Our Recipes Will Tell You How to Make Pound Cakes from Scratch

Pound Cake Recipes from Scratch
Of all the cakes, in my opinion, the pound cake is one of the most delicious around. If you want to learn how to make one, take your pick from here...
Tastessence Staff
Last Updated: Feb 16, 2018
The pound cake originated in Great Britain, and 4th March is celebrated as National Pound Cake Day in the United States.
Ever picked up a cookbook to follow a cake recipe, only to throw it away because making a cake seemed too complicated? It's tough, it's precise, it's complex, it needs accuracy, it needs patience, and you are never assured the end result will turn out good after all the effort. Measurements, tablespoons, baking powder, eggs, whites, yellows... for a beginner, baking a cake can seem to be a herculean task. But beginners need not worry - as a first step you can always start with a pound cake. It doesn't require precision or perfection, neither does the recipe seem akin to climbing the Everest.

The pound cake, as the name suggests, is one pound of everything; which makes it so simple to understand and make. The very core ingredients - flour, eggs, sugar and butter, are all supposed to be added a pound each. This makes for a huge cake that could serve well over 20 people. Hence, the recipe needs to be tweaked to suit modern-day ovens and family sizes. Once you get a hang of the basic pound cake, gradually, its variations can be worked around with. Ideally, you use a loaf pan or a bundt baking dish for baking a pound cake. The pan should be greased with butter from all sides on the inside. You may even dust the pan with flour after greasing it, to keep the cake from sticking to the sides. For enhancing its flavor, addition of a little essence or extract is advised. You can also glaze the cake with syrup (flavored or plain), or just dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar or icing sugar. Pound cakes are rich, heavy, and usually very large in quantity.
Basic Pound Cake
Pound Cake
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups general purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups melted non-salted butter
  • 4 or 5 eggs
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract/essence
Method:
Mix together flour and sugar, and sift this mixture. Now add the butter and vanilla extract/essence to the sifted mixture, and give it a gentle whisk. Add the eggs and whisk it again. Once the batter is smooth and fluffy, pour it all into a greased bundt pan. Put the pan into an oven and bake at 350° F for about an hour. After the first 45 minutes, keep checking the cake. Drive a thin knife blade through the center of the cake and check if it comes out clean. Put it back into the oven if it needs baking. Keep checking after every 3 - 4 minutes. Once baked, take it out of the oven and let it cool for a while. Dust the top with icing sugar.
Note: To adjust the softness and dryness of the cake, increase or decrease the butter in the recipe, but be warned, too much butter may make the cake overtly moist and sticky.

As you make and master the pound cake, you can challenge yourself by trying more variations. For the best and freshest results, add fresh fruit chunks to the batter before pouring it into the pan. A pound cake tastes delicious when made with blueberries, blackberries, pineapple or peach. You can use dried or candied fruits such as cranberry, apricots, etc., too, to add to the variety.
Blueberry Pound Cake
Blueberry Pound Cake
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups general purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups melted non-salted butter
  • 4 or 5 eggs
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract/essence
  • Approximately 1 lb fresh blueberries
Method:
Follow the batter preparation as given in the basic pound cake recipe above. Just before pouring the batter into the bundt pan, fold in fresh blueberries and then pour the mixture into a greased bundt pan. Once again, follow the baking instructions in a similar manner as given above. Top with fresh whipped cream.

Note: For other flavors, just replace the blueberries with your choice of fruit or dry fruit.

Another variation of the pound cake that is very popular is the one that uses nuts in the batter. In the recipe above, just replace the fresh fruits with any nuts of your choice. Walnuts or pecans go great in a pound cake, although you can use whatever you desire. A mix of nuts will also make for a great idea. Another huge variation is the lemon pound cake.
Lemon Pound Cake
Lemon Pound Cake
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups general purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups melted non-salted butter
  • 4 or 5 eggs
  • 1 tsp lemon extract

