This butter pound cake recipe is a classic cake recipe. If you are new to baking cakes, this is an excellent cake recipe to start with.
What is a butter pound cake?
Pound cake got its name from the weight of the ingredients used in making it. Originally, pound cakes are made using 4 ingredients – flour, sugar, butter, and eggs. And each of these is added in equal weights of one pound each, hence the name pound cake.
There have been a lot of variations to these pound cakes now, not only in terms of the weight of the ingredients used but also in terms of inclusion of other flavourings and ingredients
I call mine a butter pound cake simply because I use all butter in making my pound cake. Some recipes use cream cheese, while some use oil, but mine is with all the rich goodness of butter, hence the title butter pound cake.
Butter pound cake recipe from scratch
My butter pound cake is bake from scratch recipe. It is very much consistent with the original pound cake recipe in that the weight of the 4 main ingredients are consistent. I use self-rising flour instead of all-purpose flour as that really helps with the fluffiness of the cake. I don’t however, measure the eggs by weight, but by quantity. And I also include some milk in my recipe, which helps with the soft and moist texture of my butter pound cake. There are no other ingredients in this recipe other than the small amount of salt and vanilla, and that makes this a simple and easy pound cake recipe.
The other point about my butter pound cake recipe is that I have calculated the recipe for various cake tin sizes, so if you want to use this recipe to bake pound cakes in various different round and square cake tins, you have the full ingredients measure right here on my recipe card.
This is one of my most baked cakes and is a family favourite too. We often bake and eat it without any frosting, but this is also the cake recipe that I use when I bake and decorate cakes for others, so it works perfectly well when frosted too!
Seen on this page is my butter pound cake recipe frosted with vanilla buttercream. This cake can also be frosted with a simple lemon glaze, caramel drizzle or even cream cheese frosting. The choice is yours!
How to Make Butter Pound Cake
This butter pound cake requires very basic ingredients and they are:
- Flour + baking powder + salt
- Vanilla essence
For the buttercream, you would need:
- Icing sugar
- Milk (optional)
- Vanilla Essence
Making the pound cake
- This is a butter cake, to begin with, and I use the creaming method. This means that the butter and sugar are creamed together before other ingredients are added in.
- Start by beating the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This is an important step for a fluffy cake, so be sure to beat these until they are really light.
- For the recipe below, this should take at least 2 minutes. Scrape the bowl at least once to make sure there is no butter or sugar left out unbeaten on the sides of the bowl.
- Next, add in the eggs. Add them one at a time. Each time, beat them until they are fully incorporated before adding more.
- When making larger butter pound cakes, you can add the eggs two or three at a time. And don’t forget to scrape your bowl every now and then.
- After the eggs, add the rest of the dry ingredients and the milk. These should be alternated and added in batches. You can divide your flour into 3 batches and the milk into 2. Start with the first batch of flour.
- Fold it in well, then add the first batch of milk. Mix well. Repeat with the second batch of flour and milk and finish off with the third batch of flour.
- Finally, add the vanilla essence, give the pound cake batter a quick mix and pour it into your prepared cake tins.
Baking & Storing the Butter Pound Cakes
- Bake the pound cakes until a skewer inserted in the center comes out without any wet batter. The top of the cakes should spring back when lightly pressed. Remove the cakes from the oven, let them rest in the cake tins for 2, and then turn them out onto wire racks to cool completely.
- If you are not going to serve the cake immediately, wrap the cake as soon as it turns warm and place them in the refrigerator until ready to use. This helps in keeping your cakes moist. When ready to use, remove the cakes from the fridge, let them come to room temperature before removing the cling wraps.
Decorating the Pound Cake
- Start by preparing your frosting. I used buttercream in this recipe. To make the buttercream, place the butter and sifted icing sugar in a bowl and beat until the butter and sugar turn light and creamy. Add vanilla essence.
- If the mixture appears too stiff, add some milk and beat until smooth.
- To decorate the cakes, level the tops and sandwich them with some buttercream.
- Give the stacked layers a thin coat of buttercream and place the cake in the refrigerator for about 10 to 15 minutes until the crumb coat sets.
- While waiting for the crumb coat to set, fit a piping bag with a star tip (I used tip number 18) and fill it with the buttercream.
- Remove the butter pound cake from the fridge and pipe out tiny rosettes with the star tip all around the sides and top of the cake. Pipe them as close to one another as possible such that there is no gap between them. If there are gaps, cover them with simple buttercream stars.
- To complete the pound cake decoration, add gold dragees in random order all over the sides and top of the cake.
- And that completes the butter pound cake with buttercream icing.
Tips for Making the Best Butter Pound Cake
Baking a butter pound cake in a loaf tin
- This pound cake can also be baked in a loaf pan. I don’t have the ingredients measure for loaf tins but you can use my guide here to help in deciding how much batter your loaf tin would need for a pound cake loaf.
