This rich and buttery Million Dollar Pound Cake recipe has been rotating through Southern kitchens for decades. It's made with seven simple pantry ingredients and can be served on it's own, with fresh berries and whipped cream, lemon curd, ice cream or countless other options. It's a pound cake aficionado's dream.
Easy Million Dollar Pound Cake Recipe
How Does the Million Dollar Pound Cake Rise? Other than eggs, there's no leavening in this cake. This makes a key step in the process of making the batter to whip air into the butter. I use a rule of "fives" when making this pound cake. By that I mean, to give the cake a creamy lighter texture whip the butter on high for 5 minutes then add the sugar and continue to whip for another 5 minutes. This process has a magical effect on the cake batter which adds to the mystique of how such simple ingredients can produce such a pleasing result.
How to Make the Best Million Dollar Pound Cake Recipe
This pound cake is fantastic for make-ahead baking as it freezes like a dream. This beloved cake was first made famous by Southern Living who dubbed it "Million Dollar Pound Cake." I serve this pound cake in trifles, parfaits, or as is with a cup of hot tea or coffee. It's a Southern classic that will never grow old. Follow the preparation technique carefully and this classic delight will be the star ending to any meal.
- Ingredients you'll need to make this homemade Million Dollar Pound Cake recipe: All purpose flour, salted butter, sugar, whole milk or buttermilk, large eggs, vanilla and almond extract.
- Kitchen tools you'll need: A stand mixer or a hand mixer, measuring cups and spoons, an angel food pan and cooling rack.
- It's super helpful to have a stand mixer for making the batter for this pound cake recipe. It takes some time to beat air into the butter and it can be done using a hand mixer, but not by hand.
- Remember, it's the rule of fives to make this cake. 5 minutes to whip the butter and 5 minutes to cream the butter with the granulated sugar. This adds air to the batter and gives it a beautiful rise.
- If you don't have salted butter, you can use the same amount of unsalted butter and add ½ teaspoon salt.
- The amount of vanilla extract called for in the recipe is one Tablespoon, not one teaspoon. It's not a typo.
- Please note this is a big cake. You'll also need a large tube pan, sometimes called an angel food pan for baking. I use one with a removeable bottom, but it's fine to bake it in a pan that doesn't have that option.
- When freezing pound cake make certain it's cooled completely before tightly wrapping in plastic freezer wrap.
- You can freeze it as a whole pound cake or cut it into slices for individual portions. Doing it that way makes it convenient to grab a piece from the freezer for a quick treat or when entertaining unexpected guests. It will easily last in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Store Million Dollar Pound Cake chilled in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or at room temperature for up to 5 days.
More Southern Style Pound Cake Recipes to Make
Southern Living Magazine made this pound cake famous and I love that a cake that's decades old was featured in such a wonderful publication. More pound cake recipes you may like to try:
- White Chocolate Cherry Pound Cake is pretty as a picture.
- Chocolate Sour Cream Pound Cake is rich and decadent made with Dutch process cocoa.
- Orange Pound Cake packs a burst of citrus flavor.
- Homemade buttery Brown Sugar Pound Cake.
- Easy Buttermilk Pound Cake recipe.
- Fresh Strawberry Pound Cake with Vanilla Cream Glaze.
- Pecan Praline Buttermilk Pound Cake is drizzled with a praline glaze that takes it over the top.
- Coconut lovers Coconut Cream Pound Cake with Vanilla Cream Glaze.
- My Aunt's Lemon Lovers Pound Cake is a family tradition.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Million Dollar Pound Cake
- 4 cups all-purpose flour sifted
- 1 pound salted butter softened (4 sticks)
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 6 large eggs
- ¾ cup whole milk OR buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 300°F. Butter and flour an angel food/tube pan with a removable bottom. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer using the whisk attachment whisk together the butter, vanilla and almond extracts. Whip for 5 minutes on medium-high.
- Switch to the paddle attachment Add the sugar gradually beating on medium until light yellow in color. (Around 5 minutes)
- Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Lower the speed of the mixer and add the flour alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with flour. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally.
- After all has been added, beat for 1-2 minutes until the flour has fully incorporated.
- Spread evenly into the pan and bounce on the counter, if needed to settle.
- Place into the oven and bake for 1 hr 30-45 minutes OR until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes back clean.
