Skip Nav
Food Reviews
You'll Want to Buy (Almost) Every New Product From Trader Joe's This April
Holiday Food
Brie vs. Camembert: What's the Difference?
Cooking Basics
The 1 Homemade Condiment You Should (and Can) Make Immediately

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!
What Does Rihanna Eat?
Latin-Inspired Mug Cake Recipes
Are Gummy Vitamins Good For Kids?
How Are Cashews Grown?
Brie vs. Camembert
Wendy's Secrets Revealed
Indie Rock Love Songs
What Is the Starbucks Dragon Frappuccino?
Burger Burritos
Gucci Ace Patch Sneakers
From Our Partners
Latest Food
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds