Helen Eppley’s Pound Cake


This is the greatest pound cake in the world.

That may seem vain to you. However, I make this claim because I’ve been eating this pound cake for far longer than I’ve been making it.

This is the pound cake made by Helen Eppley, a dear woman that sat near me in church. Every week, she’d make a couple of pound cakes, and bring them to church and give them out. You never knew when you’d get one. But when you did, oh man, you knew what you’d be having for dessert.

Helen Eppley’s pound cake is rich, buttery, and dense, without being too heavy. It goes just to the edge of heavy, to use a very strange wording.

It tastes mostly of butter and vanilla, with just a hint of lemon.

It’s also fantastic when grilled and topped with vanilla ice cream.

And best of all, it’s incredibly easy to make, using the muffin method (mix butter and sugar together in a blender, add eggs and remaining wet ingredients, then add dry ingredients that have been sifted together).

Prep Time 15 minutes; total time 1 hour, 45 minutes


3 cups (630 grams) sugar

1 and ½ cups (3 sticks) butter

5 eggs

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon (255 grams) milk

1 tablespoon vanilla

2 tablespoons lemon extract

3 cups (435 grams) flour

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder


Mixing bowl (stand mixer or bowl with hand mixer)

Two loaf pans, or one large spring-form pan

Preheat the oven to 325° F.

Grease and flour the pans. In the large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Mix in milk, vanilla, and lemon extract.

Separately, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder, then add the mixture slowly to the batter, stirring as you go.

Bake for 1 hour at 325° F, and another ½ hour at 350° F.

(Mixing tip: I put the flour, salt, and baking powder in a hand sifter, then turn the mixer on low. I hold a flexible mat next to the mixer as a ramp, sift the flour mixture onto the mat, and let it slide into the mixer. The flour mixture is incorporated into the batter gradually, and I don’t need a separate sifting step.)

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