The Perfect Pound Cake comes together easily and it feels a bit fancier than a normal cake; perfect for a holiday or special occasion.

Whole Wheat Honey Cake, Lemon Chiffon Cake, Rich and Fudgy FlourlessΒ  Chocolate Cake Recipe are a few of my solid cake recipes that I know you’ll enjoy.

Mother's Day bundt cake, Mother's day cake. easy pound cake, cold oven pound cake, America's Test Kitchen pound cake recipe

Perfect Pound Cake

I know Mother’s Day is a month away, but you’ve got to plan ahead for this kind of event! I have an awesome pound cake recipe for you today, but that’s not the only exciting part of the post. I have not one, but two America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks to giveaway today.

When I was working with ATK for the giveaway we did last month, they asked if I had any other ideas for the future and I sure did. My smart husband bought me a couple of ATK cookbooks two years ago for Mother’s Day. When I have new books, he gets lots of good food out of it. I’m always telling my mom about this or that recipe in the books, so I thought this year I would get her a copy of her own. I told ATK I was planning on getting my mom their Family Baking Book and thought it would be fun to give you all a chance to win not one, but two copies of the book. I thought you could keep one of the copies and give the second copy away for Mother’s Day too! They thought it was a great idea and now it’s happening. Be sure to check out the bottom of the post for your chance to win.

The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book is one of my favorites. I learned the art of pizza making from this book, I adore the chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and mac-n-cheese. It’s plum full of amazing recipes that just never, ever, ever turn out wrong. Their name says it all; their recipes are tested to perfection.

I know that you, and your mom (or any other lady you’d like to honor this Mother’s Day) will love this cookbook and I’m excited to be able to give you a chance to win two copies of it!

Now on to the recipe.

I decided a while ago that I would make a virtual treat for my mom in this post. She’s in Kentucky and I’m in Utah so we rarely get to sit together and enjoy a meal or dessert. She’s enjoys the simple things in life, scrapes the icing off of cupcakes, always gets a vanilla cone at DQ, and Angel Food cake is consistently her Birthday cake request. When looking though the cookbook I knew that the Cold Oven Pound Cake would be a perfect treat for me to “make” for her. This pound cake recipe is slightly different in the fact that you don’t preheat the oven before putting the cake in. The extra time that the cake has to sit in the oven gives it time to develop and rise. The results were a perfectly moist and dense pound cake that wasn’t as sweet as I was expecting. Sweet yes, but not so sweet that a few strawberries and whipped cream weren’t welcome additions.

The cake comes together easily and it just feels a bit fancier than a normal cake; perfect for a holiday dedicated to spoiling your favorite ladies. It was delicious the second day too, so feel free to make it ahead of time.Mother's day book

ATK sent me a copy to give my mom! This is her book all wrapped up and ready for the mail. And yes, I call her Momma Lou πŸ™‚

Tips and Tricks for making Perfect Pound Cake:

  • Do NOT preheat the oven. The cake won’t turn out if you do.
  • Take care to use room temperature ingredients… it matters.
  • This was wonderful with sliced strawberries and fresh whipped cream.

Why is it called pound cake?

Pound Cake is a recipe that originated in the 1700s. Originally the recipe called for one pound each of flour, sugar, butter, and eggs.

How do you cool a pound cake?

Let the cake cool in the pan for ten minutes and then use a small knife and cut around the edge of the cake to make it loose. Flip the cake upside down so that it come out of the pan and let the cake cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours before serving.

mother's day cake close up, mother's day cake, ATK's ound cake, cold oven pound cake


Perfect Pound Cake

  • Author: Melissa Griffiths-Bless this Mess
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 70 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 1x


The Perfect Pound Cake comes together easily and it feels a bit fancier than a normal cake; perfect for a holiday or special occasion.



  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature


  1. Grease and flour a 16-cup tube pan (you might think of it as an Angel Food cake pan). In a medium bowl add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine. In a small bowl add the milk and vanilla.
  2. In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed (electric mixer or stand mixer) until it is very light and fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until everything is well combined.
  3. Turn the mixer speed to low and add 1/3 of the flour, followed by half of the milk, then another third of the flour, the second half of the milk, and then the rest of the flour. Once the last of the flour is added, mix until it is just incorporated.
  4. Scrape the batter into the pan that you greased and floured. Smooth the top of the batter and wipe up any batter that dripped onto the sides. Tap the pan a few times on the counter to settle the batter. Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and place the cake on the rack. Shut the oven door and then turn on the oven to 325 degrees. Let the cake cook, without opening the oven door, for 70 to 80 minutes until a wooden toothpick inserted into the middle comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached.
  5. Let the cake cool in the pan for ten minutes and then use a small knife and cut around the edge of the cake to make it loose. Flip the cake upside down so that it come out of the pan and let the cake cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours before serving.


