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.
Made it ,it fell not one I’ll keep . Didn’t really like the taste of it . Got better one I’ll stick with
Just came out of the oven and it’s so good
I would love to try this recipe. Is it necessary for the topping or is it still nice without it?
How much sour cream should be used
I made this recipe the only things I would say is bake for 30 mins and increase the time if needed. My cake was good a little dry because I did 60 minutes like it said. So I definitely will follow this recipe again I would just start at 30 mins
Tried this and “OMG” It is was soooooo good, I have baked this cake like 4 time in 2 weeks, I had to stop myself,,, everyone that ate it, said the cake was the best…….this is my go to recipe. Thanks a MILLION for sharing this recipe…
this recipe is a good pace line the way of develop pastry preparation I like it and learn more from this tips
Hello how long will my cake last ?
I love this recipe easy peezy and so delicious. I tweaked it just a bit with the butter, It asked for 12tbsp I used 8 and added 1/4 cup vegetable oil for the remainder, I also added 1 tsp each of lemon and almond flavoring. The cake baked beautifully and so moist, not heavy or dense. This one is a keeper for quick a dessert.
I like this cake and used 1/4 cup sour cream ( full fat) instead of milk I would like it a little moister- could I increase the sour cream to achieve this? I also baked it for 53 minutes at 325 because my oven baked cakes better at this temperature .
Just made this and it is just “ok”. I sifted the flour/baking powder, and measured it properly (spooned it into the measuring cup then leveled it off), and my eggs, milk and butter were all at room temperature.
I baked it at 350* and it was done within 50 minutes (my oven cooks fast). It baked up golden and looks good, but is very bland extremely dense (and no, I did not over beat it after I added the flour).
I’m not sure if I’d make this recipe again
Amazing cake I’ve made it serval times but can I double the recipe to make it in a bundt pan
Have you tried in a Bundt? If so how was it?
Can u make this in a 9 inch round cake pan?
My only complaint is that the cooking time should be adjusted to 50-60 minutes as my cake turned out too dark.
Some ovens run hotter than others. If your oven runs hot, reduce your cooking time.
Quick and easy recipe! My family loved it ?
Turned out to be fantastic! I live at just over 5000 feet in elevation and there were no modifications needed-just a perfect, just right in moisture, balanced sweet to cake flavor (not sickly sweet like a lot of cakes), super easy to make.
Thank you, Kathy!
I used a 9×5 loaf pan and upped the temp to 375 (as per a previous comment suggestion) and baked it for 43 mins. Absolutely loved it!!!! My husband requested one loaf a week and we’re excited to experiment by adding berries and switching up the flavor. Thank you! Very beginner friendly as well!
This may be a silly question but by vanilla you mean vanilla extract?
Yes, it means vanilla extract. Sorry for any confusion!
Hi I was wondering if I could use cake flour for this recipe?
Sorry for the delay here, I haven’t tested that substitution so I couldn’t give you a definite answer.
I just baked this cake using cake flour. Its perfectly fine. I sift my flour first
Best vanilla pound cake recipe I have found! I sprinkled the top with a sugar/cinnamon/ melted butter topping halfway through the baking time. Phenomenal! My husband gives you two thumbs up and does not want ordinary cake anymore!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
Was going to make this as a surprise for the hubby & will so be using this tip!!!
Made with oat milk, duck eggs and a blueberry drizzle in a 9×5. Perfectly moist and so delicious! Thank you for the recipe
Love it! Thanks for the 5 stars, Shaina.
This looks great. Do you think I could sub the whole milk for either oat or soy milk?
I haven’t tested it but I don’t see why not. I’d think oat milk might give you more of the same texture though. Good luck!
Can you use margarine instead of butter?
I haven’t tested it but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work though it may be slightly saltier since margarine contains salt. If you decide to try, I’d love to know how it turns out. Thanks!
soo amazing and moist. i added 1/4 cup of sprinkles for a fun twist and it turned out great 🙂
Such a great idea, Emma!
Can I use a Bundt pan instead?
I am so sorry, I am just seeing this tonight. I am sure the recipe has long been cooked/or not but I still want to try to help.
Yes, the recipe should work great in a bundt pan if you double the ingredients.
Tried this recipe and it came out awesome yummy.My daughter likes it very much.
Thanks for the 5 star rating, Manjusha.
Tried the recipe and the cake was really good and definitely moist.
