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.


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:


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
Print Pin
4.58 from 7 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


  • 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


  • 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.


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.


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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Recipe Rating


  1. Giftbasketworldwidesays:

    5 stars
    Your post helped me a lot. Thanks!!!

  2. Margaret Hatchersays:

    Simply put, the Best! The cake crumb is dense, texture smooth and the flavor is buttery!

    A true pound cake and the recipe I shall chose.

  3. DOREENsays:

    I will surely try this recipe. Is there a lemon version?

  4. Linda McKeownsays:

    I tried the cold oven pound cake recipe and after being in a warming oven for just minutes the top of the cake burned black. It was a total loss of expensive ingredients. I have had my new oven for 4 years and it generally goes to a “rapid preheat process” when I turn on the oven. This is the only idea I could come up with for this disaster. Has anybody had this problem? I’m fearful of investing these ingredients again should I have the same result.

    • Stefsays:

      Sorry your cake didn’t work out. I do mention turning off these boost modes in the post and in the recipe instructions as they will ruin the cake (as you experienced).

  5. Rebecca Grimshawsays:

    You made it quiet easy to decide on a cold oven cake. Thanks

  6. Gwensays:

    I got here from Google”cupcakes from pound cake mix because that’s what I want to do today..
    Never heard of doing the cold oven method but I’m trying it today.. I’m also using pineapple juice in place of the water it calls for to see what I get..

  7. Bettysays:

    I have been making cold oven pound cakes for 30+ years and they are wonderful. I don’t use as much sugar as recipe calls for and I don’t use butter, margarine, 2 sticks and I use Crisco shortening too, solid bar 8 tbls. butter flavor.

  8. Christy Bowensays:

    My grandmother used buttermilk instead of milk…

  9. Ericasays:

    Do you think I could make the batter and out one the first batch in, and then add a few flavored to the rest of the batter before putting the second batch in? :) assuming this will make 24+ I want to have variety to share. Thanks!

  10. Lynnsays:

    My mom made cold oven cake for decades, and it was my requested birthday cake. She passed away two years ago, but I make her recipe frequently. It’s my dad’s favorite…mine too. I hope anyone who is a pound cake cake fan tries the cold oven version. It’s awesome in taste and crumb.

  11. Bethsays:

    I read on another site about pound cake that over beating the eggs can cause a sort of meringue crust to form on the top, maybe you are beating to batter to fast after the eggs are added?

  12. Gracesays:

    Steph! I made these for my birthday and brought them to school…everyone loved loved loved them! I blogged about them too :) thanks for the recipe!

  13. Lolosays:

    Maybe the people having trouble are using a fan assisted oven? I find with my oven I need to bake anything on the convection setting and not the fan setting, otherwise things rise and bake too quickly, resulting in a crunchy or overbaked crust/topper – slow and no fan may be the way to go for these..

  14. Suzaku24says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. Valerie Dominicisays:

    Ok let me just start by saying I’m obsessed with your blog!! Every time I have a baking question and I take it to google, it directs me to one of your posts. Eventually I just stopped googling and started coming straight here, so thank you!

    The only question I had was that I only have room for one 12 cup muffin tin in my oven. I read through all the comments and saw that one person cooked these in a preheated oven and got a phyllo-type crust on the top. Do you know if anyone else has tried cooking these in a warm oven?

    In the event that I absolutely must stay away from a preheated oven when attempting these, what should I do with the rest of my batter after the first batch is done and the oven cools down? I was thinking just pop it in the fridge because most the ingredients are cold, but since the recipe calls for room temp butter I’m not sure they’d come out right. Thoughts?

  16. Suzanne Pomeranzsays:

    Just so’s you know – Annie Laurie was the mother (I’m one of the three daughters) who made the cake! We always called it “Annie Laurie’s Famous Cold Oven Pound Cake” because all the family and extended family and friends and “others” who got to taste it always raved about how wonderful it tasted!

    Mom used to make up a couple, cut them in half and freeze, just to have something to give as a gift as needed. I would call her up and say, “Hi Mom, what’s up; what ya doin’?” She’d say, “Oh, I’m making pound cakes… ” which meant someone had a birthday or an anniversary or a new baby or got an award or was sick and needed cheering up… any excuse would do!

    Now, my sisters Sarah & Laurie and I make the cake on occasion… and “religiously” follow Mom’s instructions!

    • Stefsays:

      Hi Suzanne,

      You probably won’t see this and way too much time has gone by since you left this comment. But, thanks for leaving it. You were a lucky daughter!!

