Skip Nav
Costco Mexican Style Street Corn
Costco
Heads Up, I'm Bringing Costco's $11 Mexican Style Street Corn to the Next Summer BBQ
Shake Shake Burger Recipe | Video
Get the Dish
Hack Shake Shack's ShackBurger
How to Make Whipped Cream Without a Mixer
Cooking Basics
Make Whipped Cream Without an Electric Mixer
Food News
The Pioneer Woman Launched Her Own Line of Ranch, Including a Spicy Southwestern Flavor!
Summer
This Millennial Pink Convertible Float Has Enough Room For You, Your BFF, AND a Couple Bottles of Rosé

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.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Anna Monette Roberts
Latest Recipes, Menus, Food & Wine
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds