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Vanilla Pound Cake

How sweet it is -- pound cake from scratch in three simple steps! Busy times call for easy desserts, and this rich pound cake recipe hits the sweet spot. We've added vanilla to our recipe for an extra hint of flavor!

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8
Vanilla Pound Cake

Source: Everyday Food, September 2008


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 6-cup (8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch) loaf pan; set aside.

  2. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; add vanilla and salt. With mixer on low, gradually add flour, beating just until combined (do not overmix).

  3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour (tent with aluminum foil if browning too quickly). Let cool in pan 15 minutes. Invert onto a wire rack, and turn upright to cool completely.


Reviews (51)

  • LisaL4 14 Dec, 2014

    Made this yesterday, decided to add blueberries, chopped walnuts and dried cranberries because I had them, turned out great, hubby loved it. Wasn't dry, not sure if that was because of the blueberries and their moisture. Very easy to make, will try again.

  • LisaL4 14 Dec, 2014

    Made this yesterday, decided to add blueberries, chopped walnuts and dried cranberries because I had them, turned out great, hubby loved it. Wasn't dry, not sure if that was because of the blueberries and their moisture. Very easy to make, will try again.

  • chindsvandam 13 Dec, 2014

    I made this recipe with Natalia, my niece, and we loved it ! Would do it again

  • samra1962 10 Aug, 2014

    This was delicious! The only thing I did differently was to bake it in a bundt pan because my loaf pan is too small for this recipe. I would definitely make this again, everyone loved it!!!

  • Brittneybaker 7 Jun, 2014

    I started reading all the reviews after my cake was in the oven, and there are a lot of negative ones. I got very nervous, but it was very good, instead of ordinary vanilla extract I used a vanilla paste instead.

  • Dalia Shaheen 24 May, 2014

    It turned out PERFECT :)

  • Dalia Shaheen 24 May, 2014

    i just put it in the oven ..didn't read the review before i made it..but i added baking powder and some milk ..i hope it turns out good

  • Brandi Lea 11 May, 2014

    This recipe is terrible!!! When it came out of the oven it looks beautiful but when you cut into it its very very very dense and has little to no taste. WIll never make again!!

  • monkeyruler90 20 Apr, 2014

    Great recipe , followed the quantity of ingredients but added a 1/4 cup of rum and baked it for 1 hour and 30 minutes. I was worried after reading the reviews but the cake came out perfect ,it was rich and moist. Will definitely make it again

  • Elaine Solomon 4 Apr, 2014

    Both the flavor and texture were disappointing. It seems as though the favorable reviews of this recipe were the result of changes to the temperature and/or ingredients. I will not try this again.

  • Mary Bethune 27 Mar, 2014

    I made this but I doubled the recipe . I beat the eggs first till mixed, added sugar beat for two minutes on high then lowered the speed till I was ready to turn low, added melted butterand vanilla , folded in flour baked at 275 for an hour this was delicious..

  • Mayrae Ventura 20 Mar, 2014

    on two occasions have attempted to use a Martha Stewart recipe and it turned out horrible, a waste of ingredients. I no longer use her recipes, don't trust them anymore.

  • shonrene 16 Mar, 2014

    A complete waste of ingredients! I wish I had read the review from nnorah33 before I baked this.
    The cake was dry and did not require the suggested baking time, we tried adding strawberries to eat with the cake and it still tastes terrible. This was a disappointment!

  • NNorah33 9 Feb, 2014

    I made this recipe today and at the end of baking was left with a heavy, butter-soaked loaf, with a dense glutinous crust and a cooked but butter-dripping middle. Absolutely a waste of ingredients. A quick online search shows perhaps it is a faulty oven thermostat or over mixing of ingredients. Who knows. It had to be thrown out as it was inedible. And I am out 1/2 pound of butter (very expensive) and 4 eggs (also very expensive). Thanks, Martha!

  • anaher2 9 Dec, 2013

    I think this recipe will really benefit by adding 200 grams of sour cream, 6 eggs and not 4 and 1 tea spoon of baking soda.

  • nurika 15 Nov, 2013

    Made this cake last night. Came out perfect. My only change was i put my oven at 200 and let the cake bake for about 2 hrs and i added a bit of lemon zest for additional flavour. Not sure how some posts stated it was dry and the mixture tough,maybe over mixing caused that. Will experiment a bit but its definitely a keeper!