Thanks for the 5 stars, Maury.
Hi, can I use a round cake tin to bake this? And in that case will the temperature or time taken to bake change?
I am so sorry the comment got lost, I am just seeing this tonight. I am sure the recipe has long been cooked/or not but I still want to try to help.
Because pound cake is more dense than normal cake batter it won’t cook as evenly in a round cake tin. You could still do it if you don’t have a bread pan, but it might make the sides crispier.
I accidentally put the milk in last will it affect my my cake?
I am so sorry, I am just seeing this tonight. I am sure the recipe has long been cooked/or not but I still want to try to help.
I haven’t recipe tested that and it might affect the texture of the cake, but the flavor should still be good!
If I use buttermilk, how much baking soda should I use? The rest of the ingredients/procedure should stay the same right? Please advice.
I haven’t tested it but I’d think 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda would be needed. Obviously, leave out the baking powder. Good luck!
I baked this in a foil loaf pan. I accidentally beat the eggs and sugar first, instead of creaming sugar and butter, but dumped the butter in anyway, and mixed on high in stand mixer, about 4 minutes hoped for best… accidentally saw and poured tablespoon vanilla, vs. teaspoon, baked at 350 for 1 hour and 15 minutes, at 3700 ft. elevation. A giant hump grew in the center. Dusted with powdered sugar, cooled on a rack. Outstanding! Dense, buttery, sweet, moist, crispy top- super delicious recipe … and forgiving, too!
I’m happy to know it all still turned out for you, Jon. Thanks for the 5 stars.
can you make this without a stand mixer too? like, with a handheld mixer? thanks!
Of course 🙂
Hi! Hoping to make this tonight for Christmas…Domyou need to sift the flour and baking powder?
So sorry this was caught in my spam filter. It’s not necessary to sift for this recipe.
Cake was easy and delicious but the 8” by 4” pan was way too small. I should have used a 9” by 5”.
Whoever thinks this recipe is too dry is not doing it properly and must be over baking it. It came out great for me and one cup of sugar was plenty 🙂
you replied on my bday 🙂
We were disappointed with this pound cake, it looked beautiful when it came out of the oven but was dry and not much flavor and the outside was crustier than pound cakes should be, with all the butter I would’ve thought it would be moist. Also I think it needed more sugar. Sorry!
I only have a 9×5 loaf pan. What would be the difference I’m cook time/temp if I used it?
You’ll want to increase the baking temperature to 375 and it’ll take less time.
Just tried out this recipe today & it is really good! Is not too sweet which is really great ?? Got to try it for yourself!! Definitely great for a high tea/afternoon snack or even breakfast ?
Hi, instead of loaf pan, can I bake as pound cake cupcakes? What would be the baking time?
I haven’t tried it but I don’t see why not. I’d recommend baking at 350 for 20-23 minutes. Good luck!
Hi, Just a suggestion, it would be better if you give in grams rather than mentioning measurements in Tablespoons and cups as these may not give exact amount of ingredients when someone else try to make it as their cups and tbs may different from yours.
She is referring to standard measuring cups and spoons. Not someone’s drinking cups or flatware. Weighted measurements are common in Europe, but not in the USA where she lives. Here we measure ingredients with standard measuring cups and measuring spoons that are all the same size.
Personally I think this recipe does not use enough sugar. 1 cup is not enough for pound cake. I upped it to 2 cups and it still wasn’t enough.
Seriously, two cups of sugar to two cups of flour? LOL
And you’re probably obese. I reduced the sugar and it tasted great. Everyone in this country is addicted to sugar.
i tried this recipe and added some chia seeds, cloves, ginger, nutmeg and cinnoman. It was very delicious, soft on the inside with a great crust. My family loved it!!!
What size loaf pan is used for this recipe?
8×4 loaf pan 🙂
Good Morning, I plan on making this pound cake over the weekend and was wondering what kind of loaf pan do you use: glass, light non-stick, dark non-stock, ceramic, or stoneware? I know the oven temperature may need to change along with baking time depending on the type of loaf pan used.
I used stoneware 🙂 Enjoy!
I made this yesterday it was beautiful and delicious. Thank you so much for this recipe. It’s easy to follow. Though I didn’t use butter, I used oil instead but it was delicious ??
how much oil did you use?
This was my first ever pound cake from scratch. It’s just yummy and do perfect. But hubby thinks it’s a bit dry. Would you suggest I should add some vegetable oil to this and how much if I do?
