Plain Pound Cake

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

2 loaf cakes

  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 (8 1/2 by 4 1/2 by 2 1/2-inch) loaf pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper.

Cream the butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. With the mixer on medium speed, beat in the eggs, 1 at a time.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide the batter evenly between the pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.

When the cakes are done, let them cool for 10 minutes. Take them out of the pans, place them on a baking rack and allow them to cool completely. Wrap well, and store in the refrigerator.

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    60 Reviews
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    This was SO delicious! My mother in law loved this so much that I am making her more to take back with her. :)
    I am only giving this recipe 4 stars out of 5. I following the recipe exactly and baked it for 55 minutes. As most pound cakes are on the drier side as is this recipe. I found the cake had a little too much salt. I could taste the salt in every bite and I used kosher as directed. If I do make this recipe again, I am going to cut back the salt to 3/4 of a teaspoon. Overall the pound cake is good.
    everyone of the recipe i've made from Ina were awesome i can't tolerate her show but her recipes are great
    Have to agree with you kath! I can't stand to watch her, but do like some of the recipes.
    I made this recipe today and it was fantastic! After reading all of the other reviews I used 1 1/2 cups of sugar. I also used 4 mini loaf pans (5 1/2 x3 x 2 1/14 in pans). 
    Three of the cakes were gifts. Thank you Ina for another wonderful, go-to recipe. I will be making this pound cake regularly.
    Ina's recipes are the gift that keeps on giving, never fail. This is a great pound cake. My daughter-in-law who is somewhat new to baking made this cake and it was gone in less than two days with rave reviews. Nice to have a recipe for pound cake that a novice baker can bake and be proud of, and one that does not take forever to prepare since most of us simply do not have that kind of time. Thank you Ina for a wonderful pound cake!
    This recipe will now be my go-to recipe for pound cake. It was easy, made two loaves (one for now and one to freeze for later), and go rave reviews. The only change I made was I used the seeds from about half a vanilla pod. I think this addition really upped the flavor profile. The pod from the bean is now in with my confectioner sugar container which will add wonderful flavor to the sugar. The second loaf I froze; it defrosted perfectly. Still delicious! I used it for an English trifle and guests commented it was the best they ever had! Thanks, Ina, for another great recipe!
    Foolproof! I prefer this very same recipe with the single exchange of high grade eggnog for the buttermilk.
    For those changing the recipe and then rating it... Reducing the sugar will sacrifice moisture. In bakers percentages for cake the sugar should always be equal or up to 20% higher than the flour by weight..3 cups flour is 375 grams and 2 cups sugar is 400 grams..the cake ratios is correct and sugar is one of the most important factors for moist cake. Never reduce the sugar less than the flour.
    By the way this is a good basic 1-2-3-4 cake NOT pound cake. 1 c butter, 2 c sugar, 3 c flour, 4 eggs..
    Just made this cake for my Granny. Followed the recipe to the letter. It is so good. I don't even like pound cake and I didn't want to give this to her. No wonder my niece and I watch Ina everyday. Will make one for myself tomorrow.
    Just tried this pound cake recipe for the first time, and it was easy and one of the best tasting pound cakes I've ever had. We made strawberry shortcake for family and friends with one and well, the other didn't last very long. This will be one recipe that we intend to use often.
    This is my new go-to pound cake recipe. It bakes superbly, is easy to slice and plate, and I've tried with great success two variations: adding blueberries, and adding tart apples rolled in cinnamon sugar, while also adding a bit of cinnamon to the batter. Delicious!
    Well, I read the other reviews to decrease the sugar to 1 1/2 cups which I did. The pound cake has a light springiness to it. I think next time to adjust the sugar to 1 3/4 cups! I like it a tad sweeter! The other change I would do to the temp- 350 F @ 50 min. I baked mine for 58 min and it was done but I like mine a little moister. Otherwise this is a great old fashioned recipe. (we made it for dipping in Fondue!)
