6-Ingredient Butter Pound Cake
Ever tried making pound cake from scratch? I’ve had my share of pound cake tests. Sometimes the flavor was on, but the texture was just a bit off. Other times the texture worked but the flavor, not so much. Who knew producing a really good classic pound cake could be so tricky?
When I was a kid, my mom used to just buy pound cake. We all loved the delicate flavor of butter pound cake, whether for breakfast or dessert. I eventually felt compelled to try homemade recipes that would rival those bakery ones. After several “decent” results, I moved on to the likes of Irish Cream Chocolate Cake with Whipped Frosting and forgot about the humble pound cake.
6 ingredients in this easy pound cake recipe
Then one day Hubby reminisced about a from-scratch pound cake that his mom used to make. My gentle mother in law is no longer with us and nobody knows where her recipe is. That’s when a serious, just-okay-isn’t-enough pound cake recipe obsession was born.
This here is the delightfully golden, tender, flavorful easy pound cake recipe that ended the frenzy. It so happens to require only 6 ingredients:
- Real butter, but of course. Sliced and chilled so the batter bakes up tender and delicate
- 3 large eggs + 3 large yolks, all at room temperature. Though it may feel like this recipe calls for more eggs than usual for cakes, it really works perfectly. The eggs provide lift, texture, and wonderful flavor.
- Be sure to use pure vanilla extract; an entire tablespoon is required for that undeniably aromatic flavor
- Use cake flour for this pound cake recipe. Cake flour is very fine-textured with a low protein content, which results in a more airy, light, and delicate crumb.
- Granulated sugar, just the everyday stuff. We use just enough for the best balance of sweetness without being overly sweet.
Pro tips for The best pound cake Ever
- Be sure your butter is cut and chilled prior to adding to stand mixer. You don’t want it to get over 60F, as a warmer butter will create a too-dense cake.
- You’ll be creaming the butter with salt and again with sugar. Don’t rush this process. The creaming/fluffing of the butter makes all the difference…give the butter its due time in the mixer in order to become light and fluffy.
- The cake flour and butter mixture will need to be folded in gently and with 3 separate additions. It’s tempting, but avoid dumping it all together at once. By folding the mixture together in 3 separate additions, you’ll ensure the ingredients get gently but thoroughly incorporated, without over-mixing.
Pound Cake Texture
This pound cake recipe results in a classically rich, dense, yet delicate cake. It is the best tasting pound cake we’ve had, full of melt-in-your mouth buttery goodness and real vanilla.
Pound cakes are not meant to be fluffy like birthday cakes or layer cakes. Real pound cakes are tender and plush inside, with a golden and slightly crumbly exterior, just as it should be. The wonderful buttery-ness is what brings this cake over the edge… so, so good.
You’re just 6 ingredients away from this delightful breakfast-slash-dessert. It’s a yummy hostess gift, anyone gift, or self gift – Enjoy!
Yes, a One-Bowl Apple Cake is possible:
Butter Pound Cake (6 Ingredients)
- 16 TB unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces, chilled
- 3 large eggs, room temp
- 3 large egg yolks, room temp
- 1 tablespoon TB pure vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ cups cake flour, 7 oz
- ½ tsp table salt
- 1 ¼ cups white sugar
- Place chilled butter pieces in bowl of stand mixer; let stand at room temp for 20-30 minutes to just slightly soften the butter. Butter should not get warmer than 60 degrees (if butter is too warm, cake will be too flat and dense.)
- In a separate bowl, use a fork to beat room-temp eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla. Set aside at room temp.
- Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and preheat to 325F. Grease and flour a 9×5 loaf pan. Set aside.
- Using the paddle of stand mixer, beat butter and salt at medium-high speed until it's shiny, smooth and creamy, 2-3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and very gradually pour in sugar, about 1 min. Once all sugar is added, increase speed to medium high and beat until mixture is light and fully, 5-8 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed.
- Reduce speed to medium and gradually add egg mixture in a slow steady stream, about 1 min. Scrape down bowl and beat at medium high until light and fluffy, 3-4 min. Remove bowl from mixer and scrape down.
- Sift cake flour over the butter-egg mixture in 3 separate additions. Fold gently with rubber spatula until combined after each addition. Be sure to scrape bottom of bowl to ensure all batter is combined.
- Use rubber spatula to transfer batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Bake cake until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean. Start checking at 1 hour; do not over-bake. Let cool on wire rack for 15 minutes, invert onto rack and let cake cool completely before serving. Dust with powdered sugar on top, if desired. Keeps well in airtight container at room temp for a couple of days.
Did you make this?
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Adapted from Cooks Illustrated