This easy pound cake is baked in a loaf pan, so it's small, and just the right size for most families. You might even call it a half-pound cake!
I love pound cake with berries or a fruit sauce, and it is fantastic with lemon sauce or curd. Slices make an excellent strawberry shortcake with sweetened berries and whipped cream.
Top slices of this delicious vanilla pound cake with berries and whipped cream or drizzle with a dessert sauce.
A pound cake isn't difficult, but there are some rules. For a successful pound cake, have ingredients at room temperature and read the instructions before you begin. It's important to cream the butter and sugar thoroughly until it's very light and fluffy. Follow the instructions for alternating the dry ingredients and milk. And don't overbeat the finished batter.
- 2/3 cup butter, room temperature — a temperature of 65 F to 68 F is ideal*
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature**
- 2 cups sifted flour, 9 ounces
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Heat the oven to 325 F.
- Grease and flour a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan.
- Cut the butter into several smaller pieces.
- Put the butter pieces and sugar in a large mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream the butter and sugar for about 5 to 7 minutes, until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; whisk to blend thoroughly. Set aside.
- In a 1-cup measure, combine the 2/3 cup of milk and the vanilla. Set aside.
- Add about one-third of the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and beat until just barely blended. Add half of the milk and blend well. Add another one-third of the flour and beat until just barely blended. Beat in the remaining milk until smooth and well blended. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat just until blended.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and spread evenly.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.
*If you decide to bake a cake at the last minute, cut the butter into small tablespoon-size pieces — about 10 1/2 tablespoons — and put them in the mixing bowl. Add the sugar and begin beating on low speed. Increase the mixer speed as the butter becomes softer. Once the butter is smooth and soft, continue with the creaming instructions.
**To bring eggs to room temperature, put them in a bowl of hot tap water. Leave them for about 5 minutes.
- Lemon Pound Cake Loaf: Replace the vanilla extract with 1 teaspoon of lemon extract. Bake the cake as directed and place on a rack to cool. In a saucepan, combine 1/4 cup of granulated sugar with 1/4 cup of water, 1 teaspoon of finely grated lemon zest, and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice. Bring to a simmer and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Gradually brush the glaze over the top and sides of the warm baked cake.
- Brown Sugar Pound Cake: Substitute brown sugar for the granulated sugar.
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