Do NOT preheat the oven. The cake won’t turn out if you do.

Take care to use room temperature ingredients… it matters.

This was wonderful with sliced strawberries and fresh whipped cream.

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: Serves 12-16
  • Calories: 466
  • Sugar: 39.6g
  • Sodium: 223.4mg
  • Fat: 20.7g
  • Carbohydrates: 64.4g
  • Protein: 6.3g
  • Cholesterol: 134.4mg

Keywords: Dessert, Cake, Pound Cake, Special Occasion

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Enjoy the Perfect Pound Cake that comes together easily and it feels a bit fancier than a normal cake; perfect for a holiday or special occasion.

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38 Recipes for Busy Moms
96 Responses
  1. amber robbins

    I’ve seen this recipe on AMK before and have been curious about it. You’ve convinced me to make this for Mother’s Day this year. I’m having Bart’s mom and grandma from Georgia come, and they’d love this simple dessert. Thanks for the idea and hopefully I win the books to have a present for the MIL!

    1. auntbea921

      This the best tasting cake ever!!! Except something I did wrong it did not come out yellow it was on the white side only thing l did was l forgot the vanilla extract sol mixed it with the milk. Please tell me where l went wrong. auntbea921 (From Maryland) Thank you for the recipe my husband loved it !!!

      1. I use eggs from my free-range hens their yolks are so much more orange then normal yellow store-bought eggs. I find lots of my baked goods have a lot more color when I use my fresh eggs compared to traditional store-bought ones. I bet that was the only difference! i’m so glad you liked it!

  2. Sarah

    This cake looks perfect for me. Ryan (and I) went off sugar a year ago… we still have treats (with sugar) occasionally, but due to limiting our sugar intake neither of us really like them super sweet anymore… This will be something I’ll be trying out really soon. πŸ™‚

    And I’m the dork that sits down and reads a cook book cover to cover when I get it… πŸ˜›

    1. Melissa

      Rachel- My only pound cake experience before this was a flop too, so I was nervous! But it turned out really well πŸ™‚ Let me know how it turns out for you!

  3. marseille

    so glad i caught this giveaway. i was sad i missed your others cuz i haven’t been on that often. (idk if you saw, but I linked your red velvet cheese cake bars on my blog)

  4. Kate Thorley

    I made something the other day that called for cake flour but I used regular flour sifted out. I could for sure tell something was off. SO what is the difference between the two? And as someone who rarely bakes do I actually need cake flour or is there a secret trick I’m missing out on?

    1. Melissa

      So cake flour, all-purpose flour, and bread flour all have different percentages of protein in them. Bread flour having the highest amount and cake flour having the lowest. You want more protein with bread flour because it makes things chewy and more elastic and the gluten develops more. Cake flour is the opposite… it has a “finer crumb” in baked goods. You don’t want chewy and elastic cake, you want a cake that is really tender and kind of falls apart in your mouth. In all my baking experience I’ve found it is best just to use what is called for, especially in something a bit temperamental like a pound cake. It’s a lot of ingredients to use for it to not turn out well. So yes, in this case, I say you need the cake flour for sure. It’s a bit more pricey but this cake is worth it πŸ™‚

    1. Melissa

      I had never heard of the method before either. The ATK cookbook titled the recipe “cold oven pound cake” and I guess it was popular in the 1970’s. So don’t trust me on this one, trust ATK πŸ™‚

  5. Beverly Toney

    I love this blog, I also would love to win this contest for your book give away America’s Test Kitchen. I am always looking for the latest and greatest in the food world for innovative ideas and amazing recipes. Thanks for the opportunity to enter and win one of your books. ~Beverly

  6. Sue Hale Hayes

    Everything Edible Turns Out. I Even Mixed Up Two Recipes That Were On ATK Back To Back! Fabulous Results Too. Beef Roast w/ Vegetables & Then Onion Soup. Placed Apple~Butter In Wrong Recipe! Oops!

