Skip Nav
Food Video
Make This Fluffy Funfetti Cake in Just 5 Minutes!
Appetizers
It Isn't Football Season Without This Nacho Cheese Dip
Holiday Food
Brie vs. Camembert: What's the Difference?

Origin of Pound Cake

How Did Pound Cake Get Its Name?

I love pound cake, and ever since I've been old enough to eat it, I've wondered: where did it get that name?

In my childhood I speculated if it weighed a pound, or whether it would cause me to put on a pound or two. But that's actually not where the name comes from. Pound cake, which originated in Europe in the first half of the 18th century, initially weighed four pounds. That's because it called for a pound of each of four ingredients — flour, butter, eggs, and sugar — hence the name.

The recipe produced something far larger than what a modern-day family would consume — an amount over twice the volume of most loaf pans. Traditional recipes, therefore, preserve the simple ratio, but serve a much smaller quantity than the original recipe; in contemporary times, most have modified the recipe for a lighter, richer dessert with a prominent butter flavor. In France, where some argue the pound cake originated, the name of the original cake has stuck as well. There, it's called quatre-quarts, or "four quarts," a quart referring to a pound.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Anna Monette Roberts
Around The Web
Join The Conversation
Susannah-Chen Susannah-Chen 5 years
Onlysourcherry, tell me more!
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 5 years
TOASTED pound cake OMG.
Katie-Sweeney Katie-Sweeney 6 years
Now I really want pound cake!
lauren lauren 6 years
I might have to try out the original recipe! Maybe half of it at least!
Oatmeal and Double Chocolate Chips Ahoy! Thins Review
Cheetos Dust Recipe Hack
How to Sear Steak With More Steak
Mario Batali With President Obama
Starbucks Drinks Around the World
Girl Scout S'mores Review
7-Eleven Breakfast Pizza

POPSUGAR, the #1 independent media and technology company for women. Where more than 75 million women go for original, inspirational content that feeds their passions and interests.

From Our Partners
Latest Food
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds