Back to all articles

The History of Pound Cake

Pound cake is thought to have originated in Britain in the early 1700s. The name “pound cake” comes from the fact that the original recipe contained one pound of each ingredient. In 1796, Amelia Simmons released an American cookbook that included two pound cake recipes. By the 1800s, most of the recipes had been adjusted to make smaller, lighter cakes. In 1881, the first known cookbook written by an African American was published. It was called What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking and authored by Abby Fisher, who could not read or write, but she was still able to publish by reportedly having some of her friends help her write down her recipes. The landmark book included two pound cake recipes. In the 1900s, leaveners (baking soda and/or baking powder) were added to pound cake recipes. Today, pound cake remains a popular dessert, and while the proportions have been adjusted significantly, the ingredients haven’t changed much since the beloved baked good was first introduced in the 1700s.

Share this article

card showing the history of rocking chairs

Your go-to guide for weird history facts

Subscribe to the FREE daily email that makes learning about history fun.