Triple Vanilla Pound Cake

Triple Vanilla Pound Cake ~ not one, not two, but three layers of intense vanilla flavor to excite even the most serious vanilla fans. This easy loaf cake is guaranteed to become a new favorite.

When it comes to flavor, vanilla beats chocolate any day of the week. Chocolate has its charms, but in terms of pure aromatic complexity, ‘plain’ vanilla is hands down the champ.

Vanilla contains a mind boggling array of flavor compounds, and like coffee or fine wine, vanilla will vary depending on where it comes from (it might be Tahiti, Madagascar, or Mexico.)  Vanilla beans are actually the dried pods of an orchid, which makes sense since it’s such an aromatic flavor. If you’re wondering why you have to pay so much for that lonely bean in the jar, it’s because those orchids are rare, only bloom once a year, and have to be pollinated by hand. From bean to bottle it takes over a year and a half…you can read about it here if you’re interested.

I’ve infused this pound cake from the inside out with three distinct layers of vanilla.

The first layer is vanilla sugar:

  • Vanilla sugar is sugar that’s stored with a vanilla bean (or two) and becomes infused throughout with the flavor. It’s easy to do, check out the notes below the recipe. I love the whole idea of infused sugars ~ I’ve had such success with lemon sugar in my Lemon Sugar Shortbread, and Lemon Sugar Crumb Cake. In that case I literally blitzed the sugar together with lemon peel and the result is pure heaven. But this vanilla sugar is even easier, and the flavor payoff is equally great.


The next layer is vanilla bean paste

  • I flavor the batter with vanilla bean paste, which is a thick vanilla product that also contains ground beans, so you get an intense flavor AND those wonderful specks without having to deal with expensive whole beans. It can sometimes be hard to find in regular supermarkets, but you can always buy it online, here. The brand I like is Nielsen-Massey.

The final layer is a thick vanilla glaze

  • The glaze is the icing on the cake ~ pun intended! One bite and all your vanilla sense memories come flooding back…

The cake has lots of vanilla presence all by itself, but for me the best part is the vanilla bean glaze on top. I try to get as much on there as possible because I want to get some in every bite.

TIP:  There’s an art to getting a glaze to stick onto a cake. First, don’t rush it, you need to let the cake cool. I like to err on the thick side with my glazes. It should be JUST pourable, but still have substance. I lay a thick layer across the top of the cake and then nudge it gently with a spreader. I want it to lazily fall off the edges, not flow like a waterfall!

This cake has the perfect crumb!

Reader Rave ~

“I made the cake this afternoon and it turned out perfectly. My husband and neighbors are happy taste testers for Thanksgiving brunch.
Thanks again!” ~ Patty

3.79 from 56 votes

Triple Vanilla Pound Cake

A classic pound cake with layers of vanilla flavor baked right in!
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Yield 10 servings
Author Sue Moran


  • 1 and 1/2 cups cake flour see instructions for making your own in the notes, below
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups vanilla sugar directions in the notes below
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla paste, or substitute 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature


  • 1 and 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste
  • milk, half and half, or cream to thin


  • Set oven to 325F
  • Lightly spray a standard 9x5 loaf pan and line it with a sheet of parchment paper or foil so you can easily lift the cake out for glazing.
  • Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
  • In a stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla together until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Let the mixer go for at least 3-4 minutes. Note: the long mixing is important for this classic pound cake, the air that is incorporated through mixing it what helps it rise.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  • Blend in the buttermilk. Then slowly add the flour. Make sure everything is well mixed. Do the last bit by hand.
  • Turn the batter into the loaf pan and spread out evenly. Bake on the middle rack for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out without wet batter clinging to it. Cool on a rack.
  • Make the glaze by whisking the sugar and vanilla together with enough milk or cream to create a thick spreadable glaze. Beat it until there are no lumps. You can add more liquid to thin it down, or more sifted sugar to thicken it up.
  • When the cake is almost completely cool, spread a thick layer of glaze over the top and let it drip down the sides. The idea is to have the glaze thick enough that it doesn't completely slide off the cake. If that happens, gather it up and re-glaze the cake.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.


