Tish Boyle’s Plainly Perfect Pound Cake

by Shirley@Køkken on January 10, 2012 · 76 comments

in cake, Sweet

Plainly Perfect Pound Cake

As you can see, I am continuing my celebration of simplicity. The inspiration to go back to Tish Boyle came about when one of the readers here tried out the Luxe Pound Cake recently and was raving about how good it was. I had baked it once and eaten it once. I remember I did a little dance when I took my first test bite…. the rest was a distant memory among the many recipes I had played with last year….  Going back to Tish Boyle’s The Cake Book, I contemplated among a few different pound cake recipe. In the end, I decided to go with the most basic and the aptly named, Plainly Perfect Pound Cake. No one can have one too many basic pound cake recipe. A good pound cake is like the Vanilla ice cream of the butter cake world. Rich and buttery, this can become the basis of more lavish and tasty embellishments that take the partaking of it to new levels of savouring joy.

Pound Cake8

Pound Cake 1

I love the fine crumb texture of this cake and the fact that I can smell it from a mile away when I was baking it. Instead of the traditional pound cake mould, I had deliberately chosen to bake it in a slim rectangular baking tin so that I can cut them up in tiny slices to be nibbled on like a snack – a perfect presentation for the upcoming Chinese New Year where treats are best served in small finger food sizes. If you find the Kueh Lapis too challenging and time consuming to make for the coming festival, I suggest you consider this recipe as it is easy to whip up and is … as the name claims, Plainly Perfect!

5.0 from 3 reviews

Tish Boyle’s Plainly Perfect Pound Cake

Serves: 6
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:

  • 200g/2 cups           Plain flour
  • ¼ tsp                    Baking powder
  • ¼ tsp                    Salt
  • 227g/2 sticks          Unsalted butter (softened)
  • 250g/ 1¼cup       Castor sugar (I reduced this to 200g)
  • 4                             Large eggs
  • 1 tsp                       finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp                       grated orange zest
  • 1 tsp                       vanilla extract
  • 80ml                      Heavy cream

  1. Preheat oven to 170C.
  2. Sift flour with baking powder and salt and set aside.
  3. Cream butter in a mixer at medium high speed until creamy (about 2 mins). Add sugar gradually and continue beating for 4 mins until light and fluffy.
  4. Reduce the mixing speed of the mixer to low and add eggs one at a time mixing until well mixed.
  5. Add the citrus zest and vanilla extract.
  6. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating it with cream (added in 2 additions).
  7. Pour into 2 lined 3″x 7″ pound cake mold and bake for 60-70 mins or until the cake turns brown and a testing skewer comes out clean. (Trish Boyle had baked this at 162C but I had to use a slightly higher oven temperature to ensure that the cake is cooked through without dense uncooked spots)

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{ 71 comments… read them below or add one }

1 ICook4Fun January 10, 2012

I can never say no to a good old pound cake. I like them light with fine crumbs just like the one you have here and perfectly brown too. I am bookmarking it to try out soon.


2 Torviewtoronto January 10, 2012

delicious looking spongy cake to snack


3 jas - the gluten free scallywag January 10, 2012

delicious, I love a simple pound cake with a fresh berry compote and a little cream as the ultimate afternoon tea time treat!


4 edith January 10, 2012

Oh my, look at those lovely golden hue and that fine crumbs.



5 Ribbon Clown January 10, 2012

I was looking for a pound cake recipe and my oh my, Shirley, you're definitely my kitchen angle hehe I'll gv your TB plainly perfect pound cake a try. Tq for sharing Shirley!


6 Mrs Ergül January 10, 2012

I can totally see the fine crumb texture from the photos! I'm making this the next time I open a pack of cream :)


7 Cass Tan @ 揾到食 January 10, 2012



8 Sherie @ Maameemoomoo January 10, 2012

OMG. This butter cake looks perfect!

After looking through its ingredients, i think what sets it apart from the usual is the heavy cream. No wonder it looks almost cheese cake (souffle) like!

I wanna bake this for CNY! (if i've time that is. aihs)


9 Yummy Bakes January 10, 2012

I love the texture of this cake. It looks so fine and good. Am book-marking this. Nice photos too.


10 Yummy Bakes January 10, 2012

Shirley, what sort of heavy cream did you use?


11 Elin January 10, 2012

Shirley…your pound cake looks delicious. Love the rich yellow color and the texture. I bet it taste yummy. Have bookmarked it too :) Great for the coming festive celebration :)


12 Min January 10, 2012

I love pound cake too! Simple yet delicious. Love your baking tin too, so slim :)


13 Joanne January 10, 2012

A good pound cake may be simple but it's also one of life's most delicious treasure. I am SO making this.


