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The Ultimate Pound Cake

I'm in search of a rich decadent pound cake recipe with buttery goodness that's unforgettable. The addition of glazes or unique ingredients is fine. I'd like to see some variance. Thanks!

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  1. I don't know about "ultimate," but I really liked the pound cake recipe that Becca Porter posted some time ago.

    1 Reply
    1. re: vicarious

      +1 on Becca Porter pound cake. My first pound cake and it came out great and I am not much of a baker. (In fact, I did overcook it a tiny bit.)

      I want to try it with vanilla BEAN next.

    2. A couple of days ago, I was looking for some good video recipes for baking to put up on my site, and came across a pound cake recipe that won a "best of youtube" award.

      I haven't tried it, but the end result looks like the kind of pound cake you'd cut into cubes and dip into chocolate fondue.

      Here's a link to the thread: http://www.epicureforum.com/forums/vi...
      Here's a direct link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BK3apB...

      My Blog: http://www.epicureforum.com

      1. I've never tried this, but is it decadent enough to use:?
        1 lb of flour
        1 lb of sugar
        1 lb of butter
        1 lb of eggs (8)

        5 Replies
        1. re: paulj

          I've never made pound cake. But I'm prompted to do so because my daughter considers them bland and plain. I've had some that we bland, heavy, and a rare one that's buttery. I would assume the latter is attributed to quality ingredients but I'm sure many variables apply. I'm open to suggestions as this was a staple that my grandmother often had in her kitchen whenever I visited. It will be the first cake my daughter prepares. Thanks!

          1. re: gabby29

            I'm a big fan of the key lime bundt pound cake that I make sometimes - if it appeals to you, I'll find you a link to the recipe I've posted. It's buttery, but light, and has a lovely key lime glaze that hardens a bit.

            1. re: MMRuth

              That sounds delicious. I'm having visions of tea as we speak. I'd love to see it!

                1. re: MMRuth

                  Thank you! I can't wait to try it.

        2. Is it too late for egg nog? Someone posted an eggnog pound cake recipe here last year....we've made it a few times both last year and this year. It's become a family favorite...one of the best pound cakes I've ever had!

          3 Replies
          1. re: ziggylu

            Not at all. She loves egg nog and would gladly make this in a heartbeat. I'll dig around for it.

            1. re: gabby29

              The recipe is in this thread: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/346398

              And a public thank you to Andiereid for sharing it last year!

              1. re: ziggylu

                Oh, thanks for that link! We love all things eggnog, plus I just bought a bottle of eggnog flavoring, so can't wait to try this.

          2. We have a recipe from a cook book we got in March of 1970. It's always been just perfect. The book says two loaves. Not wanting to copy the recipe out of the book, I just Googled and found the same recipe here.
            We do use a pound of butter in ours and not margarine.

            1. A lot of pound cake recipes out there.

              Greg Patent's Baking in America has a dozen or so pound cake recipes, ranging from the plain pound cake to brown sugar pound cake, lemon pound cake, cornmeal pound cake and so on. His cakes are truly excellent.

              Rose Levy Berenbaum's Cake Bible has a very good, buttery, pound cake with minimal sweetness.

              Ina Garten in one of her Barefoot Contessa cookbooks has an excellent lemon pound cake recipe.

              Any old-fashioned church cookbook will have a plethora of traditional pound cakes.

              1. Thank you for all the suggestions and feedback. I think this is something that we'll experiment, trying different recipes for variety's sake. For what it's worth my non-baking daughter is excited about making the egg now pound cake.

                1. This was my dear Aunt Mary's Sour Cream Pound Cake,

                  Family Recipe from the Old South


                  ½ pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
                  3 C flour
                  3 C sugar
                  6 eggs (room temperature)
                  ½ pint Breakstone’s sour cream (room temp.)
                  1/4 teaspoon baking soda
                  1/4 teaspoon salt
                  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
                  1 teaspoon almond extract (if desired)
                  ½ teaspoon mace or 2 teaspoons lemon extract

                  Cream sugar and butter together. Alternate adding 2 eggs with the dry ingredients mixture (flour, soda, salt) until all 6 eggs blended in. (You may whip eggs before adding into mixture. Mom says it’s not worth the effort.) Blend in sour cream and extracts.

