Mom’s Old-Fashioned “True” Pound Cake


This recipe is my mom’s pound cake. It’s not just any pound cake, either. This is the old-fashioned, from scratch, pound of everything pound cake. It’s lucious, addicting and not for the dieters. I thought I would share it with you. This is also my first step-by-step photo post so bear with me. :)

First the recipe: If you want this to be as yummmmmy as it should be, don’t substitute. I only make this twice a year. Sweetie’s BD and my BD. Today is his although he’s working so we will celebrate this weekend. So go all out and really make this decadently good. It’s worth it. This recipe also doubles very well. I did that today so the pictures you will see are very full because of being doubled.

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Mom’s Old-Fashioned “True” Pound Cake

1 3/4 cups UNsalted, sweet butter (not marg, not shortening, not salted butter)
3 cups sugar
6 eggs (all of the egg)
1 1/4 cup whole milk (only use whole milk)
2 tsp vanilla (real vanilla, not imitation)
4 cups flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
dash of Mace  (this you can fudge if you have to and use Nutmeg, but mace is much better)

Set out eggs and butter to soften and warm to room temp.

Sift flour, salt, bp and mace together 4 times. (YES! I said 4 times. Noone has to sift anymore you say? They do if they are good bakers and understand that the lighter and fluffier and more aerated your dry goods are the lighter and fluffier your cake will turn out. Don’t argue. Just DO it. <winks> )

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.Cream butter and sugar very well. Add eggs one at a time. (just do it. it helps with the incorporation of the eggs. Oh and in case you were curious… when you double it, that’s 7, count them, 7 sticks of butter. This cake is not for the faint of heart… or arterie.)

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Mix the milk and the vanilla together in a seperate bowl. (Doesn’t that look purty? lol)

Add the dry ingreds. and the milk mixture alternately, but slowly to the creamed sugar and butter.

(Ok, do it slowly unless you want to wear it. Seriously…slowly.)

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When it’s all together, turn your mixer up and whip the dickens out of it for at LEAST 2 mins. I clean up a bit when its doing this so mine might mix for 4-5 mins. I don’t care. It makes it creamier and lighter.

If you don’t have a good strong mixer and a really big bowl,  don’t double it at one time. Do two seperate batters. I’m not responsible for overflowing bowls or burned out mixer motors. I warned you. Mine is a Kitchen-Aid Pro series so it can handle it without a problem in case you were wondering what I was using.

Grease your pans.

(OK, this is up to you, BUT…I don’t use Pam or Baker’s Secret in my good baking pans. It leaves residue that I don’t care for and it does flavor the baked goods. I use the fingers God gave me to butter, yes we’re still using butter, and then flour my pans the old fashioned way. My mom and I used to have a competition on who could shimmy their flour around the walls and spill the least flour out. Still, this step I’ll let you decide.)

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes. (This means at 45 start testing your cake with a thin skewer. When it comes out clean, it’s done.)

Now another baking tip:
You know how when you bake a cake it rises higher in the middle and makes a dome? If you don’t want that here’s how you fix it. Take an old terrycloth towel and cut it into long 1.5 inch wide strips. Soak those in COLD water, the colder the better. Then wrap them around the outside of your cake pan and pin it in place before sliding the pan in the oven. This helps you have less of a mound in the middle of your cake. Wilton also sells insulated strips that do the same thing, but unless you find them on sale, they are a little pricey and this works just as well.

Waiting to go into the oven:

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Baked and cooling on racks:

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Categories: Random Acts of Thinking, The Diner | Tags: , , , , , | 53 Comments

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53 thoughts on “Mom’s Old-Fashioned “True” Pound Cake

  1. Nice! I had never heard the tip about the towels before! What dýa know! Thanks!

    • Sure thing! My mom learned about it when she took some culinary courses at the local college. Wilton also teaches it, but of course want you to buy their wrappers.

      • :)

      • Donna

        Love the recipe and YOU! I was so entertained by your humor! The pound cake was amazing! Thank you!

      • Thanks! Wow you will never know how much I needed to hear that tonight. LOL. SO glad you liked the cake! I’m going to be putting up some more soon. Keep coming back!

