Sliced Madeira Cake closeup on a wooden cutting board on the table. Vertical
Here's How Pound Cake Got Its Name
By Crystal Antonace
Many cake varieties like Boston cream pie, coffee cake, and gingerbread have names linked to their origin stories, ingredients, or method of serving. Pound cake has a less straightforward name, and you may wonder if the word "pound" has to do with the dessert's weight, ingredients, or the way it's made.
The pound cake originated in Europe in the 1700s, and got its name because the original recipe called for one pound each of butter, flour, sugar, and eggs. While a four-pound cake isn't the norm nowadays, the dense and rich pound cake evolved from its original form into a staple in American baking.
Another important note in pound cake history occurred in 1828, when a cookbook published a variation called Indian pound cake with cornmeal added to the batter. This pound cake was one of the first cake recipes to include an exclusively American ingredient, further cementing the cake as a U.S. icon.