  • ArkansasBaker 7 Nov, 2013

    I made this recipe twice and both times I ended up with dry, tasteless "cake." The instructions say to bake for an hour but after 30 minutes of baking on 350, it was completely ruined. I will only be making cream cheese pound cake after this fiasco.

  • MondayMorningDonut 4 Nov, 2013

    I cut this batter into little squares and fried them to make Pound Cake Pillow Donuts. They were delicious! I liked this recipe because the ingredients were simple, there weren't too many of them, and the yield was reasonable . To fry the pound cake, I froze the batter so the butter would firm up. Then it was easy to cut it into bite-sized cubes and fry them in canola oil. You can see the yummy results here:

  • cburelle 17 Oct, 2013

    I tried this recipe 2 days ago. The dough was very thick, like cookie dough, so after reading a few comments I added a splash of milk (1/4 cup). The cake took 1h20 min to bake, and it still wasnt fully baked at the top but I gave up after adding yet another 10 minutes. It did taste good, but very very very heavy.

  • Summer Dancer 21 Aug, 2013

    Having read earlier reviews, I knew the problems faced - dry and/or moist less cake. So I used extra Large eggs. The utter & eggs sat out overnight for temp. And I made sure to cream butter & sugar a minimum of 8 min. And stopped mixing soon as flour was incorporated & no milk needed. The bottom was a little brown but I liked the flavor. Next time less cooking time with my oven. Overall not a bad cake. I will experiment more with recipe.

  • April Thames 8 Aug, 2013

    I really hoped this would turn out well. Everything else I've ever tried from Martha has... Sadly, it was sort of dry and tasteless. Checked and re-checked the directions, I followed every step. No idea why I ended up with a vanilla brick.

  • OneHappyCookie 28 Jul, 2013

    I love this recipe, and thought that adding zest of one lemon and a handful of lemon thyme leaves were a nice addition. I had to save a slice before the family ate it all!

  • 10yearoldbaker 6 Jul, 2013

    I'm 10 years old and I made this super easy recipe! I added a splash of milk and it turned out perfect. You should definitely pt the tinfoil on for browning. P.S. I'm also making Martha Stewart tomato soup today, I hope it turns out well! :)

  • bird-lette 26 May, 2013

    I thought mine was a little dry but I did have to over beat it (due to my own error). I took it to a potluck & served it with sliced strawberries, ice cream and whipped cream and folks loved it. Two people said it was the first pound cake they'd had that had any flavor! Must be eating store bought. I followed the recipe exactly, using real butter (of course!) and fresh local eggs. Much easier than doing shortcakes and it was well received.

  • CJ Wanna Bake 8 May, 2013

    I love pound cake. I am not much of a baker never mind baking something from scratch. This recipe was quite easy. Cake in my oven took 1 hr 10 min to bake. I did also need to tent with foil to prevent over browning. The "crust" of the loaf is of a cookie like texture, still not bad. My loaf was moist and beautifully pound cake dense on the inside. The cake was not as sweet as I would have liked. I made a simple glaze for the loaf, gave this treat the sweet bump that I was looking for. Delicious

  • Jamie Thomason 24 Mar, 2013

    This turned out great. I added a splash of milk for moisture. Just a seggestion :) Happy Cooking!

  • Jamie Thomason 24 Mar, 2013

    Just put it in the oven. :) Can't wait to see how it does.

  • Cecilia Rodr guez 23 Mar, 2013


  • Cecilia Rodr guez 23 Mar, 2013

    Enter your review...

  • KatieA1981 14 Mar, 2013

    I followed the recipe to the T. My cake was very heavy and dense. It was dry as well (I baked for 1 hour and 5 minutes - the top was still wet after baking for 1 hour.) NOT impressed and won't be using this recipe in the future.

  • ashleyann1 10 Jan, 2013

    Excellent recipe. Very simple to follow! I added rainbow sprinkles into the batter for a little color & fun! Looks great!

  • Paula Meirino-alfarano 26 Dec, 2012

    Enter your review...

  • Carina 9 Oct, 2012

    i think you were supposed to use a regular loaf pan, lady I, not a bundt cake pan.