  • Vanilla sugar is sugar that has been infused with vanilla. To make it, simply put some sugar in a container that has a lid, I use a large wide mouthed mason jar, and add a vanilla bean that has been split down the middle. (You an also re-use vanilla beans from past recipes)  Give the container a good shake and store in the cupboard. Give the jar another shake before measuring out your sugar. You can keep a container of vanilla sugar going indefinitely, every time you use the sugar, add more to the jar, and add used vanilla beans from time to time.
  • Make your own cake flour ~ for every 1 cup of flour, remove 2 tablespoons of the flour and replace with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Sift to mix the two really well. Cake flour results in a lighter texture and more tender crumb.
  • I recommend using a sturdy metal loaf pan instead of glass or ceramic. I like the way my USA pan bakes evenly and releases easily. There’s nothing worse than an over-cooked pound cake, unless it’s one that won’t come out of the pan.


Don’t forget to pin this Triple Vanilla Pound Cake!

Triple Vanilla Pound Cake pin

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    January 5, 2021 at 5:11 pm

    Hi! I’m hoping to make this on Friday, in a few days, for my MIL’s birthday. I wonder if you’ve tried doubling it in a bundt pan before? I have no clue what the baking time would be? Thank you for the recipe!

    • Reply
      January 5, 2021 at 6:17 pm

      I haven’t, but it should work. A pound cake is a dense cake, so I’d check it at 40 minutes and go from there. It could take up to or just over an hour.

      • Reply
        January 7, 2021 at 12:37 pm

        Thank you so much for your quick reply! I can report back after tomorrow 🙂

        • Reply
          January 10, 2021 at 10:16 am

          5 stars
          Doubling the recipe in the bundt pan worked great! I followed the recipe to the ‘t’ with no substitutions. It baked for 70 minutes at 325° (my pan is dark) and it was a lovely golden colour. Will make again!

          • Sue Moran
            January 10, 2021 at 11:09 am

            Thank you Jenn!

  • Reply
    September 15, 2020 at 5:44 pm

    5 stars
    I must have a bad brand or batch of vanilla bean paste. My cake isn’t white its tan and same with my glaze. Is tablespoon the correct amount? I tasted the paste and it seems to taste very alcohol heavy. Silver Cloud is the brand. Any ideas?

  • Reply
    Teri Bannon
    June 10, 2020 at 2:21 pm

    Hi Sue, I was wondering how well the Vanilla Paste stores. This will determine if I buy the more economical 8oz or 32oz over the 4oz bottle.

    • Reply
      June 10, 2020 at 7:50 pm

      I find it lasts well, but honestly I usually buy the smaller bottle.

  • Reply
    September 24, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    Can it be made with gluten free flour?

    • Reply
      September 24, 2019 at 1:33 pm

      I haven’t tried this with a gf baking mix, but it’s definitely worth a try.

  • Reply
    May 26, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    Hi. Is this 1 1/2 or 11/2?

    • Reply
      May 26, 2018 at 6:10 pm

      1 and 1/2

  • Reply
    April 10, 2018 at 3:18 am

    Hi Sue. I love all things vanilla bean, and this looks absolutely amazing! Is there really only 1/8 tsp of baking soda in the recipe? That seems like a really small amount to me and I’m worried my cake wouldn’t rise. I can’t wait to make this, thank you for the recipe!

    • Reply
      April 10, 2018 at 9:30 am

      This cake doesn’t rise a whole lot, it’s got a classic dense pound cake texture, Lee, but you can see from the photo that it does rise and form that characteristic center crack along the top. You could add a touch more baking soda if you like. The rise in this cake mostly comes from the long beating of the butter and sugar, so don’t skimp on that.

  • Reply
    February 11, 2018 at 11:00 am

    hi there, I made this today, I took pictures but I don’t see an upload link. Anyway, the cake didn’t really rise, was only alittle shy under 2″ tall and the top had alot of little bubbles. I bake on a regular basis, not sure what I did wrong. Please advise so I can fix this! Thanks so much!

    • Reply
      February 11, 2018 at 11:14 am

      Hey Sandy ~ that’s too bad, i’m not sure what happened. the cake is not super tall, but it does rise, with a crack in the center like a classic pound cake. My first questions might be pan size, or not beating the butter and sugar enough to incorporate air into them, or maybe even over beating the batter after adding the flour. But if you are an experienced baker you probably took care of all that. I’m stumped, sorry, but I hope you give it another shot.

