This Buttermilk Pound Cake recipe is moist, flavorful, and easy to make. The perfect dessert for any occasion!
I just love a pound cake. There’s something magical about the simplicity of a perfectly baked, deliciously flavored pound cake. But, I love really simple things like that. My family often jokingly calls me the “Mayor of Vanillatown” because of my love for simple flavors. (No offense to the Mayor of Flavortown, Mr. Guy Fieri. 😆)
The name pound cake comes from the fact that the original recipe, thought to be northern European, contained a pound each of butter, flour, sugar, and eggs. Fortunately, we’ve since adapted the recipe a bit.
In fact, we worked for weeks to get this one right. Testing cake after cake and variation after variation to get it to the point where we feel it needs to be. I think we made something close to 8 different versions. Nevertheless, I think we have landed on a buttermilk pound cake recipe that is both delicious and easy to implement.
Real quick before we hop into some ingredient details, here is something to keep in mind: When you are looking at different pound cake recipes whether new or traditional pound cake recipes, you will almost always find that the ratios of fat to flour to sugar remain relatively the same but variations on ingredients range from butter to shortening to cream cheese to sour cream and milk to buttermilk to water. And that’s ok, for the most part. It’s one of those things where you just have to decide what “tastes” like pound cake to you and realize that each ingredient presents certain challenges and advantages.
Unsalted butter – Make sure your butter is unsalted. And, you will want to give your butter time to reach room temperature before you mix it in with the sugar.
Granulated sugar – I recommend only granulated white sugar for this recipe.
Eggs – You will need 4 large eggs for this recipe. Make sure you get the large size. Anything smaller can change how your pound cake turns out. And, make sure your eggs are brought to room temperature before you add them to the other ingredients. Room-temperature eggs blend so much better with other ingredients than cold eggs.
All-purpose flour – I highly recommend you use all-purpose flour over self-rising flour for this particular dessert. Ingredient measurements are important to make this the best pound cake possible. It’s easier to make sure you are getting the correct amount of rising agent when you don’t substitute all-purpose flour and baking powder for self-rising flour. And, that is extra important when baking pound cakes.
Salt – Salt enhances the overall flavor of the pound cake, balancing the sweetness and other flavors. So, be sure you don’t skip out on the salt!
Baking Soda – Baking soda is a leavening agent that helps the pound cake rise and become fluffy. You want to make extra sure you are measuring this amount correctly.
Buttermilk – Buttermilk is a tangy dairy product that adds moisture and a subtle tanginess to the pound cake. I highly recommend using actual buttermilk. However, if you can not get ahold of buttermilk, you may use a buttermilk substitute by following the directions below.
Vanilla & Almond Extracts – I am not picky about the brand you use here. I don’t even mind if you use vanilla and almond flavoring rather than extract. This is one ingredient you can alter a little to accommodate what you may already have on hand. The end result will still be just as delicious.
How to substitute milk for buttermilk:
Don’t have buttermilk on hand? Only have regular milk? No problem! While there may be a slight change in flavor, you absolutely can convert regular milk into a buttermilk substitute with the help of vinegar or lemon juice:
- You will need 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice for every 1 cup of milk.
- Start by adding 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to a 1-cup liquid measuring cup. Then add enough milk to create 1 cup. Stir the milk and lemon juice or vinegar really well.
- Let the mixture sit at room temperature for about 5 to 10 minutes. The milk will curdle slightly and thicken. It will also develop a tangy flavor similar to buttermilk.
- Once your improvised buttermilk has thickened slightly, it is ready to use.
Buttermilk Pound Cake
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour*
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Preheat the oven to 325°F and grease and flour a 10 to 12-cup bundt pan. Set aside.
- Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy – about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing just enough to fully incorporate each egg after adding. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and baking soda together.
- Add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the butter mixture, alternately. Start with 1/3 of the dry, then half the milk, another 1/3 of the dry, the other 1/2 of the milk, then the remaining dry. Mix until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again.
- Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix to combine.
- Pour the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Gently tap the pan on the countertop to force air bubbles to the top of the batter. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Bake times may vary**. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then place a plate or platter over the pan and invert to turn the cake out onto the plate. Allow to cool completely. Slice and serve. Store covered on the counter for a few days or in the refrigerator for longer.
If nutritional values are provided, they are an estimate and will vary depending on the brands used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, I recommend grabbing your favorite brands and plugging those ingredients into an online nutritional calculator.