The History of Pound Cake

Pound cake is a type of fruit cake. Its name comes from the quantity of ingredients used in the cake. A traditional pound cake recipe would specify one pound of each of flour, butter, eggs, and sugar.

Food historians generally agree that pound cake is a Northern European recipe named for the equal weight of its ingredients. Recipes printed in contemporary American cookbooks follow the same general proportions. The "pound" connection is not obvious today because we now measure with cups, not weight. Early 20th century American cookbooks included both sets of measurements.

Recipes for pound cake first surfaced in the 18th century. Cookbooks in America and England contained many varations of the recipe. Many cakes were flavored with alcohol, lemon, currants or other fruits.

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