    • lisa jackson

      Hey there. I am a caterer n I hate to bake so I usually outsource that part. But bcuz you had such a great sense of humor, I had to try it. I followed the mixing instructions to a tee and beat the doggone eggs one at a time, hated that part more than anything. Since I don’t have one of those fancy standing mixers, I had to get my workout on with the hand mixer. Idk what people say about butter, it was absolutely delicious. Used it for a wedding and a baby shower. I put a little soul in it the 2nd time I made it for home and used brown sugar and cinnamon in the middle with a cream cheese icing with chopped pecans on it. The kids went nuclear. Great recipe dude. One day I have to give u my bbq baked beans recipe to share the love. Lol. Tx

      • Heya! I’m SO glad you like the cake so much. I can’t imagine doing this cake by hand. What a workout! I’ll be making one this week since its the hubby’s fav cake and its his bd coming up. I’d love to have that bbq beans recipe! Let’s keep the good foods flowing! :)

  2. OMG! Thank you for sharing! I HAVE to make this one! :)

  3. P.S I use butter too! I usually keep the empty butter paper it came in and use that to grease the baking sheets! :)

  4. Oh an dsalt in butter is an abomination if you ask me! I only use unsalted butter!

  5. sugarflight

    OMG! This is my moms favorite! It’s so yummy and simple. I love this post!

  6. Pingback: Insider Pound Cake Secrets From Expert Bakers | Home and Yard Now

  7. annie kilpatrick

    what kind of flour do you use

  8. tia

    Can you post a picture or a link of the cloth trick? And can I use a regular hand mixer? Or should I invest in one that mixes for you? I’m new to this.

  9. Tia, welcome and we’re all new to things so always ask questions. :) I do all the time. lol. I’ll get a picture up in the next few days. I have those things packed away right now, but I’ll dig them out and post it.
    A hand mixer, if you mean the ones with the crank, would be a really rough go. The batter is very thick and needs to be beaten a lot to gain the right creaminess. An electric hand mixer could probably handle a single batch, but not a doubled one.
    Thanks for reading and let me know how you make out!
    Jeanie

  10. TM

    4 tsp baking powder, is that correct???? seems like a lot.

  11. Trena Anderson

    Thanks for the recipe! One is in the oven now. Sounds terrific and can’t wait to see how it turns out. Baking one for each of my neighbors for Christmas.

  12. Earlene Watts

    Been looking for an old-fashioned pound cake recipe. Going to make this one next weekend for sister’s birthday. I’ve seen 1 large round pound cake at different events. What size pan do you use for one big layer of pound cake?

    • hmm… honestly I’m not sure. I always make at least 2 layers. If you look at the wilton pans and find the size you want it may tell you on the package how many cups of batter it takes. You can also go on the wilton site and probably get cup to pan ratios. Hope that helps! Let me know how you like it :)

  13. Pam

    This sounds great and I’m going to make it for my mother’s “big” surprise party. Also taking a cake-decorating class for it. Thanks for the site and the tips! (ps … I always have unsalted in the freezer for the good stuff)

  14. hi there, need to do this cake now for my daughter 21st at the weekend. im making a topsy turvy 3 tier cake, so i need this recipe. but: what is a cup of butter/flour etc in ounces or grams please? many thanks Eve

    • hmm… sorry I haven’t a clue on that one. Maybe a conversion chart online would help? I’ll try to find one. too.

  15. Avis

    Sounds like an excellent recipe. Cakes baked from scratch are the only way to go (coming from a true baker)! Your tips are true(never heard of the terry cloth trick but sounds great. Think I’ll try it. Thanks) I too only use unsalted butter, jumbo eggs and the 4 times sift of my dry ingredients. I’m baking one for my brother-in-law’s birthday. Do you use a tube pan or a bunt pan or does it matter? Thank’s for sharing this recipe. I love love love my Kitchen-Aid mixer!!!!!! :)

    • My mom took all the Wilton Cake courses ( I took only one), but she went all the way through the wedding course. I inherited all her pans. :) I mostly use the sheet cakes, usually the round ones and make them 2 or 3 layers with iciing in the middles. ;) Yes, its VERY rich but I don’t make it that often so I splurge. lol
      Let me know how it comes out! I would love to hear how you all liked it.
      Oh.. if you want to make it in a loaf pan, make sure you have some strawberries or blueberries or peaches to spoon over it on the plate. ;)

  16. Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely believe this web
    site needs far more attention. I’ll probably be returning to read more, thanks for the advice!