                  Pour mixture into greased (Crisco shortening and not oil) and floured tube pan and bake in preheated 325 degree oven for approximately 1 ½ hours.

                  alkapal's variation:

                  Use cake flour, rather than all-purpose flour.
                  Substitute approximately 3-5 Tablespoons flour with Hershey’s cocoa.
                  Add spices as desired:
                  ½ teaspoon each of Allspice, Cinnamon, Cloves (ground), Nutmeg,
                  1 Tablespoon Cardamon.

                  Note: Do not flour pan after greasing. Check cake at 1 hour 20 minutes with clean broom straw. If clean, cake is done. Once cooled, add Frangelico Hazelnut liqueur in frequent doses to crack in top of cake. Seal cake in aluminum foil. Add more Frangelico the next day and so forth. Cake is best after about 4 days to a week. Enjoy!

                  18 Replies
                  1. re: alkapal

                    I am going to try this tomorrow... it just calls to me, the sour cream! question: what is a broom straw? and is Breakstone's a brand?

                    1. re: alex8alot

                      broom straw - thin piece pull off your broom? Just use the usual toothpick test for doneness.

                      Breakstone is brand - I'd just use any decent sour cream, preferably one without too many thickeners and additives. It doesn't need to be one of those sour creams that can be cut with a knife and retain its shape on top of a hot baked potato. In fact a cup of yogurt should do nicely.

                      The baking spray with flour is supposed to work well for 'greasing' a fluted pan according to ATK.

                      1. re: alex8alot

                        (may i respectfully suggest, paulj, that you should not presume to make alterations or suggest shortcuts unless you have made the original first, and then made the cake again with your changes.)

                        alex8alot, gabby 29 and all, the recipe calls for breakstone brand SOUR CREAM, and that is what has always been used by my family for the recipe.

                        a (clean) broom straw is long enough to go down through the cake -- a toothpick is not nearly long enough. remember, this is in a tube pan, (NOT a fluted pan) and it is deep. maybe use a very fine bamboo skewer -- but the straw is effective without making a hole.

                        follow the recipe for greasing and flouring. in fact for all the steps! hey, don't blame me if your shortcuts get less than optimum results!!!!

                        ps there will be "cracking" on the top, so don't worry.

                        1. re: alkapal

                          What should I use if all my brooms are short, synthetic and dirty? I have 4" long toothpicks which should reach at least to the middle of the cake.

                          ATK - America's Test Kitchen found that baking spray (the type with flour) works as well, or even better, in fluted pans than the traditional shortening and flour. For one thing, it was easier to get complete coverage. So far I've only used it in a loaf pan (where I'd been using parchment paper).


                          1. re: paulj

                            Use a digital thermometer and check to see that the internal temperature is about 195˚.

                            There is also a nifty cake tester that has a color readout for "done". When the temperature-reactive tip color matches a colored stripe on the shaft most baked goods are done. This thing is marketed specifically for bundt type cakes and, so, has a long reach. It's not expensive and Sur la Table carries/carried it in their baking dept. I have come to prefer the definitive temperature approach to conventional cake testers.

                            BTW, altho the advice to always prepare a recipe as given the first time is certainly reasonable and wise, there are those of us who are sufficiently free of spirit or full of our own pomposity to feel we have to do things in the way that speaks to us or it isn't worth doing. We can learn that way too. And, when we're talking about baking, we're not using gold ingots or formerly live creatures as ingredients so we can indulge our spirits of adventure. I have made my share of "mistakes" it's certainly true! I have made the same thing 3 times in a week to get the results *I* wanted. But, rarely, have I had to end up throwing something out. So bake with abandon and joy and meet your own needs!

                      2. re: alkapal

                        Wow this is great thank you! I will definitely share this one with my mother.

                        1. re: alkapal

                          I'm confused about what to do once the cake is out of the oven. Should I remove the cake from the pan before adding the Frangelico? Or does the liqueur get poured on the cake directly in the pan, and foil just goes over the top? If it stays in the pan, should I make any effort to loosen the edges from the sides of the pan first?

                          [edit] Whoops, the Chowhound team got here first...

