Vanilla Pound Cake is a classic recipe that’s sweet, dense, and incredibly EASY to make with simple ingredients and bakes in only 60 minutes!
Cakes can be intimidating to bake but pound cakes and loaf cakes are much easier and quicker, and this pound cake is a close second favorite to our all time favorite Easy Banana Bread.
Vanilla Pound Cake is a classic recipe dating all the way back to the 18th century, made with butter, sugar, all purpose flour, and eggs. This recipe is an updated version, including wholesome milk and a splash of vanilla extract, plus some baking powder and salt to improve the texture of the cake.
You’ll love making this pound cake recipe on the weekends because it’s great for brunch or to serve with coffee when you’re having friends and family over. You could also make this replacing the vanilla extract with orange extract and a dusting of powdered sugar and a teaspoon of orange zest on top.
Frequently Asked Questions
Pound Cake has been around for hundreds of years, and is originally named for its ingredients, as the cake called for a pound each of eggs, granulated sugar, butter, and all purpose flour. Now recipes don’t always call for a pound of each and vary regionally, but you’ll still find the name being used for a dense sweet cake.
If your pound cake is turning out too dry, try replacing the milk with buttermilk. The acid in the buttermilk works with the gluten to produce a softer texture in the cake. You can also add sour cream or cream cheese to soften up the pound cake, depending on which recipe you’re using. It’s not technically a classic pound cake with these ingredients, but it’s more like the modern version.
Try adding chocolate chips, pecans with a maple glaze, walnuts, orange zest, cinnamon, or cream cheese to your pound cake.
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Tips for Making Vanilla Pound Cake
- Once completely cooled, top this pound cake with powdered sugar or glaze.
- Bring your ingredients to room temperature. When mixing the butter and sugar together, wait until they look light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, to make sure enough air has been incorporated. This is a critical part of this pound cake recipe, so be patient here.
- Be careful not to over-mix your dough at the end, or the cake may turn out too dense.
- Don’t remove the pound cake from the loaf pan immediately. You want to let the cake cool about halfway, at least 10 minutes, before flipping it out of the pan and letting it come to room temperature.
- You can also make this pound cake recipe in a bundt pan if you want something more decorative. Butter and flour the bundt pan before pouring the cake batter in.
- Top the finished cake with fresh strawberries and whipped cream, or ½ teaspoon of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey, or a dusting of confectioners sugar.
- Use butter and flour to grease your pan, not cooking spray, which may prevent the cake from fully rising.
- Use a toothpick to check the doneness of your cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is ready. If it starts browning around the edges, it is over-baked and your cake will lose a lot of moistness.
How to Store Vanilla Pound Cake
- Serve: Once cooled, remove pound cake from loaf pan, slice and serve with any of your favorite toppings or ice cream.
- Store: Pound cake will keep at room temperature tightly sealed for 3-4 days. I don’t usually recommend putting cake in the refrigerator, but pound cake won’t go stale as quickly due to the density of the cake.
- Freeze: Pound cake is perfect for making ahead and freezing and will keep in the freezer for about 3 months. You can also make a few loaves of this pound cake recipe at once, then cut into slices and freeze individual portion sizes. Just make sure to wrap each slice tightly in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil to keep any air out.
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 4 large eggs
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and flour and butter an 8×4 inch loaf pan.
- To a stand mixer add the butter and sugar on high speed and beat until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- On medium speed add in the vanilla and the eggs one at a time, then the milk until fully combined.
- Add in the flour, baking powder and salt until just combined then pour into the loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes.
Photos used in a previous version of this post.