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Million Dollar Pound Cake

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 its own, with fresh berries and whipped cream, lemon curd, ice cream or countless other options. It’s a pound cake aficionado’s dream.

Million Dollar Pound Cake

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 Southern Million Dollar Pound Cake from scratch:

  • Flour – All-purpose flour.
  • Butter – Salted butter.
  • Flavorings – Vanilla extract and almond extract.
  • Sugar – Granulated sugar.
  • Eggs – Large eggs.
  • Milk – Whole milk OR buttermilk.
cake batter in a mixing bowl

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 1/2 tsp 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.
Million Dollar Pound Cake

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:

cake on a pedestal

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Million Dollar Pound Cake

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
Cooling time3 hours
Total Time1 hour 45 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy-million-dollar-pound-cake, million-dollar-pound-cake
Servings: 16 pieces
Calories: 496kcal
Author: Melissa Sperka


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour sifted
  • 1 pound salted butter softened (4 sticks)
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3/4 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.


1) Baking time may vary by oven. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes back clean.
2) This cake can be made in a tube pan without a removable bottom.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 496kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 123mg | Sodium: 232mg | Potassium: 80mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 816IU | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!


  1. 5 stars
    This is the first time that I have made pound cake.
    I followed the recipe as written. I used a bundt cake pan and was almost too much for the pan.
    It turned out GREAT ! No frosting or glaze is needed.
    My husband said that cake was absolutely delicious! I agreed,
    Will be making it again soon.
    Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    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.

  3. 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

  4. 5 stars
    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?

    1. 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.

  5. 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 😜

    1. 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.

  6. 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!

    1. 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.

  7. 5 stars
    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.
    Jane Campbell

  8. 5 stars
    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!

  9. 5 stars
    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

  10. 5 stars
    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.

      1. 5 stars
        Oh my! This is most velvety cake I’ve ever tasted! The texture is soft yet the cake is firm enough. Thanks Melissa, awesome, awesome, awesome! I can search no more!👍🏾

        Three easy questions for ya:

        1. I like the recipe so much, I’d want to convert it to a Red Velvet cake. Is there a way to do so or is your existing Red Velvet Cake recipe similar in texture as this one? (I don’t want to stray too far from this wonderful texture!)

        2. For Cupcakes, based your experience would you say that I can pretty much use any cake recipe to make cupcakes? Or is a minor adjustment you recommend any time I use a cake recipe to make cupcakes?

        3. Lastly, how do I freeze unfrosted cupcakes? Thanks I’m advance. Again, I don’t have to search no more! I found my pound cake recipes! 💃🏾💃🏾💃🏾

      2. My homemade Red Velvet Cake recipe isn’t the same texture as this pound cake recipe. It’s delicious but has a softer crumb. It would take more than a couple of adjustments to convert this one to red velvet. I can’t attest to every single cake recipe but generally speaking you can convert most cake batters to cupcakes. Freezing cupcakes: Cool completely and wrap individually or in an airtight container.

  11. 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?

    1. 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.

  12. 5 stars
    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!!

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