14 Shirley @ Kokken69 January 10, 2012

@YummyBakes- I just used normal fresh cream(pouring whipping cream). If you can get the plastic bottled heavy cream by Bulla, I think it will taste even more awesome.


15 kavis January 11, 2012

I love pound cake, sure this is indeed the best of the best pound cake ever.


16 daphne January 11, 2012

Funny enough, I am not a fan of pound cakes due to the buttery taste. However, I can see that the zesty flavours will go well! It will be perfect for a tea party or high tea with some friends.


17 jessica @ portuguesegirlcooks January 11, 2012

This looks great! Thanks for sharing!


18 Passionate About Baking January 11, 2012

Oh wow! I love the fine colour and the crumbs. How did you get a yellow bottom and not a brown botton? I would like to have that!


19 Yummy Bakes January 11, 2012

Is it the Bulla thickened cream? I saw this at NTUC. Thanks, Shirley.


20 Carolyn January 11, 2012

It looks delicious.

Happy New Year!



21 Jeannie January 11, 2012

I would do a little dance if my buttercake can look like this! Going to try this soon!


22 scrumptious jenny January 11, 2012

I love moist yet light crumbed cakes whether chiffon or pound. Would you recommend a recipe for a pound cake that is the closest to my liking? You have so many great recipes that it's hard for me to compare and choose. Thanks!


23 Shirley @ Kokken69 January 11, 2012

Jane : I lined the pan with baking paper and the temperature takes care of the rest, I guess.


24 To Food With Love January 11, 2012

I knew it looked perfect even before I read the title! Can't wait to try it!


25 Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) January 11, 2012

Shirley, oh, you also has a slim pound cake tin huh, i like mine too. I love this kind of simple and plain butter cake. Your pound cake texture look so fine and neat, well done! I still have some leftover heavy cream, look like i can use to bake this cake.


26 Deb January 12, 2012

This spectacular pound cake would be delightful with fresh berries and kiwi. What am enticing recipe!


27 Sandhya Hariharan January 12, 2012

So moist , with just the perfect color… perfect pound cake !!!


28 Anh January 12, 2012

Look at that crumbs! I am MAKING this!


29 Shumaila January 12, 2012

The pound cake looks absolutely beautiful and your photographs make it look even more inviting. Pinning the recipe! Thanks for sharing!


30 Quay Po Cooks January 12, 2012

Shirley your pound cake has lived up to it's name! Aren't you proud of yourself! 😀


31 Rima January 13, 2012

OMG!! Yes!! I hv 4 eggs left in my kitchen.. Will bake.. Must bake.. Die die must bake.. Hehe

Pound cake is my all time fav! Tks for sharing dear!


32 pigpigscorner January 13, 2012

Wow, the crumbs are so fine!


33 noobcook January 13, 2012

your pound cake looks light and fluffy :)


34 sweetsamsations January 14, 2012

what a beautiful pound cake!! So simple yet so mouth-watering! :) gorgeous texture!


35 Ribbon Clown January 19, 2012


Which brand of butter did you use eh? I used SCS and the texture are not fine as yours..envy ;p


36 Shirley @ Kokken69 January 19, 2012

RC: Wow, I can't quite remember what butter I used. I had a myriad of butter in my fridge.. I believe it was SCS at that time …or Lurpak. I bought alot of Lurpak on sales recently. However, I don't think it is the butter that makes the difference. I think it is your creaming process. Make sure you cream for 2mins and 4 mins as I stated in the recipe….


37 kewpie January 23, 2012

made it on the weekend. the texture is amazing! thank you for sharing the lovely pics and recipe…


38 Shirley @ Kokken69 January 24, 2012

@kewpie: So happy to hear that you liked this :) Tish Boyle's recipes are very reliable.


39 Mel February 5, 2012

Hi Shirley,
Do you think I can bake this Pound Cake using a Bundt pan instead of 3"x7" mould? I loves to use Bundt pan.


40 Anonymous February 8, 2012

What is castor sugar? And we dont use grams in the US so what conversion would this be to cup etc.


41 Shirley @ Kokken69 February 12, 2012

@Anonymous : Hi. Castor sugar is actually very fine sugar. It is almost always used for baking. 1 cup of castor sugar would be about 225g. I am putting in the volumetric equivalent for your reference.

For the conversion, I like this site. http://www.dianasdesserts.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/tools.measures/Measures.cfm


42 lisa June 11, 2012

love ur blog :)


43 Yenli June 30, 2012

Thanks Shirley for introducing this recipe. I made it this afternoon and it turned out fabulously! :)


44 Donna July 24, 2012

Hey this looks just like Sara Lee! That’s a huge compliment in my house since they are addicted to her fine crumb cake! I agree the color and crumb appear perfect! I too wil bookmark and come back to let you know!

