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German Butter Pound Cake Recipe

German Butter Pound Cake Recipe

Cardamom and lemon peel mix with almond and vanilla flavors to add zip to a classic butter pound cake. — Kristine M. Chayes, Smithtown, New York
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 1 hour YIELD:16 servings


  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 6 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar


  • 1. Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Generously grease and flour a 10-in. tube pan.
  • 2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in lemon peel and extracts. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom; add to the creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.
  • 3. With clean beaters, beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Fold into batter.
  • 4. Transfer to prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Yield: 16 servings.

Recipe Note

Editor's Note: For easier removal of cake, use solid shortening when greasing a fluted or plain tube pan.

Nutritional Facts

1 piece: 275 calories, 13g fat (8g saturated fat), 110mg cholesterol, 234mg sodium, 35g carbohydrate (27g sugars, 0 fiber), 4g protein.

Reviews for German Butter Pound Cake

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Judithdewald User ID: 7997965 254190
Reviewed Sep. 16, 2016

"I just bake this cake I went to look at it through the window of the oven and it has fallen what does that mean what happened what did I do wrong helpThe batter tasted wonderful I am so disappointed please get back to me as soon as possible"

Irascible_Baker User ID: 8765838 245179
Reviewed Mar. 9, 2016

"This is a great recipe. It is very easy to make and the cardamom lends a very unique, lemony sort of flavor. Have made it a couple times for our weekly teatime!"

mominthekitchen User ID: 2931682 119791
Reviewed Oct. 29, 2014

"I've made this cake many times since it first appeared in the magazine, and it always turns out perfectly. It taste fantastic, and everyone devours it. I make it just as written and as far as I can recall, I have always used a fairly dark, fluted bundt pan. Thank you for sharing the recipe!"

KristineChayes User ID: 1441542 198499
Reviewed Sep. 12, 2014

"I submitted the recipe for German Butter Pound cake - what we called Gugelhupf - and have been making this cake for decades without any problems, and my mother, Alice, before me, and her friend, Ann, before her. I am sorry to hear that some readers have had trouble with the cake falling. I usually bake it in a Bundt pan, yellow outside with a dark interior. I have also made this cake in an aluminum tube pan, which used to be my mother's; it is so old, it is no longer shiny, so perhaps the dark pan theory mentioned in cthecow's review has merit. Sometimes, uneven oven temperatures can cause fallen cake problems (opening the oven door while baking, or an old heating filament in the oven, etc.). I am at a loss to say what might be causing that problem."

cthecow User ID: 7588414 190130
Reviewed Jan. 7, 2014 Edited Jan. 9, 2014

"Help?! The first time I made this cake I used my fluted bundt pan and it turned out perfect. I made it exactly as written and did not substitute any ingredients. I did not fold in ? of the egg whites first as one reviewer suggested, but simply folded them all in at once, gently. It was absolutely delicious and became my all-time favorite cake. Today I made it again, and the only thing I did differently was to use my 10-inch tube pan instead of my bundt pan. It fell! I too am no baking beginner and am a loss as to what happened. I followed the recipe just as carefully as I did the first time. Does anybody have any other clues or suggestions? I would love to hear and learn more from Kristine Chayes about her recipe!

PS-Since writing this review, I found this comment online on another site: "Shiny metals WILL reduce the temperature of the cake (signficantly) as the radiant heat from the oven is reflected. A cake cooked in a glass or dark tin will cook 20% faster than one in a shiny tin." My tube pan is very shiny, and my bundt pan is very dark. I'm inclined to think the pan was my problem today. Perhaps this tip will help others.
PPS-Today (several days later) I made the recipe again, this time using my dark bundt cake pan like I did the first time. It turned out perfect! I'm convinced that the shiny metal pan was the reason it fell the other day. I believe the recipe should be adjusted by its author to state a different baking time and/or temp for a shiny tube pan vs. a dark metal bundt pan."

liwhit User ID: 7389843 184401
Reviewed Oct. 10, 2013

"I have made this cake many times and has never fell on me. First make sure use unsalted cream butter and leave out to room temp. or if cold put in microwave for 20 to 30 seconds to soften. Always leave the egg whites out to room temp. I whip the butter ,sugar till fluffy, add yolks one at a time like the recipe says to. I use 2 tsp. of vanilla paste.instead almond. Make sure you fold 1/3 of egg whites in batter and then the rest, fold gently or your whites will fall and the cake will not rise right. I cook mine on 350 oven at 50 or 55 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes and loosen edges of pan."

