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Nana’s Pound Cake

Comments : 180 Posted in : Dessert on by : Chris Tags: , , ,

pound cake

We’ve dug into our family recipe archive once again to share with you this delicious pound cake recipe; Nana’s Pound Cake. This recipe has been with the family for over forty years. We’re not really sure how old it is, or where it originally came from. Nana said her Aunt Josephine taught her how to bake it some forty years ago, and she’s has been baking it ever since. When you taste it, you’ll understand why. This recipe is too good not to pass on, and so we’re archiving it here for our own family reference, but sharing it with you, dear foodie friends, as well.

Nana's Pound Cake

Rachel and I joked that it’s called a pound cake because you’ll gain a pound from eating it – the ingredients certainly aren’t “light”. But that isn’t where pound cake gets its name.

A traditional pound cake is made with a pound each of four ingredients; butter, flour, eggs, and sugar. The pound cake can still be considered a pound cake so long as it keeps a 1:1:1:1 ratio (just to get all Alton Brown food science on you here).

This recipe, while incorporating all of the ingredients of a pound cake, doesn’t strictly adhere to that ratio. So if you want to call the pound cake police on us go ahead. But give this cake a taste and you’ll quickly turn yourself in; it’s a darn tasty pound cake.

Nana's Pound Cake

This month, at 92 years old (and in better health than many “old people” 20 years her younger), Nana is passing the torch on this recipe to my Mom. Indeed, Nana literally gave my Mom the stand mixer she had been using to mix this recipe together for the past who-knows-how-many years. The cake in the photographs was the first official Pound Cake that Mom made with Nana’s mixer.

Nana's Pound Cake

Nana’s pound cake is a deliciously dense and moist cake. Enjoy a thick slice just by itself, or with a big scoop of whipped cream or frozen strawberries on top. Nana said she loved making this cake because it keeps so well – she’d make it in advance for guests, and found it tastes even better after it sits. We wouldn’t know – it never lasts long enough to tell.

From our table to yours, enjoy.

Recipe: Nana’s Pound Cake

Ingredients

  • 3/4 lb salted butter (room temperature)
  • 2 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3/8 tsp salt
  • 6 eggs (room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 3 cup flour

Directions

  1. Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl
  2. In another bowl combine wet ingredients and mix well.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and beat for 20 minutes.
  4. Pour into greased and floured tube pan. Bake for 1 hour and 20 min at 325 degrees.

Note: Allow the ingredients to come to room temperature before mixing and baking for best results.

Cooking time: 1 hour 20 minutes (1 hour if in convection oven)

 

7/30/17 Update – We get a lot of questions on this so I thought I would make it again and update this post with some feedback to the comments.

  • Do you really need to mix it 20 minutes? Yes! After mixing just a few minutes, compared to after mixing for the full 20 minutes, I could see a noticeable difference in the consistency of the batter. It becomes much more incorporated and velvety. I let my Stand Mixer run at high speed.
  • Another important point is to make sure your egg and butter are room temperature. I did not leave my milk out, I added it cold, was fine.
  • As far as the extract. I used vanilla as the recipe called for. My Mom says she used almond sometimes to change it up. I don’t see why you couldn’t use another extract too.
  • I beat my butter first, then added the eggs and beat, then the rest of the liquid. I was concerned because the butter wasn’t really incorporating with the liquids. But after I threw everything else in and beat for 20 minutes it was all perfect. I’m no food scientist or pro baker but it came out darn tasty!
  • Convection vs Standard Oven. The recipe calls for 1 hour 20 minutes. After one hour exactly I checked the oven and it looked and smelled done. I tested with a toothpick and it came out clean. I did not want to over bake so took it out and it was fine.  So if you have a convection, check it at an hour.
  • Tube Pan vs Bundt Pan – I Googled this. Apparently Tube Pans are for Angel Food cake usually. I had neither and had to buy one, and went for the bundt pan. Came out great. I have not baked in a loaf pan. Maybe next time I try. If you have please share your feedback.
  • Aging – My family, myself included, believe this cake gets better the older it gets. It’s fantastic the first day, but on day 2 or 3 it gets a little denser. That is assuming you don’t eat it all up first day.
  • Toppings – We enjoy whip cream and frozen strawberries toppings. It is great by itself as well.

