Breads & Muffins Cakes & Cupcakes

Vanilla Pound Cake

July 21, 2023

Look no further for the perfect pound cake! This modern take on the traditional vanilla pound cake is bound to […]

sliced vanilla pound cake topped with glaze

Look no further for the perfect pound cake! This modern take on the traditional vanilla pound cake is bound to be your new favorite. Made with a golden, buttery crust and a velvety soft crumb, this pound cake is one of the best things to happen to my sweet tooth all year. And this is coming from a true pound cake enthusiast. From this Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake to my Funfetti Pound Cake, it’s easy to see I’m a big fan of a simple loaf cake. It all started with this classic pound cake recipe that I first posted in 2020. It’s been a fan favorite ever since. One bite and it’s easy to see why everyone loves this cake!

close up of classic vanilla pound cake on cooling rack

What makes this pound cake so good?

Pound cakes might be known for their simplicity, but this simple, no-fuss loaf cake is anything but boring. It bakes up perfectly moist with a golden outer crumb that melts in your mouth. Here’s a few reasons why you’ll love this recipe:

Delicious flavor. A modern take on the classic with all of the sweet, buttery vanilla flavor you love from traditional pound cake. It pairs perfectly with the sweet vanilla bean glaze but is also begging to be served with fresh berries and whipped cream.

Perfect texture. This cake is sturdy and dense (as pound cake should be!) but with a velvety soft crumb that will keep you coming back for a second slice.

Easy to make. Whip this cake up in about an hour with just 7 ingredients. A simple, satisfying recipe that is perfect for brunch or dessert!

slices of pound cake on parchment paper

Ingredients

I’m betting that you have all the ingredients you need to make this cake already in your pantry. The beauty of a classic vanilla pound cake is that it requires just basic ingredients….butter, flour, sugar, and eggs. A dash of vanilla, a pinch of salt, and a drizzle of milk round out the ingredient list. And while a traditional pound cake doesn’t include any leavener, I’ve added just a smidge of baking powder for a slightly fluffier texture. The result is a perfectly moist, not overly dense cake with a rich, melt in your mouth, buttery flavor. Here’s your ingredient list:

  • Flour
  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla
  • Milk
  • Baking powder
vanilla bean glaze drizzled over top of loaf cake

How to make pound cake

Pound cake is a classic for a reason. It’s so simple to make and always a crowd pleaser. Follow this step-by-step guide and check the recipe card below for ingredients and detailed instructions.

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 325°. Line a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

Step 2: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium high speed for 4 to 5 minutes, until light and creamy.

Step 3: Add the granulated sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Continue mixing on medium-low speed until all of the sugar is added.

Step 4: Add the eggs, followed by the egg yolks. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Step 5: Add the vanilla. Increase the speed to medium high and mix for 1 to 2 minutes to incorporate air into the batter. The mixture should be light and fluffy and pale in color.

Step 6: Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the milk. Begin and end with the dry ingredients. Mix until combined, leaving a few streaks of flour remaining. Do not overmix.

Step 7: Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with a few crumbs remaining. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Remove the cake from the pan using the parchment paper overhang and cool completely on a wire rack before adding the vanilla bean glaze.

loaf cake slices ready to be served

How to serve pound cake

This classic vanilla pound cake is truly delicious all on it’s own. Dress it up with my simple vanilla bean glaze for even more irresistible vanilla flavor or add a light dusting of powdered sugar. You can also top it with fresh fruit and a dollop of whipped cream for a delicious seasonal dessert. Try it toasted and slathered in melted butter with your morning coffee. The possibilities are endless which is just one of the reasons I adore this cake. And believe it or not, this pound cake tastes even better the day after it’s baked. As the cakes sits, the internal moisture develops the flavors even more and you’re left with a richer, deeper, deliciously buttery taste.

classic pound cake with glaze on top

Tips for the best pound cake

Use good quality butter. Butter is the base of pound cake so use the good stuff. For the best texture, it’s important to use room temperature butter. Cold butter will not cream together properly with the sugar.

Mix all-purpose flour and cake flour. Cake flour is lighter and contains less gluten than all purpose flour and makes for a slightly fluffier pound cake. Don’t have cake flour? No problem. Simply measure one cup of all- purpose flour into a small bowl. Remove 2 tablespoons of the flour and then add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Sift to combine and tah-dah…cake flour!

Use room temperature ingredients. This is critical. To avoid your pound cake falling flat, be sure to use only room temperature butter, eggs and milk. Even your flour and sugar should be room temperature so if you store those in the refrigerator be sure to set your ingredients out in advance. Using room temperature ingredients means the mixer doesn’t have to work so hard to achieve the volume you want in the batter.

Do not over bake. Pound cake can be very dry if over baked so be sure to keep an eye on the oven. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with few crumbs remaining. If the cake is browning too quickly towards the end of the baking cycle, cover it loosely with a piece of aluminum foil.

