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Food & Recipes

Cold Oven Pound Cake Recipe Bakes Up Perfectly Tender + Golden Every Time

Baking the cake "low and slow" creates a moist and nicely browned dessert!

The secret to your best-ever pound cake involves skipping a crucial step: preheating the oven before the cake goes in. Although preheating usually begins the baking process, heating the oven once the treat’s inside gently cooks it. What you end up with is a dense yet tender dessert that has a deeply browned crust. The oven’s low heat also prevents the cake from overbaking and drying out — which is a common baking mishap. Whether you’re serving it for an afternoon treat or special occasion, this cold oven pound cake will certainly satisfy your dessert cravings. Keep reading for how to make it.

How pound cake is traditionally made

This cake’s origins date back to the 1700s, when it was made with a pound each of flour, butter, eggs and sugar. However, more recent pound cake recipes use smaller quantities of these ingredients and include leavening agents to help the cake rise. Once the batter is combined, it’s poured into a cake pan and baked until golden.

The magic behind baking pound cake in a cold oven

Bringing the oven to temperature as the cake sits inside is an unexpected trick that creates a mouthwatering dessert. “By cooking the cake at a lower temperature for a longer period of time, you achieve an extra-deep brown, thicker, more flavorful crust — a product of the Maillard reaction [aka browning] and caramelization of the sugars in the batter,” Blair Lonergan, food blogger and recipe developer at The Seasoned Mom, explains. Baking in a low-temperature oven also prevents the treat from burning, which keeps the inside moist and tender. Recipes for this dessert involve placing the filled cake pan in the oven, and then setting the temperature to 350°F or lower. The cake needs well over an hour to slowly bake. But it’s worth it as you’ll have an old-fashioned pound cake that’s sure to earn rave reviews!

Surprise ingredient that enhances the cake’s flavor

Another way to flavor this cake is by adding pure almond extract to the batter. This extract is often made with the oil of bitter almonds, alcohol and water. While the extract is clear, its strong yet sweet flavor balances the sugar, butter and other ingredients in baked goods. When making homemade pound cake, Jessica Robinson, cookbook author and food blogger at A Farmgirl’s Kitchen, mixes in a teaspoon of almond extract. This is just enough to boost the cake’s rich and sweet flavor without leaving an overpowering after taste behind.

Related: This One-Bowl Chocolate Pound Cake Recipe Is a Dessert Lover’s Dream: So Rich + Easy

How to make cold oven pound cake

It’s clear that “low and slow” is a delicious way to go when making pound cake. Here, Robinson shares her family’s recipe for Cold Oven Pound Cake and describes it as “an easy to make dessert, perfect for any occasion.”

Cold Oven Pound Cake 

Cold oven pound cake


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. pure almond extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose or cake flour + extra for lining cake pan
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup full-fat buttermilk
  • Powered sugar, for dusting (optional)


  • Yield: 1 pound cake (12 servings)
  1. Grease 12-cup Bundt or cast-iron fluted cake pan with thin layer of vegetable shortening. Dust with scoop or two of flour and tap out excess.
  2. Sift flour into medium bowl. Whisk in baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In large bowl using an electric hand mixer or bowl of stand mixer, cream together butter and vegetable shortening. With stand mixer on low to medium add sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add eggs one at a time only until combined. Mix on low to medium speed. Add vanilla extract, almond extract, buttermilk and dry ingredients. Mix until batter is smooth and combined. Scrape bottom and sides of bowl occasionally. Scoop the cake batter into prepared cake pan and gently spread around evenly.
  5. Place cake into cold oven. Set temperature to 350°F.
  6. Bake about 1 hour 15 minutes. After first 45 minutes, gently rotate baking pan 180° to help cake bake evenly and continue cooking. Cake is done when toothpick inserted comes out mostly clean.
  7. Remove from oven and let cake cool about 10 minutes before carefully removing from cake pan. Let cake cool completely before dusting with powdered sugar (if desired) and slicing. Enjoy!

What to serve cold oven pound cake with

A slice of cold oven pound cake with yogurt and berries

Once sliced, serve each portion of cake with your favorite accompaniments. Fresh berries and yogurt add a tangy flavor to the buttery pound cake. Alternatively, you can top the cake with whipped cream or ice cream for extra sweetness. Or, pour a warm caramel or fudge sauce onto the cake slice to make it decadent!

Keep reading for more flavorful cake recipes!

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Mini Bundt Cake Recipes That Are *Almost* Too Cute to Eat — Our 7 Best-Ever Treats

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