The hardest part of making a pound cake is remembering to soften the butter before you want to begin. Am I right or am I right? If your pound cake repertoire needs a bit of an update, have I got good news for YOU! Turn to one of the pound cake-centered cookbooks below.
I’ve included Bundt cakes and pound cake cookbooks here because many pound cakes are baked in a Bundt cake pan. We don’t want to miss out on those. They are so great to feed a crowd. Pound cakes in general don’t have the crumbs or frosting mess of a cake, cake, but they still have that sweetness most people crave for an afternoon pick-me-up. They make excellent lunch box desserts.
It isn’t easy to find cookbooks devoted solely to pound cakes. I combed through my cookbook collection and did a whole lot of research to find cookbooks with a nice assortment of pound cake recipes, though most will include other non-pound cake recipes too.
Pound Cake Cookbooks to Up Your Recipe Game
All About Cake: A Milk Bar Cookbook (Amazon) (eBay)
If you have had your fill of the typical lemon, rum, or chocolate pound cakes, and are ready to broaden your horizons (and probably your backside), then take a look at this comprehensive cookbook from Christina Tosi of Milk Bar and naked cake fame.
Pound cake recipes here are for the more adventurous. Christina Tosi plays with her food. If a banana green curry pound cake or rhubarb-elderberry pound cake float your boat, then you are in the right place. In a thoughtful move, she shares measurements in cups and by weight.
This cookbook is not for the new baker. Experienced bakers, and those who don’t mind hours in the kitchen working on a single complex recipe with many moving parts, will love it. It’s also a cookbook for people unafraid of a little, and in some cases a LOT, of sugar. It’s no secret that the two-time James Beard Award-winner has a mighty big sweet tooth.
American Cake: From Colonial Gingerbread to Classic Layer, the Stories and Recipes Behind More Than 125 of Our Best-Loved Cakes: A Baking Book (2021) by Anne Byrn (Amazon) (eBay)
You may recognize the name. Anne Byrn, once the food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, has authored several books. Byrd is the author of the Cake Mix Doctor and the Dinner Doctor cookbook series. This book, however, is all about homemade goods.
If the title sounds familiar, you may have heard about it on the Stuff You Missed in History Class podcast. This 7.51 x 0.95 x 9.14-inch cookbook has a nice mix of history and recipes spanning 352 pages. Pound cakes may not be the star of the show in this cookbook devoted to cakes of all kinds, but I think you’ll enjoy it.
Pound cake super fans will have a nice assortment of recipes to bake, from the historic (like Malinda Russell’s Washington Cake) to the vintage (cold oven pound cake) to something a bit more modern (like coconut layer cake or a Hershey bar pound cake). This book will keep you busy and out of trouble.
Cake Keeper Cakes (2009) by Lauren Chattman (Amazon) (eBay)
Citrus and Black Pepper Pound Cake, Anise Pound Cake, Chocolate-Raspberry Marble Pound Cake with with Chocolate-Raspberry Glaze initially caught my eye as something a little bit different than the usual vanilla pound cake recipes.
Full-color images accompany many recipes, but not all. Instructions are clear, easy to follow, and keep it simple. Each pound cake recipe is entirely homemade, which I love. The Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pound Cake and the Nutella Swirl Pound Cake would be “make first” recipes in our home.
Pages 72-101 are devoted to pound cakes. Wow! This 8 x 0.43 x 8 inch cookbook and 176 pages in total will keep you measuring flour and softening butter for weeks to come.
CakeLove: How To Bake Cakes from Scratch (2008) by Warren Brown (Amazon) (eBay)
I started to reach for my copy of CakeLove, then almost stopped, thinking I didn’t remember any pound cake recipes in the 224-page, 9 x 10-inch book. But, I decided to double-check. I am so glad I did. Warren has a bevy of recipes from classic to innovative pound cakes.
Not every recipe includes a full-color image and some aren’t of the actual product, but of an orange peel or bit of chocolate. I forgive all, though, since Warren’s intros to each recipe, and his instructions are detailed and clear. He’s having so much fun—and I just love that.
CakeLove includes a pound cake recipe comparison, so you can get an example of why his cakes are different, as well as “crunchy feet.” He bakes mini pound cakes in 2-ounce brioche pans for crunchy ruffled edges. Brilliant! Clove-Anise Spice Pound Cake, Lemon-Ginger Pound Cake, Chiapas Pound Cake, and Mojito Pound Cake are a nice sample of his unique recipes.
