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The Best Vanilla Pound Cake Recipe

The best vanilla pound cake recipe can be an elusive thing to chase. I’ve tried many recipes over the years and have tried to develop my own recipe several times as well. I think this recipe has the exact balance of elements that make  for a perfect pound cake.

Close up photo of a singe slice of the Best Vanilla Pound Cake recipe shown with strawberries and whipped cream

The Best Vanilla Pound Cake Recipe.

To my mind, the best vanilla pound cake recipe should produce a result that is dense but not stodgy. It is also simply flavoured but still rich and buttery.

I had previously experimented with so-called authentic recipes that used strictly one pound each of flour, sugar, butter and eggs. Great idea, but I found the cake was a bit too dense.

Close up photo of uncut Vanilla Pound Cake baked in a bundt pan

The Best Vanilla Pound Cake Recipe. Simple perferction

The eggs did rise the cake sufficiently but the large amount of protein in 7 or 8 eggs acted as too much as a binder for the batter. 

In the end I decided to reduce the number of eggs and use a small amount of baking powder to help the cake rise.

The best vanilla pound cake recipe close up photo of one slice on a white plate

The Best Vanilla Pound Cake Recipe.

Baking powder?

Hundreds of years ago when the first pound cakes were baked, people would not have had access to baking powder.

Good bakers always use the tools and techniques available to them to best effect though. So, if they had baking powder back then, I feel they surely would have used it.

The Best Vanilla Pound Cake recipe photo of the cake ready for the oven

The Best Vanilla Pound Cake

I also used a combination of cake flour and all purpose flour in this cake to balance softness and structure in the cake crumb.

butter photographed on a wooden cutting board.

Use only real dairy butter.

Good quality pure vanilla extract is a must! I also used undiluted evaporated milk in the batter to add an extra level of richness and flavour.

Vanilla Pound cake in a bundt pan fresh from the oven

The Best Vanilla Pound Cake, fresh from the oven.

I don’t know if I’ll continue my tweaking of this recipe or not.  This is as close to my concept of the ideal pound cake that I have ever come.

When you get some things right, they are best left alone and enjoyed to their fullest.

The Best Vanilla Pound Cake Recipe photo of uncut cake with a sprinkle of powdered sugar

I often like to bake pound cakes in a bundt pan. It’s often the perfect size.

Originally published Feb 2015. 

This early photo from Rock Recipes shows one of my favourite ways to serve pound cake. Cake and ice cream always reminds me of kids birthday parties. Here it is shown with my own homemade version of Blueberry Ripple Ice Cream.

Vanilla Pound Cake with Homemade Blueberry Swirl Ice Cream

Poundcake with Blueberry Ripple Ice Cream.

Like this Best Vanilla Pound Cake recipe?

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The Best Vanilla Pound Cake Recipe photo of a single slice with title text added for Pinterest

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The Best Vanilla Pound Cake Recipe photo with title text added for Pinterest

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Close up photo of a singe slice of the Best Vanilla Pound Cake recipe shown with strawberries and whipped cream
Yield: 16 servings

The Best Vanilla Pound Cake Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

The Best Vanilla Pound Cake Recipe, a quest for the best! This cake achieves great flavour & texture by taking the best from traditional & modern recipes.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound butter at room temperature, 2 cups
  • 2 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 tbsp good quality vanilla extract
  • 4 extra large eggs at room temperature, or 5 large
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup undiluted evaporated milk, use it straight from the can

Instructions

  1. This cake is baked in an oven that starts cold, so there's no need to preheat it. Grease a bundt pan very well and lightly dust it with flour. You can also use 2 standard loaf pans that have been lightly greased and lined with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer cream the butter, sugar and vanilla extract very well, for at least 10 -15 minutes. The aim is to incorporate as much air as possible into the creamed base of the batter. Scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl several times during the creaming process.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat for at least a minute or two before adding the next egg.
  4. Sift together the flour, cake floor and baking powder.
  5. Fold the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture alternately with the undiluted evaporated milk. Always begin and end the folding process with the dry ingredients. As a general rule, I add the dry ingredients in three portions and the milk in two portions.
  6. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan/s, spreading the top with the back of a spoon to level it.
  7. Place in a cold oven and turn the temperature to 325 degrees F. Baking times will vary on the size of the cake pans. My bundt pan took 1 hour and 30 minutes. Loaf pans should be checked after an hour. As always, let the wooden toothpick or skewer test be your guide. Insert a wooden toothpick or skewer into the center of the cake and when it comes out clean the cake is done. Watch it closely and only add extra time in 5 minute intervals, checking with a clean toothpick each time, so that you will not over bake the cake.
  8. Let the cake/s rest in the pans for 10 - 15 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Delicious served with ripe strawberries and freshly whipped cream.

Nutrition Information

Yield

16

Serving Size

1 slice

Amount Per Serving Calories 445Total Fat 26gSaturated Fat 16gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 112mgSodium 233mgCarbohydrates 49gFiber 1gSugar 30gProtein 5g

The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.

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Kate

Saturday 25th of September 2021

I am so happy I found this recipe. It’s now my go to poundcake recipe!

Suzanne H.

Wednesday 10th of March 2021

Could this be baked in a 9x13 pan? This looks like a good recipe for mocha cakes 🙂

Karrol

Wednesday 10th of March 2021

Can I use a 9x13 baking pan and if so how long should it bake for? Thank you 😋

Antonia Ellen Thompson

Friday 23rd of October 2020

I have a couple of friends that are diabetic, can I yes a sugar-free substitute in equal amounts for the sugar? If not, what can I use and how much? They both told me they love poundcake that being a diabetic makes it difficult. I’m looking forward to your response. Thank you

Maryanne

Sunday 4th of October 2020

Are you suppose to sift both flours separately then sift again together with the baking powder?

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