Lastly, it is so fun to be able to check on the comments of this post. Nana is 97 and doing well. I tell her all the time how much people love her pound cake that we shared on the internet. So thank you for stopping by and trying her recipe. We hope you enjoy it!

Nana's Pound Cake

 

180s COMMENTS

180 thoughts

  • Naomi
    July 13, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    Can I use cake flour instead, if so, do I still have to use the baking powder and salt?

    • Chris
      July 14, 2016 at 10:09 am

      Sorry weve only ever used regular bleach/unbleached flour. Cake flour does have a different formulation so you might want to do some google’ing on how to adjust. Let us know how it comes out. Good luck!

  • Rose
    September 30, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    This is the best pound cake I have ever tasted. I have made it 4 times since I found the recipe and it always comes out perfect. My daughter requested that I add some chocolate chips next time. Chocolate chips are going in today :)) !! Chris, thank you so much for sharing your Nana’s recipe. This is a blue ribbon cake to say the least!!!

  • Hope Scott
    December 23, 2016 at 10:48 am

    Cooking one now hope it comes out.

      • Hope Scott
        January 12, 2017 at 8:20 pm

        HEY HAPPY NEW YEAR..IT CAME OUT PERFECT

      • Alice McCutchen
        July 2, 2017 at 1:58 pm

        What speed on mixer for 20 minutes? ??

    • Alice
      December 7, 2018 at 1:19 pm

      What kind of flour are u using.

  • Dawn
    February 6, 2017 at 11:21 am

    This was the absolute best! The flavor was so out of thei world! I’m making another one tonight! Thank your Nana!!

  • Helen
    April 6, 2017 at 10:47 am

    was wondering if the 20 minutes beating time was a misprint never beat any thing that long before thank you

    • Diane Elrod
      May 2, 2017 at 8:12 pm

      I was wondering about that also. 20 minutes sounds excessive amount of time. If you get an answer please share with me. Thank you!

      • Chris
        May 3, 2017 at 9:13 am

        Hi Diane. Yes, the 20 minutes is recommended. Nana said she can tell the difference. When my Mom makes it following her recipe, she does the 20 minutes, and she can tell, as opposed to some other family members who don’t do it that long. Nana says it doesn’t come out the same.

        • Susan
          May 6, 2017 at 5:33 am

          Beat by hand or with a mixer?

          • Chris
            May 8, 2017 at 9:05 am

            Definitely mixer. Unless you are looking to build up your muscles!

        • Ye Juanda Sargent
          July 27, 2017 at 9:19 pm

          Yes, I have made this cake many times, following instructions exact and it always works. Big and fluffy

  • Christine
    May 4, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    I would like to interject for a moment, if you think about it from the standpoint of creaming the butter and sugar until fluffy and then adding eggs one at a time beating after each and then adding your dry alternating with the milk that is possibly 15-20 mins putting the cake together and this is the way I do my cakes, I do not add all liquid together and throw in the dry and stand there mixing for 20 mins as stated above, you mix in stages as you add the ingredients and I would hope this is what they mean in the reply.

    • Diane Brant
      July 6, 2017 at 10:39 am

      I do mine the same alternating wet and dry beating several minutes after each addition and mine has always turned out fantastic! No complaints from anyone about not being beaten 20 for minutes!

    • Vivvi
      April 10, 2018 at 6:56 pm

      I wouldn’t do it that way…I would follow the recipe as is. This is pound cake, and as such it should be dense. Your method would produce a light cake that has no similarity to the intended end result.

    • Joy
      October 7, 2018 at 3:47 pm

      This is how I made this cake and it is really n I he oven now. The house smells divine. I am hoping for an excellent pound cake. My husband cleaned the bowl and everything else plus had 2heaping tablespoons of the batter to eat. So I know it’s going to be wonderful. I measured my flour after sifting then sifted again to mix dry ingredients together.

  • Sarilea
    June 7, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    Could you add banana flavoring or orange instead of vanilla and get that flavor throughout the cake?

    • Chris
      June 7, 2017 at 2:51 pm

      Never tried it but we don’t see why not. Give it a try and report back your findings so we and others know! ^_^

  • Ebru
    July 14, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    Very nice cake. Thank you for sharing.

  • Lillian
    August 4, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    I am going to try this cake. It does look yummy. Should the cake be placed in a cold oven or shoul it be preheated?

