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A classic pound cake recipe makes one of the most versatile cakes for all occasions. This pound cake recipe is an heirloom cake recipe handed down from my grandmother.
The thing I hold most dear that I inherited from my grandmother is her love of time in the kitchen. It seemed that there was nowhere else in the world she’d rather be than in her small kitchen cooking and baking for her family and friends. Her counters were scuffed from years of use and there was always a hint of the smell of lemon Pine Sol from where she scrubbed her floors each evening before she went to bed. I can’t remember a time visiting her when I was growing up that there wasn’t something bubbling away on her stovetop or baking in her oven. As soon as you got close enough to the old screen door, you were greeted by smells of cookies or cakes baking that she’d wrap up to take to someone from church that wasn’t feeling well, had surgery or were welcoming a new baby. A casserole would most likely be in the bottom oven to go along with it since grandmother firmly believed in feeding people and feeding them well.
When I married, grandmother gave me a notebook, which I’ve mentioned a time or two, full of her recipes she’d written down for me. Many of these recipes we’d made time and time again together in her kitchen and others were some that were reserved for special occasions. This classic pound cake recipe was one of those recipes that was included but one that I could almost make by heart. I loved that at the top of the page, she’d written “My Pound Cake.” She knew that over the years we’d used other pound cake recipes from time to time, but that I always asked for “her” pound cake. To me, it was the best I’d ever tasted. Light, but sturdy. Flavorful, but not so much that it was overwhelming. Tender, but not crumbly. In a word, it was perfect!
Now, when I make grandmother’s pound cake, I can’t help but think of all those families she shared it with over the years – to celebrate, to mourn, and just because. Her gift of sharing of herself through her cooking and baking, along with her kind words, made an impression on the little girl I once was and even more so on the grown up I am today. Even though I inherited her love of the kitchen, I only wish I’d inherited more of her selflessness. She was truly a great lady.
Here’s her Classic Pound Cake Recipe. I hope you love it.
Classic Pound Cake Recipe
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup vegetable shortening
- 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 5 eggs
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup self-rising flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon each vanilla and almond extract
- Preheat oven to 300º F. Prepare large bundt pan or three loaf pans with nonstick baking spray. Set aside.
- Cream together butter, vegetable shortening and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 6-10 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, making sure each is fully incorporated before adding another. Reduce speed of mixer to low and add flour and milk alternately, making sure to combine well but not to overmix. Stir in vanilla extract.
- Pour batter into prepared bundt pan and bake 1 ½ hours or in loaf pans for 30 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. You can follow my tips for how to tell when your cake is done.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10 – 15 minutes on a wire rack before turning the cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
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Just something about a pound cake that makes everything else better.
Have you ever tried making this with all butter?
I would like to make using all butter But not sure how much to use…
you would use the exact same amount as called for in the recipe, instead of the shortening. So instead of 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup shortening, it would be 1 1/2 cups butter
i use a pound of butter (salted) and a pound of confectionary sugar, 6 eggs, 1/2 cup gingerale, 4 cups cake flour, 1 TBSP each almond, lemon and vanilla flavor, cook same time in large bunt pan and enjoy !!!
would love your pound cake recipe.thanks
To use all butter, just use three sticks of butter.
Thanks Robyn for sharing your story about you and your grandmother cooking together, I to cherish the times I spent helping my grandmother cook, she was a great teacher. That was where I got my love for cooking. Have a blessed day! Can’t wait to try your recipe.
Hello Robyn, wanted to thank you and also let you know how very much I enjoy our website. Every morning the first thing I do is check my e-mail to see what recipe you sent that day. I’ve made quite a few of your recipes and they’re all delicious. So thank you so much for doing what you do for us.
Thank you so much for being a part of the Add a Pinch family, Fran! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you and your sweet comment! xo
I love everything about this! I really need to make one right now!
This is my kind of dessert! So delicious!
Your fond baking memories remind me of my Grandmother and Mom. I too have their pound cake recipe on the original card and the pan they used over and over again. Theirs was called a “Queen Cake” and when I make it, the smell brings me back in time. Treasure yours always.
