If you're new to baking pound cakes you've come to the right place! This beginner-friendly guide is packed with everything you need to know to make a beautiful, moist pound cake that will impress your friends and family! We don't do box cake mixes over here, so I'll be teaching you how to make delicious pound cakes from scratch. So let’s get into it so I can show you how it's done!
What Is A Pound Cake?
A pound cake is commonly made in a bundt pan and is also called a bundt cake. It is made from 4 main ingredients- flour, sugar, butter, and eggs; typically a pound of each ingredient.
Of course, there are many variations of how to make a pound cake, but those are the basic ingredients. Pound cakes are moist and tender, yet dense in texture. This old-fashioned dessert has definitely evolved these days and is served with or without icing.
Some recipes also include flavorings/extracts, milk and various other liquids, baking soda, and baking powder, which were not typical ingredients included in pound cakes once upon a time.
Prepare your Pound Cake Ingredients
Pound cake consists of very basic ingredients that are pantry staples. Before preparing a pound cake recipe you want to make sure that all of your ingredients are adequately prepared.
It's very important to measure the flour correctly. To do so, sift the flour and then spoon it into your measuring cup. Level off the measuring cup with the back of a knife for an even measurement. Do not pack the flour into the measuring cup, just simply spoon it into the cup. I mainly use unbleached all-purpose flour when making pound cakes and usually use the Gold Metal brand.
I use unsalted butter for my cakes. Most of the time I do still add salt to my cakes, but I'm able to control the amount of salt used by not using salted butter. Always make sure to use room-temperature butter. You want to give yourself adequate time to allow the butter to soften. This will depend on the temperature of your home, etc. A good rule of thumb is to take the butter out an hour before you are going to start preparing your cake.
Granulated sugar is the most common sugar used for pound cakes. To properly measure your sugar, spoon it into your measuring cup and level it off with the back of a knife.
Always use large eggs for your pound cake and make sure they are at room temperature. Remove the eggs from the refrigerator at least an hour before baking. I usually don't crack the eggs until I'm ready to start baking. If I forget to remove them from the refrigerator in time, I will go ahead and crack them and place them in a dish to come to room temperature.
There are several different liquids that are used in pound cakes these days. Some common liquids are milk, buttermilk, half and half, heavy whipping cream, and even soda like 7 UP. These ingredients should be at room temperature as well. One of my favorite ingredients to use in pound cakes is cream cheese. It adds such decadence to the cake. It should be at room temperature as well.
Baking soda, baking powder, extracts, salt
Always make sure to use exact measurements of these ingredients. Ingredients such as baking soda or baking powder, although not always needed, can improve the texture of the cake and give it more rise. Salt balances the flavors of the cake. And extracts add flavor to the cake. Common extracts are vanilla, lemon, almond, butter, coconut, etc. Make sure these ingredients are not expired for the best results.
Why do my ingredients need to be at room temperature?
The ingredients need to be at room temperature to make sure they incorporate into the batter evenly, to prevent clumping, and to create a velvety batter.
How to prepare the bundt pan?
My favorite method is using a baking spray such as Baker’s Joy which includes the flour and oil all in one can. It's always a no-fail method for me and the cake comes right out of the pan. You can also grease the pan with oil (solid or liquid) then dust the pan evenly with flour if you prefer.
How To Make The BEST Pound Cake Recipe
Now that you know the basic ingredients needed for the pound cake and how to prepare the ingredients, let’s get right into the steps needed to prepare the BEST pound cake!
- Preheat your oven to 325 F.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Mix in the vanilla.
- Add the eggs one at a time mixing well after each addition.
- Add the flour in three equal parts just until blended.
- Spray your pan with cooking spray and then pour your batter into your prepared pan.
- Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the cake is golden brown. (Insert a wooden toothpick into the center of the cake. The cake is done when the toothpick comes out clean.)
- Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 20 minutes, before inverting (removing it from the pan) to complete the cooling process.
What is the secret to a moist pound cake?
My favorite way to add moisture to a cake is to add cream cheese. There are several other ways to ensure your pound cake is moist such as adding buttermilk, heavy whipping cream, or milk.
How to store a pound cake:
To store pound cake, place it in an airtight container, such as a cake container. It can be wrapped in plastic wrap, and/or foil, either whole or sliced. The pound cake also freezes well. You can freeze the cake as is or cut it into slices and freeze it. If you cut it into slices, I recommend wrapping the slices in foil and then placing them into a freezer/ziplock bag before storing it in the freezer.
How long does the cake stay fresh?
It depends on the type of cake, but generally about four to five days. If you freeze the cake, I recommend keeping it frozen no longer than three months for the best freshness.
Picking the right Bundt Pan:
The type of bundt pan used will depend on the size cake you are baking. I have a 12-cup bundt pan that can be used for most recipes. The cakes I make are generally 10-cup so that gives me a little wiggle room to avoid overflow.
My favorite cake pans are pans passed down from my elders and Nordic Ware pans. Nordic Ware pans are sturdy pans that allow the cake to bake tall and even.
Here are some other helpful supplies to assist you along your cake-baking journey:
Helpful Baking Tools
- Bundt Pan
- Stand Mixer
- Hand Mixer
- Basting Brush
- Silicone Spatula
- Oven Thermometer
- Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl
- Baker's Joy
- Cake Keeper
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
Here are some reader-favorite pound cake recipes to try from my site:
Beginner-friendly recipes can be found at the top of this article.
I hope this article gave you all the tools you need to start making delicious made-from-scratch pound cakes and create some delicious memories with your family and friends. Take your time and have fun going through the process.
As with anything, baking is a learning process and is definitely trial and error.
If you get stuck or have more questions, comment on this post or send me a message on social media.
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See you there!