This is the most basic cake to bake. A pound cake mixed in a typical traditional Indonesian cake making style. Once you’ve mustered this cake, you pretty much can bake any cake. So, it is the first cake you’ll need to learn.

My dad was trained during the colonial days, (1960s) by the British as a professional baker, so I watched him bake from very young. I started baking at 10 years old, and I have been baking for more than 40 years using old traditional methods.

Pound cake is nothing more than just 1 pound of everything: Eggs, Butter, Sugar and Flour. Leaven it and you get your basic cake. I found this a bit too dry, so I added some liquid to it to make it more moist. Half of the other ingredients.

My mum’s born in Indonesia. Indonesians have a different way of making their cakes. Instead of aerating the batter mechanically (whipping eggs) or chemically (baking powder) they combine the two methods of creaming and whipping. In other words, we have modified and reinvented the cake making process.

And that’s why this is Mrs Lim Pound Cake. You get a pound of everything, add some extra liquid (brandy, yoghurt, milk, juice, coconut milk – anything!) to it, aerate with both whipping and baking powder. That’s Mrs Lim’s (that’s me) pound cake. And why satirical? Add 30g to 50g of butter and you get that famous Mrs NgSK’s butter cake.

So now you know… and now you can invent your own family secret recipe.

Pound Cake

Pound Cake


200g butter

200g caster sugar (I used only 170g)

150g self-raising flour

50g plain flour

3 large eggs (separated)

1/4 cup of liquid (milk, coconut milk, juice, brandy, etc etc, your choice or flavour)

1 tsp vanilla essence (if required)


  1. Cream 200g of butter* with 100g of sugar (I used only 70g) till really white. Add 5 egg yolks one at a time, remember to aerate it.
  2. Fold in 200g of self-raising flour (I used 150g self-raising flour and 50g of plain flour) , 1/2 at a time with 20g of brandy, 40g of milk.
  3. Whip 5 egg whites with 100g of sugar till stiff peaks.
  4. Fold the egg yolk mixture to the egg white mixture.
  5. Check for a dropping consistency . If cake is still too dense, add a bit more liquid, or it will be too dry. This is an important step.
  6. Pour into a 8 inch square pan that is fully lined.
  7. Bake at 180C for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until skewer inserted to it comes out clean.

This is the most important cake to bake for all cake baking enthusiasts. From the pound, we progress to butter cakes (increase butter), to chiffon (increase the eggs), to sponges, to cookies (increase the flours), to others… One humble cake is all we need to learn from our parents, and one cake is all you need to teach your child.

I use cold butter and then blend it with the sugar. This saves time and makes things much easier to handle. If your butter is too soft, you can’t really cream it well and it gets all floppy… eeeeww…

1. Do you need that extra butter to make the butter cake?
Really depends on your butter and your tolerance for the butter taste. Personally, I think that extra butter is nice, but once you use inferior butter, it reeks. Some recipes ask for even more butter than 1.2:1, and you know it has ‘overbuttered’, and your cake will have a ‘butter layer’. Don’t like that.

🙂 Just Mrs Lim’s view. I’m sure not the best, but I have a view. Hehe…