What a beautiful tribute to your Grandmother! I got a little misty. I look forward as always to trying your wonderful tried and true recipes! You never let me down, Robyn. You are my go to gal when I’m looking for something specific chances are you have it in your archives. Bless you!
If a recipe endures from one generation to the next, you know it must be incredible. And pound cake is such a great dessert canvas. Looks beautiful
Can cake flour be used instead of all purpose flour?
I love your chocolate cake recipe and I would never make anything else. I was wondering whether I could make this cake in a 9″ round cake tin?
I am from Australia and I really like your site and photos.
Would like to make your grandmothers yummy cake, but could you tell me what is shortening and what could I use as a replacement?
We don’t have it in Australia.
Hi! It is a solid, vegetable fat that comes in a cardboard tin. When melted, it’s also used to deep fry foods like chips. It came about as a replacement to lard. I hope this helps!
hey.. i was wondering if i dont hav self raising flour, what do i use instead? i mean how much baking powder do i add in the recipe? also, i want to make half of the mentioned recipe.. can u please guide me a little
the cake looks awesome! i so wanna make it.. waiting for your reply!
If you don’t have self-rising flour on hand, you can easily make your own with my instructions on how to make your own self-rising flour.
thanks alot for the quick reply!
hi, is all purpose flour the same as plain flour? The one without any raising agent in? Or could I use all self-raising. Also in England we have trex it’s a white fat in cardboard as u said above. Is that suitable? X x
All purpose flour is also referred to as plain flour and does not contain any leavening in the flour.
What do you use for vegetable shortening?
just tried this recipe… I’ve used loaf pan instead and it took forever to bake… Love how fluffy it is … abit sweet… will definitely cut down on sugar next time… but its nice 🙂
What a wonderful memory!! When I see a pound cake it makes me think of my Dad. He loved a slice of toasted pound cake with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream and a good heavy drizzle of Hershey’s Syrup!! DELICIOUS!! And of course, I love it too…..Like Father…Like Daughter!! Pinning it!!
Could you use coconut oil (solid rype, like shortening)?
The cake tastes delicious! I followed the recipe exactly! I baked my Pound Cake in my bundt pan..I sprayed it with cooking spray all over and was very generous.After 1.5 hours in the oven and I let it cool on counter for about 15 minted I flipped it onto a dish nd some of it got stuck:( My masterpiece was ruined (looks wise) it still tasted GREAT! What did I do wrong? I ran a knife along side and center to help get it out? any feed back would be greatly appreciated….
Thank you so much for this recipe, it was an honor to bake your grandma’s pound cake (my first pound cake ever).
It turned out beautifully, even though my pan was a tad small for the quantity that I will have to adjust it a little next time. I used my grandma’s pan… and I baked it after reading your story on Saturday, in honor of my doggie, who was crossing the rainbow yesterday.
How can I share a picture with you?
Love from Chile.
I have been baking Pound Cakes for years, but this recipe is the best ever! The use of plain AND self rising flour made a huge difference! Pound Cake sucess is also attributed to making sure the Sugar, Butter, and the Shortening are room temp and mixed until very light and fluffy…….that has been my experience.
Thank you for your Grandmother’s recipe and the lovely story about her! Sounds like she was as awesome as her cooking. I know you miss her!
Can you use buttermilk?
As I don’t use white sugar, I substituted raw sugar, but used the same measurements. My bundt pan was a little small but it fit. The result was a darker cake than I prefer, but the skewer came out clean. The cake’s crust was crunchy, almost praline, and I found the cake to be too sweet for my liking. That said, I was the only one who found it too sweet! My husband ate three slices, (commenting that it was perfect) with his fruit salad and my father shovelled in a piece plain, saying it tastes like home. (Hungary) He asked for half of the remaining cake to take home, and inquired when I was making it again. I’m off to buy a bigger bundt pan! Thank you for sharing!
I would like to try this recipe for a marble anniversary cake. Have an 11.5 x 15 rectangle pan that I wish to use.
If I make two of the recipes individually could I do the following:
1. Make one according to recipe.
2. Make the same recipe but add cocoa to the recipe. Would I have to add or delete part of the ingredients.How long would I have to cook this large pan?
Your Grandmother’s recipe looks very special and I would love to try it. Have never made pound cake. Saw your Grandmother’s chocolate cake but would like to stay with this recipe.
