Make this moist sour cream pound cake from scratch with this easy recipe.  Pound cake is a fabulous summer dessert for a crowd at a BBQ or party.  Whether you top this Southern dessert with a glaze or leave it plain, it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser!

Prep Time: 45 minutes
slice of sour cream pound cake on a white plate with fork
Cakes, Dessert, Desserts Under 300 Calories

Sour Cream Pound Cake from Scratch

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This post was originally published on May 24, 2018.

Sour cream pound cake is a classic Southern dessert that is a definite crowd pleaser, no matter what time of year.  This moist cake is known for its fine crumb and dense, yet airy, texture.  In fact, the sour cream in this pound cake makes it extra moist and provides a slight tangy flavor.

person holding a white plate of sour cream pound cake with fork

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What is pound cake?

Pound cake is a butter cake traditionally made from a pound each of butter, sugar, and flour.  It’s typically baked in a bundt pan, and is often decorated with a glaze.

Why is it called pound cake?

Originally, this European cake was made with one pound each of flour, sugar, butter, and eggs, but most modern bakers prefer to use a different ratio for a better texture.  If you want to learn the science behind this, you’ll want to read this fascinating blog post by Eileen Gray at Baking Sense.

slice of sour cream pound cake with whipped cream

What country is pound cake from?

Pound cake originated in England in the 1700s.  In 1796, a recipe for pound cake was featured in the first American cookbook.  This cake’s popularity is not limited to the United States; it is enjoyed in France, Germany, Mexico, and some South American countries as well.

Is pound cake healthy?

Pound cake isn’t known to be a healthy dessert!  If you divide a 9-inch bundt cake into 16 pieces, each piece will be about 350 calories.  For more nutrition facts, check the nutrition label at the bottom of the recipe card.

closeup of sour cream pound cake

Is pound cake dense?

Compared to other cakes, pound cake has a finer crumb structure (smaller air holes) and a denser texture.  These qualities make pound cake especially suitable for trifles and other layered desserts.

What flour do you use for pound cake?

It’s best to use all-purpose flour for making pound cake, as this type of flour contains more protein than cake flour.  When mixed with a liquid, this protein turns into gluten and strengthens the cake batter, helping it support the weight of the other ingredients.  More protein means more gluten, and therefore a stronger cake.

Cake flour contains less gluten than all-purpose flour, so it’s not recommended to use cake flour for pound cake.  When you do use all-purpose flour, be extra careful not to overmix the batter, or the cake may be tough.

half of a sour cream pound cake

Can pound cake be made in a cake pan?

Yes, you can bake pound cake in an extra-deep cake pan.  It’s recommended that you use a heating core to ensure that the cake bakes evenly.

Can you refrigerate pound cake batter?

Yes, you can refrigerate pound cake batter.  Store the batter in a tightly covered bowl and bring it to room temperature before baking.

holding a forkful of pound cake

How to Make a Moist Pound Cake

  • Add a dairy product to the batter.  Sour cream, cream cheese, whipping cream–any of these will help moisten your cake.
  • Don’t overbake the cake.  Check the cake after 1 hour of baking by inserting a skewer into the deepest part of the cake; it should come out clean.
  • Cover the cake after it’s cooled.  Use an airtight cake carrier or a layer of plastic wrap to seal the moisture in the cake.

Common Problems with Pound Cake

  • Too dense. Make sure to cream the butter and sugar until almost white, sift the flour, and add a little baking soda to the cake.
  • Dry.  You probably baked the cake too long.  Next time, bake it until a tester just comes out clean.
  • Gummy.  You didn’t bake the cake long enough, or you cut the warm cake too soon.  Make sure the cake cools completely before slicing it.
  • The cake fell.  You may have overbeat the batter when adding the eggs, or opened the oven door while the cake was baking.
  • Cracks on top.  A cracked top is completely normal!  It occurs because the outside of the cake crisps up before the interior of the cake is cooked.  The force of the expanding batter underneath forces the top to split.

How to Make Pound Cake from Scratch

Gather the ingredients for the sour cream pound cake.  You’ll need all-purpose flour, butter, sugar, eggs, salt, baking soda, vanilla extract, and sour cream.

ingredients for sour cream pound cake

The first and most important step to making amazing pound cake is creaming the butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla.  It’s crucial to keep the stand mixer running on medium-high speed until the mixture is thick, fluffy, and very pale–almost white.

The creaming process incorporates air into the mixture, and is the secret to a fine-crumbed cake.  Don’t rush this process; it can take up to 10 minutes.

creamed butter and sugar for pound cake in a mixing bowl

While the stand mixer is running, sift the flour and baking soda into a large bowl.

sifting flour and baking soda into a bowl

Once the butter is thoroughly creamed, lightly beat the eggs and gradually add them to the butter mixture.  Add a tablespoon or two of the flour with each addition of egg to prevent the batter from curdling.

pound cake batter after the eggs have been added

Next, add the wet and dry ingredients in a couple stages, mixing for about 5 seconds between each addition.  This short mixing time will prevent the batter from being overmixed and tough.

mixing bowl full of cake batter

Turn the mixer to high speed for a few seconds, then gently fold the batter with a spatula.  Make sure that no flour is sticking to the bottom or sides of the mixing bowl.

stirring the cake batter with a spatula

Then, gently pour the batter into a buttered and floured bundt pan, and smooth the surface of the batter.

