Pound cakes haven’t changed all that much since the days of the “four quarters” cakes made with a pound each of butter, eggs, sugar and flour. That makes a hell of a big cake, and one that tends to dry out in the oven before it’s done. Modern versions are not only smaller, they’re tweaked to produce a slightly lighter product. Still you can see that there’s roughly 9 ounces of everything in here:
9 ounces (2 cups) cake flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 ounces (2 sticks) butter, softened
9.25 (1 1/3 cups) ounces sugar
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and set a rack in the lower third of the oven. Sift the flour and salt together into a large bowl. Whisk the eggs and vanilla together in a small bowl. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle. Turn the the mixer up to medium high and beat for about a minute, then scrape down the sides and beat for an addition 3 minutes until the mixture is pale yellow and fluffy.
With the mixer running at medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating until each is incorporated before adding another. Scrape the bowl once or twice in the process.
Turn the machine down to low and add the flour in a steady stream. Scrape the bowl when the flour is nearly incorporated, then stir a few seconds more until the batter is smooth. Scrape the batter into a lightly greased and floured 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.
Bake on a middle rack about 50-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place the pan on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes. Loosen the cake with a butter knife, then invert the pan onto the rack. Remove the pan, place another rack on top of the cake and flip the whole works over. Remove the top rack and let the cake cool completely.