This old school butter pound cake recipe is a classic cake recipe. If you are new to baking cakes, this is an excellent cake recipe to start with.
My old school butter pound cake turned into a pretty cake with simple buttercream decoration
What is a butter pound cake?
Pound cake got its name from the weight of the ingredients used in making it. Originally, pound cakes are made using 4 ingredients – flour, sugar, butter, and eggs. And each of these is added in equal weights of one pound each, hence the name pound cake.
There have been a lot of variations to these pound cakes now, not only in terms of the weight of the ingredients used but also in terms of inclusion of other flavourings and ingredients
I call mine a butter pound cake simply because I use all butter in making my pound cake. Some recipes use cream cheese, while some use oil, but mine is with all the rich goodness of butter, hence the title butter pound cake.
Old School Butter Pound Cake Recipe From Scratch
My butter pound cake is a baked from scratch recipe. It is very much consistent with the original pound cake recipe in that the weight of the 4 main ingredients is consistent, hence the title of this recipe, i.e. old school butter pound cake. I use self-rising flour instead of all-purpose flour as that really helps with the fluffiness of the cake. I don’t however, measure the eggs by weight, but by quantity. And I also include some milk in my recipe, which helps with the soft and moist texture of the cake. There are no other ingredients in this old school butter pound cake recipe other than the small amount of salt and vanilla, and that makes this a simple and easy butter pound cake recipe.
The other point about this old school butter pound cake recipe is that I have calculated the recipe for various cake tin sizes, so if you want to use this recipe to make pound cakes in various different round and square cake tins, you have the full ingredients measure right here on my recipe card.
This is one of my most sold cakes and is a family favorite too. We often make and eat it without any frosting, but this is also the cake recipe that I use when I made and decorated cakes for others, so it works perfectly well when frosted too!
Seen on this page is my old school butter pound cake recipe frosted with vanilla buttercream. This cake can also be frosted with a simple lemon glaze, caramel drizzle or even cream cheese frosting. The choice is yours!
Homemade old school butter pound cake slices
How to Make a Butter Pound Cake
This old school butter pound cake requires very basic ingredients and they are:
- Flour + baking powder + salt
- Vanilla essence
For the buttercream frosting, you would need:
- Icing sugar
- Milk (optional)
- Vanilla Essence
Making the old school pound cake
- This is a butter cake, to begin with, and I use the creaming method. This means that the butter and sugar are creamed together before other ingredients are added in.
Step for making the old school butter pound cake
- Start by beating the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This is an important step for a fluffy cake, so be sure to beat these until they are really light. For the recipe below, this should take at least 2 minutes. Scrape the bowl at least once to make sure there is no butter or sugar left out unbeaten on the sides of the bowl.
- Next, add in the eggs. Add them one at a time. Each time, beat them until they are fully incorporated before adding more. When making larger butter pound cakes, you can add the eggs two or three at a time. And don’t forget to scrape your bowl every now and then.
- After the eggs, add the rest of the dry ingredients and the milk. These should be alternated and added in batches. You can divide your flour into 3 batches and the milk into 2. Start with the first batch of flour.
- Fold it in well, then add the first batch of milk. Mix well. Repeat with the second batch of flour and milk and finish off with the third batch of flour. Finally, add the vanilla essence, give the pound cake batter a quick mix and pour it into your prepared cake tins.
Baking & Storing the Butter Pound Cakes
- Bake the pound cakes until a skewer inserted in the center comes out without any wet batter. The top of the cakes should spring back when lightly pressed. Remove the cakes from the oven, let them rest in the cake tins for 2, and then turn them out onto wire racks to cool completely.
- If you are not going to serve the cake immediately, wrap the cake as soon as it turns warm and place them in the refrigerator until ready to use. This helps in keeping your cakes moist. When ready to use, remove the cakes from the fridge, let them come to room temperature before removing the cling wraps.
Decorating the Pound Cake
- Start by preparing your frosting. I used buttercream in this recipe. To make the buttercream, place the butter and sifted icing sugar in a bowl and beat until the butter and sugar turn light and creamy. Add vanilla essence.
- If the mixture appears too stiff, add some milk and beat until smooth.
- To decorate the cake, level the tops and sandwich them with some buttercream.
- Give the stacked layers a thin coat of buttercream and place the cake in the refrigerator for about 10 to 15 minutes until the crumb coat sets.
- While waiting for the crumb coat to set, fit a piping bag with a star tip (I used tip number 18) and fill it with the buttercream.
- Remove the butter pound cake from the fridge and pipe out tiny rosettes with the star tip all around the sides and top of the cake. Pipe them as close to one another as possible such that there is no gap between them. If there are gaps, cover them with simple buttercream stars.
- To complete this old school butter pound cake decoration, add gold dragees in random order all over the sides and top of the cake.
- And that completes the butter pound cake with buttercream icing.