pound cake batter in a bundt pan

Bake the cake at 350 F for about 1 hour, until a skewer inserted into the deepest part of the cake comes out clean.  Let the cake cool for 5 minutes in the pan.

baked pound cake in a bundt pan

After the cake has cooled for 5 minutes, turn it out onto a wire rack and let it cool completely before slicing.   Cutting it too soon will make the cake gummy.

pound cake on a wire cooling rack

The divine smell of this sour cream pound cake will make you excited to dig in to its crunchy caramelized crust and moist interior.  Serve it with whipped cream and fresh berries for a delightful summertime dessert!

slice of sour cream pound cake on a plate

Pro Tips for a Fantastic Pound Cake

  • High quality ingredients.  Pound cake takes just a few simple ingredients, so it’s important that each one is fresh and tastes good.
  • Room temperature ingredients.  Cold ingredients don’t mix properly and will create a poor textured cake.
  • Real butter.  Don’t use margarine or butter spreads; they don’t have the same flavor as real butter.
  • Creaming the butter.  Cream the butter with the vanilla, sugar, and salt until it’s almost white.  This important process takes about 10 minutes with a stand mixer on medium-high speed.
  • Change up the flavor.  Replace the vanilla extract with 2 teaspoons of lemon extract or 1 teaspoon of almond extract.
  • All-purpose flour.  Don’t use cake flour for this recipe; it needs the additional protein strength of all-purpose flour.
  • Sift the flour.  This will lighten up the texture of the cake and eliminate lumps in the batter.
  • Substitute the sour cream with Greek yogurt.
  • Don’t overmix the batter, or the cake will be tough.
  • Be careful not to overbake.  A skewer inserted into the deepest part of the cake should come out clean.
  • Make a simple glaze with sifted icing sugar and lemon juice, or simply dust with icing sugar.

bundt pan, sieves, spatulas, kitchen scale, and pastry brushes

Our Go-To Kitchen Tools for Pound Cake

Satisfy your cake craving with these other easy, crowd-pleasing cakes.

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The pleasure of a 5-star rating for this pound cake recipe would be greatly appreciated.

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slice of sour cream pound cake on a white plate with fork

Sour Cream Pound Cake from Scratch


  • Author: Emma
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 24 slices 1x

Description

Make this moist sour cream pound cake from scratch with this easy recipe.  Pound cake is a fabulous summer dessert for a crowd at a BBQ or party.  Whether you top this Southern dessert with a glaze or leave it plain, it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser!


Scale

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (230g)
  • 3 cups granulated sugar (594g)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (360g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sour cream (227g)

For Serving

  • Whipped cream
  • Fresh berries (such as raspberries and blueberries)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Butter and flour a 10-cup bundt pan, making sure to tap out the excess flour.
  2. Place the butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Beat on medium-high speed for a couple minutes until the mixture is thick, fluffy, and very pale.  Scrape down the sides once or twice with a spatula to get an even mix.
  3. While the mixer is going, sift the flour and baking soda together into a large bowl.
  4. Lightly beat the eggs in a medium bowl until blended, then gradually add them to the butter mixture.  Add a tablespoon of flour with each addition of egg to prevent the batter from curdling.  Beat the batter until well blended, scraping down the sides as needed.
  5. Add half of the sour cream to the batter, then stir on low speed for about 5 seconds.  Add half of the flour mixture and mix again for 5 seconds.  Repeat until all the sour cream and flour is added to the batter.
  6. Fold the batter by hand for a few seconds to make sure the mixture is evenly blended, then beat on high speed for 3 seconds.
  7. Gently pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and smooth the top.
  8. Bake at 350 F for about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, until the cake has a golden brown dome with a crack on top.  The cake is done when a wooden toothpick or skewer inserted into the crack comes out clean.
  9. Let the cake cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then turn it out onto a wire rack and let it cool for about 30 minutes before slicing.  Serve with whipped cream and fresh berries.

Notes

  • If your vanilla extract is quite strong, reduce it to 1 teaspoon.
  • The pleasure of a 5-star review for this pound cake would be greatly appreciated.
  • 👩🏻‍🍳 Want to see our latest recipes?  Subscribe to our email newsletter to get our latest recipes, fun food facts, food puns, and behind the scenes news about our blog.
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: old fashioned, southern

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16 thoughts on “Sour Cream Pound Cake from Scratch

  1. Your pound cake was lovely. Simple to look at but the flavour and texture marvellous. No need to smuther it with toppings or icing- a cake recipe that can carry itself. All your baking tips are appreciated.

  2. Excellent step-by-step photos and directions on how to make this cake. It has a wonderful consistency and tastes delicious. Thanks for all the work that you do on each recipe.

  3. I just loved eating your pound cake! It was moist and very delicious even without any toppings.
    Love,
    Grandma M.

  4. I like the crunchy sugar crust on the bottom crust, and it tastes wonderful with the berries and whipped cream. It is very moist and I could eat some right now!

  5. Hi Emma. I like how you describe “tips”. For example creaming the butter for 10 minutes to make sure it is a near white colour. And not using cake four. And I like your troubleshooting tips as well. Looking forward to making this pound cake with fresh strawberries.
    Keep up your awesome recipes.
    Linda

    1. Hi Eileen! Thank you so much for stopping by, and for your kind words! I thoroughly enjoyed your post, and wanted to share this fantastic reference for my readers.

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