                          1. re: sonia darrow

                            Well, hopefully alkapal will get back to you on this, and I've just read her instructions and this is my take on what she wrote: remove the cake from the pan, let cool and carefully and slowly spoon the Frangelico into the crack in the poundcake, allowing it to soak in. After the cake has cooled completely, then wrap in foil and let "ripen." Add more Frangelico the next day, in the same manner. The cake will absorb the alcohol readily.

                            Hope this helps, but I also hope she sees this and responds to your query.

                            1. re: bushwickgirl

                              Uh-oh... I didn't see this last night and I chose the opposite route (I was nervous about it leaking through the foil and making a mess). We may end up having to eat it with spoons directly out of the pan, I guess. I did run a knife around the edges first, though, so maybe it won't get stuck.

                              1. re: sonia darrow

                                I'm sure it will be ok, better than ok, probably very good.

                                1. re: bushwickgirl

                                  I've nibbled on little crumbs and it tastes kind of like skittles (not in a bad way). The combination of all those flavors was what piqued my curiosity. I've never made something with vanilla AND almond extract AND lemon AND cocoa.

                                  Oh, and I successfully removed it from the pan and wrapped it up properly. Thank God for pans with removable bottoms!

                                  1. re: sonia darrow

                                    lemon and cocoa? is *that* in my recipe? no, no, no.

                                    also for the future, remove the cake from the pan, let it cool, then add the frangelico, as bushwick girl noted.

                                    i need to make directions clearer, i guess.

                                    also good to wrap in saran wrap then foil to "cure."

                                    1. re: alkapal

                                      The original recipe says lemon extract, and your variation says cocoa.

                                      1. re: sonia darrow

                                        well i didn't mean lemon AND cocoa. it is not written for a cookbook, and i would think folks would use their experience in venturing off with "the variation." did you add lemon to the chocolate spice version? with all due respect, did you think that would be good together? i can't imagine how that would taste except...blech.

                                        1. re: alkapal

                                          Well, it was definitely different. Not awful, but not wonderful. As I said before, the reason I tried the recipe in the first place was sheer curiosity about the number of flavors it seemed to involve.

                                          I guess the way you worded your version was confusing-- Your variation just said to sub cake flour and a bit of cocoa, and add various spices. It never said anything about leaving out some of the ingredients called for in the original version.

                                          Anyways. Yeah. When you make cake with lemon and cocoa and a myriad of other flavors it tastes kind of like skittles. :)

                                          1. re: sonia darrow

                                            oh, i am sorry, sonia. skittles cake i was NOT aiming for. ;-)).,

                                            i need to post the recipe in the proper recipe area and really pay attention to my variation, and esp. say OMIT certain things, too. my bad.

                                            ps, try the original. ;-).

                          2. re: alkapal

                            Feedback on alkapal's cake:

                            1.) It was rather tasty but I think it would be better made during the holiday season--it has that kind of wintery spice-cake feel to it and was a bit much for springtime.

                            2.) Definitely be liberal with the Frangelico! I only added small drizzles once or twice per day. When we finally cut it open you could see where the bottom half of the cake was drier and had not absorbed any of the liqueur. Perhaps my wrapping was not airtight enough, too. It's harder than I thought to wrap a tube cake in foil!

                          3. I love the Black and White poundcake from Maida Heatter's Book of Great Desserts.

                            I've also had luck with Paula Deen's Almond Sour Cream Pound Cake - available on the Food Network website. Just be sure to test it with a toothpick - the cooking time is not enough in the recipe, in my experience.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: brian874

                              All of these sound great, can't wait to try some. Speaking of pound cake, yesterday I made the Citrus Pound Cake from January '08 Gourmet with very disappointing results. Generally speaking, I don't seem to have much luck with pound cakes and this was no different, found it be extremely dry. Just wondering if anyone else has tried making this one yet?

                            2. Southern Living's Million Dollar Pound Cake is a great, big, old-fashioned pound cake that appears in their "favorites" lists all the time. It's really terrific with a nice cup of tea.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: CathySue

                                I'm loathe to share this secret, but will do so anyway in the interest of not being a jerk about my recipe.

