Perfect Classic Pound Cake

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This pound cake is sweet, dense, buttery, and rich – as it should be! The secret to perfection is baking it starting off in a cold oven. You won’t believe the difference that makes.

Pound cake made in a Bundt pan with a few slices cut and leaning over

This is the perfect recipe for dolloping with whipping cream, ice cream, berries, or dipping in chocolate fondue. It’s a classic cake that everyone should have in their baking arsenal.

Ingredients

Top down ingredient photo for pound cake

The key ingredient in pound cake, of course, is BUTTER. Pound cake gets its name from the fact that it originally contained a full pound of butter. This recipe uses three sticks – one stick shy of the full pound.

Tip: Make sure the butter is at room temperature so that it will mix well with the other ingredients.

Beyond butter, you’ll also need sugar, eggs, cake flour, whole milk (or half and half for a richer flavor), and vanilla extract.

You are welcome to use all-purpose flour instead of cake flour, but the cake flour helps to give the recipe the perfect crumb.

How It’s Made

Start by beating butter and sugar together using an electric or stand mixer until fully integrated.

Then, mix in the eggs one at a time.

adding an egg to a KitchenAid mixer bowl

Add the flour a little at a time, alternating with the milk, until just combined.

Pouring mixing into a kitchenaid mixer bowl filled with smooth batter

Mix in the vanilla extract, again until just combined.

Pour the batter into a greased and floured 15 cup Bundt pan, place in the oven, and then turn the oven onto 325 F.

Tip: Some new ovens have a boost mode when you turn them on that helps them heat up extra fast. Make sure that you disable boost mode for this recipe!

Pouring pound cake batter into a bundt pan

Bake for about 75 minutes. You’ll know the cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Wait about 15 minutes before carefully inverting the cake onto a plate.

Pound cake with a slice removed and placed on a separate plate with a fork

Expert Tips and FAQs

How to Serve

a slice of pound cake covered in berries with the full cake in the background

There are so many ways to serve pound cake. Here are some of my favorites:

FAQs

Why does using a cold oven make a better pound cake?

Most cakes and cookies need to be baked in a pre-heated oven. The heat activates the leavening agent, helping the dessert to rise the correct amount at the right speed. The burst of heat also quickly browns the outside of the dessert.

Pound cake is dense – we aren’t looking for a rise to make it light and fluffy – and using a cold oven helps to keep it that way. It also ensures that the outside of the cake doesn’t get too brown while the interior is still cooking.

I ran a test to verify this. I baked half of the batter in a preheated oven and the other half starting in a cold. I then subjected my friends and family to blind taste tests (not that they minded).

EVERYONE liked the cold oven pound cake better! Some people went so far as to say that the cold oven version was like a completely different dessert. The difference was in the texture; the cold oven version was denser and had less of a crumb. It was exactly what you would expect from pound cake.

How long does pound cake last?

It lasts for about 5 days in an airtight container at room temperature. It also freezes really well as a whole cake or in slices, wrapped tightly and stored in an airtight container.

Can I bake this in a loaf pan?

Yes, you can make this a loaf. Cut the recipe in half or make two loaves.

Did you make this recipe? Leave a review!
Pound cake made in a Bundt pan with a few slices cut and leaning over
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4.25 from 4 votes

Cold Oven Pound Cake

This pound cake is sweet, dense, buttery, and rich – as it should be! The secret to perfection is baking it in a cold oven.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 24
Calories 278kcal
Author Stefani

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar this can be reduced to 2 1/2 cups if you like a less sweet cake
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 cups cake flour you can substitute all-purpose flour if that's all you have on hand
  • 1 cup whole milk you can use half & half for a richer cake
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together at high speed until fully integrated.
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time.
  • Beat in flour, one cup at a time, alternating with milk, until just combined.
  • Mix in vanilla extract until just combined.
  • Pour the batter into a 15 cup Bundt pan that has been greased and floured.
  • Place on the middle rack of a COLD oven. Set the oven to 325 F and bake for 75 minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry. Important: If your oven has a boost feature, make sure that is turned off.
  • Wait 15 minutes and then invert the cake onto a plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

This cold oven pound cake recipe is adapted from Annie Laurie on Bakespace.
It lasts for about 5 days in an airtight container at room temperature. It also freezes really well as a whole cake or in slices.
You can make this cake in a loaf pan – cut the recipe in half or make two loaves.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 278kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 22mg | Potassium: 48mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 430IU | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg
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