Need to Know
Prepare your pan
Use a light-colored 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 x 2-3/4-inch loaf pan (one that isn’t nonstick). Dark finishes often produce overbrowned results, and any other size pan will affect the shape, baking time, and texture of this cake. Butter the pan thoroughly, taking care to reach well into the corners and seams and all the way up the sides. After greasing, line the bottom of the pan with parchment. An easy way to cut it to size: Trace the bottom of the pan onto the parchment and then cut out the rectangle.Use slightly firm butter
If your butter is too warm or too cold, the batter won’t aerate properly. Let the butter sit at room temperature as you gather your other ingredients. Before using, press it firmly with your thumb; if your thumb meets some resistance and leaves a slight indentation, the butter’s ready to use.Beat well, but don’t overmix
This pound cake doesn’t call for leavening, so it’s essential to properly combine the butter and sugar. Beating the butter and then adding the sugar a little at a time will aerate the batter, making it fluffy and ensuring that the cake will rise. But when adding the dry ingredients to the batter, don’t overmix, or your cake will be tough.