Scraping the sides of the mixing bowl
- You will notice in my ‘how to’ section above that I have indicated for the sides fo the bowl to be scraped often while mixing the cake batter.
- This helps to ensure the ingredients are well combined from the start and is a good way to make sure you’re your batter is all smooth and even.
Butter and eggs are at room temperature
- If either butter or eggs are cold when mixing the pound cake batter, you will notice that your batter will start to curdle when the eggs are added in. This happends when either the eggs or butter are cold.
- If both are cold, this will not happen, but since butter is hard when cold, you would naturally wait for it to warm up a little. Adding cold eggs to the creamed butter and sugar will cause curdling. To prevent this, keep the eggs at room temperature. If the curdling stil happens, add some flour to the curdled mixture until it is no longer curdled. And then proceed with the rest of the steps in the recipe.
Doubling or tripling the butter pound cake recipe
- I have provided cakes tin size guide in my recipe card below. Follow this if you wish to make larger cakes. Baking with too much batter in a single cake tin will require longer baking time, and this, in turn, can cause the sides of your cake to dry out while waiting for the cake centre to cook.
- If you want tall cakes, it is best to bake more layers of the cake and stack them up rather than filling up all the batter in a single cake tin. For cakes larger than 10 inches in diameter, it is advisable to use cake strips or heating cores. These help the cakes to bake evenly and prevent them from drying out due to longer baking time. You can read all about these in my post here on how to use cake strips and heating cores for evenly baked cakes.
Moist cake texture
- Overbaking a butter pound cake will cause its texture to be dry. Under baking, on the other hand, can cause the cake to sink when you remove it from the oven.
- Always keep to the baking time indicated in the recipe and test for doneness by checking with a skewer inserted in the center of the cake at least 5 minutes before the baking time is up. If there is no wet batter sticking to the skewer, and the top of the cakes spring back when lightly pressed, the cakes are done and can be removed from the oven. Ideally, there should be soft cake crumbs sticking to your skewer. If the skewer comes out totally clean, the cake could have been over baked.
Storing the butter pound cake
- This cake can last for a good 4 to 5 days at room temperature provided it is handled without any moisture. If you wish to keep it longer, it is best refrigerated. Bring it back to room temperature before serving.
- The cake can also be baked in advance and stored in the fridge for a good one week before using. To do this, wrap the cake in cling wrap while it is still warm and refrigerate it. When ready to use, remove from the fridge, let it warm up to room temperature before removing the cling wrap and decorate or serve as you wish.
Butter Pound Cake Recipe
Here is the full printable version of my butter pound cake recipe. The cake tin size guide is at the notes section of the recipe card.
Butter Pound Cake
- 360 g self-raising flour
- 360 g castor sugar
- 360 g butter at room temperature
- 6 eggs at room temperature
- 90 ml milk
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 300 g butter salted
- 600 g icing sugar sifted
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- Preheat oven to 170°Celsius. Grease and line two 6 inches square tins or 7 inches round tins. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy for approximately 2 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time. Beat well after each addition.
- Sift the flour, baking and salt. Add these into the creamed mixture alternately with milk, starting and ending with flour.
- Add vanilla essence and mix well.
- Divide the cake batter into the prepared cake tins and bake for 45 to 50 minutes until the top of the cakes spring back when lightly pressed. A skewer inserted in the center of the cakes should come out without any wet batter.
- Remove cakes from the oven and let them rest in the tins for a few minutes. Turn them out onto wire racks to cool further.
- The cakes must be cooled completely before frosting.
- To make the buttercream, place the butter and sifted icing sugar in a bowl and beat until light and creamy. Add the vanilla essence and mix well.
- If the icing appears too stiff, add some milk and beat again until smooth. Fill the cake layers with icing and stack them. Cover a layer of crumb coat all over the cake.
- Fill the remaining icing into a piping bag with a star tip. Pipe small rosettes all around the sides and top of the cake. Attach gold dragees randomly to complete the decoration.
Calculated Tin Sizes9 inches round/ 8 inches square (makes 2 layers of 2 inch high cakes)
- 600 g butter
- 600 g castor sugar
- 600 g self-raising flour
- 10 eggs
- 150 ml milk
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 ¼ tsp baking powder
- 1 ⅔ tsp vanilla essence
- 840 g butter
- 840 g castor sugar
- 840 g self-raising flour
- 14 eggs
- 210 ml milk
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1 ¾ tsp baking powder
- 2 ⅓ tsp vanilla essence
- 1200 g butter
- 1200 g castor sugar
- 1200 g self-raising flour
- 20 eggs
- 300 ml milk
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 ½ tsp baking powder
- 3 ⅓ tsp vanilla essence
And that is pretty much all I have for you on my butter pound cake recipe.
Here are my other cake recipes for you:
Happy Baking 🙂