Vanilla Pound Cake

Friends! Hello! I am so excited to share the buttery, sumptuous, simple Vanilla Pound Cake. It's perfect as a "default" dessert (read: you forgot to make dessert but you meant to 😂), and nobody will ever know because it is so. very. delicious.

How do I know that it can come together that quickly? Because that’s exactly how it came together in the Whisonant House.

Picture it: Spring 2024. Prepping for Sunday dinner. Chicken Parmesan/Cesar Salad plan is coming together nicely. Instacart order is done. It’s 2:00 in the afternoon. Life is good.

Until you remember that you promised a vanilla pound cake to your Vanilla Cake-loving son to accompany his meal. 😑

So you use pantry staples and pull something together as quickly as you possibly can. And he LOVES it and asks for it over, and over, and over again. So you make it over, and over, and over again. 😊 And you realize that your dearest readers might like the recipe too.

That, Friends, is the frenetic story of how this Vanilla Pound Cake came to be. 😂

This is an overhead photo of a Vanilla Pound Cake

About this Vanilla Pound Cake

This Vanilla Pound Cake maximizes speed, efficiency, and knock-it-out-of-the-park taste and texture. Every scientific element of every ingredient is working at maximum capacity in order to get the gorgeous flavor, texture, and caramelization that we love in our Vanilla pound cakes.

But you don’t have to think about all that. You just need to gather your pantry staples and prepare to knock everybody’s socks off.

This is a photo of a sliced Vanilla Pound Cake

Vanilla Pound Cake Ingredients

All-Purpose Flour: I love the pleasantly plump texture of a good pound cake, and this Vanilla Pound Cake is no different. That beautiful texture largely comes from all-purpose flour. I find that lower-protein cake flour doesn’t give the same rise and texture to pound cakes, so that is why I don’t use it in mine.

Baking Soda: This Vanilla contains buttermilk, which has active cultures added to give it its signature tangy flavor and texture. These active cultures transform the milk into a beautifully acidic component, so baking soda is the proper leavening for this Vanilla Pound Cake.

Kosher Salt: Salt is very important in any dessert; it balances the sugar and keeps the dessert from becoming overly sweet. It doesn’t take a lot of salt to balance the sugar in a cake recipe, so measure this ingredient very carefully. If you’re using table salt for this recipe, make sure cut the amount in half.

Unsalted Butter: Butter has a staring role in this cake! It gives wonderful special flavor, and also the creaming process creates the absolutely necessary air pockets that help this cake to rise. Additionally, the fats in the butter are needed to tenderize the powerhouse protein molecules in your flour and egg whites. This ingredient does a lot of work! Use good butter for this cake, and make sure that it’s room temperature before you begin. I set my butter out for about two hours before baking time. If you don’t have two hours, 10-20 minutes in your waistband or pocket will do just fine.

Granulated Sugar: The sugar in this recipe adds a nice sweetness to this cake, and it also helps with caramelization! That gorgeous crust on the outside of your cake is largely due to the granulated sugar in this Vanilla Pound Cake recipe!

Eggs: The fatty yolks add flavor to this amazing, while the protein-rich egg whites assist with the texture and rise. Be sure to use large chicken eggs for the best results.

Vanilla Extract: This cake calls for a tablespoon of vanilla extract. Vanilla gives this cake a beautiful warm flavor. Make sure to use the good stuff, like Nielsen-Massey, for this incredible recipe! Whatever brand you use, make sure you use pure vanilla extract.

Buttermilk: I love buttermilk for this recipe. Particularly because, if you don’t have buttermilk, you can use 250 g (1 c) of whole milk and a tablespoon of vinegar (white vinegar or apple cider vinegar both do an admirable job). You’ll get great results.

This cake tastes too good to be this easy. Yet easy it is. ❤️ So, prep your mise en place and let’s get to work!

This is a photo of a slice of Vanilla Pound Cake

Beginners Start Here

If you’re new to baking, or if you want to learn how to do some of the more tricky baking techniques, here are a couple of super helpful articles from the BwB site (and a resource from the BwB Home Baking Academy!) that will help you get set up for success with this Vanilla Pound Cake.

These resources are extremely helpful to help you build consistency (and confidence) in your baking. Need more help? Feel free to send me an email at bakingbestie@beginwithbutter.com!

Important Tools Used in this Vanilla Pound Cake

Below, you’ll find a list of tools that I used for this amazing cake. You can find all of these tools (and more!) in my Amazon Storefront!

**I get paid a small commission if you purchase directly from my Amazon Storefront, but these are truly amazing products that you’ll find in my kitchen.**

This cake has already become a family favorite. For me, it’s because the ease with which it comes together and the warm vanilla flavor that seemingly happen instantly. That, coupled with the sheer ease of this cake, make it perfect as a base for ice cream or trifle, or a strong standout on its own.

I hope you love this cake! Enjoy and make sure to tag @beginwithbutter on Instagram when you make it!

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Vanilla Pound Cake

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This amazingly delicious Vanilla Pound Cake is so deceptively easy that you won’t believe it.  It’s absolutely perfect for a simple yet elegant dessert and perfect for any table.

  • Total Time: 5-7 hours
  • Yield: 18 servings 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale

For the Cake:

  • 384 g (3 c) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt (or 1/2 tsp fine salt)
  • 227 g (1 c) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 500 g (2.5 c) granulated sugar
  • 6 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 250 g (1 c) buttermilk, room temperature

For the Vanilla Simple Syrup:

  • 67 g (1/3 c) granulated sugar
  • 84 g (1/3 c) water
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Vanilla Glaze:

  • 240 g (2 c) confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1.52 tbsp whole milk
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to a true 325°F.  An oven thermometer will help you determine whether your oven is at the correct temperature.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.
  3. Add room temperature butter to a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer.  Mix until completely smooth.
  4. Add sugar. Cream butter and sugar on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed to ensure even mixing.
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing each egg until it’s invisible.  Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  6. Add vanilla extract and mix thoroughly.
  7. Add half of the flour mixture and mix until nearly combined.
  8. Add all of the buttermilk and mix until nearly combined.
  9. Add the other half of the flour mixture and mix until nearly combined.  Use a stiff spatula to thoroughly scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, and give several turns to ensure that the batter is evenly mixed.
  10. Prepare a 10 or 12-cup bundt pan with butter and flour.  Add the batter to the bundt pan and place in the oven at a true 325°F.  Bake cake for 60-70 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer reads 212°F in the center of the cake.
  11. Remove the cake from the oven and place on a cooling rack while still in the pan.  Allow it to remain in the pan for ten minutes while you make the simple syrup.
  12. To make the simple syrup: Place water, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cooking only until all of the sugar has dissolved.  Remove from the heat and add the pure vanilla extract.  Stir to combine.
  13. After the cake has cooled in the pan for ten minutes, invert it on the cooling rack and remove the pan.  (Parchment paper under the cooling rack prevents big messes here!). Brush immediately (and gently!) with the simple syrup and allow to cool completely.
  14. To make the glaze: Add confectioner’s sugar, fine sea salt, pure vanilla extract, and 1.5 tbsp of whole milk to a large bowl.  Use a small whisk to combine. Add additional whole milk, 1 tsp at a time, until you reach the desired consistency. Final glaze should have the consistency of thick honey.
  15. Add glaze to the completely cooled cake and enjoy!
  • Author: Shani
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60-70 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American

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