Neapolitan Pound Cake Variation

This is a fun variation on traditional pound cake that combines the classic Neapolitan flavors of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. Why have one when you can have all three?! Use the Vanilla Pound Cake recipe below as your base and follow these simple steps once the batter is made:

  1. Lightly grease a 9 x 5″ loaf pan. Line the bottom and short sides with parchment paper, allowing the ends to hang over for easy removal of the loaf once baked. Cut two separators out of thin cardboard with identical measurements that match the inside of the loaf pan. It’s important that the separators fit perfectly along the sides and bottom of the pan so that the batter does not slide through. Wrap each separator tightly in aluminum foil. Set aside.
  2. Once the batter is mixed, divide it into 3 equal portions, each in their own bowl. Leave the vanilla portion as is. Stir 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder (I like Hershey’s Special Dark) into another portion and mix with a spatula to combine well. Stir ¼ cup of freeze-dried strawberries into the final portion. For a more vibrant pink color, add a drop of pink gel food coloring if desired.
  3. Place the prepared separators in the loaf pan, making sure they are standing upright in equal distance from each other. This creates 3 equal sections in the loaf pan.
  4. Pipe each batter into one section of the loaf pan. Once all three batters have been added, gently pull up vertically on one separator while simultaneously pressing the batter downward with an offset spatula or knife. Repeat with the second separator.
  5. Bake as directed.
neapolitan pound cake slices

Happy baking!

Print
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Vanilla Pound Cake Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 5 reviews
  • Author: Heather Mubarak
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 75 minutes
  • Yield: 8 slices 1x
  • Category: Cakes & Cupcakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

A deliciously rich and buttery classic vanilla pound cake. Serve alone or dress it up with a dusting of powdered sugar or a simple vanilla glaze. The perfect no-fuss cake for all occasions.


Ingredients

Units Scale

For Pound Cake

  • 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 cup (135 g) cake flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, plus 4 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature

For Vanilla Bean Glaze

  • 1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 56 tablespoons whole milk or heavy cream

Instructions

For Pound Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 325°.
  2. Lightly grease a 9 x 5″ loaf pan. Line the bottom and short sides with parchment paper, allowing the ends to hang over for easy removal of the loaf after baking. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. About 4-5 minutes.
  5. Add the sugar slowly with the mixer on medium low. Mix until well incorporated.
  6. Add the eggs and egg yolks, one at time, until fully incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
  7. Add the vanilla, mixing until well combined.
  8. Beat the mixture until light and fluffy on medium high speed, about 1 to 2 minutes. We want to incorporate air into the batter.
  9. Add the flour to the egg mixture, alternating with the milk. Begin and end with the flour mixture. Do not overmix.
  10. Once combined, pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan using an offset spatula to smooth the top.
  11. Bake for about 60 minutes, checking the cake at 50 minutes. If the top is browning too quickly, cover the top loosely with aluminum foil.
  12. The cake is done when it springs back when gently pressed on top. A toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean or with a few crumbs remaining. Do not overbake or the cake will be dry.
  13. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan.
  14. Using the parchment paper ends, pull the loaf from the pan and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.

For Vanilla Bean Glaze

  1. Add confectioner’s sugar and vanilla bean paste to a medium bowl. Add the whole milk or heavy cream and whisk to combine. If glaze is too thick, continue adding milk one tablespoon at a time until you have the desired consistency. If too thin, add more confectioner’s sugar. You want the glaze to be thick, but pourable.
  2. Spoon the glaze over the top of the completely cooled pound cake, allowing the glaze to drop over the sides. Let sit for 15 minutes to set before slicing.

Notes

Store cake tightly covered in a cool, dry place for up to 4 days.
Cake is best the day after it is made as the flavor develops over time.

Cake may be frozen. Freeze the cake before adding the glaze and defrost at room temperature before serving.

**Recipe originally posted January 2020

  • Reply
    Kelly
    May 13, 2024 at 6:51 pm

    Primo recipe!! I’ve never made pound cake before, I followed this one exactly and it’s seriously the best pound cake I’ve ever had in my entire life! I used my ducks eggs, and they are a bit bigger than the “large eggs” called for, so I guess it wasn’t followed exaaactly…but man it was perfect.






  • Reply
    Shery Sullivan
    April 13, 2024 at 1:29 pm

    If I use a stick of unsalted butter and one salted, should I use less salt? Making this today for my daughter’s family, they’re coming tomorrow for dinner. I’ll put strawberries and wwhipped cream on slices.






  • Reply
    Lea
    December 31, 2023 at 4:04 am

    Any recommendations if you don’t have cake flour?

    • Reply
      Bella
      February 10, 2024 at 6:13 pm

      try adding a few tablespoons of cornstarch into the flour, it should be a substitute for cake flour

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    November 5, 2023 at 8:07 pm

    Fantastic Pound Cake






  • Reply
    Di
    September 4, 2023 at 12:13 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous loaf……need to make this often!!!!






  • Reply
    Michelle
    August 15, 2023 at 3:18 am

    This was so delicious. Nice tight crumb and not overly sweet either. I found that it didn’t even need the glaze, and it was already perfect. Thanks for a great recipe, Heather!






  • Reply
    nava
    August 2, 2023 at 7:36 am

    hi, this looks great! Im going to try it soon. I’m using the metric system, can you tell me please what is the meaning of the different amounts in the Parenthesis ? thank you

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    July 21, 2023 at 11:37 pm

    Have you tried this gluten free?

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    November 24, 2021 at 4:11 pm

    Thanks for the recipe! Should this loaf be refrigerated after glaze?

  • Reply
    Marissa
    November 2, 2020 at 3:48 pm

    Hello, thank you for sharing this recipe! Would you please share exactly which high quality European butter you use? Just like how you shared exactly the kind of Dutch processed baking cocoa you used for the Best Chocolate Pound Cake? Thanks so much!

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      November 2, 2020 at 7:46 pm

      Hi Marissa! I really like Danish Creamery European Style butter. Hope you enjoy this recipe!!

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