      • Reply
        February 11, 2018 at 3:52 pm

        thanks Sue for getting back to me – I will certainly try again!

  • Reply
    October 30, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    Hi Sue,
    Every recipe of yours that I’ve made always results in rave reviews. You’ve definitely made me a better cook. I do have a couple of questions for you. I ordered the loaf pan and vanilla paste that you recommended. Is the vanilla paste supposed to be runny or more like an actual paste? The paste I received is rather runny. The loaf pan instructions say to not use cooking spray, should I just spray the parchment? I also bought what was described as “pumpkin purée” for your pumpkin cupcakes. When the pumpkin arrived it says organic pumpkin, nowhere on the label does it say “purée”, is there a difference? Sorry to bombard you with so many questions. Keep the great recipes coming!
    Many thanks,

    • Reply
      October 30, 2017 at 2:06 pm

      Hi Patty! The vanilla past is runny, so yours is perfect. And I usually just spray the pan to keep the parchment paper in place, if that makes sense, so feel free to skip that step. If you find your paper slides around too much you can use a dab of butter to adhere it to the pan. No need to spray the paper, though. As for the pumpkin, you’ve got the right stuff. The important thing is that you get plain pumpkin, NOT pumpkin pie filling, which has all sorts of other stuff in it. Thanks for your support ~ and keep those questions coming!!

      • Reply
        October 30, 2017 at 11:41 pm

        Thanks for answering so timely. I made the cake this afternoon and it turned out perfectly. My husband and neighbors are happy taste testers for Thanksgiving brunch. Next up is the pumpkin cupcakes with candied pecans.
        Thanks again!

  • Reply
    Donna Blocksom
    August 14, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    The View from great island:
    Triple Vanilla Poundcake
    So excited to make this for my sons birthday this week. He loves vanilla on vanilla.
    I have a question…. can you use a bundt pan instead of a loaf pan ???

    • Reply
      August 15, 2017 at 5:06 am

      I don’t think there is enough batter for a bundt pan, Donna, you might need to double the recipe.

      • Reply
        July 21, 2020 at 2:52 pm

        Donna was reading my mind! My son too love vanilla and I’m planning on making this for his birthday as well. I’d like to make this in a bundt as well. – Sue, if I double the recipe, any changes I’d need to make in temp or time?
        Also Sue, how long does the infused vanilla sugar take to get that intense flavor?
        Thanks a bunch and LOVE the recipes!!

  • Reply
    July 9, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    No, because the vanilla paste is moist and it won’t work. I would just skip the infusing, and use the paste in the batter, it will still be delicious!

  • Reply
    Ashlynn Lindsay
    July 9, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    Can I infuse the sugar with vanilla bean paste instead? I don’t have the vanilla beans

  • Reply
    June 9, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    I’m not sure I have ever seen vanilla bean paste, can you get it in the grocerystore and where would it be located?

    • Reply
      June 9, 2017 at 4:33 pm

      It can be hard to find, but if your store has it, it will be right next to the vanilla extract. I’ve included a link to buy it through Amazon on the post, and I recommend getting a couple of bottles, you’ll probably fall in love with it 😉 You can find it on Amazon here.
      I use the Nielsen-Massey brand.

  • Reply
    Allison - Celebrating Sweets
    April 10, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    This looks unbelievable! And that vanilla bean glaze is stunning! Great photos.

  • Reply
    The Hungry Mum
    April 9, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    I am in love! I adore vanilla cakes so having three times the vanilla has me drooling!

  • Reply
    April 8, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    I also have become a fan a very vanilla-y vanilla paste. I regularly use it now because it keeps longer than the bean. GREG

    • Reply
      April 9, 2017 at 8:30 am

      And it’s so much cheaper!

  • Reply
    April 7, 2017 at 9:01 am

    you definitely don’t need that glaze…but i sure am glad it’s there. 🙂

    • Reply
      April 7, 2017 at 1:19 pm

      Haha, you bet!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    April 7, 2017 at 6:19 am

    I don’t even know where to start with this! Triple vanilla? With all those gorgeous seeds! Do you deliver?

