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Best Pound Cake

According to, here's the test kitchen's favorite recipe for a classic #poundcake. If you prefer your pound cake with a slightly less dense texture, follow our instructions below for a lighter variation that incorporates baking powder and sour cream into the batter. For a video from on the Science Behind #PoundCake: Click Here!


  • 1 pound (3 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for pans

  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder (lighter version only)

  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans

  • 1 pound (2 1/4 cups) sugar

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 9 large eggs, room temperature

  • 3/4 cup sour cream, room temperature (lighter version only)


  • Step 1 Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans; dust with flour, tapping out excess. In a bowl, whisk together flour and salt. (If making the lighter version, add baking powder at same time as salt.)

  • Step 2 With an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 8 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Reduce speed to medium; beat in vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each and scraping down sides of bowl. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture in 2 batches (alternating with sour cream if making the lighter version), beating until just incorporated.

  • Step 3 Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Tap pans on counter; smooth tops with an offset spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into center of each cake comes out clean, about 70-75 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 30 minutes. Turn out cakes onto rack to cool completely.


Makes two 9-by-5-inch loaves

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