Confession #79: There’s a Reason Behind Every Recipe… Vanilla Pound Cake

by alexandra

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Every time I step into the kitchen, pull out ingredients, and start creating something new, there’s a reason for it. Some of the reasons are always the same: I like being in the kitchen, I love trying out new recipes, and my kitchen time is just “my time”. But there’s always a specific reason behind each recipe as well. Often, it’s a craving that I randomly decide to have. Spending a lot of time around food, both offline and online, tends to give you a lot of cravings – or shall we call it inspiration? :) This recipe was a result of one of those cravings, one that was a bit more unusual than normal.

How does one get a craving for grilled pound cake, topped with berries and drizzled with caramel sauce? The internet, fresh summer fruit, and a penchant for caramel sauce – that’s how. The funny thing is how you get these recipes ideas in your head and you build them up to the point where you feel like you know what it’s going to taste like, and exactly how it will satisfy you. You seem to understand what others around you won’t until they try the finished product. Once you get to this point, there’s no turning back. You just have to get in the kitchen and start working on it, as soon as possible.

I’ve heard that pound cake got it’s name because it was traditionally made with one pound each of flour, butter, sugar, and eggs. That’s certainly not the way it’s typically made anymore, but pound cake still tends to have a lot of butter in it, one ingredient I wanted to go easy on since I was planning on eating this for breakfast. When I came across a version using greek yogurt, I thought it would be exactly the kind of pound cake I was looking for, and it certainly turned out great! It’s moist and just dense enough, sweet without being too sweet.

I used ground Tahitian vanilla bean in the batter, which really showed through well in the finished cake, complemented by a good dose of vanilla extract. If you’ve never had Tahitian vanilla bean, it has quite a different flavor from Madagascar vanilla beans. It’s more of a floral flavor, which might sound weird, but it really works in this recipe. The combination of vanillas give the pound cake a pleasant, noticeable-yet-mellow flavor. A nice thick slice of cooled pound cake is the perfect treat on it’s own, but if you want to do something extra special, grill it and serve with some fresh berries and caramel sauce. Enjoy!


Vanilla Pound Cake

  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 1 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 inch loaf


This light Vanilla Pound Cake has the perfect moistness, sweetness, and density. Enjoy alone or grilled and topped with fresh berries and a drizzle of caramel.


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Tahitian vanilla bean
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened (1/2 stick)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup greek yogurt (I used nonfat)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • handful of fresh berries (about 5)
  • caramel sauce, preferably made thick


  1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease an 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 inch loaf pan.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and vanilla powder in a bowl.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition.
  4. Beat in yogurt and vanilla extract until mixture is smooth and everything is evenly combined. Add the dry mixture and mix in at lowest speed, just until incorporated. Use a spatula to lightly fold batter a few more times, if necessary, so that all of the batter is the same consistency (it doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth in texture).
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top out with the back of a spatula.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

To Grill and Garnish

  1. Heat a grill to about 425 F.* Grill a thick slice of pound cake for about 2 minutes on each side, until grill marks show golden brown. Plate and top with fresh berries and a drizzle of caramel sauce.


*I used a George Foreman grill at 425F. The temperature might vary on another kind of grill, so just grill the slice of pound cake long enough to get nice grill marks. Of course, you don’t want the temperature to be too low, or you’ll have your cake on the grill for too long.

Pound Cake Recipe Adapted From Bon Appetit May 2012 via Lawfully Wedded Wife

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Laura (Tutti Dolci) August 13, 2012

This is pound cake perfection! I love that you used Greek yogurt (such a versatile ingredient for baking!) and the blend of vanillas sounds scrumptious.
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brighteyedbaker August 15, 2012

It’s pound cake in it’s lighter form… what we all need sometimes! The vanillas really do work so well here, and of course the greek yogurt plays a star role. Thanks for the comment! :)

Alyssa (Everyday Maven) August 13, 2012

Love this! I am such a fan of Vanilla Pound Cake and this one seems healthy. Bookmarking for cooler weather :)
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brighteyedbaker August 15, 2012

It’s definitely healthier than your average pound cake, and for a quick bread in general. Good to hear. :)

Riley August 17, 2012

This looks so yummy! Simple but perfect.
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brighteyedbaker August 20, 2012

Simple but perfect is exactly right. :)

megan @ whatmegansmaking August 18, 2012

This looks awesome!! I never would have thought of eating pound cake like this, but it’s so simple and so pretty :)
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brighteyedbaker August 20, 2012

Thank you! I’m kind of obsessed with caramel at the moment, so that was probably part of my inspiration for the presentation. And berries, of course, are so fresh and beautiful that you just can’t pass them up.

marla August 18, 2012

This is pound cake perfection! Love those berries on top :)

brighteyedbaker August 20, 2012

It’s definitely a lot less guilt-inducing than your normal pound cake. I love it too!

Jen August 25, 2012

I just adore everything with vanilla in it and I am pleased to see that it is not unhealthy :-)
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brighteyedbaker August 25, 2012

It’s always a bonus when tasty treats aren’t too guilt-inducing! I’m usually a chocolate lover but I really liked this pound cake, so I’m sure a vanilla lover like you would too. :)

JN January 15, 2016

Just made this. It rose, then flopped. It is a doorstop cake! ????

alexandra January 22, 2016

Hmm, perhaps you measured an ingredient (particularly the baking powder) incorrectly. I would also check that you creamed the butter and sugar properly and added the eggs correctly. Oven temperature or underbaking could be a factor as well. That shouldn’t have happened. :/

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