  • Reply
    April 6, 2017 at 7:18 am

    I love those beautiful flecks of vanilla bean in the frosting! Good vanilla makes all the difference. Wish I could eat cake every day 😉

  • Reply
    April 5, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Normally I’d be all about a lemon pound cake, but this looks so enticing, I thin I will have to try it out! Beautiful crumb, and that glaze is outrageous. Yum!

    • Reply
      April 5, 2017 at 10:10 am

      I switch back and forth between lemon and vanilla in my pound cake cravings, Kelly 🙂 You’ll see a lemon one here one of these days, no doubt.

  • Reply
    John/Kitchen Riffs
    April 5, 2017 at 8:16 am

    Vanilla definitely is an aromatic giant! I usually opt for chocolate over vanilla, but whenever I eat something that’s vanilla-infused I wonder why. Its flavor (and fragrance) is more complex, and really more interesting. It seems simple, but it’s not. Anyway, lovely recipe — thanks.

    • Reply
      April 5, 2017 at 11:38 am

      You know why I think we pass up vanilla John, it’s because most of it out there is the fake stuff. When you encounter the real thing, it’s mind blowing!

  • Reply
    Laura | Tutti Dolci
    April 4, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    You had me at triple vanilla – this pound cake looks like heaven! 🙂

  • Reply
    Dawn Harriman
    April 4, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    Hi Sue, I’ve never infused sugar with anything so I’m wondering how long do I let it sit on a shelf before the sugar tastes like vanilla or whatever. And, in your recipe, I see you have vanilla paste and then write, vanilla bean paste. Is there a difference? Thanks! I am sooo looking forward to trying this recipe! Dawn

    • Reply
      April 4, 2017 at 3:14 pm

      You can literally use it right away, as long as you’ve mixed or shaken it really well, Dawn, I should have made that clear. The longer it sits the more it will take on the flavor, so it just gets better and better. And yes, vanilla paste and vanilla bean paste are the same. Hope you enjoy this!

  • Reply
    April 4, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    The triple vanilla cake looks sinfully delicious! Thank you for this and for all the gorgeous recipes! Your site is my newest addiction!

    • Reply
      April 4, 2017 at 2:05 pm

      Thanks Brenda, I’m so happy to have you here!

    • Reply
      April 4, 2017 at 8:01 pm

      I love that you use the word ‘sinful’ for vanilla ~ I must have done my job!

  • Reply
    Karen @ Seasonal Cravings
    April 4, 2017 at 9:34 am

    Triple vanilla?? Yes please! That icing looks to die for and I love all your helpful tips. This is a must make for me girl!

  • Reply
    Emily @ Recipes to Nourish
    April 4, 2017 at 8:32 am

    Swoon!!! This cake is gorgeous and sounds amazing! I can’t get over how pretty that vanilla bean glaze is on the top. Yum!

  • Reply
    Luci's Morsels
    April 4, 2017 at 8:00 am

    This looks absolutely delicious and beautiful! That glaze; yum! I am going to have to make this ASAP but I am really wishing I already had it on hand. Thanks for sharing! Luci’s Morsels | fashion. food. frivolity.

  • Reply
    Platter Talk
    April 4, 2017 at 7:25 am

    Oh yes! Pound cake! One of my favorites and yours looks like a keeper!

  • Reply
    Kim @ Three Olives Branch
    April 4, 2017 at 7:15 am

    I am a huge fan of pound cakes, and this looks amazing! I am swooning over that glaze, yum!

    • Reply
      April 4, 2017 at 7:22 am

      glaze = BEST part 🙂

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    April 4, 2017 at 5:45 am

    Lovely! Vanilla is so classic and love that you’ve loaded this one up with it 🙂

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving Room for Dessert
    April 4, 2017 at 4:41 am

    Wow – this is one gorgeous loaf of pound cake! I always keep vanilla sugar on hand and wish I had it available all the time. You can’t beat all this vanilla flavor and your cake has a gorgeous texture. Perfect!

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    April 4, 2017 at 3:07 am

    Real vanilla makes all the difference. Your pound cake has such a fine tender crumb that I really love. Thanks for sharing, Sue.

    • Reply
      April 4, 2017 at 8:04 am

      Thanks Angie, for me it’s ALL about the crumb…and the glaze 😉

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