Vanilla Pound Cake {an expat story}

My first visit to the UK I was staying in Oxford and to get to the bus station you had to walk through the market. I had never really experienced a market like that and now it's a common thing after having lived in the UK for so long. However, I stopped at this place in the market that was selling cherries soaked in blueberry juice and then dried or maybe it was the other way around I don't really remember because of what happened when I ordered.

I asked for about a pound. The guy was a bit confused and confirmed my request with an "are you sure" look. Having realised my blunder, but not knowing what to say or how to explain, I just stuck by what I said and was like yup! He then continued to weigh it out so it only cost one Great Britain Pound (GBP).

What I had really wanted was a pound in weight - lb. Which in hindsight is like 450g so I probably didn't actually want that much.

It's not very often I have slip up's like that now after 12 years; so, when I was making this pound cake for my friend I hadn't really thought about the different definitions of the word "pound." It can also mean a place where dogs go to die, the dog pound. Anyway in this instance it was the difference between weight and money! I had to explain that the cake had indeed cost me more then one pound to make and that in American a pound cake refers to a type of cake made with a pound of flour, butter, eggs, and sugar.

This pound cake isn't traditional in the use of a pound of each ingredient, but it still uses pretty much equal measures of all the ingredients. It is more like half a pound cake really. The equivalent here is what the British call a Madeira Cake. Basically the same thing.

Vanilla Pound Cake 

260g plain flour
225g sugar
1 tsp baking powder
225g butter
5 eggs
2 tsps vanilla extract

All the ingredients should be at room temperature before starting and grease or line a 2lb loaf tin (23x13) When your are ready heat the oven to 160C.
Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and butter together until combined. I used my hand mixer and so it might look a bit like crumbs, but should come together when pressed as seen in the picture below.
In another bowl beat the eggs and vanilla together. Add about 1/3 of the egg mixture slowly to the dry mixture, beating well in-between additions.
Scrape down the sides before giving it one last good mix and scrape into your prepared loaf tin. Bake for about 60 minutes, test it by using the skewer test. It shouldn't leave any crumbs or batter on the skewer or butter knife - which is what I use and it should be a nice golden color as seen in the pictures.

Serve with ice cream and fresh berries if you are feeling like an American or jam and custard if you feeling British. Either way it's a great cake that can be paired with pretty much anything! It's a blank canvas cake so to speak and it's super easy to make!


  1. I've always wondered where the name for the cake came from. I have to deal with pound confusion at work on a regular basis as older customers want to buy their fruit and veg in imperial measures rather than metric. Some seem to think we should go back to imperial after Brexit but that's another conversation!

    1. Oh dear! Let's just confuse everyone more shall we! ;0) lol

  2. I can cope with 'pounds' more than I cope with 'cups' as a measure ;-) Lovely story, lovely cake... Thanks!

    1. I don't like cups for cooking it seems like a real hassle! Thank you for you comment!! :0)


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.