Thank you for posting this! Donna


45 Shirley@Køkken July 25, 2012

You are most welcome, Donna- hope you and your family will enjoy it.


46 Peanut August 21, 2012

we in Italy do not have heavy cream:( do you know something that could substitute it??i really like the simple perfection of this pound cake..thanks!


47 Shirley@Køkken August 21, 2012

Hi Peanut – do you have any whipping cream there? Otherwise, I would just fall back on milk though the texture may be different and you will need to reduce the quantity so that the cake will not be too wet. With whipping cream, use the same amount stated in the recipe. Let me know if you need further clarification.


48 Peanut September 3, 2012

oh,yes of course we have it! it’s just that i had read somewhere something like: “if you don’t have heavy cream don’t even try!” so i thought it was true and i have been discouraged!:( thank you very much for answering me,i’ll try soon!:)


49 M September 3, 2012

Hi Shirley,

What heavy cream would you recommend for the pound cake?
Will this Thickened cream by Bulla work well? http://www.bullafoodservice.com.au/chilled-range/cream-products/thickened-cream/thickened-cream-300ml.html

I tried baking this recipe with just normal fresh milk, and somehow the texture is kind of dry though the cake tasted good. Any tips for making the batter not so dry?? Thanks a millon!


50 Shirley@Køkken September 3, 2012

Hi M- I did not use this particular Bulla thickened cream. I only used normal liquid whip cream.(if you can get one with about 45% fat content that will be good – I recommend President). Indeed if you use milk it will not be as moist and soft. Hope you will get to try again… :)


51 Jerri January 14, 2013

Oh my! That does look perfect!


52 Shirley@Køkken January 21, 2013

Thanks, Jerri!


53 Annysha Shahira February 13, 2013

Love it!


54 kk September 7, 2013


stumbled across your blog and i am hooked!

one question.. i have leftover buttermilk in the fridge. Am i able to substitute the heavy cream with those? will it taste as good?



55 Shirley@Køkken October 13, 2013

Hi KK, yes, you can but it will not be as rich and creamy as heavy cream.


56 FightForTheBite October 9, 2013

It looks delicious! I think whipped cream and strawberries would be great as a topping for this!


57 Miss. banks October 20, 2013

I was wondering when you make a pound cake do you have to use lemon zest and the orange if I just want a plain pound cake? it is the plainly pound cake.
he looks so yummy but I just didn’t want it to the plan. oh and I was wondering if it would be good as que pasa lady told me to use pound cake to make my cake pops.


58 Miss. banks October 20, 2013

that should be cake pops a lady told me to use pound cake I was just wondering if your cake work out for it


59 Shirley@Køkken December 14, 2013

Miss Banks – should work.


60 Shirley@Køkken December 29, 2013

Miss Banks- sorry this took so long. You can certainly omit the citrus zest if you do not like it. Yes, you can use these for your cake pops.


61 Patsy December 20, 2013

how much is 80ml of cream? the recipe looks great..


62 Shirley@Køkken December 27, 2013

Patsy,do you have a measuring cup? Just measure out 80ml of the cream.


63 Patsy December 27, 2013

Thank you for replying, I never noticed that on my measuring cup. go figure. I always use US measurements I guess I better get up with the modern measurements. Happy New Year


64 dee davison January 3, 2014

oven temp 170C??


65 Shirley@Køkken January 4, 2014

That’s correct, Dee.


66 Christine February 21, 2014

Would love to try this cake but could you please tell me what a stick of butter is? In England we measure butter in ounces or grams. Many thanks.


67 Shirley@Køkken March 2, 2014

Hi Christine, in the US they sell butter in smaller sticks. One stick is about 113g.


68 Marcia February 27, 2014

Hi Shirley!!!

Sorry about my English because I am a Brazilian!!!

Your pound looks AMAZING, PERFECT!!! Thank you for sharing it!

I wanna make your recipe, but I would like to know if I can use SUGAR instead of CASTOR SUGAR, because in Brasil I don’t know where I can buy it.

Thank you so much!!! :-)



69 Shirley@Køkken March 2, 2014

Hi Marcia, thank you for dropping by. Use the finest sugar you can find (not icing sugar though). The idea is to cream the butter with the sugar until the sugar is not grainy.


70 Farah Rizwan January 8, 2015

Hi Shirley,
Your recipie looks fabulous, thanks for sharing.
One question, if I make it in a rectangular or
circular cake tin, will the temperature and
cooking time change.
Thanks in advance :)


71 Shirley@Køkken January 11, 2015

Hi Farah – It may differ a little depending on the height of the cake. In any case, different ovens may have different heating profile. I suggest you try with my basic setting and monitor as you bake. Good luck!


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