  • Starshine
    August 8, 2017 at 7:08 am

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. It’s awesome! I’ve been using this recipe for about a year now. For awhile, we were having it almost every Sabbath (dangerous for the waistline).
    We love it just the way it is, but I’m wondering what you all think about adding a little squeeze of orange juice to the batter or maybe an orange glaze. Never had anything like that, so I’m wondering if it would be any good. I might just leave it as it is because it’s perfect.

    • Chris
      August 9, 2017 at 9:21 am

      So glad you are enjoying it! I think a little lemon juice might be nice for sure! A lemon glaze would not be bad either as a change up. Sometimes I like it just as it is, sometimes I like it with whipped cream and strawberries on top. It seems to be a very versatile cake. Let us know if you do the orange or orange glaze and how it is!

      • Starshine
        October 9, 2018 at 8:27 pm

        You know Chris, I never could bring myself to mess with the recipe because it is just perfect as it is. I made one for my fam and a small loaf for my mom today. Delicious as usual.

  • Stephanie jennings
    September 3, 2017 at 7:15 am

    What kind of flour-self rising or all purpose?

  • Carol
    September 15, 2017 at 11:41 am

    Hi, looking forward to trying this recipe. If I want just a “hint” if lemon flavor would I use one or two tsp of lemon extract or would I be better off using fresh lemon juice and how much, thanks.

    • Chris
      September 15, 2017 at 11:53 am

      I think the extract would yield better results. Fresh juice you’d need more to taste it, and the liquid of it will throw off the recipe. Go with the extract. let us know how it is!

      • Carol
        September 15, 2017 at 12:06 pm

        Thanks so much for your quick reply. You didn’t say whether to use 1 or 2 tsp lemon extract. I just want a mild hint of lemon. Thanks.

        • Chris
          September 15, 2017 at 4:21 pm

          I’d probably just do 1. Id be afraid of adding too much and it being REALLY lemon flavored.

          • Carol
            September 15, 2017 at 4:29 pm

            Thanks once again. Cannot wait to try your recipe.

  • Elynne
    October 21, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    Cake flour or all purpose flour?

  • LINDA Adams
    November 5, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    How long does it need to cook in the pan before removing?

  • LINDA Adams
    November 5, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    I meant how long does the cake have to cool before removing from the pan?

  • Almabriscoe
    January 4, 2018 at 7:41 pm

    Delicious, one of the best pound cakes I have made.

  • Barbara Claxton
    January 14, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    Do you recommend sifting the flour first or no? Can you use cake flour instead of all purpose?

    • Chris
      April 9, 2018 at 12:54 pm

      We dont sift so you should be fine.
      Not sure about cake flour. we have alwayss used ap

  • Beth
    January 26, 2018 at 7:02 am

    Amazing cake!!! Thank you Nana! Thank you Chris for sharing, and yes 20 minutes for all ingredients to be incorporated. Turns into a wonderful treat!

    • Chris
      April 9, 2018 at 12:54 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it! Beat for 20 minutes is really necessary. Nana says its the most important!

  • Judy.
    January 31, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    I added vanilla and almond extract. Sooo good. I also beat my batter fir 20 min with my kitchen aid at fast speed. Batter was incredible

  • Rita
    February 3, 2018 at 8:07 pm

    Hello,
    So want to bake this cake but I only have unsalted butter.Would it be ok to add salt to the dry ingredients? And if so, how much?
    Thank you

  • Teresa
    March 23, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    I’m waiting for it to come out of the oven. My Mother always used a tube pan. The bottom doesn’t come out. Fingers crossed

    • Chris
      April 9, 2018 at 12:53 pm

      Let us know how it came out!

  • Renee
    March 27, 2018 at 9:57 pm

    I only have unsalted butter but I see where the recipe calls for 3/4 tsp Of added salt since I’m using unsalted butter should I add more salt if so how much.

    • Chris
      April 9, 2018 at 12:53 pm

      Sorry, I’m not sure how much extra to add.

  • Pam Netley
    April 9, 2018 at 12:46 pm

    Beat eggs and butter then add rest of wet?
    I always use bread flour for everything….would that work also?

    • Chris
      April 9, 2018 at 12:52 pm

      Yes to beating eggs and butter then adding rest.

      We always used AP Flour so can’t comment on what bread flour would do. I know from personal experience using AP vs Bread FLour for baking pizza it makes a difference. What that would do for the cake im not sure.

