Whether you’re purchasing a mix—no judgment; team “add egg, oil, and water!”—or making your own from scratch, this dessert comes together in a flash. We love how many variations are out there, whether swirled with chocolate or topped with a bevy of berries. Pound cakes plays nicely with lemon and anise, rhubarb and strawberries, ricotta and mascarpone. And we love when people layer them into parfaits and trifles or spin them into dreamboat icebox cakes. The sky is the limit, here. Here are a few recipes we love and the ones pound cake fans most adore, ending with a couple we spied (and loved the looks of) on Pinterest.
Our #1 most-popular pound cake earned its star status for several reasons. First: It has a brown butter base. If you’ve played around with browned butter, you know it’s deeply nutty, savory and satisfying. Then there’s that rhubarb-strawberry compote. (We’ve recently extolled the virtues of rhubarb and strawberry together!) This is the sort of dish you spend a tiny bit of extra time on, then happily serve to guests or to family. And it’s just as good at breakfast, so save that last slice for yourself.
“If Ina says it’s good, it’s good.” So goes the theory of many home cooks we know, and Ina Garten’s perfect pound cake is no exception. Simple and straightforward, with a quick, crucial flour-sifting step that contributes ethereal airiness, it’s a delicate delight. Enjoy it for any meal of the day; we quite love it with a spoonful of crème fraîche and our afternoon tea.
You could go with our simple, beloved almond pound cake recipe, but if you need more pizzazz, consider orange. Brimming with savory almond paste and tangy orange zest and flecked with poppy seeds, it’s just the thing for a coffee break or fancy-but-easy dessert. Inspired by Flo Braker, it is supremely moist, and boasts a sugary citrus glaze. (Because sometimes gilding the lily is exactly the thing to do.)
The best pound cakes, if we’re being honest, are the ones that come together in 15 minutes of hands-on time. That’s this recipe. Bonus: It makes two cakes in an hour of oven time. That’s one for you and the hungry people around you, and one for your mother-in-law/ irritable neighbor/ boss. Top with whatever you want.
If we’re going to have to eat our words, at least our words are made of pound cake. This is another favorite among WS stalwarts. If you haven’t infused a pound cake with lemon yet, hoo boy, let today be the day. This recipe is the one you want. You can make it a day in advance of eating it (or giving it away), all the better for it to infuse with a lemon syrup you drizzle all over it. For extra credit, use sweet, fragrant Meyer lemons.
Think outside the pan! This very beautiful, birthday-ready confection comes together in 30 minutes. Thirty minutes. Yes, you need a pre-made pound cake or storebought cake in order to make that happen, but it’s a great way to use up that second cake the recipe made before it goes stale. Icebox cakes are just the best, especially in summer. This one brims with any seasonal berries you or your loved one likes the best.
Love pound cake, chocolate and ice cream? What kind of terrible person would make you choose among them? Not us. This recipe is killer, easy, and satisfying for whatever sweet tooth lurks within your dark, dessert-loving heart. (Another smart way to go? This knockout chocolate icebox cake, starring a simple pound cake. It’s ready in 20 minutes.) Pro tip: The parfaits look particularly gorgeous in a tall tumbler or our glass ice cream bowls.
We’ll give you a minute to gaze upon this and frantically hunt for your Bundt pan. How gorgeous is this brown-butter-and-brown-sugar confection from Jocelyn Delk Adams of Grandbaby Cakes? She’s right that both of those ingredients take any baked good up a notch. Browned butter is decidedly warm and nutty, and brown sugar boasts that excellent molasses note. We’re psyched to try this one.
How beautiful is this? Remember that pound cake can truly be a blank canvas. Pistachios and cardamom are a classic Middle Eastern combo, points out Sue from The View From Great Island, who we found on Pinterest. That dreamy glaze comprises vanilla paste, cardamom, heavy cream and confectioners’ sugar. The cake itself benefits from just a drop of green food coloring. This is an every-season, any day treat. Which is also true of pound cake itself.