This Classic Southern Pound Cake recipe makes a velvety and delicious pound cake! Golden crust and moist cake with a silky texture and rich vanilla flavor make this versatile heirloom recipe a dessert favorite! Perfect for any occasion!

Pound cakes are versatile desserts and can be found anywhere from a fancy dinner to a family reunion here in the South! This pound cake recipe from my grandmother is a long-time family favorite, just like many other treasured desserts, such as Southern Banana Pudding and Pecan Pie.

Closeup picture of pound cake slice garnished with homemade whipped cream and blueberries.

Classic Southern pound cake is a traditional yet treasured dessert in the South. Some recipes are passed down through the generations, like my grandmother’s heirloom pound cake recipe, which my family has enjoyed hundreds of times. It’s moist and tender, never dry as some can be. It’s a dense cake but has such a light vanilla flavor, and it’s amazing served all on its own or dressed up a bit when topped with a dollop of homemade whipped cream and fresh fruit.

Why I Love This Recipe

Easy and Dependable – Made with simple ingredients in a bundt or loaf pans – with baking directions for both. The recipe stands the test of time and is simple to make.

Delicious and Versatile – So tasty and beautiful, it’s perfect for birthday celebrations, entertaining, or Sunday supper; it’s also just as appropriate when served at a tailgate, picnic, or potluck dinner.

Tender with Structure – While pound cakes are dense, this one has a light, velvety texture and the perfect “crumb.” It’s moist, never dry, and has the most incredible-tasting golden brown crust I’ve ever tasted in a pound cake.

How to Make Classic Southern Pound Cake

This cake recipe is made with simple baking ingredients you most likely have in your pantry and refrigerator – nothing fancy is required. But the final outcome of this phenomenal yet humble cake is decadent, delicious, and truly something special! Here’s how you’ll make it.


Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full listing of ingredients, instructions, notes, and estimated nutritional information.

Milk, self rising flour, all-purpose flour, vegetable shortening, stick of butter, organic eggs in a carton, homemade vanilla extract in a glass bottle, and homemade vanilla sugar all sit on a countertop their respective containers awaiting making a pound cake.
  • Butter – Use unsalted butter that you’ve allowed to soften to room temperature.
  • Shortening – Use vegetable shortening and softened butter for a moist result with the perfect crumb. If you store your shortening in the refrigerator, let it reach room temperature before creaming it with the butter and sugar.
  • Granulated sugar – Gives sweetness to the pound cake. It’s best to stick to the time-tested recipe and use sugar. (You’ll notice in the photos the sugar is not white; it’s homemade vanilla sugar but is still granulated sugar.)
  • Eggs – This recipe uses five large eggs, which help give the cake its signature density and structure and help it rise. Let your eggs reach room temperature before mixing your cake.
  • Flour – You will use all-purpose flour and self-rising flour in this recipe. This old-fashioned pound cake recipe uses self-rising flour, too.
  • Milk – I use whole milk. Some pound cakes don’t use any liquid, but this southern recipe does and helps give it a light, velvety texture.
  • Vanilla extract – use this homemade vanilla extract recipe, or use your favorite high-quality vanilla. If you like almond flavor, use 1 teaspoon each of vanilla and almond extract.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Prep. Preheat the oven and prepare the loaf pans (or bundt cake pan) by completely greasing them with shortening and dusting them with flour (shake out excess) or spraying with non-stick baking spray.

Cream ingredients together. Cream the softened butter, vegetable shortening, and sugar with a mixer on medium speed for about 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Do not overmix.

Add eggs. Reduce the mixer to low speed, add the eggs one at a time, and mix just until each egg is incorporated.

Mix in both types of flour and the milk. With the mixer on low speed, add flour and milk alternately. Make sure to combine well after the additions, but do not overmix. Stir in vanilla extract.

Pour batter into cake pans. Scoop the blended pound cake batter into the prepared loaf pans or bundt pan and bake as directed in the recipe until done.

Remove from oven and cool. When the cake is done, a skewer inserted in the cake’s center should come out clean or with just a few crumbs. (Also see How to Tell When Your Cake is Done). After allowing it to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, turn the pound cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Three golden brown pound cakes cool on a wire rack.

Serve the pound cake. Place the pound cake on a serving dish. Slice and serve. Serve alone or with a dollop of homemade whipped cream and fresh fruit, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or a drizzle of easy caramel sauce.

Overhead shot of loaf size pound cake that has been sliced, along with bowl of homemade whipped cream and fresh blueberries. A slice is served on a white plate and a knife is nearby.

Why is it called Pound Cake?

The pound cake recipe gets its name because each main ingredient added one pound to the cake. It had a pound of butter, a pound of flour, a pound of sugar, and a pound of eggs. What a cake!