  • Pam Netley
    April 9, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    Made it…..YUMMY!
    Looks awesome!
    Wish I could post my pic

  • Pam Netley
    April 9, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    I used plain flour…..

  • Gabby
    April 15, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    Best cake I have ever made!!!!

  • crystal
    May 11, 2018 at 12:01 am

    How do you measure 3/4 lb of butter or 3/8 of salt the measuring spoon don’t have that size spoon

    • Chris
      May 11, 2018 at 9:00 am

      Butter has to be done by weight. If you buy sticks of butter it will have the measurements for weight right on the stick so you can see how much you need.
      3/8 teaspon is a 1/4 teaspoon and then fill the 1/4 teaspoon halfway again. that should get you where you need. why 3/8 i dont know but that is what Nana has in her recipe and it comes out perfect as it is. Good luck

  • Vicki
    May 12, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    I have never made pound cake before and this is the best I’ve ever tasted! I used two regular sized loaf pans for this recipe. I baked at 350 for approximately 40 minutes or until golden and done.

  • Leslie
    May 14, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    Made this recipe a few times. The only crumb and flavor are great…not too sweet. Having trouble with thick streaks once the cake cools. It comes out of the oven tall and beautiful and then deflates causing the gluey streaks. Any suggestions? Different from your recipe I am sifting the AP flour and adding the dry to the wet in my stand mixer because it’s just easier. Can either of these variations be causing the results I am experiencing? Help please! Thank you

    • Chris
      May 29, 2018 at 8:59 am

      That is strange that is happening. And its every time? And you are mixing for the 20 minutes or close to it?

    • Angel
      June 2, 2018 at 8:17 am

      Interesting, that’s usually butter streaks. I had that with someone else’s recipe.

    • Pat
      July 8, 2018 at 7:30 am

      Check your sugar. I had this problem years ago. You might be using beet sugar. Only use cane sugar for baking.

  • Jane
    May 28, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    At what speed should the batter be beaten for the 20 min?
    Thank you!

    • Chris
      May 29, 2018 at 8:59 am

      Hi Jane. When I make this myself I do it at medium high. Not so fast that my mixer flies off the counter but as fast as I feel comfortable. The 20 minutes seems excessive but trust us on it!

  • barb
    June 8, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    love your cake-
    need a recipe for a 7=up pound cake ,, thanks

  • Laura Robinson
    June 17, 2018 at 9:02 pm

    HI Made the cake, great taste, great crust, but the inside is kind of gummy. Thoughts? Whipped it the full 20 min. correct baking time and temp.
    Thanks

    • Chris
      June 18, 2018 at 8:34 am

      A couple other people mentioned this, though I never had it happen myself. I Google’d it and came across this:
      https://blog.kingarthurflour.com/2014/07/15/how-to-prevent-dense-gluey-streaks-in-your-cake/

      “creaming (beating together sugar, butter, and eggs) has to be done slowly; “no higher than medium speed.”
      And once any flour is added, the mixing has to be slower still. Developing the flour’s gluten too much means the cake will rise beautifully in the oven – then sink (a little, or a lot) as soon as you pull it out.”

      Maybe you beat the eggs butter sugar too fast? I don’t know. But when I make this again I will make note of what I do and how it comes out. Thank you for trying it.

  • kimberly Copes
    June 19, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    Thanks sweet Nanna yummy we thank you for sharing a awesome easy recipe

  • Holly
    June 27, 2018 at 9:02 am

    I have a Bosch Universal mixer…and, it is very powerful. There really isn’t a “slow” or “medium” speed with this. I can knead enough dough for 6 loaves of bread in 7-8 minutes. So, I’m wondering if I should use my KA hand mixer for this and have my family take turns for that 20 minutes?! HA!! I could always mix for just 12-15 minutes with my Bosch and see how that works. What does the finished batter look like? Thanks!

    • Chris
      June 27, 2018 at 9:08 am

      Hi Holly. I’m sorry to say I don’t have an answer for you. I use a KA stand mixer and ran it at medium speed for the 20 minutes with no problem. I don’t have any photos of the batter. I’ll make this again soon and take a picture to add to the recipe page. I wouldn’t recommend beating it by hand, that just sounds exhausting. Maybe give it a shot with your Bosch and see how it goes?

