Buttermilk Pound Cake

Total Time:
1 hr 50 min
30 min
20 min
1 hr

10 to 12 servings

  • 12 ounces unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 16 ounces cake flour, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 16 ounces sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup whole buttermilk, room temperature

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 375 degrees F.

Coat a 10-inch aluminum tube pan or 2 (9 by 5-inch) loaf pans with 1 tablespoon of butter and dust with 2 tablespoons of the flour.

Combine the remaining 12 ounces of butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and cream for 6 minutes on medium speed, using the paddle attachment. Stop once to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. With the mixer running at lowest speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, making sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. Again stopping once to scrape down the sides of the bowl. This will take approximately 1 1/2 minutes. Add the vanilla and salt and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds.

With the mixer on the lowest speed add the flour in 3 installments, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour, making sure each portion is fully incorporated before adding the next. After the final addition, beat the batter for 30 seconds on medium speed until almost smooth.

Scoop the batter into the prepared pan(s), dividing evenly if using 2 pans. Bake for 1 hour in a tube pan or in loaf pans, until the internal temperature reaches 210 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. The crust will be golden brown and spring back when pressed, but the crack around the center will appear moist.

Remove the cake from the oven to a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan(s) and cool on the rack for 10 minutes longer. Store the cake on the rack covered with a tea towel for up to 3 days.