Method:
Mix together flour and sugar, and sift this mixture. Now add the butter and lemon extract, and give it a gentle whisk. Add the eggs and whisk it again. Once the batter is smooth and fluffy, pour it all into a greased bundt pan. Put the pan into an oven and bake at 350° F for about an hour. After the first 45 minutes, keep checking the cake. Drive a thin knife blade through the center of the cake and check if it comes out clean. Put it back into the oven if it needs more baking. Keep checking after every 3 - 4 minutes. For the lemon glaze, you will need ¼ cup lemon juice, 8 oz. water, 8 oz. sugar, and 1 tsp lemon zest. In a pan, combine all the ingredients and keep stirring till the sugar melts completely. Once baked, take it out of the oven and brush it with lemon glaze when it's hot. The glazing sticks to and gets absorbed by the cake when it's hot. Alternatively, you can just pour the hot glaze over the cake.

Note: Lemon extract can be replaced with vanilla, almond, lavender, cinnamon, maple, mint, coffee or other such extracts, for variation.
A form of pound cake baking that has rapidly caught up with a lot of bakers these days is the half-butter-half-cream cheese pound cake. This method uses cream cheese and butter instead of just butter in the batter, to lend the cake more softness and moistness. Some recipes go the full extent and replace butter with cream cheese. Also, cream cheese as an ingredient itself adds to the cake more than butter does.
Almond Cream Cheesecake
Cheesecake
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups general purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 4 or 5 eggs
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
Method:
Mix together all ingredients in a bowl and whisk rapidly for a few minutes or until the batter is thick and even. Cream cheese tends to leave lumps, so make sure there are none. As a precaution, use deformed and non-frozen cream cheese (keep it at room temperature for a while before using). Pour the mixture into a greased pan and bake at 350° F for about 45 minutes. After the first 45 minutes, keep checking the cake. Drive a thin knife blade through the center of the cake and check if it comes out clean. Put it back into the oven if it needs more baking. Keep checking after every 3 - 4 minutes.
A well-baked cake...
  1. The top of the cake rises and forms a brownish crust.
  2. A thin blade knife, when inserted in the center, should come out without any batter or cake crumbs sticking to it, when removed.
  3. When you gently press the top of the cake, it should spring back to its original position.
Here's cake making simplified for you. While the proportion of flour, eggs, sugar and butter, and the basic pound cake recipe more or less remains the same, the flavoring for the pound cake comes from the given ingredients.
Cake Ingredients for Flavoring
Maple Walnut

Maple Syrup, Walnut Extract, Chopped Walnuts

Lavender Pecan

Lavender Extract, Pecan Nuts

Cranberry Almond

Fresh Cranberries / Cranberry Juice, Almond Extract, Slivered Almonds

Apricot

Candied or Dried Apricots

Chocolate Macadamia

Macadamia Nuts, Drinking Cocoa / Melted Dark Chocolate

Caramel Cinnamon

Caramel, Cinnamon Powder / Cinnamon Extract

Banana Walnut

Freshly made Banana Pulp, Walnut Extract, Chopped Walnuts

Carrot Ginger

Grated Carrot, Grated Ginger

Chocolate Mint

Mint Extract, Freshly Chopped Mint, Drinking Cocoa / Melted Dark Chocolate

Pear Pine Nut

Toasted Pine Nuts, Sliced Pears

Peach Plum

Peach Slices, Plums, Almond Slivers

Strawberry Pineapple

Fresh Chopped Strawberries, Fresh Pineapple chunks, Either Strawberry or Pineapple jam

Orange Poppy Seed

Fresh Orange Juice, Zest of One Orange, Poppy Seeds

Apple Cinnamon

Chopped Apples, Cinnamon Powder / Cinnamon Extract

Coconut Raspberry

Coconut Milk, Dry Coconut Shavings, Raspberries


Note: The above ingredients should be added to the batter just prior to its pouring in the baking pan. For cake batter, where extracts/essence is used, the batter will need a slight final whisk.
While the pound cake has come a long way since its inception in Great Britain, the basic recipe and its simplicity has more or less remained the same. The cake can be sliced and eaten as it is or served with a glaze (plain or flavored) and some whipped cream. While the very basic pound cake which derives its flavor from butter and sugar still takes the cake (pun intended!), its fruit, nut and flavored variations too are very popular. It is the simplest and basic cake recipe, which makes it the happy cake!
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