Classic Buttermilk Pound Cake

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This Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Pound Cake is incredibly moist, fluffy, and tender and melts in your mouth with every bite. This cake will be a hit all year long, no matter the occasion.

Classic Buttermilk Pound Cake

Growing up, there were a few desserts my dad made homemade that I found to be incredible; his fudge brownies and this pound cake recipe. Everybody, whoever had them, always asked for more. I knew that when I went to culinary school, to become a chef, I had to have them in my recipe toolbox.

My dad always believed a classic pound cake should be substantial, not a delicate cake like carrot cake. My grandfather loved pound cakes, plain with no icing, just a tender piece of pound cake. So my dad’s inspiration was to make a cake that his dad would love.

He wanted the cake to be something you could cut, wrap, place in a lunchbox and still be intact when ready to eat. His pound cakes had to be sturdy, moist, and tender with a lite glaze. It’s supposed to fill you up and not help you stay lean and mean, but a meal that would stand alone and fill you up!

Is Pound Cake African American?

Although we in the African-American community love our pound cakes, the origins of pound cakes started in North Europe and dated back to the 1700s. Back then, the flour, butter, eggs, and sugar each weighed one pound, hence the name. It’s not the same anymore.

Key Ingredients

Look at this list of ingredients to make sure you have everything you need for some delicious slices of buttermilk pound cake.

Flour

I always use unbleached all-purpose flour in my cakes but feel free to use the all-purpose flour you have at home.

Buttermilk

I know, depending on the area you live in, your local grocery store may only serve low-fat buttermilk but if you find Bulgarian buttermilk, get it! It’s the best buttermilk on the market.

Unsalted Butter

Unsalted butter is what was taught to bake with; the rule is unsalted butter for cooking and baking and salted butter for buttering bread.

Sugar

We need granulated sugar for the cake and powdered sugar for our glaze.

Eggs

I love using brown eggs in my cakes because they have a deeper orange-colored yolk than white eggs. The deep color equals flavor.

Baking Soda

I usually use baking powder and baking soda in my cakes, but this one only needs baking soda—more on why in the pro recipe tips and tricks sections.

Vanilla Extract

A little vanilla extract goes a long way to make the cake special.

How to make classic buttermilk pound cake recipe?

Here are the steps to preparing an old-fashioned buttermilk pound cake that would make every Southern grandparent proud!

For the Pound Cake: Preheat oven to 325°F. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar on low for 1 minute, then increase speed to medium with a hand mixer for 5 minutes. You can use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment too. Creaming adds volume and texture to your cake. Check notes for how to know when butter and sugar are properly creamed. 

Add eggs one at a time. Then add vanilla extract.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Alternate mixing in flour mixture and buttermilk, starting and ending with flour mixture. Mix on low speed with a mixer. 

whole buttermilk pound cake missing a slice

The batter should be thick and fluffy. Pour batter into a greased bundt pan, shake to even out but do not tap to release air bubbles.

Bake: for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cake should be golden brown with a few happy cracks in the crust. Cool completely for 30 minutes, then invert on a cooling rack. 

Glaze: In a medium bowl, combine powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and buttermilk until smooth. Pour glaze evenly over the cooled cake. Serve immediately with whipped cream or ice cream.

Pro Recipe Tips & Tricks

Here are a few notes I had from making this incredible buttermilk pound cake recipe.

  • Creamed butter and sugar should be light, fluffy, and spreadable like icing.
  • I like to use homemade cake grease for my bundt pans. I used 2 tablespoons of flour and 1 tablespoon of oil for this recipe. The ratio is 2:1, flour to oil.
  • Keep cake grease in a clean container and use it when baking cakes or muffins.
  • It’s essential to use room temperature butter and eggs so they incorporate the right amount of air into the cake but also so the ingredients will blend better.
  • If you forget to take your butter out ahead of time, slice the butter into tablespoons and leave it sitting on the butter wrapper. Once you can leave your finger indented in the butter, it’s ready.
  • If you forget to take your eggs out, don’t worry. Place eggs in a bowl or glass and cover with warm tap water for 5 minutes.
  • Use an oven thermometer to make sure that your oven is heating to the right temperature. Place in the center for 10 minutes.
  • Use almond extract instead of vanilla extract for more floral notes.
  • I do not recommend using lemon juice or white vinegar in milk to make mock buttermilk for your pound cake. Fresh lemon juice will curdle your milk, but the flavors are night and day because no cultures or fermenting has happened. Essentially your just adding lemon milk to your cake.
  • You only need to use one leavener. While testing this recipe, I used baking powder and baking soda, and the chemical reaction between the two with buttermilk caused the cake to bubble like a volcano project.
  • Feel free to use gluten-free flour instead of all-purpose flour for a gluten-free pound cake.
  • You can use self-rising flour in place of all-purpose flour. If you do, omit the baking soda and salt from the recipe because it’s already been added.
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FAQs

Here are the top questions readers have about making a buttermilk pound cake.

What does buttermilk do for a cake?

Buttermilk is a critical ingredient in pound cake because it helps to create a tender, fluffy crumb. The acidity in the buttermilk reacts with the baking soda, causing the cake to rise.

How do you make pound cake moist?

The best way to make a pound cake moist includes using proper measurements with the right tools, do not use a dry measuring cup to measure liquids. Also, make sure your oven is heating to the right temperature because this can cause you to overbake and dry out your cake. Next, be sure you do not overmix your batter. Once you see all the flour has been fully incorporated, pour into a prepared pan.

