Classic Vanilla Pound Cake

The soft, buttery texture and delicate vanilla flavor in my classic vanilla pound cake make it a crowd-pleaser that never goes out of style.

entire round classic vanilla pound cake

The Story Behind My Classic Vanilla Pound Cake

Pound cake is a classic dessert that has been enjoyed for generations. My great-grandmother’s recipe is actually my go-to recipe. I love looking at old family recipes. It helps me connect and honor my family’s heritage and enjoy a delicious treat at the same time.

My mom loves this recipe so much as well. In fact, anytime she is asked to bring a dessert somewhere, it’s almost always a pound cake. I think she keeps them in the freezer too. She always gets angry at me because I love the crust on the bottom and will cut off as much of that I can sneakily get away with. Let’s be honest, she always notices, but it’s just so good.

Now let’s get baking! We will go through the steps of baking my great-grandmother’s pound cake recipe and offer some tips to ensure that your cake turns out perfectly.

bundt pan full of classic vanilla pound cake

Ingredients for Classic Vanilla Pound Cake

  • Butter- the orginal recipe my great-grandmother used called for margine. That stuff is nasty, please use butter.
  • Shortening- I prefer to use the butter flavored Crisco sticks. Makes it a lot easier to clean up.
  • Eggs- I always use large eggs. Please make sure they are at room temperature.
  • Vanilla- I have used imitation, pure vanilla extract, and vanilla bean paste. Whichever you prefer to use will work.
  • Milk- the original recipe calls for evaporated milk, but I have been successful with room temperature whole milk.
  • Flour- In this cake you will use classic all-purpose flour.
  • Baking Powder – make sure your baking powder is not old.
classic vanilla pound cake with slices missing

What You Need to Make a Successful Classic Vanilla Pound Cake

You have to use a fluted bundt pan in order for this cake to turn out. I prefer a simple design such as this Wilton Bundt Pan to ensure you cake comes out in one piece.

I do not suggest using a spray like Pam to grease your pan. In my opinion butter and flour work best, but if you don’t want to go that extra step, I recommend using this Cake Release by Wilton.

While I do say you can use vanilla extract, imitation vanilla, or vanilla bean paste, I really like using this Heilala Vanilla Bean Paste. I just love seeing those flecks in the cake.

classic vanilla pound cake with slices on plates

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closeup of the top of classic vanilla pound cake
entire round classic vanilla pound cake

Classic Vanilla Pound Cake

The soft, buttery texture and delicate vanilla flavor in my classic vanilla pound cake make it a crowd-pleaser that never goes out of style.
4.50 from 2 votes


  • 2 sticks butter
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla bean paste
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder


  • Preheat your oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes.**
  • Add the eggs, milk, and vanilla. Mix at medium speed for 3 minutes.
  • Next add in the flour and baking powder and cream on slow speed for 7 minutes.
  • Pour the batter into your prepared pan. Bake for 1 ½ hours.
  • Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before flipping it onto your cake plate.


**Make sure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature. This will help them mix together more evenly and create a smoother batter.
**Creaming the butter and sugar for several minutes is an important step in creating a light and fluffy cake. Don’t rush this step!

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Recipe Rating


  • 4 stars
    Haven’t tasted it yet, but made this this afternoon. Love the directions about how long to mix especially, but as a non-baker, I found it confusing that you don’t mention when to put in the shortening. Half way through mixing the butter and sugar, I looked through the entire recipe a number of times, and found no reference to it, so I assumed it goes in with the butter. I guess we’ll find out if I was right. Would be good to include explicit instructions so that everyone can follow them. Giving you 4 stars, even though I have yet to taste it.