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Pound cake is more dense than other cakes but make sure not to over mix the batter, bake it too long in the oven, and ensure that the flour is measured correctly. All these things can lead to a drier cake. Next time, swap out the milk for buttermilk. You can also try adding 1/4 cup sour cream. Hope this helps for next time.
First time I made this was the best and now idk what I keep doing different! These last few times now the top started to rise and crack too much. I opt to use the non-stock spray to help my loaf not rise too much.
Also, when you say not to over mix it.. how much should I mix then ? Should I still see the powder or stop mixing as soon as I stop seeing flour particles ?
Yes, stop mixing as soon as you stop seeing flour particles.
I made pound cake for the first time using this recipe a month ago and it turned out wonderful! I made it a second time and wasn’t as good as the first one but still good. I just put the third one in the oven. Thank you for the recipe!
Hi Sabrina I have tried put this recipe thanks so much it turned out amazing my whole family enjoyed it thanks you so much for this simple and delicious recipe! : )
Can I use Almond Milk instead of dairy milk?
Hello Sabrina made this beauty yesterday..my first ever pound cake and came out wonderful..only change I made was replaced butter with salted butter..thank you for this simple and delicious recipe!
I’m glad you decided to give it a try and enjoyed it, Anupama.
Thank you for your time and sharing this wonderful recipe, my vanilla pound cake came out wonderful we have not had a taste of it yet because I just took it out the oven but it looks similar to yours so I am confident that this is going to be a fabulous vanilla cake.
What happens if you use low fat cultured buttermilk instead of whole milk?
I haven’t tested it but usually you can use it as a substitute just leave out the baking powder. Good luck!
I made it using Smart Balance instead of butter, and it turned out a bit dry, but still looks and tastes fabulous! Any other ideas for making it low fat? Thank you!
I haven’t tested it but you could try substituting the butter with a mix of olive oil and greek yogurt. Good luck!
Easy to make… turned out beautifully…. I used buttermilk instead of whole milk… super easy recipe… great results..
Could this be put in cupcake form? My family is cupcake fans. Is there a time difference for doing it that way?
Sounds like a fun idea! I’ve not tested it but I would try baking them at 350 minutes for 18-20 minutes. Good luck!
Made the recipe as is paying attention to some of the tips shared before the recipe and it came out just fine. After some cooling, around the edges were a bit hard, so I wrapped in cling film overnight and made it softer and no longer crunchy. Can’t wait to play and add some additional flavors. Sharing with friends!
Amazing!!! Thank you so much! I added cinnamon and made it vegan too.
How did you make this cake Vegan? Why I am asking is that I cannot have any dairy
I liked the cake but the top layer cracked and the cake wasn’t as soft as we would have liked???
Just checking to sure… using all purpose flour? I would think so since it’s calling for baking powder. Please advise ?
Yes, All-purpose flour for this recipe. Enjoy!
Very disappointing. It curdled and came out really bad. I’m sure I followed the recipe as asked.
Oh no! It sounds like your eggs might have been too cold when added. Try leaving them out at room temperature for next time.
Thank you! What had happened is it was burnt on the edges but undercooked in the middle; it may have been me oven. I tried again leaving the eggs out for 2 hours and I baked it in our toaster oven. It was slightly dense but I love dense cakes.
Same happened to me. So disappointed
The recipe was very simple but I personally am not a fan of this one. It ended up dripping over the back edge of the pan and all over the inside of my oven and I used the exact size pan it said. And the flavor to this recipe just wasnt what I was looking for. But my sister and husband liked it despite the fact it stuck to my greased pan and the top half came out and I had to help the bottom half out the rest of the way. I ended up frosting them back together.
I need to know what should the temperature of the butter be? Room temperature or melted? This will be my first time making this so I want to be sure
Room temperature 🙂
Hi there. Hoping to make this recipe in a Bundt pan. Do you have any suggestions for cooking time? Also, does the recipe need doubled for a Bundt pan?
I would bake it at 325 degrees for around 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Good luck!
Have you ever made a marble pound cake or chocolate with this recipe? Any advice?
Here’s the link to my Marble Pound Cake 🙂
Thank you Sabrina,
Followed this recipe without any changes and my goodness, it is so good! My family will love it – that is if there’s any left by morning. Next on my list is your banana bread..recipe looks awesome! will give feedback when done!