  17. Tony Conte

    I just used your recipe, and just put the cake in the oven…if I may, a few tips…since I already have the 3 sticks of butter, I use the wrappers, which usually have enough butter stuck on ‘em to grease the pans…waste not want not…lol…I’m also a big fan of baking cakes with a small pan – I use a Pyrex cassarole dish – of water on the bottom rack…it creates moist heat, which makes for a moist cake, and keeps the top of the cake from browning before the inside is done …I’ll post my results, if ya don’t mind…

  18. Pm

    Wow, this is almost like the recipe my mom used when I was a little girl, I remember the cookbook was fat and gray, I was born in 1960, so yummy, I made it a few times before leaving home, mom can’t find the cookbook :( Thsnks for the memories.

    • My pleasure! I’m glad it had happy memories for you. Now you can make it yourself and really get happpppppy! ;)

  19. Grace

    You mentioned that you icing in the middle of your layers, What kind of icing? and do you have a recipe for the icing?

    • I use real buttercream icing that I make. I’ll add the icing recipe to the post. :) Thanks for coming by!

      • Victoria Graney

        I’m going to bake your pound cake in a few minutes, can’t wait. Just cruising through your fans comments and wham..bam…a real recipe for Buttercream Icing….can you forward to my e-mail?
        Thanks, Victoria

      • i don’t know your email :)

  20. toomanygrandkids

    Easy-sounding recipe. Beautifully, big, baked pound cakes. I’m all over this. I’ve got a couple of ?’s. Will it be okay if the milk is also room temp? And I was also wondering about the 4 tsps. of baking powder, is that correct? Also, I’ve had a container of mace for YEARS, do you think I should use that or buy more? Thanx and thanx for this lucious recipe.

    • Room temp milk should be fine. So long as it’s not spoilt.
      The mace may work, but I would buy new unless its been stored with an O2 packet. To my knowledge spices don’t usually go “bad” in the sense of rancid or dangerous, but they do lose their flavor, pretty much unable to do what you want them to do, which is add flavor to things.

    • Yes the 4 teaspoons of bp is correct. Remember this is making a lot of batter. :)
      You can also half this recipe for a smaller amount of cake if you want to just try it first.

  21. Jodi

    Followed to a T. Made the single batch which used 1 full size fluted pan, 4 mini bundts and 2 mini loaf pan. Not impressed at all ! The recipe lacks something! No flavor! Maybe needs some lemon zest or something but just very bland! Will have to serve with ice cream or jam or something! Won’t make again and this is not what my grandma made which used the pound of ingredients list. I’m sure she used zest or something to give it lemon flavoring.

    • sorry you didn’t like it! Mom was constantly being asked to make this for weddings and showers and such. Lemon zest would definitely give it a little zing and perhaps your Grandmom used that. Pound cakes are not usually “bursty” flavor, but very mild, so if you like a little zing to it, try the lemon zest. I hope that works for you!

  22. Victoria Graney

    Hope to hear from you regarding the Buttercream Icing…..thanks so much!
    Victoria Graney

  23. Tiffany Marie Young

    Loved it. Reminds me of “the church ladies” pound cakes

  24. I am going to follow this to the letter, but i would love to know if this is going to make all those cakes in your picture? i only want to make 1 cake..on my way to get ingredients. Hope to hear from you soon..I am a non-cooking guy, trying to do this for my babys bday today..Wish me luck…

    • I believe I was making a double batch in this tute. I think if you use the recipe as given it will make the two cakes. This cake freezes wonderfully though, so make one and save one. :) Let me know how you like it! Happy Birthday to your baby, too. :)

    • oops looking at the recipe again this might make that many. You may want to half it for less cake. sorry about that!

  25. Meikda

    I just want to bake one tube cake, should I half the recipe?

  26. Matthew Henderson

    Do you measure the flour before or after sifting? Compacted or not? Obviously when you sift flour it expands because it aerates, so that 4 measured cups becomes 6 or 7 after sifting. Do you use the 4 cups of sifted or unsifted? If using the sifted 4 cups then do you compact it or scoop up 4 fluffy cups?

    • I rough measure the 4 cups first. Then I sift it. Then I remeasure out what I need more exactly. I don’t cram the flour down because that sort of defeats
      the purpose, but I do flatten it down a bit with the knife I use to skim across the top when I measure it again. I want to be sure that I don’t have air pockets but full cups. Hope this made sense. :-)

  27. Helen

    I was wondering if this recipe would work in a binder
    Pan?

  28. Helen

    Auto correct! I meant a bundt pan!

    • I don’t see why it wouldn’t work just fine. Just be sure to use a skewer to be sure its done all the way through and adjust cooking times if needed.

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