Mrs. Adams’ Delicious Pound Cake

A truly delicious pound cake recipe made with 1 lb of Imperial margarine, 6 eggs, 1 lb of sugar, and 3 cups of cake flour.


  • 1 lb of Imperial margarine (sticks)**
  • 6 eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 lb confectioners sugar
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla


1 Make the batter: Beat together the margarine and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat lightly, mixing in well after each addition. Add flour and mix well. Add vanilla before, during, and after adding the flour.

2 Bake the cake: Pour batter into a stick-free or greased and floured bundt cake pan and bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours on 325°F. Begin watching the cake at 1 hour. The cake is done when a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cake should be cracked on top and golden brown.

3 Cool: Cool for 5 minutes on a cake rack. Loosen the sides with a knife. Gently remove the cake from the pan while still warm.

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  • Robin

    I made the cake and it smelled wonderful it even tasted good, however, it was DRY. What did I do wrong? I’m willing to try it again. Plus, the top was crazy looking that the cake couldn’t rest level on the plate.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Robin, perhaps in your oven you need less time to cook this cake. Also, bundt cakes typically have the issue of an uneven top. You can fix it by using a long serrated bread knife to even the top so that it sits evenly on the plate.

  • Michelle

    This is arguably the best cake I’ve ever made! I added a tablespoon of orange zest and swapped one teaspoon of vanilla for almond extract. I used cake flour and the imperial whatever it is butter substitute because it was way cheaper than butter. I made whipped cream and added vanilla and almond extract and powdered sugar. I used Nordic Ware’s heritage bundt pan… Got lots of compliments on the presentation, and sighs of pleasure when we finally dug in. It was a huge hit! My only issue was that the edges got pretty hard and crust like (which people actually liked-could be due to the ridges of the bundt pan), but then there were small pockets of very very slightly undercooked cake near the top (which when flipped was the bottom). We kept it in for ten minutes longer, but not sure how to evenly cook it in the future. Still tasted divine and was quite easy to pull together. This is a five star recipe! Thanks, Elise! You’ll make gourmet cooks of us all

  • Miguel

    Ok, I prepared this one last week and, as always, the recipe worked perfect (with margarine, despite my wife’s complaints). Without a problem, I got a perfect pound cake that looked perfect for a magazine cover. I added the zest of one lemon and the aroma and flavor just got better. However it still looks a little dry to me so next time (It will be next time) I will try with adding some liquid (I’ve heard of milk, yogurt or even sprite, like half a cup or so) and see what happens. I would go back to butter as well, just for the sake of the health and stuff. Thanks Elise!


    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Miguel, if you try it with butter, please let me know how it turns out! I also love adding yogurt or sour cream to pound cakes, makes them more moist and dense.

  • linda harness

    I make it exactly the same except i alternate 2eggs with 1 cup of all purpose flour using 3cups of flour. I’ve never used cake flour nor have I shifted it but going to try it sounds yummy
    Thanks For the receipe

  • Vicky

    Thank you for posting this recipe. My grandmother, Bigmama, made a pound cake with powdered sugar and I was searching for something like it. This pound cake is it! I used Imperial margarine, because that is what I had. I have started using it again, as the laws have changed and it does not have trans fat anymore. I was very careful to cream the margarine and sugar very well, until really fluffy. And I was careful to just barely mix in the flour, so gluten did not develop. It was rich and dense on the inside, crispy on the outside, all around perfect. I will keep this recipe to pass down to my daughters. Thanks again!

  • Dale

    After my mom passed away, I inherited her recipe box, which was also my grandmother’s. Inside the box was “the” cake recipe I remember from my childhood, only when we had company! I had to google it, and ended up here! This recipes has been around for ages, and for good reason. I wonder where it originated? The handwritten copy of it I have is at least from the early 60’s. No matter, it’s a delicious cake and brings back memories. Thanks for sharing it.

    • Trish

      I believe Imperial margarine put out this recipe. I’ve had mine for years and it’s called “The Imperial Pound Cake”

  • Becky

    I haven’t made this cake yet, but I can already say your mother is wrong about one thing. There’s a third type of person–one that loves cakes and pies equally–and that’s me!

    I love the simplicity of this recipe. Cooking Light has a great brown sugar pound cake for another option that’s not too sweet but absolutely delish…almost caramelly. It’s on

  • Pat

    I followed the recipe exactly just today; even purchased a new bundt pan.

    It is soo good. Cut slices very thin because I didn’t have topping. Tomorrow out for strawberries.

    Caution: I checked cake at 1-hr and only left it in for about 10 min. more, if that, only because it looked a little pale on top. Perfect and DELISH! Slid right out of the pan. I imagine this recipe has probably only 1/2 of calories/saturated fat as butter.
    Thank you Mrs. Adams.

  • Lucy

    I was wondering why this recipe doesn’t need baking powder/soda? I tried this a while ago without cake flour (I used all purpose with cornstarch) and the cake turned out hard and heavy… But the taste was amazing~ Was it because I didn’t sift the flour so it’s light? I shouldn’t use self raising flour next time, should I? Haha. I’m sorry, it’s just I can’t purchase cake flour… Thank you for sharing. :)

    Pound cake is traditionally made with a pound of flour, a pound of eggs, and a pound of butter. That’s why it’s called pound cake. The eggs are the leavening, which is why you don’t need baking powder or baking soda. Cake flour has less gluten in it than all purpose flour (in contrast with bread flour which has more gluten), which is why the crumb is light when you use cake flour. Cake flour is ideal for making cakes. ~Elise

  • Alyssa

    Does it have to be in a bundt cake pan? I don’t have one… Could I just use a normal round cake pan instead?