Merry xmas & thank you
Thanks for coming back to let me know! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the recipes.
Hi, I love your recipes but I’m pretty new to baking. I was thinking mini pound cake loaves would be a wonderful holiday treat but I was wondering, if I used this recipe to make mini loaves, is the oven temperature and cook time the same? Thanks!
Sounds like a fantastic idea! I would keep it at 350 degrees f but only bake them for about 28-32 minutes. Hope this helps!
Will this recipe make two loaf?
This recipe makes one loaf. You can always double it if you want to make two. Enjoy!
I love this recipe made one yesterday and making 2 more today for my family and friends. Thanks
Aw so happy to hear that! And lucky friends and family to get gifted cake! 🙂 🙂
I want to make multiple loaves for Christmas, about a dozen or so. How would you recommend making multiple loaves a time?
You can adjust the servings size by hovering over the serving amount in the recipe card and a slider will appear. You slide it to the serving amount (twice as much if you want to double) and it will adjust the ingredients that you need.
I work with the elderly in a rest home and we made this cake today. This cake was very easy for the residents to make and everyone agreed it tasted divine. I would highly recommend this recipe to others.
Oh that’s so sweet. Thank you for letting me know, I love to hear when my recipes are shared and universally loved. 🙂
I followed the recipe, and the cake burned 15 minutes after I put it in the oven!
I put it on 350 degrees! That’s the lowest actually.
I don’t understand why it burned!!
You might need to have your oven temperature checked and calibrated. So sorry.
did you get the C & F mix up 350F is 175C on fan i don’t know that adjustment. but to get C its half of the F. on my oven.
How much grams is 12tb spoon butter?
This recipe is simple and easy,cake turned out super moist and delicious,I did add sour cream to ingredients
How much sour cream did you add if I may ask and did it replace anything or just in addition?
So easy and beautiful. Infused the butter with fresh basil and added 1/8 C lemon juice (and 1/8tsp Baking soda) Flavor was so gentle and soft, thank you!
I tried this recipe this morning and I was disappointed in the results. I thought I did everything just as you said but it came out tough and dense, not light and fluffy…
It looks so good on the laptop that I’m determined to try it again.
Happy Baking Everyone 🙂
This recipe looks easy and delicious. Can I use a hand mixer instead of a standing one? Thank you.
In your introduction you talk about adding salt and baking SODA, but your receipe calls for baking POWDER. Which do I use?
Thank you so much for catching that! The recipe card is correct. You should be using baking powder.
My 1st pound cake! Now I am considered the baker at this house. Absolutely the Best and easy to make. Thanks!
Love it!! So glad you decided to try it.
Not bad. Cake tastes good but it does not have that heavy moist texture of what you get at the bakery. It’s more on the dry side. Experimenting with adding sour cream may improve the body.
I’m not sure adding sour cream will give you the end result you’re looking for. This is a very dense cake with heavy ingredients and adding sour cream would be like fighting a losing battle in regards to making a difference. Though I’ve not tested it, my hunch is telling me it won’t work.
What if you don’t have whole milk will fat free milk give me the same results as it it was whole milk?
Does the butter have to be room temp I left it out over night and when I put in the eggs something curdle or is it suppose to be like that I feel so dumb
Butter only needs to be left out on the counter for around 30 minutes to get to room temerature. Try that next time and you should be ok.
I know this is late, but I also had the eggs curdle when added to room temp butter when I was making a different recipe. I’m thinking the eggs should have been at room temp too! Maybe give this a try! I plan on trying this pound cake recipe soon!
If you add cold eggs to warm butter it will appear “curdled” but it’s just the butter “solidifying” again, keep beating, it should smooth out! Room temp eggs will mix in easier!
I have to confess I have never made a pound cake but it really does look so easy and delicious, I think I should try it out!
I hope you enjoy it!
A lovely and delicious classic pound cake recipe!
Nothing beats a good homemade pound cake like this. Surely sounds like a slice of heaven 🙂
It’s so good! I just can’t help myself!
Um, this pound cake literally looks like the best pound cake ever!! I just want to reach into my computer and grab a slice! Thank you for these great tips… Adding this to my list of things I need to make immediately!
Such an easy and delicious dessert! You can never go wrong with a pound cake!
Can you use butter milk
You can. I would add a bit of baking soda to balance out the acidity of the buttermilk.