This 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.
Pound cakes have been around for many many years. Originally made using only 4 essential ingredients, i.e., flour, butter, sugar, and eggs, this cake is called a pound cake as each of these ingredients are measured at one pound each. There are many variations to this pound cake today, but mine still follows quite closely to the original recipe in that my ingredients in the cake are all of the same quantity even though I do not literally use one pound of each ingredient. I have, however, calculated the ingredients, and you will find on this page, the exact recipe measures for different cake tin sizes, both round and square ones.
I love this cake recipe. In fact, this recipe is a direct hand down from my mom. We used to bake this cake all the time when I was younger, and when I started my cake business many years later, this was the recipe I started with and the only one I have used for all customers that request for vanilla cakes.
Butter Pound Cake Recipe – My Recipe Notes
- Line and grease your cake tins well – I usually apply a layer of butter or shortening to my cake tins and then dust them with flour. You can see the many ways of lining cake tins in my post here. Lining cake tins adequately helps release the cake effectively after baking. The last thing you want is for your perfectly baked cake to be stuck to the cake tin. Also, if some parts of the cake tin are not well greased, you could end up with some of your cake stuck to the tin when inverting onto a wire rack.
- Measure your ingredients accurately – the main ingredients for this butter pound cake recipe are flour, sugar, butter, and eggs. To this, I add vanilla essence, baking powder, and milk to help with the aroma, texture, and size of the cake. This cake is called butter pound cake for a reason, so the butter used in the cake must be of excellent quality. I only use salted butter in my cake recipes. And because of this, the amount of salt that I add separately to the cake batter is rather little. If you are using unsalted butter, you would need to increase the salt in your cake batter. And it is also important for all the ingredients in the recipe to be measured as indicated. I always measure my ingredients with a kitchen scale instead of cups, as I find measuring by cups can vary depending on how the ingredients are scooped and packed into the measuring cups. To be on the safe side, a kitchen scale is highly recommended.
- Use the creaming method to mix the cake batter – this cake is made using the creaming method, which means the process of making this cake begins with the creaming of the butter and sugar until they turn light and fluffy. You need to cream the butter and sugar for a good 2 minutes for the recipe measure below. Well creamed butter and sugar will give you a soft and fluffy cake. When adding flour to the batter, always alternate it with milk, starting and ending with flour. Also, it is best to fold the flour in with a spatula instead of a cake mixer. It may not be practical to fold the flour by hand for large cakes, and if you prefer to use a cake mixer, make sure it is at its utmost minimum speed and that you do not mix the batter too long. Suffice if the flour and milk is all incorporated.
- Always scrape the sides of your mixing bowl – when mixing the batter, right from the point where you cream your butter and sugar, always scrape the sides of your bowl frequently. This will ensure the ingredients are well mixed, and your cake batter is all smooth and even.
- Always ensure your butter and eggs are at room temperature – cold butter or eggs can cause your cake batter to curdle. This only happens when either the eggs or the butter is cold. If both are of the same temperature, it is fine, however, since it is hard to cream butter when it is cold, it needs to be softened at room temperature. If cold eggs are added to the room temperature butter and sugar mixture, it will curdle. To avoid this from happening, it is best to have both the eggs and the butter at room temperature. If at all your batter still curdles, do not worry. Add some flour and mix until it is no longer curdled, and then proceed with the rest of the steps in the recipe.
- If you wish to double or triple the recipe, make sure you use the cake tin sizes I have indicated in the recipe. This butter pound cake recipe has been calculated to produce cake layers that are approximately 2 inches high each. Too much cake batter in a small cake tin would require longer baking time, and this could result in the cake becoming a little too dry on the sides, hence if you want taller cakes, it is best to sandwich 2 layers or more. If you wish to bake cakes larger than 10 inches in diameter, it is advisable to use cake strips or a heating core. Cake strips and heating cores not only help the cakes to bake evenly, they also prevent the cakes sides from drying out due to longer baking time for larger cakes. See my post here on how to achieve leveled cakes to learn more about using cake strips and heating cores.
- Do not over bake the cake – Just like any other cakes, the baking time plays a critical role in the taste and texture of this cake. Baking the cake for too long can result in a dry cake, and under baking can cause the cake to sink. Always place your cake tins on the 3rd rack in your oven when baking and check if the cake is done at least 5 to 10 minutes before the baking time is up. To check for doneness, insert a skewer in the center of the cake all the way to the bottom. If the skewer comes out without any wet batter sticking to it, the cake is done and can be removed from 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. Also, when the cake is done, the sides will pull away from the tin.
- Storing the butter pound cake – This butter pound cake can be served on the same day it is baked. It can also be baked in advance and stored in the fridge until it is ready for use, within one week. To store in the refrigerator, once the cake is baked and has cooled down slightly, wrap it tightly with cling wrap and refrigerate. When ready to be used, remove from the fridge and let it warm up to room temperature before removing the wrap. Wrapping the cake and chilling it while it is still warm locks and distributes the moisture in the cake making in soft and moist after refrigeration. Leftovers of this cake can last at room temperature for a good 4 to 5 days provided it is handled without any moisture. For this reason, it is important to make sure the knife used to cut the cake is all dry, and the container you intend to store the cake in is also all dry and that there are no traces of water in it. If you intend to keep the leftovers for a more extended period, I would strongly recommend refrigeration. If you want to use this cake for carving, the cake is best left to rest for at least one day after baking as it cuts wells and is without many crumbs that way.
Butter Pound Cake Recipe
Here is the printable version of my butter pound cake recipe and while you are at it, don’t miss my recipe notes right below. They contain absolutely useful tips for the best butter pound cake ever!
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 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 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.
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 tsp salt
- 1 ¼ tsp baking powder
- 1 ⅔ tsp vanilla essence
- 840 g butter
- 840 g castor sugar
- 840 g self-raising flour
- 14 eggs
- 210 ml milk
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1 ¾ tsp baking powder
- 2 ⅓ tsp vanilla essence
- 1200 g butter
- 1200 g castor sugar
- 1200 g self-raising flour
- 20 eggs
- 300 ml milk
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 ½ tsp baking powder
- 3 ⅓ tsp vanilla essence
And that is pretty much all I have for you on my 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?