A 15-Ounce Pound Cake Isn’t A Case Of Grocery Shrink Ray

Readers keep sending us pictures of pound cakes that weigh less than one pound, complaining that they’re exhibits of the Grocery Shrink Ray in action. There’s a problem with that, though: it’s based on the incorrect assumption that a pound cake is supposed to weigh a pound.

Here, for example, are two examples of pound cakes weighing less than a pound sent to us by vigilant readers.

A “pound cake” is actually a cake that consists of equal parts flour, butter, eggs, and sugar. The original pound cake had a pound of each, making it a very large cake.

Really, though, a pound cake can weigh anything as long as the ingredients are in proportion.

The real question is whether a shelf-stable pound cake from a commercial bakery is a true “pound cake.” Here, for example, are the ingredients of a mini pound cake from Entenmann’s:

Sugar, Wheat Flour Bleached, Egg(s), Water, Butter, Soybean(s) Oil, Corn Starch Modified, Whey (Milk) , Glycerine, Dextrose, Leavening (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Baking Soda, Monocalcium Phosphate) , Mono and Diglycerides, Glyceryl Lacto Esters of Fatty Acids, Flavor(s) Artificial, Salt, Sorbitan Monostearate, Soy Lecithin, Preservative (Potassium Sorbate, Sorbic Acid, Sodium Propionate) , Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Polysorbate 60, Caramel Color

No, I don’t think those ingredients are in equal proportion.