- Cool for 15 minutes, then remove the outer ring.
- Cool completely on a cooling rack.
I made this cake today and it turned out beautifully after baking for 1 hour and 30 minutes. It is a beautiful golden brown! I’m very proud of the results. I used buttermilk.
I'm so happy you loved it!
Hi, your recipe looks incredible! I want to make it tomorrow. Would it work if I wanted to make this recipe but I would like to add fresh orange zest/juice? Would that work, what changes would I need to make and would the flavor be good? If the orange won't work, I will just follow your recipe! Please advise, I can't wait to make it!! Thank you
Hi Kim, I have many flavors of pound cakes in the recipe index. You can see my Orange Pound Cake recipe here.
This pound cake recipe is the best I’ve ever had in my entire life. Now I want to know if I can bake 2 pound cakes at the same time in the oven?
I'm so happy you loved it! If your oven is large enough for the pans not to touch, you could. The baking time may be different (possibly longer) and there's no way for me to be exact in telling you the time. It comes down to trial and error in your oven.
My family brought a pound cake recipe to America in the 1700’s from Scotland. However, the cake ingredients you list are close to our cakes ingredients, but no cigar! I will say add more almond, like a tablespoon! Add lemon oil too, but that’s all I can say or else I’ll be thrown out of the Stewart clan 😜
Can i use shortening instead of butter
I love this recipe. It’s easy and delicious. I make it every Christmas! Thank you for sharing.
I'm so happy you're enjoying it, thank you for taking the time to let me know!
Can I use other bunt pans? Like a Christmas molded one?
It totally depends on the size of the pan. !4 cups plus may work, yes. Alternately, fill the pan you have 2/3 full then use the rest of the batter in a loaf pan or cupcake pan.
I’ve made this cake a million times … my #1 pound cake recipe to follow!!!
What if I wanted to add some chopped pecans to the body of this cake? Any adjustments? Suggestion of how much in quantity for adding pecans?
Many thanks for an awesome cake!
You could adds nuts to this cake. One to two cups depending on how "nutty" you want it to be. It shouldn't need any other adjustments.
Could you use a hand mixer for this recipe?
Sure, the mixing times would be the same but you may need to beat at a higher speed. That's imperative with this cake that the butter be the right texture so the cake will rise.
Can I use loaf pans for this pound cake recipe?
Yes, you can. The baking time may be shortened due to the volume of cake batter being divided so check at 1 hour.
Perfect as long as you follow directions Delicious and worth the time to make.
Is it really 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract? Should that be teaspoon?
It's really 1 Tablespoon.
The best pound cake I’ve ever made. I really creamed the ingredients! It really made a difference. The texture was soft and velvety. Also it is as extremely light. Will keep and make again.
Love this recipe. I added lemon extract instead of almond and it was delightful.
This cake is absolutely delicious! My family devoured the cake in about 24 hours. Today I am making 2 ....one for family and freezing the other for Thanksgiving. Thanks so much!
I'm so happy you're enjoying it, thanks!
Hi. I’ve made quite a few times, always delicious, THANK YOU! I’ve had a request by my 11 year old to make a chocolate version. Help! I’m not sure what ingredients need altering. I asked if I could just do chocolate ganache but nope, want full chocolate. Please reply soon, I need in 2 weeks. Thank so much
I'm happy you're enjoying this recipe. I have many other pound cake recipes in the recipe index including a chocolate pound cake here.
I would absolutely give this recipe a 10 if I could!!! This recipe is so well explained and I followed it to a T! This is hands down the best pound cake I’ve ever made. It’s moist and flavorful and dense but not dry. I get requests to make this cake for every family event. In fact I’m making one tomorrow for a big Halloween party Saturday 👻. Thank you so much for your well explained recipe.
Thank you so much!
I can't wait to try this recipe. One question-do you line the cake pan with parchment or wax paper so the cake batter doesn't leak out?
I've never had an issue with this cake leaking out of my angel food cake pan and it has a removable bottom. If your pan leaks then maybe you should, yes.
Great flavor, perfect recipe
Thoughts on adding rum to this recipe
I assume you mean rum extract. You could use any other flavoring that you like.
This is a beautiful cake and the flavor is great. I’ve not had a lot of luck with pound cakes recently but I have redeemed myself with this one. Follow the directions and you will have a perfect cake! Thanks for sharing!!