Thank you for your reply.
Hi Philomena –
I’ve not made those changes to this pound cake, so I can’t say how it should be altered. There is my recipe for a Chocolate Pound Cake if you’d particularly like to make chocolate one in addition to this Classic Pound Cake. I hope you enjoy both of them – they are delicious and have been favorites in my family for generations. Thanks! xo
Robyn Thanks for your reply. I made the cake and 1 1/2 the recipe. It came out beautiful. Next time I will double. Just wondering about the extract. The recipe says 1 T vanilla extract or 1 tsp of vanilla and almond extract. Should it be 1 1/2 tsp of each to make up for the T of vanilla. I hesitate to question you because I know that your Grandmothers’s recipe is tried and true. Just wanted to double check before I use all the ingredients. Thank you again for sharing.
I put the butter and eggs to the side and wait for them to be at room temp then I realized I need self rising flour! 🙁 Can I just use APF?
You can make your own Self Rising Flour. I hope this helps you! Enjoy the cake – it’s one of my family favorites!
Thanks so much! xo
Thank you! I found the DIY self rising flour on your website 🙂 The pound cake was yummy!
Yay! So glad you enjoy it – we absolutely love it! Thanks!
Great! I’m glad you made it Jen and that you enjoyed the pound cake! Thanks so much!
Made this cake today
It was just perfect
Thanks so much for sharing
I believe this is what makes the world go round
This cake is one of my all time favorites as well! I’m so glad that you enjoyed it too! Thanks so much!
I made this cake today and I added cream cheese and forgot the milk. I used a sponge cake pan…… This recipe is great the cake is delicious and moist! Love it!!!!!
I’m so thrilled that you enjoyed it Carolyn! Thanks so much for letting me know! xo
MADE THIS AND IT’S MOIST AND YUMMY
WILL BE MY RECIPE FOR POUNDCAKE STOP THE SEARCH FOR PERFECT POUNDCAKE
I’m so glad you loved it, Mary! xo
What is the vegetable shortening?? Oil??
I’ve been searching for a perfect pound cake recipe and can’t wait to try this. What can I use in place of vegetable shortening as it’s not available where I live.
This recipe is really good. I was looking for a recipe that did not cost an arm and a leg to make. It was my very first pound cake recipe that I tried and I will look no further. I handwrote the recipe and at the fop of the page I wrote “Granma’s Recipe”. Thank you!
This was the recipe I chose for my first pound cake ever. Loved it!
I do not have to look any further. I handwrote the recipe and at the top of the page I wrote “Grandma’s Recipe”. Thank you!
I’m happy you enjoyed it too, Debbie. It’s an heirloom recipe handed down from my Grandmother and my Mama baked it too. It’s certainly special to my family and I hope it is to yours as well. xo
I finally got around to making this and I’m glad I did! It’s delicious and definitely a classic, like only a grandma could make — right down to the sweetness. I forgot to lightly flour my pan after preparing it and some sides stuck, so about a third of it is perfect and the other has spots missing. Otherwise, a picture of our slices would be identical. As someone who loves to bake and didn’t have a grandmother after the age of 9, let alone a baking one, this warmed my heart and condo on this cold Winter morning. Love to you and yours, and thank you so much for sharing a piece of her.
Aww, thank you so much for sharing this sweet comment! I am happy to hear that you liked the cake and my memories of my special Grandmother! Thanks Glamazon! xo
A family member wants a Star Wars cake for his birthday and pound cake is his favorite. I was wondering if I could add red and blue (for Sith and Jedi) food coloring to the batter without ruining the cake? Thanks so much!!
I’ve not tried that, William. You could always decorate in red in blue with either berries or frosting if you want to stick to the cake recipe. I hope it’s a great birthday! Thanks!
This recipe is fantastic. I didn’t have vegetable shortening so I replaced with coconut oil, the texture of the cake is beautiful, and it’s absolutely delicious, with a subtle coconut taste!
So glad you liked it. I love this cake with coconut oil, too.
I was wondering do I need to sift the flours on the southern pound cake. Recipe doesn’t say.
I sift the flour before measuring. Hope you enjoy!