The Perfect Pound Cake

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The Perfect Pound Cake

By Jim Johnston

I remember this incredible cake from my childhood, particularly on cold mornings when Mom would brown it under the broiler with butter on top for breakfast. She always wore this blue apron when she baked. It was usually covered in flour, and I used to lick the batter off the mixing blades after she was finished. Ah, the good ole days. To this day, I haven’t found a better pound cake, nor one that starts off in a cold oven.

A few years ago, Mom lost most of her vision, making baking difficult, if not hazardous. It just made sense that it was time to pass the torch to me, so I asked Mom for the recipe. She told it to me over the phone. I followed the steps, each time producing a nightmare. Seems she forgot a few steps! After much head banging and many lengthy conversations with Mom, I finally got the recipe down pat. And the best part? The top comes off in crunchy layers. Man, everyone loves this cake!

The Perfect Pound Cake

All ingredients at room temp!

3 cups granulated sugar
2 sticks softened butter
3 cups cake flour (use regular flour and you’ll be sorry)
8 ounces heavy whipping cream
6 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Cream butter and sugar in a mixer.
Add 1 egg at a time.
Add flour and cream, alternating between the two.
Add baking powder.
Add salt.
Add vanilla.

Put in greased and floured “pound cake pan”, you know, the one with the funnel in the middle.

Put in cold oven, middle rack.

Turn oven to 350 and go run errands. Come back in 1 hour and remove.  Let cool.


P.S. If you have children, take a third of the cake, wrap it up, and hide it for yourself. Otherwise, you’ll never get any.

Jim Johnston is a Savannah resident and avid cook. Jim collects as many family recipes as possible so they won't get lost. Most of them get served to his better half, Paula's own design director Brandon Branch, which explains why Brandon has to run 5 miles a day.

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Reader Comments:


Dear Paula, Do we ever miss you!! Every time 5 PM (Pacific Coast Time) rolls around I find myself turning to the Food Channel and find myself missing your good humor and your family. I hope you take good care for yourself for a world without Paula would be like a recipe without ... butter! Best wishes, Debby Labye

By Deborah Labye on August 16, 2014



By ZELDA FAYE WILLIAMS on July 27, 2014


I'm heading to the kitchen to try this right now. And on another note, I'm so sad that you are no longer on the Food Network. You had the very best show--I'm sure that they have lost a lot of viewers since you left. Silly, silly people running that network.

By Cathy on April 10, 2014


Hi Paula deen that pound cake look supper good I will make it but what size pan do I use

By bibi mangroo on April 01, 2014


How can I tweak the recipe if I want to use less sugar? Will the texture of the cake still be the same if I just reduce the amount of sugar used without changing the rest of the recipe? Thanks!

By Holly on March 25, 2014


Dam Paula. That looks good. Barbara. Kelley. ; Odessa. Tx

By Anonymous on February 01, 2014


Bea Howard I love the perfect pound Paula Deen u are the Best

By Anonymous on January 23, 2014


I followed the recipe and the cake looked wonderful but when cool and I sliced into it....not quite done in the center. ????? Not sure what I did wrong

By Dee on January 04, 2014


I want to make a cake but with one pound of flour (self rising ) but I don't. Know how much of baking powder I need please can you help me. My cake I am gonna use 1lb of flour 1lb sugar and 1 lb of butter.

By Bibi Asratali on July 28, 2013


I took a chance and made this cake for the first time for Mother's 90th birthday. It came out just as the name claimed...PERFECT! We had a little party at Mother's home where she was surrounded by her children and grandchildren. She had not been feeling well and her appetite was a bit off, so I was thrilled to sit and watch her thoroughly enjoy two pieces. Thank you, Jim, for sharing this wonderful recipe. It is a new favorite.

By Martha Ann on June 13, 2013


I love pound cakes a lot

By Charlesia on June 12, 2013


This is oh sooooo dreamy. Best one EVER!!! I think they may serve this in heaven....

By Trina glass on June 01, 2013


Dear Paula Deen I like Just about everything you bake. I have one thing that I hope you can help me with. I make a pound cake with Butter Nut flavor in it. The top of the cake gets real crusty and flakes off. The cake looks awful what am I doing wrong. Evelyn

By Evelyn Seabrease on April 21, 2013


Hvnt made it yet but cooking it for a church member because I opened my "big mouth" that I would bake him a cake. So I'm standing on my promise. Wish me good luck. Thanks.

By Alfredia Moss on March 03, 2013


Paula, Need help. I remember growing up and my Mom making 3 layer cake in minutes from scratch. However I didn't pay attention to ingredients. My Mom used regular flour or possibly cake flour, eggs, sugar and butter, adding flavor last. I want to make 3 layer 9" cake. I have an idea but wanted to make sure its correct. The ingredients I have in mind are: 3 cups sugar 3 cups flour 6 eggs 3 sticks of butter flavor Will cake layers come out correct or will this be a disaster? Thanks for any advice/suggestions

By Theresa A Williams on January 17, 2013


Heeeey Mrs. Paula! I love everything you cook. You taught me to make my first pan of mac'n cheese back in 2000. Which I kick it up with jabenero cheese and the sour cream. Today my challenge is to bake this scrumptuous pound cake...ha!! Question is....can I substitute whipping cream for sour cream or would it totally ruin the recipe? I have tried to bake this cake before without either one and still it bounces on the highway. Help me suga.

By chamell on October 30, 2012



By glenda collier on July 21, 2012


A note to the several people whose cake ran over or took forever to bake because the pan was too full. This recipe MUST be made in either a larger-than-average Bundt/tube pan, or in two 9'x5" loaf pans. It makes a LOT of cake. I like the two loaf pans. I freeze one for later.