      I really appreciate you stopping by the blog and can’t believe I am just now seeing this years later.

      All the best,


  17. sekesterson21says:

    This method makes the cupcake taste amazing!!! I used a different pound cake recipe but used this cold oven method and they were just perfect. Nothing but raves!!

  18. Anonymoussays:

    Made the full recipe today without good results. I had to use 2 racks…after less than half the baking time, I smelled burning and, sure enough, the 24 cakes on the middle rack were burned. The ones on the top rack were not done yet so I moved them down to the middle rack for just a few more minutes before taking them out. The ones that burned still tasted okay on the inside but the sides and bottom were awful. Don’t know how they could have burned at such a low temp, without preheating and having 48 cupcakes in the oven! The ones that didn’t burn also didn’t rise AND totally stuck to the cupcake wrappers. Okay if they were just for the family but not to bring to a function like I had planned. Don’t know how it went so wrong! Any advice?
    -Winnie P. from MA

  19. jlp8458says:

    What can i do to make them chocolate

  20. Sarahsays:

    Hey, Ive been wanting to try this recipe for a while… it intrigued me :). Anyway, baked this morning, followed exact recipe, didnt want cupcakes tho, wanted to make a layer cake, figured i’d just have to bake longer. So i made half the recipe amount..and divided between 3 7inch tins, perfect amount for that btw!.. They are baked to perfection, with just the right amount of rise, no sinkage in the middle.. no dodgy crust lol… buuuuuut… they were ready after a mere 35 mins!!! Couldnt understand how on earth that was possible with such a cool oven temperature and from cold! Oh and i have an oven thermometer so i know the temperature was correct.
    Weird huh :/

  21. Stefsays:

    Lynell – I use an electric oven – but it shouldn’t make a difference.

    JuiceB – Sorry to hear that. :(

  22. Lynell's Sweet Shopsays:

    did you use a gas oven or electric? I have electric, would I need to make any changes? I’m excited to try this!! Thanks!

  23. Amandasays:

    I used a polish pound cake that is made like this for school, and it was delicous! Cold cake is much better

  24. cupsbykimsays:

    I just made these both ways, cold oven and preheated oven. My cold oven ones came out with a nice chewy top to them, and my preheated oven ones came out with a very flaky, almost filo type top to them. They taste fantastic, but not sure why the tops came out funny. I can’t wait to post on my blog about what I’m doing with them!!!

  25. Stefsays:

    Avnano – It should take about half the time.

  26. avnanosays:

    hi! would like to ask if i baked it in a mini muffin pan, how much time would it take to bake it? thanks.

  27. Stefsays:

    Anon – It should be room temperature.

  28. Anonymoussays:

    should the butter be cold or room temperature?

  29. Anonymoussays:

    Not pretty at all but these are the best tasting pound cake cupcakes!
    I just came across this recipe and tried the cupcakes. I had the same problem mentioned previously with them shrinking into the middle. They were level with the top of the wrapper when I first took them out of the oven and then just sunk around the crusty part. They are really delicious.

  30. Beckiesays:

    LOOOOOOVE these cupcakes! Made them today.

  31. Stefsays:

    Ariel – Nope, no baking powder / soda. Hope you enjoyed!

  32. arielsays:

    My pound cake cuppies are in the oven :) I cut the recipe in 1/3 and it made 10 cupcakes, I might have filled them a little to full though… we’ll see.
    Just to clarify, there isn’t supposed to be any baking powder or soda in these? I know that some pound cake recipes do have that and some don’t, I was just wondering if that could have anything to do with they hockey pucks that some people got?
    thanks for the recipe, I can’t wait to try these.

  33. Anonymoussays:

    Great Idea! I’ve been making cold oven pound cakes for years and never thought to make cupcakes. To those concerned with the crunchy tops, that is a characteristic of cold oven pound cakes. Don’t cut it off, it’s the best part! I suggest shaking a little 10x sugar on top to pretty it up a bit.

  34. Anonymoussays:

    I made a half batch of these, but I didn’t have the problem of the cookie top. They came out like tiny pound cakes and were definitely tasty. I’ll make these again! Also, my half batch made about 15 cupcakes, so I guess if I made it as written I’d get about 30 out of it. I’d eat all of them if I could.

  35. nanabakersays:

    Could the difference be that some bakers have electric ovens and some have gas?

  36. Stefsays:

    Anon – Wish I could help. No idea why this is happening to some of you. Glad you enjoyed them anyway!

