Rating: 3.33 stars
828 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 150
  • 4 star values: 214
  • 3 star values: 278
  • 2 star values: 132
  • 1 star values: 54

Light on effort, heavy on flavor, pound cake has earned its centuries-long popularity. Learn how to make this traditional, crowd-pleasing dessert.

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Ingredients

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter two 5-by-9-inch loaf pans. Combine all-purpose flour and salt in a bowl.

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  • Cream butter and sugar with a mixer on high speed until pale and fluffy, for 8 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Reduce speed to medium, and add vanilla extract.

  • Lightly beat eggs, and add to mixer bowl in 4 additions, mixing thoroughly after each and scraping down sides. Reduce speed to low, and add flour mixture in 4 additions, mixing until just incorporated. Divide batter between pans. Tap on counter to distribute; smooth tops.

  • Bake until a tester inserted into center of each cake comes out clean, about 65 minutes. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire rack.

Cook's Notes

Optional: Serve with our Classic Pound Cake Topping.

Variations

Topping-Macerated berries: Combine 2 cups berries, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1 teaspoon lemon juicein a bowl. Cover; refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. Serve with whipped cream.

Reviews (35)

828 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 150
  • 4 star values: 214
  • 3 star values: 278
  • 2 star values: 132
  • 1 star values: 54
Rating: 5 stars
05/26/2018
Excellent
Rating: Unrated
02/15/2017
I used salted butter, creaming the butter and sugar for 20 mins on high speed. I reduced the salt to 1 tsp sea salt, and increased the vanilla to 2 Tbsp. I baked it in a large rectangular baking pan, at 325° for about 1 hour 10 minutes. The result was a dense and flavorful pound cake that did rise without any leavening agent, was incredibly moist, and received rave reviews. This is a wonderful recipe ❤
Rating: Unrated
03/16/2016
I loved this recipe. Moist, delicious, not at all salty (I used kosher salt). I was wondering if it can be used for an Easter Lamb Cake. Has anybody tried this?
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Rating: 1 stars
12/11/2015
I was looking forward to a great pound cake, not. It's too salty and it taste like pure eggs. Martha next time try making the recipe before you suggest it. I used organic flour, butter and eggs. Martha you owe me some money. I wish I had seen the reviews first.
Rating: 1 stars
12/11/2015
I was looking forward to a great pound cake, not. It's too salty and it taste like pure eggs. Martha next time try making the recipe before you suggest it. I used organic flour, butter and eggs. Martha you owe me some money. I wish I had seen the reviews first.
Rating: 1 stars
12/11/2015
I was looking forward to a great pound cake, not. It's too salty and it taste like pure eggs. Martha next time try making the recipe before you suggest it. I used organic flour, butter and eggs. Martha you owe me some money. I wish I had seen the reviews first.
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Rating: 1 stars
12/11/2015
I was looking forward to a great pound cake, not. It's too salty and it taste like pure eggs. Martha next time try making the recipe before you suggest it. I used organic flour, butter and eggs. Martha you owe me some money. I wish I had seen the reviews first.
Rating: 5 stars
01/06/2015
I love this receipe. I used a tablespoon of 33% less sodium salt. It's the first time I made this receipe. I love it.
Rating: Unrated
09/17/2014
This recipe came out perfectly. I just wanted to leave a comment because some people are having trouble with the salt. I used the whole tablespoon, and I used course salt. Because I saw that some reviewers had used course salt and still felt the cakes came out salty, I took the advice of an earlier comment and put the salt into the butter/sugar mixture halfway through creaming them together. I highly recommend this method, as the batter was perfect and the cakes are delicious.
Rating: 2 stars
08/02/2014
We had a dinner party last night and I wanted the PERFECT pound cake so where else to go but to Martha. LOVE her cooking classes on PBS, etc. Well, my sweet husband told me "a whole tablespoon of salt??!!". Yes, that is what Martha said. I didn't eat any at the party but after cleaning up sat down to eat a piece of this beautiful cake. It was very salty. The only thing I can think is that I didn't have "Course Salt" and used Kosher. No one commented on the saltiness, just it was so pretty
Rating: Unrated
02/22/2014
I was skeptical of the salt called for in the recipe, but I trust Martha. Mine came out beautifully. Firm but light, buttery but not greasy, and not eggy tasting. The only thing I did differently was add the salt to the butter and sugar halfway through the creaming process. I wanted to be sure it dissolved well. If I were troubleshooting for the reviewers who said it was too salty, I would wonder if they used salted butter instead of unsalted and or table salt instead of coarse.
Rating: Unrated
01/21/2014