By PhobeHB on May 24, 2012


Made it this morning looks & smells wonderful added a little lemon extract along with the vanilla, batter tasted awesome, will be serving it with fresh strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, a banana & orange segments with a dollop on whipping cream.

By Elizabeth Bowers on May 01, 2012


whyyou say use cake flour and yo do hey paula love your recipes, I don't understand the differance from flour and cake flour. I always was told if it calls for cake flour and you don't have it just add a little bit more flour. I hope my grammy has not lead me down the wrong path

By millie on April 16, 2012

Everytime I follow this recipe it runs over I’m wondering whats going wrong?

By Angela on November 26, 2010

Everytime I’ve used this recipe it has run over so I’m wondering whats going on?

By Angela on November 26, 2010

paula,  i just love this perfect pound cake recipe, along with all the other recipies i get from your website and show. i help out an elderly lady which also luvs to recieve your recipes..she would like to find a cream of celery recipe, but i haven’t found one on your website…anyone have a good creamy celery soup recipe out there??? maybe also a pumpkin or sweet potato cookie recipe… thanx for all the great ideas and food!!!

By nancy iding on November 12, 2010

Haven’t tried this one yet, BUT it can’t beat “Grandma Paul’s Sour Cream Pound Cake”
that has got to be the best I have ever tasted!! & naturally it comes from Paula’s recipes!

By Gloria on July 21, 2010

My mom, and now me, makes a pound cake she calls a 2-2-2-5 Cake. The ingredients are 2 sticks butter, 2 cups sugar, 2 cups flour, 5 eggs, and 1 tsp. vanilla and 1 tsp. lemon extract. You cream the butter and sugar and alternate adding the eggs and flour and then add extracts. It is baked for about 1 hour on 350*. This pound cake is so simple and oh so good.

By Gena on June 14, 2010

love Jim Johnston’s recipe for the Perfect Pound Cake, reminds me of the 1-2-3-4 cake (also shown here on Paula’s site); I have made that one, very delicious, want to try your recipe as well. thankyou

By Lena on June 09, 2010

Dear Paula I would love to be able to print some of your recipes but I have tried everything I know and I just can’t get it done ,I’m too old to write them down my eyes are not as good as they used to be.Do you think they could put a printer friendly version on here.Thank’s so much Jenny

By JennyEvans on June 08, 2010

how can i just print the recipe and nothing else !

By brenda on May 20, 2010

I made the cake and it was easy. However it fell after I took it out of the oven. I don’t make many pound cakes as they always fall and I follow the recipe and bake for the length of time it says on the recipe and for the correct temp. and I don’t open the oven door either. I don’t know what I do for them to fall. Any ideas? Anyone?

By Donna Hines on May 09, 2010


I just wanted to say thank you for just being there!  You are very warm and cheerful person and I admire your personality.  I am good cook myself but I am coming from Country called Azerbaijan (former Soviet Union) so I am mixing and matchig here as I am very open minded person. I watch you on the TV all the time!  God bless you! 


By Esmira on May 06, 2010

My recipe for a Cold Oven Pound Cake…....
2 sticks margarine
1/2 cup shortening
5 eggs
3 cups plain flour
3 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla flavoring
1 cup milk
Beat margarine and shortening together and sugar, Beat until smooth. Add eggs 1 at a time mixing well after each one. Mix flour and baking powder together and alternate flour and milk into sugar and egg mixture. Scrape down sides and add flavoring. Pour into an angel food cake pan sprayed with Bakers Joy. Place into a cold oven. Turn oven on to 350 degrees and bake for 1 to 1 and a half hours depending on your oven.  Everyone asks me to bake this for any church function we have and I also have people asking for it just to have at home. I have a request for 3 this weekend and 3 the end of this month. Hope y’all try it it is the best I’ve ever made!!!

By Becky Smith on May 05, 2010

OK, so, I made this cake over the weekend.  Mine boiled over on to the bottom of my oven.  Any thoughts?  Yes, I went over everything twice and know I followd the recipe to the letter.
The batter tasted like a pound cake my great Aunt Tut used to make.  I adored her AND the cake.  HELP!!

By Jennie Poe on April 26, 2010

I baked this pound cake tonight for my family. It was a hit!! It was absolutely the best pound cake I have EVER eaten.

By Dawn on April 19, 2010

It is so pretty I would not want to eat it

By Meredith Kelly on April 17, 2010

Dear Paula I have made a lot of Pound cakes in my 67 years but half to say this tops them all ,my mother use to make one with a pound of everthang but this is great Thanks for sharing,

By Lana Johnson on April 16, 2010

That cake looks so delish I will definately try it!

By Rhonda on April 15, 2010

Dear Paula, I love you shows! I have NEVER been able to cook a pound cake.  I have tried several different recipes and none of them turn out.My husband and I have been married 32 years and you would think I could get at least one pound cake out of those years.  Can you please help me.
Thanks alot!]
June Sasser

By June Sasser on April 15, 2010

This recipe is almost like the one I use.I will be trying this one and compare the two.

By Debra Reagan on April 15, 2010

I will definitely have to try this recipe.  I especially love the “tip” at the end to put some up for myself!!

By Vera B. on April 15, 2010

Paula I love your baked macroni cheese.  I would love your receipe. I love everythng you do. You are great cook. One day I would love to be like you. I cook but it’s okay. I orders thing qvc people tell me how good that is tell that you make it. Thank you for being there.  Have a great day; thank you again

By debbie jordan on April 15, 2010

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