                                Take just about any pound cake recipe that suits you (here's mine: http://allrecipes.com/PersonalRecipe/...
                                )and sub out most of the butter with extra virgin coconut oil. If you haven't had/cooked with it, you have no idea what you're missing, get to a health food store right now!

                                The texture on this cake is simply amazing. Make whatever glaze suits you, I opted for pantry ingredients (and contrary to the recipe as written, used coconut milk for the glaze, which I couldn't taste AT ALL - the vanilla flavor just "ate" it all). The funny thing was that as tasty and fragrant as the oil is, it truly recedes to a hard-to-define background note.

                                Now that I've put it out there to y'all, I'm curious to hear how it turns out for others.

                                1. re: shanagain

                                  SHANAGAIN--You say "sub MOST of the butter"...what does that mean? How much butter are you including? How much of the Coconut oil (1/2 cup?)???

                                  1. re: mtomto

                                    Kind of vague, I know, sorry. You "can" sub all, but I wouldn't so you still get some butter flavor. I'd do half and half or, here's the linked recipe:

                                    1 cup extra virgin coconut oil, room temperature (no substitutions*see footnotes)
                                    1/2 cup butter, softened
                                    3 cups white sugar
                                    5 eggs, beaten
                                    3 cups all-purpose flour
                                    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
                                    1/2 cup sour cream
                                    1/2 cup milk or water
                                    1/4 tsp salt
                                    3 tablespoons vanilla extract
                                    1 tablespoon lemon zest

                                    Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour 10" bundt pan.
                                    In a small bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Place sour cream and 1/2 cup milk into mixing cup, add vanilla, stir well to incorporate, set aside.
                                    In large mixing bowl, cream coconut oil, butter and sugar until light and fluffy by mixing on medium speed. Add eggs, mix well. Add lemon zest, stirring well. Beat in flour mixture alternately with sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Spoon mixture into prepared pan.
                                    Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until cake tests done.

                                    (*No subsititutions for extra virgin coconut oil - NOT the refined stuff you can easily find on the grocer's shelves - look for extra virgin only. One weird note, you can sub the coconut oil for butter in cakes, but it's not recommended in cookies.)

                                    I made a quick glaze using coconut milk, a little vanilla pudding mix and lemon zest, but use whatever glaze you'd like, I realize that's a little low-rent.

                                2. re: CathySue

                                  Thanks CathySue, that does look amazing. I've added to my favourites and hope to try very soon.

                                  1. re: millygirl

                                    Since this site is about sharing, here goes. Every Christmas I've made pound cakes, slice and wrap and gift wrap a basket of at least 6 different flavors for family and friends. My kids love the tradition and over the years have started helping bake and wrap. Some our favorite recipes are:
                                    Oreo Cake from Maida Heatter's American Desserts
                                    Lemon Sour Cream Pound Cake from Emeril Lagasse
                                    Coconut Bundt Cake from Bon Appetit (my fav!)
                                    Chocolate Pound Cake from King Arthur Flour Baker's Catalogue
                                    I'm always on the hunt for a new flavor. Looking forward to trying Shanagain's. Thanks for sharing!

                                3. the Elvis Presley pound cake, recipe found at Epicurious. com and yes that is the name....this cake calls for seven (7) eggs, one (1) cup of whipping cream, and three cups of sugar and is cooked in a cold oven.....this is one decadent pound cake....

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: foufou

                                    similarly, my grandmother's recipe calls for 3 cups sugar, 5 eggs, evaporated milk instead of cream. It's cooked in a cold oven, which makes it develop the most fabulous crust.

                                    Really, I should try to figure out a way to make her pound cake into muffin tops or something , because the crust is devine, and the pound cake is perfectly textures, but still...I find pound cake a little boring except for the crust.

                                    1. re: danna

                                      oooooh, pound cake muffin tops? that would be genius! do let us know when you succeed, danna.

                                    2. re: foufou

                                      haha - I just posted the link below to Elvis' Favorite Pound Cake. I'm sorry I didn't see your post first. I'm in complete agreement. D@@@@@mn this is one amazing cake.

                                      1. re: foufou

                                        Bumping this. What is it about the cold oven? I love this pound cake, but often get unpredictable results, and uneven texture.