      • Holly
        June 27, 2018 at 2:39 pm

        Thanks. I think I’m going to give a try this weekend. I’ve read a few other forums and blogs with a similar recipe saying not to skimp on the 20 minutes. I shall be brave. 🙂

  • Kathy
    July 21, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    I’m making this pound cake and was wondering how it would work if I used 2 loaf pans instead tube pan?

  • Sandi
    August 25, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    Please telll your Nana that with this amazing pound cake recipe she scored a home run. Wait, no, make that a Grand Slam! Try spreading a thin layer of butter on a slice, then toast it in the oven on Broil for a minute.. DEEELISH!

  • Cindy
    September 3, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    I’ve made this cake several times and do it per directions, including the mixing for 20 min. . It comes out great and is definitely better on day 2.:) My only advice is check for doneness around an hour and keep checking because ovens vary. It usually doesn’t take an 1 hr 20 for me.
    Thx for recipe.

  • Gloria
    September 13, 2018 at 12:25 am

    What kind of flour. Please reply

  • Marlene
    September 14, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    I have made this several times and it always turns out amazing. This time I used lemon extract (homemade) and a little bit of zest. It’s in the oven now and I can’t wait! And it is true that, just like us “Nanas”, the cake gets better with age. After 2-3 days (if it lasts that long), it is even better than Sara Lee pound cake! And the 20 minute beating time is the secret, I think. Awesome recipe….thanks Nana!!

  • Inell
    September 19, 2018 at 8:10 pm

    My Mother used to make this cake all the time. Then as I got old enough I made it. it is fantastic, especially with strawberries and whipping cream or cool whip.

  • Mary Whitton
    October 23, 2018 at 9:44 am

    Tell Nana my mother I lost last year @ 101 yrs
    She was a part of our cooking everyday!
    Wish I had written more down!

  • Danielle
    October 27, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe. Added caramel icing to go with ice cream. It was delicious.

  • Buthaina abbas
    November 8, 2018 at 12:11 am

    Thanks for great recipe .It looks fantastic.I’ll try it for the family.

  • Cassandra Jordan
    November 15, 2018 at 10:53 pm

    I made my very first home made pound cake using this recipe. I was so nervous. It came out perfect. My family LOVED it. I will be using this recipe from here on out.

  • susan
    December 4, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    I have my husband’s Nana’s Pound Cake recicpe. It is pretty much like yours only it has more of everything. I am always amazed when I make it using a stand mixer with him telling me he can remember Nana making it but used a wooden spoon. For a little woman, she had to have had some strong arm muscles. I have found that a tube pan works better than a bundt because it is easier to get out of the pan. Also, my recicpe won’t fit in a bundt. I will definitely keep this though for when I want a smaller cake, not much but smaller. Thanks

  • sarala
    December 12, 2018 at 12:59 am

    Absolutely divine. It’s a keeper. moist , rich and melt in the mouth. Thank you for sharing. wishing you and your family A Joyous Christmas and A year filled with Good health, Peace , Joy and Love. A big God bless you to Nana.. 🙂

  • Diane
    January 20, 2019 at 8:57 am

    Made your great cake last night for some friends coming for dinner. I followed your directions to the letter (unusual for me lol) and the cake turned out fantastic! We ate it with some homemade fudge sauce a friend gave us for Christmas. Thank Nana for sharing her recipe with us Okies!

  • Mattie Williams
    February 2, 2019 at 2:01 pm

    I like to know what type of flour to use for the recipe Nana pound cake would like to try it . Thanks

  • Janet
    May 9, 2019 at 4:38 pm

    The beating of 20 minutes after the flour is added DOES NOT work. It was a waste of my eggs and butter. I got a cake that are gummy/gluey(not even streaks). The entire cake was gummy. On the directions it said to beat at high speed for 20 minutes, I beat it on my stand mixer at a 6 setting instead of a 10 and baked at 1 hr 20 minutes at 325 produced a hard crust cake that is gummy. All the pound cake recipes I’ve read up on said to cream butter and sugar well then mix in eggs one at a time until combined then fold in flour or mix in flour slowly. Whipping it for 20 minutes, when I read the recipe did set up alarms but I decided to follow and the result was terrible. I had to throw the entire cake away. 2nd post since my first was deleted and this may get deleted also. I will just add the comment on pinterest to warn others.

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