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How to Bake a Small Pound Cake (1-3 Servings)

Christy is a self-taught baker who is still learning. She enjoys scaling down recipes to avoid wasting delicious goodies.

Enjoy this simple pound cake recipe for a smaller household!

Enjoy this simple pound cake recipe for a smaller household!

Scaling Down a Pound Cake Recipe

This year for my birthday, I received not one, but two birthday cakes. They were given to me a week apart, but it didn't matter. I'm a single lady—and although I love my cake, I just couldn't eat it fast enough. In fact, a few times I ate it with resigned indifference. Sometimes there's such a thing as too much cake.

I also hate wasting food. Living very much paycheck to paycheck, I find it hard to toss anything. I have eaten spaghetti for six days straight because, well, I'm terrible at measuring out noodles. I grew up in a family with six kids, so my examples of cooking or baking were also to make the largest amount possible.

But what happens when it's just you and you don't want to eat spaghetti six days in a row? What if you want a lovely, eye-catching dessert that you can enjoy? Sure, you could go to the grocery store and get something, but where's the fun in that?

I'm scaling down recipes I really enjoy and leaving you the recipe. One thing I've learned is that when I make food, it tastes oh-so-much better. The effort is worth it, for me anyway. I'll do some practical stuff... and some not-so-practical stuff. This one is pretty practical, and you might be surprised to find that you have most of these ingredients already, which is a huge bonus.

So without any more delay, I present to you a single-person serving (sort of) of a wonderful cake!

Pound cake with icing

Pound cake with icing

Serves: 1 to 3 (possibly 4 if you're feeling really kind)


For the cake:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of salt
  • Splash of vanilla

For the icing:

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream or water (I used heavy cream)


  1. Set out the butter and egg to bring them to room temperature. Seriously, this is an important step that affects baking. Don't skip it!
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Seriously, don't skip this step either.
  3. Grease and flour your cake pan. I used a fluted pan that is 6 inches in diameter.
  4. Cream butter and sugar together using a stand or hand mixer. Beat it until the consistency is light and fluffy.
  5. Add in your egg and fully incorporate it.
  6. Add your splash of vanilla. Just a splash. Remember you're not making a full-sized cake.
  7. Sift in your flour and salt.
  8. Continue to mix all ingredients together until everything is together. It should be a thicker batter and be buttery and sweet and delicious! (It's okay to taste what you're making; you are in a judgment-free zone when baking for one!)
  9. Put batter into prepared pan. Make the top as level as possible. I used a spoon as opposed to a spatula because it was such a small pan, and the spatula made more of a mess.
  10. Put into the oven for 33 minutes. Check around the 25-27 mark. You want browned edges and a golden top. Try not to open the oven to check on your cake if you can.
  11. Remove from the oven and set the cake, still in the pan, on a cooling rack. Leave to cool.
  12. Time to make the icing! Which is actually super easy. Put the powdered sugar and heavy cream (or water) in a small bowl and miss with a whisk or fork. You can add more of your liquid if you prefer a runnier icing.
  13. Flip the cake pan upside down on a plate. The easiest way is the put the plate over the top of the cake pan and then turn it over gently. If you prepped your pan it'll slide out easily. Make sure the cake is mostly cooled and add icing. If it's too warm the icing will melt, so be patient!
Delicious pound cake

Delicious pound cake

That's it! You have your very own pound cake that can easily be eaten in one (or two-ish) sittings.