    Pound cakes are typically made in a loaf pan or in a bundt cake pan, not a round cake pan. If you make it in a round cake pan, you will likely need to reduce the cooking time (I don’t know how much, you’ll have to guestimate). ~Elise

  • sheila

    My Aunt prepared this for my grandaughter this summer. It is so perfect. She (my Auntie) is now 93. She had a few disaters in the past. One just has to patient..She sifts her Swansdown flour..Always uses butter…and always have to be careful not to overcook. I believe she alternates the flour and egg..making sure the egg is last. My 10 yr old grandaughter called me for the ingredients. Thank goodness you were here. The recipe is in my Auntie’s head and not written down anywhere!

  • Diane


    This recipe is pretty much the classic pound cake (“ye pound” of butter, flour, eggs and sugar). If yours was rubbery, I suspect you didn’t mix it properly. You really do need to cream the butter and sugar together for at least two minutes, and add the rest of the ingredients slowly.

  • MasPinaSarap

    I followed this recipe to a T expecting the best pound cake I’ve ever had – it was a disaster. Like many a poster above the result of two loaf pans instead of a tube pan ended up in the garbage. The very top was baked a nice crumbly cake – the rest was almost gelatinous and rubber-like as if the flour had congealed. I baked it twice as long and then flipped them over and baked again, and then sliced and baked the flat slices and still would not turn into “cake”. If I made this in a tube pan would it actually turn out right, I’m now more apprehensive to remake it.

  • Gwen

    This recipe is the same as the one I’ve been using for 25 years.

    This is a really EASY cake to make. It’s perfect for beginners. Just follow the recipe and you’ll look like a culinary queen (or king).

    Although the recipe I received from my home econ friend, Roz called for margarine, I use butter and it works perfectly.

    In the beginning, I used regular flour sifted 3 times. Now I use cake flour. Both work equally well but the cake flour saves time.

    Tips from 3 generations: Let the eggs and butter sit out until they reach room temperature. The batter will be silky and the texture perfect.

    Experiment with different flavors. I love almond or lemon or orange (so far). Enjoy!

  • Martha

    I was looking for a simple recipe that i could make for Thanksgiving dinner and let me tell you that this cake is very simple and so good.
    It is not very sweet and that’s what i think made everyone like it so. I was thinking about making it again and this time using butter, but I think that I will stick with the Imperial margarine and maybe add some lemon yest to it.

  • Agota

    At first, I decided to make this cake for my sister-in-law, who loves pound cake. I have never been a big fan myself. Now, after baking this wonder twice, let me tell you all how delicious this cake is! I baked it both using butter, in a loaf pan, and using Imperial margarine, in a bundt pan. Both times without baking soda, or baking powder. Both cakes came out smelling, looking and tasting great; and they disappeared very fast. I could not help adding fresly grated lemon zest, though, into the batter. This is my grandma`s recipe, and I believe it just makes the taste come out so much better. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!


  • Sue

    I’ve been making this pound cake for 40 plus years and if you subsitute butter for the Imperial it is a completely different taste to the cake and it is not as moist and smooth and the crumb texture is different.
    Like all recipes if you change an ingredient you change the original taste.

  • Elise Bauer

    Hi Daisy, this recipe calls for 6 eggs which is why it probably doesn’t require additional leavening. For an alternative recipe that uses baking powder see the pound cake recipe in the Joy of Baking.

  • Daisy

    I made this cake a few days ago and added baking powder and also put it in a loaf pan. I had to keep it in the oven longer than I should have because the insides wouldn’t get done but the outside was burning. I don’t recommend putting it in a loaf pan.

    By the way, I used butter instead of the margerine and after you cut off the burnt edges it was yummy.

    Today I bought a bundt pan and am going to try the recipe again. My problem is that the cake does not mention baking powder. I wonder should I use baking powder in it? has anyone made this cake without baking powder? What do you think, should I use the baking powder or not? I bought cake flour but it’s not self rising.


  • Loren

    Hi Elise,

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I made it tonight and it is delish. Moist, soft and buttery. And so easy. Please thank Mrs. Adams and your mom too.

  • Anna

    Me and my Mum made a cake like this today today. Ours was a bit different though. We used cream of tartar and egg whites blended together, then added to the rest of mixture. We used vegetable oil instead of margarine/butter), and baking powder. It’s a very delicate/slow procedure, but it’s ABSOLUTELY delish! :) We also left the cake in it’s pan for a lot longer when taking it out. (makes a difference, Mum says). Hehe. Thanks for sharing your amazing recipes! :)

  • Alanna

    Karen ~ Oh dear, unfamiliar ingredients and techniques and and and … so many things to learn when you’re starting out. But do try, it’s most rewarding! Confectioners sugar is some times called ‘powdered sugar’. It’s the very very fine powdery sugar that’s used in icing, for example. And cake flour is a special flour that’s had much of the gluten removed so that cakes turn out lighter (like bread flour has more left in to create a denser ‘crumb’). Do you know the blog Baking for Britain? You might ask Anna about specific product names and even recommended brands that should be easily available in your local shops. Good luck! Have fun with baking!

  • Karen

    Hi Elise

    I just came across this recipe today. I know, it’s about 2 years late. Better than never I say!

    I live in England and I’m a beginner baker. I was wondering if you could translate some of the ingredients for me. What is confectiners sugar and cake flour? Are they known as something else in the UK?

    Many thanks in advance, Karen

  • Billie

    Yummy, thanks for sharing the recipe!