Can you substitute buttermilk for regular milk in a pound cake?

Yes, you can substitute buttermilk for regular milk in a pound cake. However, you may need to adjust the baking time and temperature since buttermilk is more acidic than regular milk.

Should I use cake flour or all-purpose flour for pound cake?

Cake flour is made from finer-milled wheat than all-purpose flour, resulting in a lighter cake with a finer crumb. You can use either flour for your pound cake. However, all-purpose flour can also be used to make a delicious pound cake.

How to store pound cake?

Pound cake is best 3 days after it’s made but will remain fresh, covered on the counter in a cool place for about 4 days. It can stay fresher longer by placing slices in an airtight container for 7 days in the fridge.
 
Freeze the cake for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container. Thaw for 1-2 hours before eating. Reheat the cake in a 300°F oven for 5 minutes or pop it in the microwave for 10 seconds.

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More Dessert Recipes

If you love cakes with buttermilk as much as I do, then I know you’ll love these Southern dessert recipes too!

Latest Recipe Video:

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Before You Begin

Here are my steps for getting organized and moving fast in the kitchen. 

Step 1: Preheat oven to 325°F before pulling the ingredients out.

Step 2: Make sure your eggs and unsalted butter or room temperature.

Step 3: Measure everything out into individual bowls.

Step 4: Follow the recipe and get ready for the best buttermilk pound cake ever!

I hope you will give this classic buttermilk pound cake recipe a try. It’s one of my family’s favorites, and I think you will love it too! Please leave a comment and star rating below if you do make the cake

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Buttermilk Pound Cake8

Classic Buttermilk Pound Cake

Kenneth Temple
This Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Pound Cake is incredibly moist, fluffy, and tender and melts in your mouth with every bite. This cake will be a hit all year long, no matter the occasion.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Southern
Servings 15 persons
Calories 333 kcal

Ingredients
  

Pound Cake:

  • 2 ½ sticks unsalted butter room temperature,
  • 3 cups granulated sugar 629 g
  • 6 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract 8 g
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 389 g
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda 2g
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt 2g
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Glaze:

  • 1 ½ cups + 3 tablespoons powdered sugar 246g
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoon buttermilk

Instructions
 

  • Pound Cake: Preheat oven to 325°F. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar on low for 1 minute, then increase speed to medium with a hand mixer for 5 minutes. Check notes for how to know when butter and sugar are properly creamed. Add eggs one at a time. Then add vanilla.
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Alternate mixing in flour and buttermilk, starting and ending with flour. The batter should be thick and fluffy. Pour into a greased bundt pan, shake to even out, but do not tap to release air bubbles. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted inside comes out clean. Cool for 30 minutes, then invert on a cooling rack.
  • Glaze: In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients until smooth. Pour glaze evenly over the cooled cake. Serve immediately.

Notes

Pro Recipe Tips & Tricks
Here are a few notes I had from making this incredible buttermilk pound cake recipe.
  • Creamed butter and sugar should be light, fluffy, and spreadable like icing.
  • I like to use homemade cake grease for my bundt pans. I used 2 tablespoons of flour and 1 tablespoon of oil for this recipe. The ratio is 2:1, flour to oil.
  • Keep cake grease in a clean container and use it when baking cakes or muffins.
  • It’s essential to use room temperature butter and eggs so they incorporate the right amount of air into the cake but also so the ingredients will blend better.
  • If you forget to take your butter out ahead of time, slice the butter into tablespoons and leave it sitting on the butter wrapper. Once you can leave your finger indented in the butter, it’s ready.
  • If you forget to take your eggs out, don’t worry. Place eggs in a bowl or glass and cover with warm tap water for 5 minutes.
  • Use an oven thermometer to make sure that your oven is heating to the right temperature. Place in the center for 10 minutes.
  • Use almond extract instead of vanilla extract for more floral notes.
  • I do not recommend using lemon juice or white vinegar in milk to make mock buttermilk for your pound cake. Fresh lemon juice will curdle your milk, but the flavors are night and day because no cultures or fermenting has happened. Essentially your just adding lemon milk to your cake.
  • You only need to use one leavener. While testing this recipe, I used baking powder and baking soda, and the chemical reaction between the two with buttermilk caused the cake to bubble like a volcano project.
  • Feel free to use gluten-free flour instead of all-purpose flour for a gluten-free pound cake.
  • You can use self-rising flour in place of all-purpose flour. If you do, omit the baking soda and salt from the recipe because it’s already been added.
Storage:
Pound cake is best 3 days after it’s made but will remain fresh, covered on the counter in a cool place for about 4 days. It can stay fresher longer by placing slices in an airtight container for 7 days in the fridge.
Freeze the cake for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container. Thaw for 1-2 hours before eating. Reheat the cake in a 300°F oven for 5 minutes or pop it in the microwave for 10 seconds.

Nutrition

Calories: 333kcalCarbohydrates: 72gProtein: 5gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 162mgPotassium: 81mgFiber: 1gSugar: 53gVitamin A: 134IUCalcium: 38mgIron: 2mg
Keyword buttermilk pound cake, buttermilk pound cakes, old fashioned buttermilk pound cake, pound cake recipe, southern pound cake, classic buttermilk pound cake
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