                                      2. This recipe is from my book, and is one of the desserts most requested by my friends and family.

                                        Coconut Pound Cake

                                        makes 1 10-inch tube (or bundt) cake or 2 9x5-inch loaf cakes

                                        1 pound unsalted butter
                                        2 cups pure cane sugar
                                        2 cups flour (divided in half)
                                        6 extra large eggs
                                        7 ounces shredded, unsweetened coconut (get it at the health-food store)
                                        1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

                                        1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Make sure the rack is in the center of the oven. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan. (I use a bundt pan.)
                                        2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy (Carmen says “as a shampooed cat”).
                                        3. Add one cup flour and beat some more.
                                        4. Meanwhile, add the vanilla to the eggs (in a separate bowl). Then add eggs one at a time to batter, beating well after each addition.
                                        5. Now mix coconut with the remaining one cup flour and add to batter, using a wooden spoon to incorporate. Pour into desired pan(s).
                                        6. Bake about 45 minutes to one hour. Be sure to test with a cake tester or long toothpick to be sure it comes out clean when inserted in the center of the cake. [If it doesn’t come out clean, leave it in a few minutes longer!]

                                        The glaze
                                        1 cup sugar
                                        1/2 cup water
                                        1 teaspoon pure extract (almond or vanilla--be inspired)

                                        1. Combine sugar and water and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add extract. Glaze is now ready.
                                        2. When cake comes out of the oven, poke holes through cake with skewers and pour on glaze while cake is warm – while the cake is still in the pan. Don’t remove the cake from the pan until it is completely cool

                                        Teacher’s Tip: This cake is best 24 hours after baking. But it generally can't make it until then, so bake two and eat one warm and hold the other until the magic 24 hours are up!

                                        1. Y'all. I am in heaven. Have any of you tried "Elvis' Favorite Pound Cake," at Epicurious? http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo... It is not as dense as a traditional pound cake is, but the favor is rich, creamy, and I swear I gained 5 pounds just looking at it. That was in addition to the 25 pounds I gained from the first slice. Whoa whoa whoa....

                                          {BTW, I did add 1 tsp. cardamom to the recipe and really like the extra flavor incorporated into the amazing richness of this recipe.}

                                          11 Replies
                                          1. re: Tehama

                                            thanks for the cardamom recommendation....did you use vanilla as well?

                                            1. re: foufou

                                              Hi FouFou! As I recall I made the recipe exactly as posted on Epicurious, but just added the cardamom in addition to the original ingredients. I haven't made the recipe since last October, but I think you just inspired my weekend baking task. I was searching Chowhound for Financier and Madeline recipes which I haven't tried before, but may go for the pound cake route instead because I'm greatly distressed I can't find my Grandmother's Madeline tins

                                            2. re: Tehama

                                              Tehama, I am stalking the secrets of the Elvis Presley cake, and ended up stalking you as well. Looks like you are from around Raleigh/Durham. I will be there for daughters graduation around May 12th. Any suggestions?

                                              1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                I'm so sorry, I didn't see this before now. I'm glad to help, and the "Southeast" board is just chock-full of really sweet, helpful people who can chime in. Do you have a price-point or a cuisine preference you would like to tailor your request to? Also, Chapel Hill, Durham, or Raleigh? Interstate 40 between Raleigh and CH or Durham is about 25 minutes more or less, between Durham and CH you're looking at about a 20 minute, non-interestate drive. The moderators might like you to post to the Southeast Board, but I am delighted to help from here as well if that is permissible.

                                                1. re: Tehama

                                                  Yes, we prefer to keep local restaurant discussion on the appropriate regional board so that it can benefit other readers as well, and to keep this board focused on cooking. Thank you.

                                                    1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                      please don't laugh. i'm not much of a cake or sweets eater, but i do, like sara lee pound cake. is there a recipe out there for something similar?

                                                      1. re: ritabwh

                                                        I'm not laughing. I am deadly serious. You MUST try the Elvis Presley poundcake.


                                                        DO IT NOW!

                                              2. I completely agree that the Elvis Pound Cake is AMAZING and it truly an Ultimate Pound Cake!!! I have made many pound cakes and this one by far gets the most compliments. So flavorful it doesn't even need to be iced (I am usually partial to a cream cheese frosting for extra decadence)