  • lady l 3 Oct, 2012


  • Jeska222 24 Sep, 2012

    I made this cake the other day to dip into chocolate fondue. The cake rose fine, looking just like the photo, but was very dry. Thankfully the fondue disguised it the lack of moisture. With the remainder of the cake, I made it into french toast as it was just too dry to eat on its own. I would not make this recipe again.

  • Becca Dubin 10 Jul, 2012

    This recipe is so good. I made it today for my dad's birthday today and added chocolate chips! Mine rised perfectly.... it started to brown a little too fast while the middle was still raw so i put tin foil over the top. Other than this I think that I would definitely make this again.... YUMMY!!

  • SuzePrich 2 Jun, 2012

    There is too much butter vs. flour, and the eggs do not seem to be enough to raise this cake. It's very dense and looks NOTHING like the photo. That and taste pretty much determine if I'd make it again. They should take this one off the site.

  • slupdike 15 May, 2012

    This recipe has not been tested it needs a liquid of some kind!!!! Way to thick!! Came out hard!!!

  • AYLW 5 Dec, 2011

    It's delicious and easy to make! Just a quick note..It took me longer than 1hr to bake this though but otherwise I highly recommend it!

  • agd 12 Oct, 2011

    This is one of my favourite recipes for pound cake. Just make sure that you don't overmix, otherwise the center will be very dense. Simply lovely and I highly recommend it!

  • obwhit 15 Aug, 2011

    I just made the cake. It smells delicious and i can't wait to taste it. Although it doesn't look fabulous it has a huge crack down the middle. How can I prevent this next time?

  • beginnerbaker 24 Feb, 2011

    Could I add pumpkin puree and spices to this to make it a pumpkin pound cake? What other ingredients do I need to adjust to do that? Thanks!

  • sieenns 13 Feb, 2011

    This is my favourite pound cake recipe. I plan to use it for my wedding cake this summer.

  • illbeinmybunk 18 Nov, 2010

    I followed the recipe exactly, and it turned out rather bland. It turned out more like a slightly sweetened bread rather than a traditional pound cake. Perhaps it needs more sugar or more vanilla... in any case, as my brother puts it, it was just "missing something."

  • rosamusumeci 25 Jul, 2010

    I add sweetened coconut flakes, about a teaspoon of chocolate powder, and milk chocolate chips to this. My boyfriend thinks it's the most delicious thing, and I have to agree!

  • MemphisJ 25 Jun, 2010

    If you look up the Classic PC recipe, this is basically that recipe halved, w/ extra vanilla (why it's the Vanilla PC recipe). The measurements are slightly different for the flour and eggs. One direction that recipe states implicitly is to cream the butter sugar 8 minutes. If you do it until they are just combined, probably won't turn out right. Look up that recipe and follow those directions with this recipe and it will probably come out just right.

  • LovelyZ 10 May, 2010

    This was a very easy recipe. After reading the comments below, I added a box of vanilla instant pudding to the mix (which I have been told makes things extra moist). The cake was dense (as expected), but very good. It's a pound cake - it's supposed to be heavy and thick. Everyone really enjoyed it. And it only took me 10 minutes to prepare - you can't beat that! (FYI, it did take more than an hour to bake, and I definitely had to use the foil on top to prevent burning.)

  • CharityT 24 Feb, 2010

    I tried this recipe this afternoon and it was delicious. Yes, it is dense, but pound cake is supposed to be dense. It was not dry at all. After all, how could something with 2 sticks of butter and 4 eggs be dry! There is no leavening agent, so make sure that you follow the directions and beat the ingredients enough - but don't overmix when you add the flour. My kids and I loved this cake!

  • saradomca 6 Feb, 2010

    I just made this pond cake and it was really very heavy and dry we could not eat it.

  • aprilsanfrancisco 7 Oct, 2008

    I made the vanilla poundcake recently. It was so heavy that I could have used it for a doorstop!..Does this poundcake require a leavening agent? Martha, my vanilla poundcake looked nothing like yours...yikes!

  • aprilsanfrancisco 7 Oct, 2008

    I made the vanilla poundcake recently. It was so heavy that I could have used it for a doorstop!..Does this poundcake require a leavening agent? Martha, my vanilla poundcake looked nothing like yours...yikes!

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