    After having great success with Ina's orange glazed pound cake, I decided to make this one and it was fabulous! I left one plain, and the second glazed with a lemon glaze and they were both wonderful. Perfectly done in 50 minutes.
    I was disappointed that it was so thin by placing it in two loaf pans. I believe it would look better if placed in one pan. 
    I really would like a good recipe for the old fashioned pound cake.
    I love this recipe. I also love Ina's recipe in her newest book. 'The Perfect Pound Cake' is without a doubt the best pound cake I have ever made. Rave reviews! Can't wait till the recipes from the new book make it to TV. Love you so much Ina!!!
     Karen Scholz, Fairfield CT
    Excellent! I was confused with the recipe calling for the sugar to be divided, but after reading the other comments I decided that the 2 cups of sugar should be added all at once to the butter. Also, next time I make the cake I may try cutting the sugar to 1 1/2 cups as it was quite sweet, but still delicious.
    This cake was really good. It was a delicious plain pound cake that pleases everyone. My only complaint is that it was a little too tangy, maybe too much buttermilk.
    By mistake I used the whole quantity of orange juice in the cake. I also added diced dried apricots and raisins. I took some of the cake batter, I added to it 2 tbsp of cocoa powder (I removed 2 tbsp from the 3 flour cups at the beginning and make it marbled, the result was a fantastic and tasty cake (very moist. After the oven baking, I made some holes in the cake top and poured on it some of the orange syrup I made. I added orange jam to the rest of the syrup and cut the cake in half and filled it with. Thanks a lot Ina it is my best pound cake ever...
    This is the best pound cake ever. It is buttery and rich tasting. It is easy to make and has ingredients I always have on hand. My only problem with it is that I have to work hard not to eat the WHOLE CAKE! It is absolutely wonderful. It is great plain or with berries on top. Every time I have served it, I have been asked for the recipe.
    Plain is exactly how I would describe this. I was looking for a good authentic pound cake recipe and this tastes plain old blah. I wish I had read the review of this not being authentic and referring to alton brown. I followed the recipe precisely but was not at all pleased.
    Excellent and easy to make. Fail proof recipe.
    My family loved this pound cake. I served it with some strawberries and whipped cream for an awesome strawberry shortcake. Not too heavy like most recipes. Thanks Ina, your the best!
    Ina's recipes never seem to disappoint. I never made pound cake from scratch, so I was a little iffy. But this recipe is amazing. It tastes like the freezer Sandra Lee pound cakes you find at grocery stores for 5 dollars a loaf, but this cake tastes home made of course. People found it to sugary by reading the reviews, but I didn't. I followed the recipe as instructed and found it well balanced with the little saltiness you put in. Definitely will be looking forward to making this again !
    I made this for my family yesterday and they loved it. Although we still have some left they are asking for me to make it again.
    EXCLLENT pound cake! I reduced sugar to 1 1/2 cups and added the zest of 1 lemon. Baked it in a bundt pan for 50 minutes. Nice subtle crunch to the crust with a tender,moist cake. Served it as the base for strawberries and whipped cream. Everyone raved about it. Thank you Ina!!
    Oh my goodness is this cake good!! I used a bundt pan and baked it for 50 minutes. The cake's texture is very light and fluffy, not real heavy like most pound cakes. Also I followed the recipe for the amount of sugar and did not find it too sweet. My two little boys loved it. I will definitely be making this cake again.
    Tried this recipe, and the cake came out delicious, I used an 8 inch round pan and baked it at 360F for one hour. I reduced the sugar to 1 1/3 based on the reviews. I usually cut the sugar for all the cake recipes, the amount of sugar is always just too much. I also added a teaspoon of nutmeg to the flour. Its a plain recipe that you can tweak to your pleasure. Enjoy!
    Last minute invitation...strawberry season at its problem! I prepared Ina's quick and easy recipe with just a few minor changes. I cut the sugar to 1-1/4 cup, added a tablespoon of grated lemon rind, and upped the vanilla to 2 tsp. Topped the cake with sliced strawberries and slightly sweetened whipped cream. Amazing. Thanks Ina!
    I bake the cake 50 mins, and it's gorgeous! Light and fluffy inside, brown and a little bit crunchy outside. 
    I don't think it's too sweet, because I used it to dip espresso, it's perfect!
    An absolutely perfect pound cake recipe. I made it EXACTLY as written and it came out beautifully. This is a keeper.
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