The Very Best Pound Cake Recipe
Simple and buttery, this recipe for the very BEST Pound Cake is a classic with a twist. Pantry staples are blended together then baked into a tender, moist cake that will be a family favorite for years to come.
Be careful what you wish for….that’s what I always say. I’ve been wishing for snow for the past few weeks (actually, right after I left Oregon over a month ago!) and it looks like we’re finally going to get some this weekend. I’d be totally excited about it except I had plans to head to Cape May today to get all festive with the small town holiday vibe and, wouldn’t you know, that’s where the bulk of the snowfall is supposed to hit. Us here in the Philly burbs will likely get a dusting. Which is fine….except….my plans. Because once I get to Cape May….and it does snow…..do I really want to drive around on icy roads looking for festiveness. (Not to be confused with festivus….which I may celebrate with a brief airing of my grievances.) So, you win one (a light snowfall before Christmas)….you lose one (fun, relaxing weekend getaway cancelled.)
To make the best of it, I’ll stay home and bake all the things and maybe even make some snow ice cream it the weather forecast is actually accurate. Baking during the holidays is one of my favorite activities and that’s saying a lot because I don’t really bake that often. But when I do….I make sure that the recipe is the very best it can be because if I’m going to indulge in something sweet…it better be pretty fabulous. Are you with me? And this recipe for the Very Best Pound Cake is REALLY FABULOUS. And simple. And buttery. And fantastic to give as a simple food gift.
I was never really a HUGE Pound Cake fan except for one local version from a place called Stock’s…..Stock’s Pound Cake is like a local legend around the Philadelphia area. The problem is…I don’t really know where “Stock’s” is and when you come across it at an Italian deli or a small food market, it’s been there for a little while. And though it still tastes great…it’s not always fabulous because contrary to what most people around here thing….it still has a short shelf life. And the fresher your pound cake is the better. And I’m not comparing the very BEST Pound Cake recipe to Stock’s in any way because it’s not the same at all. Stock’s has a thick layer of frosting on top and is a little more dense. But if you want a fresh pound cake in about an hour without leaving your house….this recipe is for you.
Made with pantry staples, the very best Pound Cake recipe starts with butter, sugar, flour, vanilla, eggs….the usual. But I also like to add a sprinkle of fresh lemon zest to add a bit of brightness to the buttery batter. It’s simply fantastic and everyone who takes a bite can’t figure out why it tastes a bit lighter than regular pound cake. It’s not overly lemon-y but will make you want to keep coming back for another slice. And as much as I wanted to add a layer of frosting….I refrained because why mess with perfection. Right? The Very Best Pound Cake recipe makes a great gift for the holidays along with jar of this easy Fig Jam and it’s the perfect base for so many dessert recipes like these easy Caramel Pear Pound Cake Trifles.
The Very Best Pound Cake Recipe
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until fluffy.
- Turn the mixer on low and slowly add the sugar to the butter. Beat until fluffy, approximately 2-3 minutes.
- Add the eggs to the bowl one at a time, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the lemon zest and vanilla mixing on medium speed for 30 seconds longer to combine.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly add to the mixer on low speed. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl and then continue beating on low for 1-2 minutes.
- Transfer the batter to a 1-quart loaf pan coated with cooking spray or lightly greased with butter.
- Bake the cake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- Once cooled, run a knife around the inside of the loaf pan to loosen the cake and turn out onto a platter to release.
- Serve immediately or wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.