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Nov 13, 2018

Yeasted Pound Cake

This vanilla yeast-leavened pound cake is super moist and buttery, and is delicious served plain, with a dusting of powdered sugar, or with just a bit of whipped cream and macerated fruit.

Yeasted vanilla pound cake

This pound cake is leavened by yeast just like old time European cakes. Prior to the introduction of baking soda and baking powder in the late 19th century, all cakes were leavened by yeast.

From what I've read, there are still many traditional European cakes that are leavened by yeast, many of them coffee cakes.

Yeasted vanilla pound cake on a plate

This pound cake is really easy to make. You mix the batter (or is it dough?) by hand in the evening and let it sit at room temperature to rise for twelve hours.

After the dough (or is it batter?) has risen, you scrape it into a bundt pan (I used this one), let it rise a little once more, and then place the pan in the oven, where it will rise even more as it bakes.

Yeasted vanilla pound cake with whipped cream

What is the difference between a yeasted cake and a cake made with baking powder or baking soda?

While all leavening agents add air to the batter as it bakes (or before, in the case of yeast), yeast creates this air by consuming sugar and producing carbon dioxide. It also develops flavor and strengthens the gluten as it goes through this process.

Fortunately, the same weekend that I made this cake, I also made a more traditional pound cake. I found the yeasted pound cake to be just slightly more "bread-y" than the traditional pound cake. What does that mean?

I think I detected the flavor that yeast adds to dough, and the texture was slightly stronger than a delicate cake.

You are going to need a really reliable yeast for this cake because the dough is so enriched with eggs, butter, and sugar. For the yeast, I used SAF Gold, which is a great yeast for doughs that include a lot of sugar. You have to be a bread geek to have some because you buy it by the pound. As an alternative, I recommend Red Star Platinum yeast, which is available in grocery stores.

Yeasted pound cake with whipped cream

Is it cake or is it bread?

This was more like cake than bread, similar to this lardy cake. There are other breads where the debate might be a little more spirited, such as in the case of pandoro, panettone, babka, and this chocolate bread

More Pound Cake Recipes:

Vanilla-Bean Pound Cake

Cranberry Sour Cream Pound Cake

Chocolate Peppermint Swirl Pound Cake

Lemon Curd Pound Cake

More Yeasted Cake Recipes:

This month, the Bread Bakers are making yeasted cakes, a theme chosen by Archana of The Mad Scientist's Kitchen. Here are everyone's yeasted cakes:

bundt, cake, pound cake, yeasted cake
dessert, bread
Yield: 12 to 16 servings

Yeasted Vanilla Pound Cake Recipe


  • 3 cups (15.85 ounces) all purpose flour
  • 2 2/3 cups (14 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 4 sticks (16 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/4 cups (11.3 ounces) whole milk, at room temperature
  • 4 large room temperature eggs
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • Confectioners sugar, whipped cream, and/or macerated fruit for serving


  1. Whisk the flour, sugar,  salt, and yeast together in a large bowl.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the butter, milk, eggs, and vanilla with a whisk until combined. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Do not over mix. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 12 hours. 
  3. Heat your oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 10 inch bundt pan with and oil and flour spray. Alternatively, grease and flour the bundt pan. 
  4. Deflate the batter by stirring it and pour it into the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let the batter rise for 1 hour. 
  5. Bake the cake for 70 to 80 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. You can tent the cake with foil if you think it is getting too brown. 
  6. Cool the cake for 20 minutes in the pan and then invert it onto a wire rack to cool completely. 
  7. Keep cake wrapped in plastic wrap or an airtight container to keep it from drying out. The cake should last for about 5 days if kept well wrapped. 
This recipe was adapted from Food52

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. Our theme this month is Yeasted Cakes. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove at


Would you like to comment?

  1. Wow Karen this is awesome. I do agree the cakes were bready but still they were delicious. Thanks for joining us and all the help in getting the banner ready.

    1. Seriously considering buying a nordic bundt pan now after looking at your bake.

    2. Thanks Archana! Happy first time hosting! And get the pan =)

  2. The crumb looks so delicate and moist. It is hard to believe that this is a yeasted cake.Brilliant colour too!

  3. I think there is room in this world for all the pounds cakes, right? I love yeasted pound cakes and chemically leavened pound cakes for different reasons. I love the gorgeous brown crust on your cake. Lovely!

  4. I think I would love this "bready" pound cake.

  5. wow, what an amazing recipe! Now I 'm all intrigued... must definitely give it a try and take to our colleagues!

    1. I took it into work with a can of ready-whip (yes, I admit it) and some fruit, and it was a big hit.

  6. I was suppose to make this, but changed it after seeing your post. Lovely crusty cake Karen!

  7. The cake looks just superb. The beautiful outer crust, the soft texture. Just drooling over this. Awesome

  8. What a beautiful cake, and just the sort of cake that I would love a slice of as I enjoy my evening cup of tea. Lovely styling and photos too.

    1. Thanks Felice. It would be excellent with evening tea!


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