The Absolute Best Type Of Butter For Pound Cake

Often served with fresh berries, a cup of joe, or even a dollop of whipped cream, a slice of pound cake is sure to satisfy a sweet tooth. With a unique texture and density, a slight sweetness so that there's no sugar overload, and no frosting or decorating required, these buttery slices of loaf cake are low-maintenance with exceptional flavor, making them stand apart from the rest.

So why is it called pound cake? Does it weigh a pound? According to What's Cooking America, the name was coined due to its original recipe containing one pound of each ingredient. That's right, that means each loaf contained one pound each of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour. There were no leaveners such as baking powder or baking soda, and instead required whipping air into the batter to cause the loaf to rise slightly. However, this is why pound cake is much more dense than other cakes. Invented in the 1700's, illiteracy was more prevalent, meaning that the simpler the recipe, the easier to remember.

If you've ever noticed the bold buttery flavor in pound cake, the fact that it typically contains a pound of it makes perfect sense. However, because the taste of butter is much more noticeable than the other ingredients, it's best to use a high-quality type for optimal essence. So what's the best kind to use in your favorite pound cake recipe?

European butter

According to Real Simple, when testing three different pound cake recipes using Amish butter, European butter, and American butter, European butter worked best due to its higher fat content, vibrant yellow hue, richness in flavor, and denseness.

When making a pound cake with Amish butter, because of its pale color, the loaf turned out much lighter in color than usual. Furthermore, the type of butter produced a much more tangy flavor compared to the others, which offset the sugar and produced a less sweet loaf than normal. On the contrary, when working with American butter, you'll find a pound cake loaf that is much sweeter than the other two. This is due to the fact that almost if not all American butter is considered sweet cream butter (via The Kitchn).

According to Greatist, there is a time and place for different types of butter. When working with light, fluffy baked goods, American butter is best because of it containing more moisture. That moisture turns to steam when exposed to heat. European butter has less moisture, yielding a much more dense treat, which is exactly what you're seeking in a loaf of pound cake.