A Simple Vanilla Pound Cake Recipe

April 11, 2021

An easy and delicious vanilla pound cake, with pure vanilla flavoring this cake is incredibly satisfying with its melt in the mouth texture.

Buttery and moist with a fine crumb and dense texture full of rich vanilla flavour. Pound cake is one of the simplest desserts to achieve and benefits from being extremely versatile, variations include vanilla, lemon, almond, pecan, orange, coconut, chocolate, glazed, with icing or topped with fruits. Follow our recipe below for a classic vanilla pound cake which is sure to impress.

Vanilla Pound CakePhoto By Canva
Taste Score: %87
Difficulty Medium
Servings 8 people
Preparation 20 mins
Cooking 45 mins
Total 65 mins

Tips

  • Remove the butter and eggs from the refrigerator 30 minutes before beginning to prepare the cake, allowing the ingredients to come to room temperature and mix better.
  • Bake the pound cake on the middle shelf of the oven for even heat circulation, rotating the tray once during cooking to disperse the heat.
  • The dense ingredients of the vanilla pound cake result in a longer cooking time but it is best to slowly bake the cake at a lower temperature, high temperatures will produce a dark crust with an under-baked centre.
  • Store the pound cake at room temperature, tightly wrapped in saran wrap to maintain the flavor and texture of the cake.

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat an oven to 350°F and generously grease the loaf tin with butter.
  2. Place a sieve over a mixing bowl, pour the all-purpose flour, salt and baking powder through the sieve into the mixing bowl, set aside.
  3. Into a second mixing bowl add the unsalted butter and beat with a whisk to cream for 1 minute.
  4. Then add the caster sugar to the butter, whisk together for 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  5. Whisk the eggs into the mixing bowl for 3 minutes until the mixture is uniform.
  6. Next pour the buttermilk, vanilla extract, lemon zest and bowl of mixed flour into the mixing bowl. Using a spatula, fold the ingredients together into an even mixture.
  7. Transfer the vanilla pound cake batter into the greased loaf tin and place in the preheated oven on the middle shelf.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes.
  9. Remove the baked vanilla pound cake and allow the cake to rest on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  10. After 10 minutes turn the loaf tin out onto a chopping board to release the pound cake.
  11. Allow the cake to cool before slicing and serving. Store at room temperature, tightly covered for up to 5 days.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 Vanilla Pound Cake
Serves 8
Amount Per Serving
Calories426
% Daily Value*
Cholesterol 143 mg47.7%
Sodium 359 mg15.6%
Potassium 121 mg2.6%
Protein 6 g12%
Total Fat 25.6 g32.8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Why is it called pound cake?

The name ‘pound cake’ originates from the fool-proof recipe using a weight of one pound of flour, butter, sugar and eggs. Created in the 18th century in Europe this simple list of ingredients all used at the same weight meant that the cake was achievable for anyone to create, producing a huge four pound cake which could feed multiple families.

Gradually over time the ingredients have been altered to create a lighter and moister cake however the name has remained. Classically pound cake would contain only the four ingredients of flour, butter, sugar and eggs however the cake now generally uses a raising agent for volume and some form of flavoring such as lemon, almond, chocolate or vanilla.

What is the difference between pound cake and vanilla cake?

Pound cake and vanilla sponge cake are similar as they use many of the same ingredients but there are key differences. Traditional pound cakes are made with flour, eggs, sugar and butter while sponge cakes are made with just flour, eggs and sugar.

A classic sponge cake uses whipped egg whites to aerate the batter and create a light texture whereas pound cakes are known for being denser. Pound cakes are believed to be the first butter cakes and then led to lighter versions as ingredients became more available.

Why is my pound cake heavy?

Vanilla pound cake in a cake panPhoto By Canva

There are a few possible causes for a pound cake turning out dense and heavier than desired. Traditional pound cake is supposed to be a little denser than most modern cakes but not as far as heavy or dry. The first cause is that the butter and sugar were not creamed enough, the ingredients should be whisked until fluffy which shows that air is incorporated.

Trapped air in the cake batter expands during baking, producing a light rise and fluffy texture. The second cause for a heavy pound cake is the opposite of the first, that the butter and sugar were over-creamed. If excess air is trapped during creaming then this will deflate when baked and create a dense, heavy cake.

The best timing for creaming butter and sugar is 2-3 minutes until pale and fluffy to avoid a heavy pound cake. If the cake is too dry then it may have been over-baked, staying in the oven longer than needed and removing the moisture which creates a light texture.

Is pound cake unhealthy?

Pound cake like most cakes is not healthy due to the high fat and sugar content but can be enjoyed occasionally as part of a balanced diet. Our vanilla pound cake recipe has been edited from the historical original to be lighter and less dense so it is certainly more healthy than if the ingredients were one pound each.

For those who are health conscious or have dietary needs the standard ingredients of pound cake can be substituted for healthier alternatives, for example butter can be replaced with margarine, eggs replaced with egg whites, buttermilk replaced with Greek yogurt and sugar replaced with liquid stevia.

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