Buttery and not too sweet, this fine-crumbed cake follows the traditional one-to-one pound ratio but uses 12 ounces of each main ingredient for the batter to fit in the common 9- to 10-inch Bundt pan or a 10- by 5-inch loaf pan (see Variations, below, to bake in two 9- by 5-inch loaf pans).
Classic Pound Cake
Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour a 9- or 10-inch Bundt pan.
Whisk together the flour and salt on a large sheet of wax or parchment paper. Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat lightly to break the yolks.
Beat the butter and sugar with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or an electric hand mixer at medium-high speed until nearly white and very fluffy, 8 to 10 minutes. Scrape the bowl occasionally if needed.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add a little of the eggs while beating. Once the addition is fully incorporated, add a little more. Continue until all the eggs have been added, increasing the amounts as you go. Beat in the extract until incorporated. Scrape the bowl. Turn the speed to low. Gather the wax paper around the dry ingredients like a sling to lift them and shake into the batter gradually. Stop mixing as soon as all traces of flour disappear. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bake until a wooden skewer inserted in the thickest part of the cake comes out with a few crumbs, 1 hour to 1 hour 5 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then invert onto the rack, remove the pan and let the cake cool completely.
Use two buttered and floured 9- by 5-inch loaf pans. Increase the proportions above to 1 pound each of flour (3 1/4 cups), butter (2 cups), sugar (2 ⅓ cups) and eggs (8 large). Use 2 teaspoons kosher salt and 4 teaspoons extract. Proceed as above; start checking on the doneness of the cakes at 50 minutes.