The Best Pound Cake Recipe: 5 Flavor Pound Cake


Pound cake is an American tradition which makes it the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving holiday menu.

There was a recipe for pound cake in the first American cookbook published in 1796. It was simple in its ingredients making it an easy to replicate classic.

Originally called a pound cake because the cake’s recipe included one pound each of flour, butter, eggs, and sugar, today’s recipes stray very little from the original version.

My version, originally created by my Granny, is simple in process but complex in flavor.

The addition of sour cream makes it an exceptionally moist pound cake enhanced by the flavors of rum extract, vanilla extract, coconut extract, lemon extract and almond extract to give it a richness you don’t always find among pound cakes. When it bakes, the smell of the five extracts in the buttery dough will have you droolin’.

Added bonus: it’s basically foolproof so count on your guests to be wowed by this one.

Just ask any of my fellow chefs from my first cooking job after culinary school. I was an extern—basically free labor—at a fancy restaurant. But I was so excited to be there and even more excited to bake Granny’s cake for them. One taste and everyone agreed we had to serve it in the restaurant.

I immediately called Granny and told her that “Granny’s Five-Flavor Pound Cake” had been printed on the menu. She was so proud. This was our family dessert, the cake we begged her to send us when we moved away, the cake she always served at Christmas.

Whenever she mailed one to me, she wrapped it in layers and layers of paper and plastic wrap. It was the best gift—one that I’m happy to share.

Granny used to make hers in a loaf pan, but I’ve updated this version to a bundt pan and added a sweet vanilla rum glaze to make for a pretty presentation on your holiday table.

The Best Pound Cake Recipe: 5 Flavor Pound Cake

Serves 12


Cake ingredients:

Nonstick baking spray

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon table salt

16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, at room temperature

2-1/2 cups sugar

6 large eggs, at room temperature

1 cup sour cream, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon rum extract

1 teaspoon coconut extract

1 teaspoon lemon extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

Glaze Ingredients:

2 cups confectioners sugar

3 tablespoons water

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 teaspoons rum extract


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 10-cup Bundt or tube pan with nonstick baking spray.

2. Sift the flour into a large bowl, then measure 3 cups sifted flour back into the sifter. Add the baking soda and salt and sift into a clean bowl. Return any remaining flour to your flour container.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stop and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. With the mixer on medium, add the eggs one at a time, completely incorporating each egg before adding the next. Stop and scrape down the bowl.

4. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour in thirds, alternating with the sour cream and beginning and ending with the flour. Continue beating for 2 minutes on medium speed, stopping to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally. Add the extracts one at a time, completely incorporating each before adding the next. Continue beating until the batter is shiny, about 4 minutes.

5. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. It will smell really, really good.

6. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then unmold onto the rack.

7. While the cake cools, add confectioners sugar to a medium sized bowl and whisk well to remove any lumps.

8. Add water and extracts and mix well.

9. When cake is completely cool, pour glaze over cake.

This delicious cake will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

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