Country Cakes: A Homestyle Treasury (1989) by Lisa Yockelson (Amazon) (eBay)
The illustrated cookbook cover is nothing if not 1980s country style. At 160 pages, it may not be a long read, but it is a fun one. That’s because Lisa includes at least one meaty paragraph above each recipe containing tips and anecdotes associated with the cake (if not multiple paragraphs).
Pound cake recipes include Bourbon Pound Cake, Rich Nut Pound Cake, and Grandma Lilly’s Hot Milk Cake (which also has a nice story to go with it). Flip to the very back for one of the more unique features: Cake Categories. Lisa includes “Bake Sale Cakes, Country Cakes that Use “Goods on Hand,” Country Cakes that Use Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, and Keeping Cakes. Each category includes a list of related cakes in the book. What a great idea!
Don’t expect images. There isn’t a single one, but hey—it’s pound cake. You can so do this. Minimal illustrations throughout fill up what would otherwise be a blank space. It’s a cute almost 7 x 7-inch cookbook overall. From page 91-109, you’ll find a slew of pound cake recipes to up your pound cake bakin’ game.
Elizabeth Alston’s Best Baking (2000) by Elizabeth Alston (Amazon) (eBay)
Yes, it’s Elizabeth Alston again. I told you I love her cookbooks. This one is no different. As the cover says, this cookbook possesses “80 recipes for angel food cakes, chiffon cakes, coffee cakes, pound cakes, tea breads, and their accompaniments.”
I grabbed my copy off my cookbook shelf, wondering if Elizabeth had enough pound cake recipes in the slim volume to justify inclusion. She does. There are more than a dozen pound cake recipes in this 174-page cookbook.
You won’t find images, and scant illustrations this time around, but you will find Orange Chocolate Chunk Pound Cake, Toasted Coconut and Almond Pound Cake, Soaked Orange Pound Cake, and Brown Sugar-Brown Butter Hazelnut Pound Cake. So many recipes.
Kiss My Bundt: Recipes from the Award-Winning Bakery by Chrysta Wilson (Amazon) (eBay)
Half a dozen pound cake recipes are mixed into this cookbook of desserts. This isn’t a cookbook for people who bake with their eyes: No glossy images here. Instead, the author chose to include illustrations of herself on the pages.
If you prefer using one recipe to make multiple things, this cookbook is right up your alley. You can use bakery owner Chrysta Wilson’s basic vanilla birthday cake recipe, then mix up the flavors, using her accompanying recipe tweaks. Lemon, orange dream, sour cream, and bourbon pound cake are some of the tempting flavors you’ll find inside these pages.
At 168 pages, it isn’t the largest cookbook, especially considering a generous portion includes tips and resources, but it’s a nice starting point for anyone wanting to master a single recipe with many hats.
The Perfect Cake (2002) by Susan G. Purdy (Amazon) (eBay)
Eight pages dive into all things pound cake. Susan includes three recipes for different pound cakes, one of which contains a multitude of variations. New England Spice Pound Cake, Citrus Pound Cake, Praline Pound Cake, and Mother’s Whiskey Cake all start with her recipe for “Best Pound Cake.”
I like how she includes special information in the sidebars. Things like advance preparation, special equipment, and baking time are included with each recipe, among others. It’s nice to know right from the start if you have the right pan or not and what parts of a recipe you can begin ahead of an event.
The 7 x 9 inch cookbook has a paper cover and lacks images (save for the front and back cover images), but does include an occasional decorative illustration. But, Susan’s lengthy intro to baking cakes draws on her lengthy experience, helping even novice bakers feel a bit more comfortable with the process, while providing a good refresher for the rest of us.
Piece of Cake! (2011) by Camilla V. Saulsbury (Amazon) (eBay)
If you have one of these kind of cookbooks from Robert Rose, Inc. on your shelf already, then you know they aren’t big on images. They are, however, clearly laid out and easy to understand. Save the multiple mixing bowls for another purpose. This all-cake, only-cake cookbook is all about one-bowl baking.
The focus is on homemade cakes. Yes, of course, that includes a lengthy list of pound cakes. I mean, Malted Milk Pound Cake, Mai Tai Pound Cake, Apple Cider Pound Cake, and Eggnog Pound Cake kind of make you feel like we might all start having way more pound cake than we did in the past.
