Classic Pound Cake

published Apr 9, 2024
Pound Cake Recipe

With a super-tender, dense texture and a buttery, vanilla flavor, this will become an instant favorite.

Serves8 to 10

Prep15 minutes to 20 minutes

Cook1 hour to 1 hour 6 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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overhead shot of a pound cake loaf cut into three slices, on a marble surface.
Credit: Photo: Vicky Wasik; Food Styling: Kelli Foster

I’ve been saying this for years, and I’ll continue to say it: Classic pound cake is the most underrated cake. This timeless dessert is one of the easiest cake recipes you can mix together, and the reward is much higher than the effort it requires. Each tender, dense slice delivers the most unbelievable rich, buttery flavor. 

There are a lot of variations to choose from: tangy sour cream pound cake, rich cream cheese pound cake, or even chocolate pound cake. But in my opinion, absolutely nothing beats a thick slice of classic buttery pound cake. And with no more than 20 minutes of prep, this cake is easy to make and doesn’t require any fancy pans.

Why You’ll Love It

  • This classic pound cake has the best texture — it’s super moist and tender with a tightly packed crumb, and while it’s sturdy it’s not overly dense or heavy.
  • The buttery, vanilla flavor you get in every bite will keep you going back for more.

Key Ingredients in Pound Cake

  • Unsalted butter. A full two sticks gives this cake the rich, buttery flavor you expect from pound cake. Because butter is such a prominent ingredient, this is a great time to go for a high-quality option.
  • Eggs. You’ll also want to let the eggs come to room temperature before getting started. Add each of the four eggs to the batter one at a time, mixing well after each addition. 
  • All-purpose flour. Gives the cake its sturdy structure.
  • Granulated sugar. A cup of sugar is enough to give this cake a just-sweet-enough flavor.

How to Make Pound Cake

  1. Soften the dairy. Let the butter, eggs, and milk sit at room temperature until the butter is softened. Allow ample time for the butter to soften, as it will be much easier to mix and the batter will be smoother. 
  2. Mix the cake batter. Use a stand mixer (or large mixing bowl and electric hand mixer) to mix together the batter.
  3. Fill the pan. After transferring the batter to a parchment-lined 9×5-inch loaf pan, smooth out the top and gently tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles from the batter.
  4. Bake and cool the cake. Bake until the top is golden-brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for about 30 minutes, then invert the cake onto a wire cooling rack and cool completely.
Credit: Photo: Vicky Wasik; Food Styling: Kelli Foster

Helpful Swaps

  • If you don’t have whole milk (which I recommend here for a richer-tasting cake), 2% milk also works.
  • If you don’t have vanilla extract, you can easily swap in an equal amount of vanilla bean paste
  • An equal amount of almond, lemon, or orange extract in place of the vanilla extract would also work nicely and add a subtle hint of flavor.

Storage and Make-Ahead Tips 

  • Pound cake can simply be stored at room temperature and keeps well for about four days. Just be sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap.
  • Because of the high fat content, pound cake also freezes (and thaws) incredibly well. Wrap the whole cake or individual slices in aluminum foil and store in an airtight container in the freezer. It will keep for up to three months. 

What to Serve with Pound Cake

Pound Cake Recipe

With a super-tender, dense texture and a buttery, vanilla flavor, this will become an instant favorite.

Prep time 15 minutes to 20 minutes

Cook time 1 hour to 1 hour 6 minutes

Serves 8 to 10

Nutritional Info


  • 2

    sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, plus more for the pan

  • 4

    large eggs

  • 1/4 cup

    whole milk

  • 1 1/2 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon

    baking powder

  • 1 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon

    vanilla extract


  1. Place 2 sticks unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if using an electric hand mixer). Place 4 large eggs and 1/4 cup whole milk on the counter. Let everything sit at room temperature until the butter is softened.

  2. About 30 minutes before the butter is ready, arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350℉. Lightly coat a 9x5-inch loaf pan with butter. Line the bottom and 2 long sides of the pan with a sheet of parchment paper that extends past the sides by a few inches to form a sling.

  3. Place 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and 1 teaspoon baking powder in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.

  4. Add 1 cup granulated sugar and 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt to the bowl of butter. Beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed until lightened in color and fluffy, using a flexible spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed, 4 to 5 minutes total. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping down the sides after each addition. The batter will look separated.

  5. Add half of the flour mixture and beat on the lowest speed until just combined. Add the milk and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract and beat on low speed until just combined. Add the remaining flour and beat until the batter is smooth and combined, scraping down the sides as needed.

  6. Transfer the batter into the loaf pan and smooth out the top. Pick up the pan and gently tap the bottom on a work surface a few times to remove any air bubbles.

  7. Bake until the top is golden-brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes. Check after 50 minutes: If the top is getting too dark, tent the top of the cake with a sheet of aluminum foil for the remainder of the bake time.

  8. Place on a wire rack and let cool for 30 minutes. Grasping the excess parchment, lift the cake out of the pan and place on the rack. Let cool completely, about 2 hours.

Recipe Notes

Storage: The cooled cake can be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 4 days. Alternatively, wrap in aluminum foil, place in an airtight container, and freeze for up to 3 months.