Old School Butter Pound Cake Recipe
Tips for Making the Best Butter Pound Cake
Baking a butter pound cake in a loaf tin
- This pound cake can also be made in a loaf pan. I don’t have the ingredients measure for loaf tins but you can use my guide here to help in deciding how much batter your loaf tin would need for a pound cake loaf.
Scraping the sides of the mixing bowl
- You will notice in my ‘how to’ section above that I have indicated for the sides fo the bowl to be scraped often while mixing the cake batter.
- This helps to ensure the ingredients are well combined from the start and is a good way to make sure you’re your batter is all smooth and even.
Butter and eggs are at room temperature
- If either butter or eggs are cold when mixing this old school butter pound cake batter, you will notice that your batter will start to curdle when the eggs are added in. This happens when either the eggs or butter are cold.
- If both are cold, this will not happen, but since butter is hard when cold, you would naturally wait for it to warm up a little. Adding cold eggs to the creamed butter and sugar will cause curdling. To prevent this, keep the eggs at room temperature. If the curdling still happens, add some flour to the curdled mixture until it is no longer curdled. And then proceed with the rest of the steps in the recipe.
Doubling or tripling the old school butter pound cake recipe
- I have provided cakes tin size guide in my recipe card below. Follow this if you wish to make larger cakes. Baking with too much batter in a single cake tin will require longer baking time, and this, in turn, can cause the sides of your cake to dry out while waiting for the cake center to cook.
- If you want tall cakes, it is best to bake more layers of the cake and stack them up rather than filling up all the batter in a single cake tin. For cakes larger than 10 inches in diameter, it is advisable to use cake strips or heating cores. These help the cakes to bake evenly and prevent them from drying out due to longer baking time. You can read all about these in my post here on how to use cake strips and heating cores for evenly baked cakes.
Moist texture of the old fashioned butter pound cake
- Overbaking a butter pound cake will cause its texture to be dry. Under baking, on the other hand, can cause the cake to sink when you remove it from the oven.
- Always keep to the baking time indicated in the recipe and test for doneness by checking with a skewer inserted in the center of the cake at least 5 minutes before the baking time is up. If there is no wet batter sticking to the skewer, and the top of the cakes spring back when lightly pressed, the cakes are done and can be removed from the oven. Ideally, there should be soft cake crumbs sticking to your skewer. If the skewer comes out totally clean, the cake could have been over baked.
Storing the butter pound cake
- This old school butter pound cake can last for a good 4 to 5 days at room temperature provided it is handled without any moisture. If you wish to keep it longer, it is best refrigerated. Bring it back to room temperature before serving.
- The cake can also be made in advance and stored in the fridge for a good one week before using it. To do this, wrap the cake in cling wrap while it is still warm and refrigerate it. When ready to use, remove from the fridge, let it warm up to room temperature before removing the cling wrap and decorate or serve as you wish.
Old School Butter Pound Cake Recipe
Here is the full printable version of my old school butter pound cake recipe. The cake tin size guide is in the notes section of the recipe card.
Old School Butter Pound Cake
- 360 g self-raising flour
- 360 g castor sugar
- 360 g butter at room temperature
- 6 eggs at room temperature
- 90 ml milk
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 600 g icing sugar sifted
- 300 g butter salted
- 2 tablespoon milk optional
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- Edible gold dragees
- Preheat oven to 170 °Celsius.
- Beat butter and sugar till soft and creamy for about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Fold in the sifted ingredients into the creamed mixture alternately with milk, starting and ending with flour.
- Finally, add in vanilla essence and combine well. Pour batter into two greased and floured cake pans and bake for 45 to 50 minutes until the top of the cake springs back when lightly pressed. The cakes are done when a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out without any wet batter.
- Remove cakes from oven and let them cool completely before icing and decorating.
- Baking time may vary slightly for larger cakes.
- To make the buttercream frosting, place butter in a large bowl. Beat until creamy.
- Add the sifted icing sugar and continue to beat until the icing turns light and fluffy. Add the vanilla essence and beat again until the vanilla is well incorporated. If the icing is too stiff, add some milk and beat again.
- To decorate the cake, fill the cake layers with buttercream. Transfer remaining buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe small rosettes all over the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with the gold dragees.
Calculated Tin Sizes9 inches round/ 8 inches square (makes 2 layers of 2 inch high cakes)
- 600 g butter
- 600 g castor sugar
- 600 g self-raising flour
- 10 eggs
- 150 ml milk
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 ⅔ teaspoon vanilla essence
- 840 g butter
- 840 g castor sugar
- 840 g self-raising flour
- 14 eggs
- 210 ml milk
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 ⅓ teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1200 g butter
- 1200 g castor sugar
- 1200 g self-raising flour
- 20 eggs
- 300 ml milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 3 ⅓ teaspoon vanilla essence
And that is pretty much all I have for you on my old school butter pound cake recipe.
I hope you would give this cake a try, and if you do, let me know what you think here, ok?
Two yummy slices of my old school butter pound cake filled and covered in buttercream frosting
Here are my other posts you might want to check out:
Happy Baking 🙂