Sour Cream Pound Cake is a beautifully dense, melt-in-your-mouth cake. This classic recipe uses just eight common ingredients and pairs perfectly with berries and whipped cream. Recipe includes a how-to video!
A Soft, Perfectly Dense Cake
Straight from my grandmother’s archives, this sour cream pound cake is a true gem of a dessert. While I honestly don’t remember her actually making this recipe (hot milk cake is her go-to!), I was excited to find it in her box of recipes and couldn’t wait to try it. It turned out to be an absolute win all around, and I am so excited to give this recipe a home on the blog!
Sour cream pound cake is a dense, but absolutely melt-in-your-mouth cake with a subtle vanilla-flavored crumb. Compared to my regular pound cake, this recipe uses less eggs (specifically egg yolks) and comes out with a lighter exterior, thanks to whipped egg whites and a bit of baking soda. The addition of sour cream adds moisture, flavor, and tenderness to the cake. I use it in muffins and other cake recipes for the same reason, and it’s the secret ingredient in homemade pie crust too!
Fair warning: today’s recipe uses several bowls and is somewhat time consuming, but it is 100% worth the effort (and the long bake time). Once its cooled, I love serving mine with macerated strawberries and whipped cream–but its divine by itself too!
What You Need
Today’s ingredients are super basic and fairly similar to a traditional pound cake, with a few exceptions:
- Sour cream. Of course! While I’d like to say you simply can’t make this recipe without sour cream, I do think full-fat plain Greek yogurt would work fine here too. I haven’t tried this substitution myself though, so if you do try it, please let me know how it goes for you.
- Eggs. You’ll be using six whole eggs in this recipe, and unlike my regular pound cake, you’ll be separating them to whip the egg whites to stiff peaks. This creates a soft, beautifully textured cake.
- Baking soda. Most traditional pound cake recipes don’t include a leavening agent, but today’s sour cream version needs a small amount for a nice rise.
- Flour. Do NOT use self-rising flour! All-purpose works fine here–just make sure you know how to measure your flour properly, or your cake could come out dry. I like to use a kitchen scale to measure mine.
SAM’S TIP: Make sure to thoroughly grease and flour your pan! I like to use Crisco and my hands to get in all the nooks and crannies of the bundt. After adding the flour, remember to tap out an excess, or your sour cream pound cake will come out looking floury.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make It
- Thoroughly cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer.
- Add the egg yolks one at at time, then add the vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, use a whisk to combine your dry ingredients.
- Alternate adding the dry ingredients and sour cream to the egg yolk mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
- Whip your egg whites to stiff peaks in a separate clean, dry, and grease-free bowl.
- Gently fold your whipped egg whites into your batter.
- Pour the batter into a very well greased and floured pan and bake for 90 minutes.
- Use a wood skewer to test your cake for doneness, then let your cake cool in its pan for 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
SAM’S TIP: The particularly low and long baking temperature allows this cake to cook thoroughly through without overbaking. This yields an unbelievably soft texture and a less firm, lighter exterior compared to traditional pound cake. That being said, you still can overbake this cake, so keep an eye on it!
Frequently Asked Questions
No, I actually recommend storing in an airtight container (or tightly wrapped in plastic wrap) at room temperature. While my grandmother’s notes indicate that the fridge may be used to store this cake, since the refrigerator has a tendency to dry out cakes I generally try to avoid storing cakes in there unless it’s absolutely necessary.
Yes! If you are measuring by weights, use a straight substitution. If you’re measuring by cups, you’ll need to substitute properly (typically 1 cup + 2 tablespoons of cake flour for every cup of all-purpose flour).
Yes! This recipe will actually fit two 9×5 loaf pans. I provide instructions for how to do this in the recipe notes, so scroll down to that section if you want to bake your cake this way.
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
Sour Cream Pound Cake
- Preheat oven to 300F (145C) and thoroughly grease and flour a 12 cup bundt pan or ten inch tube pan. Set aside.
- Combine butter and sugar in a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment) and use electric mixer to beat together until thoroughly creamed.1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, 3 cups (600 g) granulated sugar
- Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition, then stir in vanilla extract.6 large eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and table salt.3 cups (375 g) all-purpose flour, ¼ teaspoon baking soda, ¾ teaspoon table salt
- Alternate adding flour and sour cream to the sugar mixture, starting and ending with the flour mixture (I do the flour in 4 parts and the sour cream in 3).8 oz (226 g) sour cream
- In yet another bowl (this one medium-sized and completely clean, dry, and grease free), place egg whites and use a clean electric mixer to beat until you have stiff peaks. Fold gently into batter.
- Pour batter evenly into prepared pan and transfer to 300F (145C) oven and bake for 90 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan.
Different pansThis cake may be baked in two 9×5” bread pans. Thoroughly grease and flour the pans and bake in the center rack for approximately 60-70 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs.
Storing/ServingThis cake may be prepared up to several days in advance and stored in an airtight container at room temperature. It also may be frozen, allow to return to room temperature before serving.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.