Southern pound cake is dense, yet soft, buttery, full of incredible flavor and just like grandma’s recipe. This pound cake recipe uses basic pantry ingredients, the perfect simple to make dessert and ready in about an hour! (Anyone can make this old-fashioned pound cake!)
Pound cake from scratch is moist and has a buttery crumb exterior from baking it in a cold oven. The cold oven ensures the pound cake stays dense while making the outside golden browned while not overbaking.
While we typically recommend preheating the oven for baking recipes, some baked goods are the exception, such as this old-fashioned pound cake recipe. Baking this pound cake in a cast iron fluted cake pan also ensures that gorgeous crumb that’s a trademark of pound cakes.
Pound cake is the most delicious and easy to make dessert. It’s delicious plain, dusted with powdered sugar or served with fresh berries and whipped cream. This pound cake recipe has been in our family for over 60 years!
Why this recipe works
- Made with simple ingredients – This pound cake recipe uses ingredients readily available at most grocery stores.
- Prep ahead of time – Southern pound cake is one of the type of cake that’s better the second day!
- Ease – Simple steps ensure the perfect pound cake each and every time. Made in one bowl with either an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer.
- Flavor – Full-fat buttermilk, along with pure vanilla extract and almond extract give this pound cake incredible flavor.
- Easy dessert – Old fashioned pound cake is the perfect dessert recipe for any occasion.
- Baking in cold oven – Baking pound cake in a cold oven, without preheating the oven ensures a perfect golden crumb on this cake recipe!
What you’ll need
- Butter – For optimum flavor, be sure and use a high-quality butter brand (such as Kerry Gold) and take it out the night before so it’s room temperature.
- Shortening – This pound cake recipe uses a combination of butter and vegetable shortening. Shortening helps the cake stay more moist.
- Sugar – Add gradually and beat until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Eggs – With all of our baking recipes, we use large eggs. Be sure and bring eggs to room temperature for this cake recipe, as they will incorporate into the batter better.
- All-purpose flour – We prefer a good-quality unbleached all-purpose flour. You can also use cake flour if desired.
- Buttermilk – Use full-fat buttermilk. This helps the pound cake stay super moist and have a tangy flavor.
- Baking powder and salt – Salt is always added to baking recipes to enhance flavor. Baking powder reacts with the buttermilk to help the cake rise properly.
- Vanilla extract and almond extract – We highly recommend using a high-quality brand of pure vanilla extract and almond extract. Almond adds a really unique flavor to this pound cake recipe.
I used a vintage 1930’s Lodge fluted cake pan for this pound cake recipe. Lodge is recreating this baking pan in their Legacy series. Order it here!
You can also bake homemade pound cake in a traditional Bundt pan. While I prefer to bake in cast iron, either will work fine. (Baking in cast iron helps distribute the heat better, which helps cakes and baked goods rise better and bake more evenly!)
How to make Pound cake
- Do NOT preheat the oven! – Baking a pound cake in a cold oven will achieve a better rise, help it bake more evenly and give a wonderful exterior crumb.
- Mix dry ingredients – In a large mixing bowl, combine sifted flour, salt and baking powder.
- Cream butter and shortening – In either a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer on low speed.
- Add sugar – Gradually add the sugar and beat until fluffy.
- Add the eggs – Add the eggs one at a time, be they are at room temperature so they easily incorporate into the cake batter.
- Add vanilla, almond extract, buttermilk and dry ingredients – Mix only until the batter is smooth and combined. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl occasionally.
- Place into baking pan – Scoop cake batter into the greased and floured cake pan.
- Bake – Place the cake pan into a COLD oven! Bake at 350 degrees F.
How to keep a Pound Cake moist
Southern pound cake is one of our favorite dessert recipes for barbecues, potlucks and for holiday desserts.
- My secret ingredient to keeping pound cake moist and super fresh is dough conditioner. Professional bakers, such as my mom add this to all of their baking recipes. Add 1 teaspoon of dough conditioner to 1 cup of flour.
- Cream together butter and shortening at low speed. Vegetable shortening is a key ingredients to helping cake recipes stay moist.
- Don’t over mix the cake batter. Overmixing cake batter can cause cakes to be tough.
- Add room temperature eggs one at a time and only until combined.
- Use full-fat buttermilk and fresh ingredients.
- Don’t overbake the pound cake! Check if your cake is done with a toothpick when inserted comes out clean.
Bringing ingredients to room temperature, not overmixing the cake batter and baking at a lower temperature will ensure a perfectly baked pound cake.
Always grease and flour the baking pan before adding the batter in order to help the remove the cake smoothly and easily.
Make sure flour is sifted before adding to the cake batter. It’s very important when using a Bundt or fluted cake pan. This helps reduce the likelihood of lumps in cake batter.
More Baking recipes
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- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter softened
- ½ cup vegetable shortening
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 6 large eggs room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour sifted
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup full-fat buttermilk
- Do NOT preheat the oven!
- Use a pastry brush to grease a 12-cup Bundt or cast iron fluted cake pan with a thin layer of vegetable shortening. Dust with flour and tap out the excess.
- Use a sifter or metal strainer to sift the flour into a medium size bowl. Add baking powder and salt, set aside.
- In either a large bowl using an electric hand mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and vegetable shortening. With the stand mixer on low to medium add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the eggs one at a time only until combined. Mix on low to medium speed.
- Add vanilla extract, almond extract, buttermilk and the dry ingredients. Mix only until the batter is smooth and combined. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom and the sides of the bowl occasionally.
- Use a rubber spatula to scoop the cake batter into the prepared cake pan. Gently spread the batter around evenly.
- Place the cake into a COLD oven. Set the temperature to 350 degrees F.
- Bake for about 1 hour 10 minutes. Test with a toothpick when inserted comes out clean.
- About 45-60 minutes into the baking process, VERY carefully rotate your baking pan 180 degrees. This will help the cake bake evenly. Be very careful not to bump the cake or it will fall!
- Remove from the oven and let the cake cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the baking pan. (The cake will be slightly cooled, but still warm.)
- Use a baking rack on top of the cake and carefully flip the cake over. The cake should fall out of the cake pan. Carefully lift up the cake pan off the cake.
- Let the cake cool completely before slicing.
- Serve with fresh berries and whipped cream if desired.