[email protected] User ID: 77962 123850
Reviewed Jul. 15, 2013

"The lemon and cardamom are great together. This will go on my list of go-to cakes!"

mosley33 User ID: 7058010 123846
Reviewed May. 22, 2013

"Made cake 3rd x, fell. Added a little baking soda this x. Any suggestions...I bake cakes from scratch regularly and sell them, so I'm no beginner."

mosley33 User ID: 7058010 184395
Reviewed May. 20, 2013

"Made cake twice, first x lower rack and cake fell, second x upper rack didn't fall as much. I bake and sell cakes so, appearance counts, I may add a bit of baking soda next time and maybe it will not fall at all."

peachcat52 User ID: 7013613 140836
Reviewed Mar. 30, 2013

"I made this cake two times and each time it fell. Taste excellent but very unhappy with it falling."

turnergettings User ID: 6843359 198496
Reviewed Mar. 25, 2013

"This was very easy and really good"

juszme5 User ID: 1331206 198490
Reviewed Mar. 5, 2013

"Mine fell what happened? So many products wasted"

rustedgold1 User ID: 3141438 127519
Reviewed Feb. 24, 2013

"Really flavorful and moist! I took others advice about making sure you grease and flour pan extra generously. Thanks for the heads up!"

yoyo1198 User ID: 441674 198836
Reviewed Feb. 16, 2013

"I made this cake exactly as the recipe instructed. It is delicious!!! I don't have a stand mixer and my hand-held was useless for the batter so my arm got a good workout. Guess that's how it was done back in WWII time, though. The cake was difficult to get out of the pan. I had to let it get completely cool and then had to use a flexible silicone spatula to coax it loose. But the finished product and the awesome taste made it all well worthwhile. Next time I'll add extra shortening before the flour to the pan. And there definitely will be a next time."

Aquarelle User ID: 985301 198835
Reviewed Feb. 15, 2013

"Yes, grease and flour the hell out of your pan, and let the cake cool completely before you try to remove it from the pan. Run a butter knife around the edges first if need be. I made this for my daughter to take to her German class party, so only got a taste of the crumbs, but it tasted good and was nice and moist and somewhat dense, therefore easy to slice. I will definitely keep this cake in mind when I need to bring a dessert to a party. I love the lemon-cardamom combination, and the cake is so nicely flavored that it needs nothing more than the dusting of powdered sugar on top."

svogel816 User ID: 7126596 213516
Reviewed Feb. 7, 2013

"This was a great recipe. The only difference I made was that I didn't put any of the lemon. The cardamom is wonderful and subtle."

grandma karyn User ID: 6889895 153029
Reviewed Feb. 4, 2013

"this was excelent I did not have any cardamon, so I used cinnamon. everyone loved it. A keeper"

slvrscren User ID: 3585008 196170
Reviewed Feb. 3, 2013

"Let me first state that I think this was a delicious pound cake. Then I will finish up with it stuck to my pan and fell apart. I think it needs to sit a little longer than 10 minutes. I was disappointed because this was being taken to a function and I had to scramble and make something else. The taste, however, is awesome, and it doesn't matter that it's in 4 pieces. Still eats the same! If I made this again, I would not separate the whites and just do like all the other pound cakes and add in the whole egg together. Less light, yes, but that is what a pound cake is, heavier than normal."

Paula802 User ID: 1739951 198834
Reviewed Jan. 26, 2013

"Try cooling the cake as you would an angle food cake, upside down...much better less dense."

blueridgemts User ID: 1202911 140834
Reviewed Jan. 25, 2013

"One of the most moist cakes I've ever made. Had to substitute the Cardamom for 1/2 Cinn. & 1/2 Ginger, but I plan to get the cardamom for the next one. This cake is worth making!"

dmgiblin User ID: 2150746 198831
Reviewed Jan. 24, 2013

"have been in search of a pound cake recipe that is dense like entemans. This isn't it but let me tell you, this cake is delicious. I bake ALOT and have a few tried and true but usually try new things. This one will definitely be made again. Love the mix of the almond and the lemon!!!"

mg3works4me User ID: 3315484 196169
Reviewed Jan. 23, 2013

"As pound cakes go, this one is a little more complicated, but so worth it! I was a little worried at how thick the batter was before I folded the egg whites in; I am not a regular baker so I didn't think I would be able to fold them in without losing all the air! However, I just took it slow and kept at it until they were reasonably well incorporated and the results were just fine. A lighter textured cake that was moist and delicious, and even I was able to do it!"

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