I don't know about anyone else but I bake by weight so the recipe always comes out the same.
Rating: Unrated
09/18/2013
I read the other reviews and they are so far from my experience in making this recipe. I used 1 TB if salt per the recipe and my cake tasted great. Gave many slices away and everyone loved it. I did, however, use Kosher salt, which is different than table or sea salt. My cakes were perfect. I'm makings re tonight. Try it again using Kosher salt instead. Also, weigh out your eggs after you've cracked open the shells. Make sure your eggs weigh 1lb.
Rating: Unrated
04/24/2013
UGH! Too salty and mine didn't rise nearly enough. I wanted to compare it to my mother's recipe and it doesn't even come close...too much butter and almost twice as many eggs. I do halve the batter and make one regular cake and the other I add about 1/2 tsp of almond extract and about 1 Tbsp. of poppy seeds. I prefer almond pound cake rather than lemon like most people make. The almond one always disappears first!
Rating: Unrated
04/08/2013
I agree the cake turned out beautiful, but the taste was ruined by the amount of salt! I would use maybe a teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of vanilla instead... Yuck!
Rating: 1 stars
04/01/2013
Please correct this recipe! The salt ruined a perfectly wonderful cake. Great texture, great crumb but there is no way you should use a tablespoon of salt. And yes, I used coarse salt as the recipe called for....
Rating: Unrated
02/26/2013
There is a difference between coarse salt and table salt. The conversion is NOT one to one.
Rating: Unrated
09/19/2012
Why is there no baking powder, or baking soda? Do the eggs really enable the cake to rise completely?
Rating: Unrated
07/24/2012
I tried the recipe with a teaspoon of salt... it was perfect... I like it
Rating: Unrated
04/13/2012
This recipe is wrong it should only have a teaspoon of salt not a tablespoon, be warned mine went in the bin!!!
Rating: Unrated
08/15/2011
I am guessing based on the other reviews that mine only came out wrong because of me- Mine was seeping with butter and did not rise - Did I just not beat the butter and sugar long enough? Thanks!
Rating: Unrated
02/23/2011
Made this cake last night. However, I did tweak a couple of things: Subbed pinch of table salt for the coarse. Added rind of one lemon and juice of one lemon. Added more vanilla than called for. Did cream the butter/sugar for 8 minutes. Very important step. Will absolutely make this again, but will need to add some sort of liquid b/c cake was just a small tad on the dry side--just a tad. If this cake were just a bit more moist it would have reached perfection status.
Rating: Unrated
02/21/2011
This is a great pound cake, but yes it is a bit on the salty side. I would decrease salt to 1-1 1/2 tsp. of salt.
Rating: Unrated
01/22/2011
4 sticks butter=1 lb= 454grams
Rating: Unrated
11/18/2010
4 sticks of butter equals one pound in US measurements. I don't know what it is in kilograms...
Rating: Unrated
08/12/2010
I'm always a fan of Martha's cake recipes but sometimes I have difficulty in the measurement, in this case, the use of 4 sticks of butters. Can anyone tell me how much is 4 sticks of butter in kg or gram? I appreciate any feedback. Thanks
Rating: Unrated
05/30/2010
Best cake I've ever made! Definitely follow directions carefully-DO cream butter and sugar the full amount of time! Absolutely worth it! Halved the recipe btw, and used four eggs plus couple of teaspoons of the fifth.
Rating: Unrated
05/26/2010
I made this cake for my grandmother...it was excellent. I chose to make it with only 1/2 tablespoon coarse salt and it came out perfectly moist and rich. This recipe is a keeper!
Rating: Unrated
10/28/2009
I made this cake without alterations for my mother-in-law's birthday and it turned out fabulous. I weighed the flour and sugar instead of measuring it, and used coarse Kosher salt and a good quality bourbon vanilla and everyone loved it. Not too sweet, but ever so rich and flavorful.
Rating: Unrated
09/15/2009
So I have made this and I am making it again now (fingers crossed, no jinx, no jinx) and I have found that if you use cake flour, and really really cream the hell out of the butter and sugar you get a really nice product. I also just the salt down to 1 tsp per lb of flour, I am using bulk bin sea salt. k k
Rating: Unrated
08/23/2009
I was about to make this recipe but worried since the comments are negative. Any one out there with suggestions? Cookie
Rating: Unrated
07/15/2009
I made this last night and had to throw it out - WAY TOO SALTY!
Rating: Unrated
06/24/2009
I made 3 varieties. I wasn't thrilled with any. I didn't have a salt problem, but I used salted butter and added just a pinch. I don't understand Martha's obsession with coarse salt in baking. You can see my results here: http://marthaandme.wordpress.com/2009/06/24/pound-cake-party/
Rating: Unrated
06/21/2009
I baked this cake following recipe but had to throw them out. TOO SALTY. Really 1 tablespoon of coarse salt? I think maybe it should've been 1 tsp of coarse salt. Has anyone else had the same results?
Rating: Unrated
06/17/2009
I bake all the time and followed this recipe exactly. My cakes came out looking and smelling great but they are really dry. Any ideas of what to do now?