewhat, it does not need to rise as a traditional cake would. It is designed to be thicker and denser, so the addition of baking powder is unnecessary in most cases.
The key to making pound cake without baking powder is really in beating the sugar and butter together until really fluffy. Then you add in the remaining wet ingredients before adding your flour. Just combine the batter until incorporated. Don't over mix it as that would result in deflating all the work you did when beating the butter and sugar together.
How do You Make Pound Cake Moist?
Pound cake is naturally very moist due to the addition of so much butter, shortening, and eggs. Some like to add buttermilk or sour cream to the batter for an acidic addition that makes it tender. Cream cheese adds an extra richness that can also add moisture.
My tips for keeping your pound cake moist are to cook at the appropriate temperature until the cake is just cooked, then to keep covered in an airtight container until ready to serve If for some reason if it still feels too dry, you can always drizzle a simple sugar over the outside of the cake before serving. This adds moisture in a simple way.
Can I Add Different Flavors to My Pound Cake?
Traditional pound cake uses vanilla and lemon extract. It can however be changed with different extracts. I love using almond extract, butter rum extract, or just straight lemon extract to add more flavor and brightness to the cake. Most flavor, however, is added after baking by adding a topping. Macerated berries, chocolate syrup, caramel syrup, or whipped cream are all great options to top your cake.
What Should I Top My Old Fashioned Pound Cake With?
Pound cake may be great all on its own, but there are tons of great ways you can update it with different toppings. Below are some of my favorite ways to use pound cake.
- Cut into cubes and add as part of a trifle. You could easily use this in something similar to this chocolate peanut butter trifle.
- Top with fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries and whipped cream to create a shortcake style dessert.
- Add homemade apple pie filling or peach pie filling over the top with a scoop of ice cream.
- Drizzle with chocolate syrup, caramel syrup, or fruit syrups.
- Toast slices lightly and spread with crockpot pumpkin butter or homemade apple butter.
Do I Have to use a Bundt Pan for This Cake?
No. You do not have to use a bundt pan for this cake. If you prefer, you can use any cake pan or a loaf pan. When using a different type of pan to bake your pound cake, make sure you adjust the baking time. Different sized and styled pans will need a different baking time to make sure the cake is cooked through but still moist.
What Goes Into Pound Cake?
- All-purpose flour
- Granulated sugar
- Unsalted butter
- Evaporated milk
- Vanilla extract
- Lemon extract
How do You Make Pound Cake from Scratch?
Preheat the oven to 325°F and grease a Bundt pan well.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy. This is easiest with an electric mixer or stand mixer. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as you mix and again once the mixture is creamed.
To the butter mixture, add eggs one at a time until incorporated.
Add in the milk, vanilla extract, and lemon extract and beat until well combined.
Stir in the flour until just combined completely.
Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Tap the pan gently to remove air pockets and spread the batter evenly.
Bake on the center rack of your oven for 90 minutes or until golden brown and a knife or skewer inserted inside comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes then remove from the pan and continue cooling on a wire rack for another hour before slicing to serve.
More Delicious Dessert Recipes
If you still want more delicious desserts for your menu, I definitely have some amazing choices to share with you. Dessert is my favorite part of the day, and below are some fantastic recipes sure to please your taste buds!
- Decadent Triple Chocolate Fudgy Brownies Recipe with Nuts
- The Best No-Bake Oreo Cheesecake Recipe
- Roasted Blueberry Cheesecake with Candied Meyer Lemon
- Lavender Lemon Curd & Mascarpone Raspberry Tarts
- The Perfect New York Style Cheesecake Recipe
What Bundt Pan Did I Use?
The pan used to make this particular cake is the Nordic Ware Heritage Bundt Pan. I love this particular style with a sharper edge rather than a round design with gently slopes. You can grab this at most department stores or at Amazon online.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup shortening
- ¾ cup evaporated milk
- 5 large eggs
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- Preheat the oven to 325°F and grease a Bundt pan well.
- In a large bowl, beat together the butter, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy. This is easiest with an electric mixer or stand mixer. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as you mix and again once the mixture is creamed.
- To the butter mixture, add eggs one at a time until incorporated.
- Add in the milk, vanilla extract, and lemon extract and beat until well combined.
- Stir in the flour until just combined completely.
- Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Tap the pan gently to remove air pockets and spread the batter evenly.
- Bake on the center rack of your oven for 90 minutes or until golden brown and a knife or skewer inserted inside comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes then remove from the pan and continue cooling on a wire rack for another hour before slicing to serve.
Serve topped with berries and whipped cream.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 573Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 127mgSodium: 50mgCarbohydrates: 76gFiber: 1gSugar: 52gProtein: 7g