Grandma Miller’s Pound Cake

This traditional pound cake, with classic ingredients like butter and flour, is a family recipe that we enjoy for special occasions. It’s perfectly moist and basically melts in your mouth.

This is a classic pound cake recipe that was passed down from Isaac’s grandma.

His dad grew up enjoying this perfectly moist pound cake and it was shared in book of family recipes that she passed down. I’ve made it several times as a treat for Isaac and he always loves it!

Slice of pound cake on a plate garnished with berries. Fork has taken a bite out of the cake.

Needless to say, this recipe is a bit different than the recipes you normally find here on EBF, but we love having it for special occasions and holidays so I figured I would share.

I couldn’t keep this amazing, melt-in-your-mouth cake recipe from you!

Bundt pound cake on a cake plate garnished with powdered sugar, berries and lemon. A napkin, more berries, and serving utensils are beside the cake plate.

Where Did the Name Pound Cake Come From?

True pound cake is a recipe that dates back to the 18th century. The name pound cake came about because the original recipe called for one pound each of flour, sugar, butter, and eggs.

The recipe has been adapted over time and as you’ll notice, Grandma Miller’s recipe doesn’t call for a pound of each ingredient, although it’s pretty close.

Ingredients in Pound Cake

I typically put my spin on recipes so they’re an upgraded, healthier version, but some things shouldn’t be tweaked so this is the classic recipe straight from Grandma Miller’s old recipe card! Here’s everything you’ll need to make the pound cake:

  • sugar – you can’t have traditional cake without sugar.
  • vegetable shortening and butter – this is what makes the pound cake nice and moist. Just be sure your butter is room temperature for easy mixing!
  • vanilla extract – just to add a little vanilla flavor.
  • lemon extract – the lemon extract adds a bright flavor to this cake.
  • eggs – another key ingredient in this pound cake. The eggs help it rise and give it the yellow color. It helps to bring the eggs to room temperature.
  • all-purpose flour – all-purpose flour works great for this pound cake, but you can also use cake flour for a lighter texture.
  • salt and baking powder – two baking essentials.
  • milk – this helps moisten the dough and keeps the cake texture tender.

Bundt pound cake, dusted in powdered sugar. A slice is cut from the cake, revealing the inside of the cake. Some berries are beside the cake.

Substitutions & Notes

Vegetable shortening – The original recipe calls for vegetable shortening but if you don’t have any on hand or don’t want to use it, add 1/2 cup butter (so three sticks in total).

Flour – I used all-purpose flour but you could use cake flour if you’re looking for a cake that isn’t as dense.

Gluten-free – I haven’t tested this with gluten-free flour, but if you want to try it, I would recommend swapping for a 1:1 gluten-free flour mix – it’s meant for substituting all-purpose flour at the same ratio.

Dairy-free – Again, I haven’t tested this with dairy-free milk but you should be able to swap the traditional cows milk for any dairy-free milk of choice.

If you try making this gluten-free or dairy-free, be sure to leave a comment so I know how it turned out. Thanks for being my recipe testers!

Aqua Kitchen Aid with paddle attachment mixing pound cake batter.

How to Make Pound Cake

Prep pans – Grease and flour a 9-inch tube pan or two 8-inch loaf pans. I usually use loaf pans for this recipe, but it looks really pretty in a bundt or tube pan.

Mix wet ingredients – In a large bowl, cream together the sugar, butter and shortening until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the vanilla and lemon extract.

Mix dry ingredients – Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Slowly mix into the wet ingredients, alternating with the milk until just blended.

Bake – Pour the batter into the prepared pans and place in a cold oven. Set the temperature to 325ºF and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Pouring thick pound cake batter into a bundt pan with a spatula.

Cool and enjoy – Let the cake cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Baked pound cake in a bundt pan.

How to Serve Pound Cake

This pound cake is insanely good on it’s own so feel free to eat it by the slice without any fancy toppings, but here are some additional ways to serve it up:

  • Strawberry shortcake – make a summer classic by serving this pound cake with strawberries and whipped cream. This is definitely my favorite way to serve it up!
  • Ice cream and chocolate sauce – go all out and top the cake with your favorite ice cream and drizzle a little chocolate sauce to top for good measure.
  • Make a trifle – cut the pound cake into cubes and layer with fruit, pudding (or whipped cream) for a beautiful dessert.

How to Store Leftover Pound Cake

After letting the cake cool completely, store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Pound cake also freezes really well! Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let it sit on the counter to thaw before enjoying.

Slice of pound cake on a plate with a fork and berries and a lemon slice on the side.

More Cake Recipes to Try:

If you try this pound cake recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Your feedback is super helpful for the EBF team and other readers who are thinking about making the recipe. 

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Slice of pound cake on a plate with a fork and berries and a lemon slice on the side.

Grandma Miller’s Pound Cake


  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 80 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: 16 slices
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This traditional pound cake, with classic ingredients like butter and flour, is a family recipe that we enjoy for special occasions. It’s a decadent dessert that’s loved by all!


Ingredients

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter (at room temp)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 5 eggs, one at a time (at room temp)
  • 3 cups flour*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup milk (I used 2% milk)
  • powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)

Instructions

  1. Prep pans: Grease and flour a 9-inch tube pan or two 8-inch loaf pans. 
  2. Cream cake batter: In a large bowl, cream together the sugar, butter and shortening until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then mix in the vanilla and lemon extract.
  3. Add the dry ingredients: Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; mix into the wet batter alternating with the milk just until blended. Pour into the prepared pan(s).
  4. Bake: Place in cold oven, set temperature to 325°F and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Serve: Sprinkle with powdered sugar if using, cut and serve.

Notes

  • Vegetable shortening: The original recipe calls for vegetable shortening. If you don’t want to use shortening I recommend cutting this out and using an extra 1/2 cup of butter, so 3 sticks total.
  • Flour: I used all-purpose flour but you can also use cake flour if you want the cake to be less dense. I haven’t tested this recipe with gluten-free flour!
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 393
  • Sugar: 38g
  • Sodium: 127mg
  • Fat: 18g
  • Saturated Fat: 9g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 8g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 54g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Cholesterol: 91mg

Keywords: pound cake

Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.

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Recipe rating

    2 comments
    1. Dawn
      April 3, 2021 AT 10:03 am

      Beautiful consistency (I made it gluten free). Very sugary. Next time, I’ll try a bit less sugar.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 3, 2021 AT 11:43 pm

        Oh yay so glad it turned out for you, Dawn. Did you use gluten-free all-purpose flour?

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