King Arthur Flour's Original Pound Cake

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King Arthur Flour's Original Pound Cake

star rating (19) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

At the heavy end of the butter cake spectrum is the pound cake, the original or "grandmother" of all butter cakes. This cake is incredibly rich, but fortunately, a very thin slice goes a long, long way.

2 cups (4 sticks) butter
2 to 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
8 extra large or 9 large eggs
4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons brandy or sherry
2 teaspoons vanilla, almond or other flavoring

A traditional pound cake has no leavening other than air and eggs. Our recipe, while egg rich, has some baking powder in it as well to lighten it a little.

To lighten it even more, separate the eggs before you begin. After creaming the butter and adding the sugar, beat in just the egg yolks. Beat the whites separately until they form stiff peaks, and fold them in after all the other ingredients have been combined.

Preheat your oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, cream the butter until very light. Add the sugar gradually and then the eggs, one by one, and continue beating until the mixture is very light and fluffy. (An electric mixer can be most helpful and effective here.)

When you cream butter, it may seem at the beginning as if you're just mashing it flat. But if you persevere, you'll begin to see it get "fluffy." What you're really doing is adding air. When you beat the butter with sugar, it becomes even fluffier, evidence of more air. And when the eggs are beaten in, the fluffiness is at its peak. That's why this part of the mixing is so important. The more air bubbles you can beat in at this stage, the more air bubbles there are to expand in the heat of the oven. Baking powder or soda can do part of the work of leavening, but the more air bubbles you can get into a batter manually, the finer and lighter the texture of the finished cake.

In a separate bowl, blend together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Pour the milk into a third small bowl, mix the brandy and vanilla, or whatever flavoring you're partial to.

Alternately add the wet and dry ingredients to the butter/sugar/egg mixture. Pour into a lightly greased tube pan, or two 5 x 9-inch bread pans, and bake for about 1 hour or until the top surface of the cake springs back when you press on it gently with your fingers.

Let the cake cool thoroughly after it is done, cover and store for a couple of days to allow the flavor to mature. A pound cake is usually sliced thin.

Reviews

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  • star rating 04/20/2015
  • member-kmo16481 from KAF Community
  • KAF is my go to place for recipes but I find that only the bread recipes always seem to work as planned. I followed this recipe to the letter. Lightened my flour and measured it. Beat the yolks and whites separately. All my ingredients were at room temperature when I started. The cake batter was nice and airy and I put it in a tube pan, filled it about 2/3. It tasted delicious. It rose beautifully. I cooked it a little over an hour. The top sprang back smartly and was separating from the sides. Took it out of the oven ...let it cool an hour...took it out of the pan...disaster...leaky, soupy batter burst out of the cake. Tossed the whole thing and, since I need a cake for tomorrow, going to my go-to lemon chiffon recipe. Very disappointing.

    We're sorry that happened! Other ways to test for cake doneness would include the toothpick or knife blade inserted into the center (only a few crumbs should cling to it, no batter), and using a digital thermometer. It needs to be over 190 to ensure a full bake. Happy baking! Laurie@KAF

  • star rating 10/12/2014
  • Faithy from
  • Super delicious! Nice crumb. Taste delicious warm too!
  • 08/19/2014
  • JT from Washington State
  • This recipe calls for sherry or brandy. Do you think it would it still taste great with amaretto (such as Disarrono) instead? If so, is it necessary to switch the vanilla extract for almond extract? Lastly, instead if a tube pan, would this cake come out of a Bundt pan nicely? Thanks!

    I think it would be delicious with amaretto!!! Amaretto is actually my favorite liqueur to use when baking and you can either keep the vanilla, or you can switch to almond extract if you would like a stronger almond presence (I don't really think you can go wrong either way!). You also could use a Bundt pan if you like, just make sure you grease it well so as to not have issues with releasing and you should be all set to go. Happy Baking! Jocelyn@KAF

  • star rating 08/05/2014
  • Mollieko from KAF Community
  • Too eggy. It was time consuming.

    I'm sorry to hear your were so unhappy with the results of this recipe, but we thank you for giving it a try and hope you can find another you enjoy from our site (I'm a big fan of the Golden Vanilla Pound Cake personally). Feel free to call our Baker's Hotline at 1-855-371-2253 if you have any questions. Happy Baking! Jocelyn@KAF

  • star rating 07/23/2014
  • the fat man from California
  • Made this recipe in two bread pans, came out great. I would let it sit for a day or two it tastes better. overall it was easy to make and worth it. omitted the alcohol and didn't whip the eggs separately.
  • star rating 06/20/2014
  • ScottJL from USA
  • Excellent recipe, I took my time and whipped the butter for a good 20 minutes to incorporate lots of air. Slow going and the cake came out excellent. Just be warned it makes a LOT of cake, filled a 12" x 4" round pan half way up and baked up all the way. Coworkers were quite happy when I brought half the cake in to share. Great taste and very good texture. I'll be making this again but probably cut the recipe in half.
  • star rating 04/11/2014
  • Bernadette S from Stratford CT
  • This has got to be the best pound cake that I ever made. Everyone loved the cake because of it's texture. Will make it over and over again.
  • star rating 12/13/2013
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  • star rating 12/10/2013
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  • star rating 12/29/2012
  • vani from
  • amazing cake....but it is too much batter for the pan size specified...the cake tasted awesome though...
    This recipe calls for a 9 x 5" pan--an 8.5" x 4" pan will be too small. It is also possible that if too much air is created while beating the sugar/butter, the cake will rise too much and overflow. This would also work great in a bundt pan as it has more space for the batter to bake up! Kim@KAF


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