  7. I made this cake when ATK’s The Feed had it as part of their “Cooking through the Decades” challenge. It didn’t turn out for me, it was a dense thinner cake that just didn’t rise the way it should have (it had a totally weird texture, but I still ate the whole thing…ooops). I love ATK and when I told them about this, they gave me quite a bit of feedback. Most likely my oven just stinks and doesn’t regulate the temperature very well. After seeing this cake again, I feel like giving it another whirl just to make sure I didn’t do something wrong the first time. It looks so good! Thanks for the giveaway πŸ™‚ Fingers crossed.

  8. Brittany R

    I’m glad ATK posted about your website, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have found it. Like your post, could relate. My mom is in WA and I’m in SC, so I’m having to improve my sewing skills mostly on my own. Thanks for the giveaway!

  9. Elizabeth Williams

    I love ATK! Their recipes are fantastic, and I have no need of the Food Network as long as I have ATK on my local PBS station.

  10. Chin LEONG

    Just like you, my mother lives so far away… Abroad. And like every year, I won’t be able to celebrate Mother’s Day with her near me sharing some good food and laughs. May be if I get to win those cookbooks, we can prepare the same recipe and eat the same food even though we’re so far away from each other.

  11. Jocelyn

    I grew up eating a cake similar to this one but they called it a Cold Oven Cake. Fabulous. I can’t wait to make this. So simple but always delicious.

  12. Sherry

    Hope this goes through, I have not used blogs before but found your wonderful sounding/looking Pound Cake recipe on ATK which lead me to your blog. I’ll bookmark your site and check in now and then. My husband’s mother used to make pound cakes but has passed and we took her cooking for granted until we could no longer ask for her recipes. Thanks for your efforts!

  13. I love pound cakes and love that this needs no preheating the oven. Running out to get some eggs so that I can try this. I love Americas Test Kitchen recipes they are awesome !!!

  14. Beka

    Wow, this is an easy contest! I was going to pin and comment anyway, and I already follow you everywhere, as well as ATK πŸ˜€

  15. Diane T.

    Hmmm…tjis cake turned out kinda weird. Toward the last part of the cooking time the butter started bubbling up out of the pan, almost like it was “frying” the cake! (I thought 2 1/2 sticks was a lot of butter, but I used it anyway.) The cake was really greasy, almost more like a “fritter” than a cake. Tasted yummy though…I’m going to bring this to work and put some strawberries on it, so that I don’t have to eat all that butter (!!!). Maybe try reducing the amount of butter and using regular all-purpose flour instead of cake flour? Just a thought…

    1. I’m not sure if this is still relevant for you, but pound cakes ALWAYS have tons of butter. The trick of making a successful pound cake is emulsifying the mixture so that the butter doesn’t separate out. Making that happen is a different story…

      1. Renae

        Also your measurements must always be exact when baking. That may explain the spillage out of the pan. If you make it again be sure to follow the measurements as recorded in the recipe.

        I made it and it turned out perfectly. Note that the 70-80 minutes starts from the time the cake goes in the cold oven, not after the pre-heat. Otherwise the cake will be dry.

  16. amber robbins

    I took your suggestion and made the pound cake for Mother’s Day yesterday with fresh strawberries. It was perfect! I got so many compliments on how light and delicious it was. I’m so glad you posted this recipe so I could earn some brownie points with Bart’s mom and grandma! I had never made a pound cake before yesterday (and got a little nervous after reading a few failed attempt reviews), but the recipe was simple to follow. The batter was so light and fluffy- yummy buttery goodness!

  17. rabia

    i tried this recipe last week and it came out PERFECT! it was soo good my husband demanded i make another one as soon as he and the kids had wiped the first one clean. my only question is, can i half the recipe to make it in a loaf pan? i want to give it as a gift and would rather make it in a loaf pan than the round one…

    1. Melissa

      I honestly don’t know but I say it’s worth a try. If you are confident that you could test for done-ness in a loaf pan since you can’t rely on a time, then I say you have a great chance it will turn out well! Let me know if you try it!

  18. Heela

    Hi it’s been I while I have been longing for a good reciepe of pound cake. Have a question can we use oil instead of butter. N if it’s butter how much is two sticks.

  19. Sue

    I made this cake yesterday. Followed the recipe exactly. It did not rise and was still not cooked in the center.
    What would have caused thiscto

    I tried this cake yesterday. I followed the recipe
    exactly and my cake did not rise and the center was still not done. What could have caused this to happen?
    I have been baking for 50 years or longer and never had one do this.

  20. Clara andrews

    It may be similar to, but it is not a pound cake. The ingredients are out of balance and are not a pound each.
    I am not saying it is not good I personally like plain cakes.

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Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.

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