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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

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

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.

Nutrition

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!

813 Comments

  1. Thank you for your recipe I love
    Any kind of proud cake I’m going to make it I know it’s going to be delish Thank again😍!!

  2. 5 stars
    Excellent! If you’re reading these Comments to decide whether to try it, you can stop. Just try it! It’s delicious! Want to try in 2 loaf pans next. Thank you, Melissa!❤️

  3. So sorry, Melissa! I just printed the recipe and saw that you addressed the attachment instructions in the instructions! Don’t you hate when people do this??? My bad! Excited to try!

  4. Hi Melissa! I noticed in the video that you started with the whisk and ended with the paddle. Do you have a preference or should I use both? Thank you!

    1. The whisk is for whipping the butter in the beginning. It’s not necessary to use it for making the batter the paddle attachment will work best.

  5. Hi Melissa.
    I have to make a sheet cake pound cake and want to know if I need to adjust the ingredients for a 12×15 pan.

    Thank you.

  6. 5 stars
    I have make this cake at least 3 times a month. It’s the very very best pound cake recipe. This cake is very airy and taste amazing. I’ve changed up the extracts. Always using vanilla but I have made strawberry, butter, and our most favorite is coconut. Today I just put one in coconut flavor and I added in coconut flakes. I’m excited to see how it turns out. My family and friends love these cakes. Thank you Melissa for sharing such a wonderful recipe. I use a regular Bundt cake pan and then I put the extra into a 7 in glass round dish and bake it for my neighbor whom lives alone. I’ve not tried using this recipe in a regular cake pan or even as cup cakes but im almost positive that they too would be amazingly delicious.

  7. This cake has been in the oven at 300 degrees F for 2.5 hours and it’s still not done. Our oven cooks every other baked good (pies, brownies, even puff pastry) perfectly at recipe temperature for everything but this cake. Is the timing or temperature wrong? Are you using a convection oven instead of standard?

    1. There is nothing wrong in this recipe and I literally can’t count the times its been made. I have no idea why this cake won’t bake in your oven and certainly would never take 2 1/2 hours to bake normally. I would agree something is off but it’s not the recipe or oven temperature.

  8. 5 stars
    I’ve been making this southern recipe for years, today I tried it with buttermilk for the first time, and I only had light brown sugar so I used that too. Turned out really well, I think I’ll use brown sugar from.now on, gives it a deeper flavor.

  9. 5 stars
    My second pound cake ever and my family said this is a keeper! It came out perfectly. I served it with fresh strawberries and whipped topping, but it is delicious plain.

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