Tips for the Best Pound Cake

  • Use ingredients as listed for best results.
  • Allow ingredients to reach room temperature before mixing.
  • Don’t overmix the batter.
  • Use a long wooden skewer to test whether the cake is done. This is a dense cake that a toothpick won’t go deep enough. If wet batter is on the skewer, it is not done. If a few crumbs are on the skewer, then it’s done. Do not overbake it. This cake is meant to be moist!
  • Make sure to use a wire rack for cooling! Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then flip it onto the wire rack to finish cooling. If left in the pan to cool too long, it could cause the cake to stick.

Storage Tips

To store. Keep the completely cooled cake under a cake dome or covered with wrap on the counter for 4-5 days (if it lasts that long!)

To freeze. Allow the cake to cool completely. Wrap the cake well with plastic wrap, then again with foil, and place in an airtight freezer bag. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator to serve. When you remove it from the refrigerator, remove the wrapping and allow it to come to room temperature before serving.

Slice of pound cake garnished with whipping cream and blueberries, with sliced cake in the background on a serving tray.

More Pound Cake Recipes

We love good pound cakes and make even more in addition to this Classic Pound Cake! Here are a few more that are absolutely scrumptious, too!

Chocolate Pound Cake

Lemon Pound Cake

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Plate holds pound cake made in bundt pan with a couple slices removed and placed on a white plate.

When I make grandmother’s pound cake, I can’t help but think of all the families she shared it with over the years – to celebrate, mourn, and just because. Her gift of sharing through her delicious cooking and baking and her kind words made an impression on me and many others. She was truly a great lady. And she made a fantastic pound cake.

Here’s her Classic Pound Cake Recipe. I hope you love it, too.

Classic Pound Cake Recipe

4.89 from 9 votes
This Classic Southern Pound Cake recipe is velvety and delicious! Golden crust and moist cake with a silky texture and rich vanilla flavor make this versatile heirloom recipe a dessert favorite! Perfect for any occasion, this cake recipe is a delicious family favorite from my grandmother.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 16


  • 1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (184 g) shortening
  • 2 1/2 cups (495 g) granulated sugar
  • 5 (250 g) eggs, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups (300 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (56.5 g) self-rising flour
  • 1 cup (227 g) milk
  • 1 tablespoon (14 g) vanilla extract , or 1 teaspoon each vanilla and almond extract


  • Preheat oven to 300º F. Prepare a large bundt pan or three loaf pans by greasing with vegetable shortening and flour, removing any excess flour, or spray with nonstick baking spray. Set aside.
  • Cream together softened butter, vegetable shortening, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • With mixer on low speed, add eggs one at a time, making sure each is fully incorporated. Do not overmix.
  • Add the flour and milk alternately, mixing on low speed, making sure to combine well but not overmix. Stir in vanilla extract.
  • Pour batter into prepared bundt pan and bake 1 1/2 hours or in loaf pans for 1 hour, 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 the cake from the oven when done. Cool for 10 minutes in the cake pan sitting on a wire rack. Then turn the cake out onto the wire rack to cool completely.


Makes 1 bundt or 3 loaf pans

Storage Tips

To store. Keep the completely cooled cake under a cake dome or covered with wrap on the counter for 4-5 days.
To freeze. Allow the cake to cool completely. Wrap the cake well with plastic wrap, then again with foil, and place in an airtight freezer bag. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator to serve. When you remove it from the refrigerator, remove the wrapping and allow it to come to room temperature before serving.


Calories: 401kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 27mg | Potassium: 70mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 276IU | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Robyn xo

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About Robyn

Robyn Stone is a cookbook author, wife, mom, and passionate home cook. Her tested and trusted recipes give readers the confidence to cook recipes the whole family will love. Robyn has been featured on Food Network, People, Southern Living, and more.

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Recipe Review



  2. 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!!!!!

    1. I’m so thrilled that you enjoyed it Carolyn! Thanks so much for letting me know! xo

  3. Made this cake today
    It was just perfect
    Thanks so much for sharing
    I believe this is what makes the world go round

    1. Hi Amna,
      This cake is one of my all time favorites as well! I’m so glad that you enjoyed it too! Thanks so much!

  4. 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?

    1. Hi Jen,
      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

    2. 5 stars
      Thank you! I found the DIY self rising flour on your website 🙂 The pound cake was yummy!

    3. Great! I’m glad you made it Jen and that you enjoyed the pound cake! Thanks so much!

  5. 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.

    1. 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

    2. 5 stars
      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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. 5 stars
    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?
    Thanks again.
    Love from Chile.