It’s a 8.5 x 1.25 x 10.5 inch cookbook with 288 pages. With a section including homemade cake mixes for fast, scratch-made baking anytime, this could become a real flour-covered winner in your kitchen (and mine).
The Pound Cake Book (1994) by Jordan Bibb (Amazon) (eBay)
With 96 pages, this 5.28 x 0.43 x 6.46 inch book holds just over 40 recipes featuring pound cakes, pound cakes, and more pound cakes. No images, but you can do this!
These pound cake recipes don’t all mimic the traditional format. Some use self-rising flour, while others still rely on eggs (beaten well) to give these cakes a little rise. Some are plain, while others are fancified. Do we care? Not really, not when they sound so darn good.
How does Lemon Cream Cheese Pound Cake sound? Great, right? Maybe Chocolate Cherry Pound Cake is more your style? My Grandma (Magel) used to gift me a box of chocolate covered cherries each Christmas. I just loved those things. I wouldn’t mind those flavors in a pound cake either.
Simply Cakes: Angel, Pound and Chiffon (1994) by Elizabeth Alston (Amazon) (eBay)
At 129 pages, with illustrations (no images), this cookbook offers up multiple recipes for three specific types of cakes: Pound, angel, and chiffon. At the start, you’ll learn about these cakes and the best techniques to create a masterpiece.
If you are familiar with Alston’s other cookbooks, like Biscuits and Scones (1988) and Breakfast With Friends: Seasonal Menus to Celebrate the Morning (1989 & 1995), this cookbook is similar in design. Expect charming illustrations and personal anecdotes throughout.
Look inside this cookbook for toasted coconut and almond pound cake, pumpkin pound cake, sour cream-chocolate chip pound cake, and pistachio-ginger pound cake. Yum yum.
The Southern Cake Book by the Editors of Southern Living (Amazon) (eBay)
If you’ve ever bought a Southern Living cookbook or magazine before, you know you’re in for something good. When it’s a publication devoted entirely to cakes, it gets even better.
This Southern Living cake cookbook is no exception. At 256 pages, with pictures to accompany each recipe, it’s a cookbook that looks as good as it sounds. You’ll never guess how your cake will look though and may pick up a few serving suggestions besides.
With recipes like Amaretto almond pound cake, lemon curd pound cake, and black forest pound cake, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy with scratch-made (yay!) and cake mix (boo!) recipes.
The Southern Heritage Cakes Cookbook (1983) by Southern Living (Amazon) (eBay)
This cookbook is a fantastic find and part of a larger series. At 144 pages, the 7 1/2 x 10(ish)-inch book is chock-full of recipes and images (both black-and-white and full-color). Not every recipe offers up an accompanying image though, as some images highlight the historical aspect of a recipe.
The pound cake section, for example, has a couple images of the actual cakes, but then it also includes an image of a woman churning butter. Old advertising and vintage pics are fun though and in abundance. Some images show how to do something, like the steps involved in making a sponge cake.
Recipes include Apple Cider Pound Cake, Geranium Pound Cake (did you know geraniums can live indoors for 40 years? You can stop leaving them outside to die over the winter), and Texas Brandy Pound Cake among roughly 10 in total. It’s a nice combo of nostalgia, history, and good cake recipes.
Ultimate Pound Cakes: Classic Recipe Collection
by Phyllis Hoffman DePiano (Amazon) (eBay)
At 164 pages, this isn’t the biggest cookbook to sit on your shelf, but with the great pics and destined-to-be-favorite recipes, it will be one of your most used cookbooks.
There are two different covers, yet both descriptions match, so just be aware of that so you don’t run off and buy something you already own. I hate when I do that.
If you are familiar with Hoffman Media (and if you spend enough time on Little Indiana Bakes you soon will be because I am a fan), then you know the recipe quality.
Cookbooks for Pound Cake
Pound cakes are the epitome of homey, don’t you agree? A pound cake is somehow fancy and comfortable and special. That’s no easy feat for any baked food. No wonder the history of pound cakes is a long one. My desk is stacked high with “to try” recipes right now. It’s a good thing our oldest son loves pound cake. Like, he has requested certain recipes for pound cake as his birthday cake in years past. Goofy guy. Which book will you try first?
Did I miss your absolute, hands-down, 100% across-the-board, can’t-be-missed, gotta-have pound cake cookbook? Do let me know in the comments below or send me an email via the contact form. I am sorry I didn’t catch it, but I’d love to update this list to include your cookbook superstar.
Leave a Reply