Everyone needs to know how to make a Southern Pound Cake. It brings up wonderful childhood memories for me. It reminds me of my grandmother and summertime and cookouts. No proper cookout or gathering in the summertime was complete without a pound cake.
This is the kind of cake that is tender and sweet, but not too sweet. No fluffy, half egg-white cake here, please. If you want an Angel Food Cake then, by all means, make an Angel Food Cake. This is the kind of cake that you slice up and lay on a napkin to hand out to the adults playing cards because they can break off a piece of cake to nibble on and keep on winning.
A Little History About Southen Pound Cake
Pound cake came here from England in the 1700s and traditionally included one pound of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour. It was easy to remember since quite a few people couldn’t read. In France, this cake is called Quatre Quarts or “Four Quarters”.
Today’s pound cake is lighter due to the introduction of leavening agents such as baking powder. Also, adding some type of milk keeps the cake nice and moist. I like to keep my cake pretty close to a pound of everything and add in a rising agent plus milk. Once I tried it this way, I fell in love. I know you will too.
How To Make A Southern Pound Cake From Scratch?
Now we all know that brand name cake that’s in the frozen section of the grocery store. It’s good, decent even. But, nothing can compare to a freshly baked, homemade southern pound cake. It’s like night and day really. It’s all about how you prepare your ingredients.
- Have all ingredients except the milk at room temperature
- Cream the butter and sugar for 5 min.
- Add the eggs one at a time
- Alternate adding the wet and dry ingredients
- Mixing for the required 15 min. on a low speed
- Leave in the pan to cool completely
Let’s break down each one. Having all of your ingredients at room temperature will ensure that your cake batter is well mixed and not curdled. If your butter is too cold it will not mix correctly and you may end up with a very heavy cake.
Creaming the butter and sugar for 5 minutes in your mixer will create air pockets that will expand during cooking and help lighten the cake. Set a timer and move onto the next step while it’s mixing.
Adding the eggs one at a time at a slow speed will create an emulsion that will also aid in the texture of the cake. You can warm your eggs up by leaving them on the countertop or add them to a bowl of warm water and let them sit for 5 to 7 minutes.
By alternating wet and dry ingredients, you will keep the consistency of the batter and prevent it from breaking. A broken batter will look lumpy. You will see bits of clumpy butter and the liquid surrounding it.
In order to get the right texture and crumb of the cake, mix the batter for 15 mins. I know this seems like a long time, but I have noticed there is a difference if I rush this step. No, it will not make the batter too light. That is why it is mixed at a low speed. You won’t get too much air into it. Set a timer and you’ll know it’s ready for the oven.
Yes, you can use a hand mixer instead of a stand mixer. Just put your favorite music on and enjoy the artistry of baking.
Leaving the cake to cool completely in the pan after you run a knife around the edges is a necessary step. I know that most recipes call for you to leave the cake in the pan only 10 minutes or so before turning it out onto a plate or rack. But I was educated by a good friend that sells her pound cakes, that you must leave it to cool in the pan completely. This helps to firm up the sides and develop the flavor.
Which Pan To Use?
You can make this southern pound cake in loaf pans, bundt pans, or even a tube pan. Be careful if you use a fluted pan, this recipe makes a lot of batter. I’ve had this overflow and decorate the bottom of my oven before. I love the look of this cake when it’s made in a bundt pan. I actually have this one and it works every time!
Make sure that you use great quality ingredients. A creamy unsalted butter will give it a better flavor than margarine or shortening. Use cane sugar or natural sugar. I have always used whole milk or 2%. I am tinkering with the idea of trying half and half to enhance the rich flavor. Because this cake just needs more calories! Please don’t even talk to me if you use imitation vanilla flavoring. Just kidding. No, I’m serious. Use real vanilla.
Storing and Freezing a Southern Pound Cake
When I need a cake to pull out for company, this is my go-to cake. All I do is make it ahead of time and wrap it in cling wrap really well. Next, wrap it in foil and then place it in a zip-top bag. This cake can be frozen for up to 3 months. When you are ready for it, just thaw it on the counter for 2 hours.
Summer, Summer, Summertime
Ah, the summertime! Practice this cake now and you’ll be ready for the next cookout. Can’t wait to see how you like this recipe. Let me know in the comments below how this turned out for you! If you liked this recipe check out my delicious lemon bars here.
Southern Pound Cake
- Bundt Pan
- 3 Sticks Unsalted Butter Room Temperature
- 6 Large Eggs Room Temperature
- 3 Cups All Purpose Flour
- 2 Cups Sugar
- 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp. Salt
- 2 Tbs. Vanilla Extract
- 3/4 Cup Whole Milk or 2%
- Set oven to 325 degrees.
- Grease and flour a bundt, tube, or 2 loaf pans. You can use the baking spray with flour also.
- Cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for 5 min. Set a timer.
- Measure out and combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Add one egg at a time to the mixer and mix well. Next, add the vanilla and mix.
- Add one-half of the dry ingredients slowly while mixing at a low speed. Alternate with the milk. Mix after each addition.
- Add the second half of the dry ingredients and mix. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl as needed. Mix the batter on a low speed for 15 min.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and tap the pan on the counter to settle any air bubbles. Only fill the pan 2/3 full or it may overflow. If you have extra batter pour it into a small pan or muffin time to bake. Smooth out the top.
- Bake in the oven at 325 for 1 hour and 20 min. Cake is done when a toothpick or knife comes out clean. Run a knife around the edges. Leave the cake in the pan for about 2 hours or until completely cool.
- Turn the cake out onto a serving dish, plate, or rack. Cut and serve!