Watch me make this million-dollar pound cake from start to finish!


My kids fired me from homeschooling them after 10+ years!

I’m being dramatic, but that’s what it feels like. I decided to let them try a program called Powerhouse since we’d planned on doing so much traveling this past year to make up for Covid.

Well, they have decided that they want to keep doing it instead of going back to my lesson plans. The audacity!!

Powerhouse is a video-based homeschooling program that looks super boring to me.  It has everything planned out and allows kids to create their own schedule and even grades the assignments and automatically reinforces lessons where more help is needed.

My new job is simply to log the extra credit assignments and get excited when they finally say, “I need help with this,” which isn’t often.

homemade million dollar pound cake recipe

I guess now that my boys and 10 and 15, they are no longer interested in my lil cutesy projects and themed lesson crafts.  

They just want to get the work done so they can move on to what they’d rather be doing, like creating video games and refurbishing and selling game consoles online. Whatever.

It’s a different role for me, but it has some perks! It’s freed up A LOT of my time. I’ve been using the time I’d typically be planning out lessons to work on recipes and a million other things I’ve slowed down with.

Today I’m going to share with you one of those recipes. Million dollar pound cake!! 

OMG, y’all, it is sooooo good!! 

I mean, I’m not bragging, but it’s the best million-dollar pound cake I’ve ever had, and I’ve had cake from lots of Southern “church mothas.”

Give it a try, and tell me what you think!

best million dollar pound cake recipe

What is a million-dollar pound cake???

Million-dollar pound cake is a buttery, dense, and tender type of pound cake that doesn’t contain any leavening like salt, baking powder, or baking soda.  

It gets its fantastic texture by whipping air into the batter.

I have yet to find the real story behind this Southern favorite and how it got its name. Everything I find online just says, “people says it tastes like a million dollars.” Um, this cake is heavenly, but a million dollars? That’s a stretch.  I’ve also heard it referred to as the Elvis Pressley cake. I dunno!

If anyone can find the real story, please share it!

easy million dollar pound cake recipe

Why I LOVE this million-dollar pound cake recipe

This million-dollar pound has the absolute best crumb ever, perfectly tender and moist, yet has that classic pound cake denseness. 

And best of all, the flavor is incredible! Buttery with hints of vanilla slightly enhanced with almond, lemon, and coconut extract! 

Those extract combinations are the truth! They don’t overpower the cake but give an excellent subtle flavor boost.

Million-Dollar Pound Cake Glaze

I’ve included a simple yet incredible glaze for this cake, but it’s optional. I always add it because I think glazed pound cakes are so pretty, and it’s a great way to cover up any imperfections if needed.

Drizzle it over the cake and let it harden. You can double the glaze recipe to cover the entire cake. Just make sure the cake is cooled completely before glazing, or the glaze will simply melt into the cake.

How to make the BEST million-dollar pound cake recipe

(Recipe Overview. Full recipe below)

INGREDIENTS

CAKE

  • unsalted butter
  • granulated sugar
  • large eggs
  • All-purpose flour sifted
  • whole milk
  • vanilla extract
  • almond extract
  • coconut extract
  • lemon extract

GLAZE

  • powdered sugar
  • unsalted butter
  • whole milk
  • vanilla extract
  • almond extract
  • lemon extract
  • salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 10-cup bundt pan evenly with shortening and coat it lightly with flour.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, add butter and mix using an electric mixer until creamy.
  3. Start a timer for 3 minutes and begin gradually adding the sugar at low speed. Mix on low speed until the timer goes off and the mixture is thoroughly creamed.
  4. Mix in eggs one at a time, on low speed, until the eggs are combined.
  5. Add the extracts and mix on low speed until combined.
  6. Add the flour a little at a time while alternating with the whole milk. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  7. Mix on low speed until the batter is combined and fluffy.
  8. Spoon batter evenly into the prepared pan and tap the pan on the countertop to remove any trapped air bubbles.
  9. Bake on the middle rack for 1 hr and 20-25 mins or until a long wooden pick or cake tester inserted into the center edge comes out clean or with moist crumbs clinging to it.
  10. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack until the pan is cool enough to touch.
  11. Remove the cake from the pan and let it cool completely on a wire rack.
  12. To make the glaze, stir together all of the glaze ingredients until it is silky. (more water if needed)
  13. Drizzle the glaze onto the cooled cake and allow the glaze to harden
  14. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold.  (tastes even better the next day!
million dollar pound cake

Tips and Tricks

  • Be sure to grease the pan correctly. Spread a thin and even layer of shortening all over the inside of the pan. I use butter-flavored shortening. Next, spoon a few spoonfuls of flour into the pans and shake the pan around until the entire inside surface is coated with flour. Dump the excess flour into the trash. The inside of your pan should now be lightly dusted with flour.
  • Tastes even better the next day. Pound cake gets better the next day when the flavors have a chance to really set in! It’s also amazing right out of the oven as well!
  • Mix well. Use a rubber spatula to get every nook and cranny of the bowl to ensure there are no flour or unmixed ingredients on the bottom.
  • Mix on low. Keep the mixer on low speed to prevent overmixing. 
  • See my pound cake 101 for more tips.
million dollar pound cake recipe

Topping Ideas

This pound cake is perfectly fine to serve as is, but it also makes an excellent base for your favorite fruits and dessert sauces!  Here are a few topping suggestions.