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    43 Reviews
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    I've always thought of pound cake as a heavy, dry, dense loaf with minimal flavor, and I've never been interested in making one. But I had buttermilk to use up, and I figured if anyone could make pound cake worth the calories it would be the folks at Good Eats. The cake flour is genius in this; my cake came out soft, moist, fluffy, and buttery-good! I am a pound cake convert . 
    I was looking for a good pound cake to use for a wedding cake and after testing this one I'm pretty sure I've found it. I measured the batter before I baked it so I would know how many batches I would need, and in case anyone else wants to know the recipe made about 7 1/2 cups of batter when I made it, and I did measure by weight.
    It would be better to have cup measurements not everyone has a scale
     I had to cook it much longer and at the bottom of the cake it looked
     as though it wasn't baked. I timed everything. But it might have
     been not measuring the cake flour. I did it by cups not a scale
    8 ounces are in a cup
    No, 8 oz of water in a liquid cup. The weight of a 1-cup dry measure depends on the material in the cup. I promise, 1-cup of ball bearings does not weigh the same as 1-cup of feathers. AP flour is approx. 4 oz per cup.
    As one earlier commented, it is a great way to use leftover buttermilk. But I had the same problem, I baked it at 375 for about 20 minutes when I checked it and it was already so brown. I reduced heat to 325 and continued baking. Should have read review. But still it's the best pound cake I believe I have ever made or eaten.
    Amazing way to use up some buttermilk before it goes bad...it was great to be able to use my recently acquired kitchen scale too. The cake was moist and didn't have the expected tangy flavor...the kid loves taking this with them as a snack to camp, way better than a Lil Debbie :
    Every oven is different. If the recipe calls to bake at 375 you may need to bake at 350 test how your oven works. If they tell you to weigh the ingredients then by all means weigh them. Cup measurement is different from scale measurement, don't over work the flour that will cause your cake to be hard and too dense, beating your flour for more than 3 min can ruin your cake. All of your ingredients must be at room temp (not straight out of the refrigerator this recipe is the best....
    This cake is great.
    I loved it sooo good!!!! better with the glaze
    This cake is fabulous like the other writer said if you don't follow the directions correctly don't blame the recipe. Also invest in a food thermometer. All ovens are not calibrated the same. 210 degrees is a perfect cake . I made it in several vessels and they all were perfection! YUM!
    I posted a poor review prior but tried this again, this time WEIGHING the ingredients. This cake is FABULOUS. Not too sweet, very compact, tons of flavor. If the reason it doesn't turn out is because of measuring the ingredients incorrectly, don't fault the recipe.  
    Now I want to eat this!
    DON'T BAKE THIS CAKE!! This recipe was terrible. I read all the reviews and followed suggestions that made sense. Still the cake was awful. It took two hours to bake (tube pan and still was not done inside. I couldn't bake it any longer because the outside was burning. At first I thought the taste was good, but then realized it was very eggy. It was a complete waste of ingredients.
    Awesome cake: dense, moist and delicious. The buttermilk gives a great flavor and keeps the cake from being as oppressively heavy as traditional pound cakes. I recommend adding some honey and a drop of almond extract, and baking it at 325 instead of 375.
    The cake was a disaster. Only used 2 cups of flour--I mixed for 6 min but cake didn't rise--one big blob plus it stuck to the bundt pan and broke in half so I threw it all away.
    This makes a very heavy cake, which I guess is what its supposed to be. The flavor grew on me a little more with each piece. I added a chocolate ganache to the top which made it a little more interesting. Then I wanted chocolate pound cake.....so of course I found plenty of recipes on this site.
    I was very tasty. I agree with a lot of previous comments about it not cooking through after the a lotted 40 mins. It turned out darker than I wanted I plan on adding an icing layer on top and that should take the attention away from it :-)...think the 125 degree temp for a start point is a good suggestion will try that next time.
    I just made this. I agree that the flavor is wonderful - but I think the next time I make it I will leave it in longer than the alloted 40 minutes. I did 2 loaf pans, and mine is very dense and looks as if it's not cooked through. Ate it anyway as part of strawberry shortcake.
    This came out with a wonderful flavor and of course the classic, dense and slightly moist texture of a good pound cake. I would highly suggest separating it into 2 cake pans, and baking at 325 F.  
    I baked mine in one bundt pan at 350 F for the first hour and it looked done outside before cooking the middle. I turned it down to 325 F and it still took nearly 45 more minutes. It was popular with everyone who tried it. It came out only a smidge darker on top than I would have liked, but I think it would have been absolutely perfect if I had started at 325.
    I found this cake to be qutie tasty;however, I was looking for the more drier caky traditional type pound cake. As I looked at the last review of this recipe the person said that they used 3 cups of flour and 2 cups of sugar but the flour and sugar measures were the same, 2 cups. Maybe if I had made that mistake I would have liked it more. My children thought otherwise and absolutely devoured it!
    This cake is great. I don't have a foodscale and looked up the estimated the measurements according the amounts noted (3 cups cake flour and 2 cups sugar). I also used some old milk instead of buttermilk and added a splash of Myers Dark rum to add to the nutty taste. I will be making this again this weekend when we have company over
    I tried this recipe because I had leftover buttermilk and I have to say that it turned out lovely. I used smaller pans and everything tasted great but the cooking times were almost twice as long as called for. I definitely recommend this!
    This pound cake is super easy and super delicious! By far the best pound cake I've ever had. I can't believe how moist it is. Follow the directions carefully. The key to making this cake successful is making sure to cream the butter and sugar for 6 minutes. Don't skip this step! I used regular ol' all purpose flour instead of cake flour and it was perfect.
    I'm a huge pound cake fan. I love pound cake. This cake was soooo delicious that the cake could not cool fast enough before my family cut the cake. If you follow the directions as stated the cake will come out prefect. The only problem I had was I didn't let it cool enough before I turned it from the pan. I baked it in a bunt pan when the cake was removed from the pan it had dark and light streaks from where the cake stuck to the pan. I will make again, this time I will put a sour cream glaze on it since my family love glaze on there pound cake. I used the gourmetsleuth.com for the conversions from ounces to cups.
     Happy Baking :)
    pay attention to the following: you need to mix it for the 6 minutes!! that is how you get the air into the cake since there is no baking soda or powder. and weigh your flour and sugar and you will be gold. lovely, moist, and wonderful with a lemon glaze.
    I've been baking for over 40 years. I followed the directions and measurements and this is one of the best pound cakes I have ever made or eaten.
    so i made this recipe because I had purchased buttermilk for another recipe and wanted to use up the remainder. I followed the 4 cup flour and 2.5 cup of sugar....if you follow the recipe mixing times, this measurement works really well. After an hour the consistency of the cake was ok, crisp on the outside but the overpowering flavor of the buttermilk gave the pound cake an off taste which resulted in me throwing the whole batch away. :-(
    help can some one tell me what is the measurement of a stick of butter thanks cannot rate until i make it it looks good
    I tried making this recipe by adjusting it to some of the reviews I read about how 2 cups of cake flour wasn't enough, and that you should use 4 instead...BIG mistake! It was WAY too much batter even using a bread loaf pan 11 1/2 in. long, after 1 hour, the sides were dark brown and the middle was soupy and uncooked and when I tried to take it out of the oven, my pan collapsed and half of the uncooked batter spilled all inside my oven , it was ruined! Even the parts that were baked just tasted like there was way too much flour in it! I learned my lesson, people's reviews aren't always the best thing to follow, I'll follow the actual recipe next time!
    Ok, kids. The reason all the people who tried to convert lbs to oz had terrible cakes is probably because they were trying to convert lbs to oz but using the volumetric measurement of an ounce instead of the mass ounce, which are TOTALLY different things. If you do the conversion calculations CORRECTLY you can still make an awesome pound cake without having to buy a food scale (as I did with total and utter success).
     For anyone trying this, you use about 4 cups of cake flour and about 2.25 cups of sugar.
     Usually on the boxes of cake flour/sugar they will tell the weight, the number of servings sizes, and the volume of each serving size (ie, in cups). It just takes a little math to figure out the rest of it.
    Like other commenters I used cups of flour vs oz and regular flour vs cake flour-not as dense as I like a pound cake but a nice change--brown crunchy edges, more spongy texture inside. I plan to toast it and add whipped cream, fresh strawberries so it will probably do fine.
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