  37. pittcogalsays:

    Being a Southerner, which means eating lots of homemade pound cake throughout one’s lifetime, the cold oven method is the ONLY way I know! I will use my Grandmother’s recipe, which isn’t too different from the one I read (she used some shortening in hers)and I will try them as cupcakes. They look gorgeous!

  38. Carolinesays:

    Stef – I was the previous post, just signed in. I used the large eggs, I am stumped!

  39. Maryannesays:

    Baked these cupcakes today, and mine also turned out like yours, crusty/crispy on top not pretty at all, but they taste amazing! Any ideas as to why ours aren’t as pretty?

  40. Stefsays:

    Bailey – Thanks for letting me (and everyone else) know. That helps! Hope you enjoyed them!

  41. Space Monkey 1138says:

    I made this as my birthday cake, in a 11×17 sheet cake pan with this frosting:

    Thank you so much! It is incredible. Reminds me of wedding cake (it must be the almond extract). This is going to be our family’s go-to birthday cake!

  42. Aparnasays:

    Never heard of baking in a cold oven. Have to try this one for sure.

  43. Darlenesays:

    Interesting concept – I will have to try the recipe. Great blog!!!

  44. Primary Work at Homesays:

    Thanks for sharing this one. I will definitely try this one.

  45. Risasays:

    pound cake is a dangerous thing with me…but pound cake and fondue, oh my!

  46. Donna Mathessays:

    See Stef? They’re amazing. My life has changed!

    Thanks to my great friend, Whitney for introducing us all to this new way of baking! I know her recipe has been in her family for a long time.

  47. Vonsays:

    I’ve never heard of cold oven pound cake before……must try it some time! It looks really good!

  48. ModCreationssays:

    I LOVE pound cake, but never new it had a full pound of butter in it. No WONDER the calories are through the roof. But they are sooooo good.

  49. selinasays:

    Hi Stef- Thank you so much for sharing this. I love the blind taste tests…very interesting…I must try it soon! Oh and I should confess that I am a food scientist but I am not sure what the causes of the sensory preference are. Hmmm…maybe I need to do some serious research on this?! :) Awesome blog, thank you!

  50. ~~louise~~says:

    I sure could have used this recipe when I was attempting to bake my grand daughter’s Strawberry Shortcake for her birthday visit. I burnt her requested pound cake recipe not once but twice. I had to resort to a box mix which everyone liked but I’m sure they were being polite. I am so BAD at baking!!!

    Thanks for sharing, Stef. Perhaps someday I will try again just for the heck of it and to try this recipe as per your instructions!!!

  51. Ellesays:

    Such an interesting idea! I was planning to make a trifle for Christmas–just might have to try this pound cake!

  52. Nangsays:

    This sounds really interesting, I’ll have to try it!

    This is my first comment but I have been reading your blog for a few weeks and love it! I recently took an interest in cupcakes (I’m from Europe originally so it’s not really a huge thing over there) and have been experimenting a lot :) Thanks for the great and fun ideas!

  53. Ninasays:

    So happy you posted on this!! This is true–I have always baked my pound cakes in a cold oven and they always turn out perfect! I thought it was a southern thing (where I grew up)…also when the “Charleston Cake Lady” published her cookbooks a few years back, she did the same. Everyone should try it–you won’t ever go back to preheating the oven! Thanks again for this post–your cupcakes look wonderful!

  54. Anonymoussays:

    Jim said
    These look so good!! I made some twinkies this week,and wanted something new,and I used a pound cake recipe,and everyone,thought they were real good!! I don’t know why,maybe fear of failing,but me and many others are not real great at the dipping thing.I got several pots,but after having some trouble,before,I sorta,move away,from it.I see recipes,and want to try,and keep the recipe,and really say “Later”!! Maybe this would be a great post for you Ladies,before Christmas,I know I’m not the only one,with this fear.Have a nice Christmas!!

  55. NikiTheosays:

    I am soooo intrigued!!! This is a definite must try!

  56. Vicki Bensingersays:

    I love all these recipes you come up with. They’re so much fun. Plus the Challenge Butter website is great. It gives so much useful information about butter. Can’t wait to try these.

  57. Jessicasays:

    Yes, the cold oven ones were much tastier… almost more fruity tasting than the other ones.

    I’m going to try this next time I make a pound cake (my mom’s favorite).

    Stef, Do you think this would work with other cake recipes?

  58. Amandasays:

    I’m so intrigued by this. I wonder if my pound cake purist family would even humor me. :)

  59. Marisasays:

    Very interesting! Never heard of this method.

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