  • Fresh berries- Top with fresh berries in natural syrup. Strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries are lovely topping choices! Add whipped cream to make a shortcake!
  • Caramel sauce/ Chocolate sauce – Plain or salted caramel sauce or chocolate fudge sauce is heavenly drizzled over warm pound cake.
  • Lemon curd- Add a dollop of lemon curd and fresh mint leaves for the perfect Spring dessert!
  • Flavored Glaze- Glazes are another way to add flavor to this cake. Replace the extracts in this glaze recipe with your favorite. I like orange extract, coffee extract, and fruit-flavored extracts for pound cakes.
  • Sprinkles- Sprinkles make everything fun! Throw on a vanilla glaze and immediately add sprinkles to create a festive million-dollar pound cake.
  • Whipped cream- Homemade whipped cream and pound cake are a great duo. You can add flavor to the whipped cream by using a couple of teaspoons of vanilla extract or your favorite extract.
southern million dollar pound cake recipe

Common Questions & Troubleshooting

Why did my pound cake stick to the pan? Make sure that you grease your pan generously and evenly. Use vegetable shortening and a light coating of flour.  This will ensure that your batter does not stick.

Why did my pound cake collapse as it cooled? Sometimes when a pound cake cools too fast, it can cause the cake to separate from the bottom crust. Since this is the bottom of the pound cake, you can easily remove or cut away this part to level out the bottom.  Overmixing can also cause sinking.

Can I use different extracts and flavorings? Absolutely! This cake is very versatile with it comes to extracts!

Can I make this pound cake in loaf pans? Yes, use two large loaf pans. You can also use a 12-cup bundt pan. You may need to decrease or increase the baking time if using a different size pan, so keep an eye on it.

Can I mix on medium speed? That depends on the power of your mixer. If you mix at too high of a speed, it could put way too much air in the batter and activate the gluten in the flour too much, giving it gluey streaks when done.

Why does my batter have bits of flour? Be sure to sift your flour or whisk it really well beforehand. This will prevent a batter of lumps from happening.


Want more pound cakes? Try these!


elvis pressley cake million dollar pound cake recipe

Get the Recipe: The BEST Million Dollar Pound Cake Recipe

5 from 57 ratings
Velvety soft and so moist! This million-dollar pound cake recipe is a winner! Finish off with a simple complimenting glaze (optional)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 12 people

Ingredients
 

CAKE

  • cups unsalted butter, room temperature (3 sticks)
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, (See note about extracts)
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ teaspoon lemon extract
  • ½ teaspoon coconut extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, (sifted, spooned into measuring cup and leveled)
  • 1 cup whole milk

GLAZE (double if you want to cover entire cake)

  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • teaspoon lemon extract
  • teaspoon coconut extract
  • teaspoon almond extract
  • salt, pinch
  • 2-2½ tablespoons milk (may need more or less)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 10-cup bundt pan evenly with shortening and coat it lightly with flour.  Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add butter and mix using an electric mixer until creamy.
    1½ cups unsalted butter, room temperature (3 sticks)
  • Start a timer for 3 minutes and gradually add the sugar at low speed, a little at a time. Mix on low speed until the timer goes off and the mixture is thoroughly creamed.
    3 cups granulated sugar
  • Mix in eggs one at a time, on low speed, until the eggs are combined.
    5 large eggs, room temperature
  • Add the extracts and mix on low speed until combined.
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon almond extract, ½ teaspoon lemon extract, ½ teaspoon coconut extract
  • Add the flour a little at a time while alternating with the whole milk. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
    3 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup whole milk
  • Mix on low speed just until the batter is combined and fluffy.
  • Spoon batter evenly into the prepared pan and tap the pan on the countertop to remove any trapped air bubbles and to level out the surface.
  • Bake on the middle rack for 1 hr and 20-25 mins or until a long wooden pick or cake tester inserted into the center edge comes out clean or with moist crumbs clinging to it. ( For my oven, it's perfect at 1 hour and 23 minutes)
  • Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack until the pan is cool enough to touch.
  • Remove the cake from the pan and let it cool completely on a wire rack.
  • To make the glaze, stir together all of the glaze ingredients. Add enough milk to make it silky.
    1 cup powdered sugar, sifted, 2 tablespoons melted butter, ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract, ⅛ teaspoon lemon extract, ⅛ teaspoon coconut extract, ⅛ teaspoon almond extract, 2-2½ tablespoons milk (may need more or less), salt, pinch
  • Drizzle the glaze onto the cooled cake and allow the glaze to harden
  • Serve warm, room temperature, or cold.  (it tastes even better the next day!)

Video

Notes

Extracts: Feel free to use only vanilla extract if you aren’t familiar with using the other extracts. The other extract gives just a hint of complimenting flavor.
Cuisine: southern
Course: Dessert
Tried this recipe?Mention @divascancook on Instagram or tag #divascancook.