Perfectly dense, ultra tender Vanilla Pound Cake. Just like Grandma made… only better.
Pound cake is one of those rare desserts that’s completely perfect in its simplicity. No chocolate, no frosting, no caramel, no fancy presentation – just deliciously rich, buttery, super moist cake with beautiful golden brown edges.
It’s the kind of cake that’s perfect for afternoon tea, Sunday brunch or a simple summer dessert. Yes – you can dress it up with fresh fruit and whipped cream, or ice cream and chocolate sauce. But that delicious buttery vanilla flavor and dense, moist texture are hard to beat.
There’s good reason simple pound cake is a necessity in every baker’s arsenal.
If truth be told, for the longest time I had no idea why it was called pound cake. My first assumption was “pound” referred to the weight of the cake since its so dense. Or perhaps the name came from the fact I’ll be gaining pounds after eating multiple slices.
But a little research & culinary sleuthing proved enlightening. Pound cake refers to the traditional ingredient list: 1 pound each of butter, sugar, eggs & flour.
With this vanilla pound cake recipe I’ve made a few adjustments to the ratios, but all the classic characteristics are the same. Only we’re upping the flavor factor.
Like a traditional pound cake recipe, we start by beating together a healthy dose of butter and sugar. It’s important to really cream them together until the mixture is pale in color – likely about 5 whole minutes using an electric mixer. Beating until combined won’t cut it here.
Then we’re using vanilla extract & a little almond extract for more flavor.
We’ll beat in the eggs one at a time for about a minute each. When making pound cake there’s no baking powder or baking soda in the batter, so the air from beating in the eggs cause the cake to rise. Make sure your eggs are at room temperature before getting started.We’re going to use cake flour to give the pound cake a finer crumb – but if you don’t have any on hand, you can make your own with cornstarch and all-purpose flour.
Then for the final, less traditional, ingredient: whipping cream. After doing some pound cake research – I found a lot of recipes using sour cream or cream cheese. But this pound cake that uses whipping cream from Epicurious caught my eye. The cream adds richness and creaminess to the batter that you’ll absolutely love.
The cake will bake for about 1 hour, and you’ll see the top turn a beautiful golden brown color with a slight crisp to the edges.
It’s seriously tender, deliciously buttery, and filled with that classic vanilla pound cake taste. Serve it with fresh fruit and whipped cream for dessert, or have a slice with your morning coffee. Either way, you can’t go wrong.
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter , softened to room temperature
- 1 and 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon almond extract , to taste
- 4 large eggs , room temperature
- 2 cups cake flour , sifted*
- 1/4 cup whipping cream , heavy cream or half-and-half cream
- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line a 9x5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper, or grease with soft butter and sprinkle with flour. Set aside.
- In a large bowl using a stand or hand-held electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the butter and sugar for about 5 minutes until it's pale in color. Add in the vanilla extract & almond extract. With the mixer on medium speed add in the eggs one at a time, beating for 30 seconds to about 1 minute between each.
- Turn down the mixer to low and carefully add in about half of the four, followed by about half of the whipping cream. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl using a large rubber spatula as necessary. Turn the mixer on to low and add in the rest of the flour followed by the rest of the whipping cream until combined.
- Spoon the mixer into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the prepared oven for about 55 minutes to 1 hour and 10 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. If at around 45 minutes the top appears to be browning a lot already, tent a piece of aluminium foil over the top of the cake to prevent over browning.
- Allow the cake to cool in its pan on a wire rack for about 20 minutes, then remove from the pan and continue cooling until it reaches room temperature.
- Serve plain or with berries and whipping cream
*If you don't have cake flour, measure 1 and 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour in a bowl with 1/4 cup cornstarch and whisk together.
**Store cake in an airtight container. Cake can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 days, or easily frozen.