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Basic Sour Cream Pound Cake

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This is the best sour cream pound cake you’ll ever try! It’s buttery, tender, and has a lovely golden crust. Top it with whipped cream and fresh berries if you want but it’s incredible on its own.

side view of sour cream pound cake on a cake stand

Sour Cream Pound Cake Recipe

This moist pound cake recipe is one of the best you’ll try. It’s made just like the traditional version with the addition of sour cream. This yields a softer and moister cake texture.

I’ve made a number of pound cakes including peach pound cake, orange pound cake, and honey bun pound cake. But, I do believe today’s recipe is the simplest one with the best texture and flavor.

It’s even better when you top it with homemade whipped cream and fresh berries. Vanilla ice cream with a drizzle of caramel sauce is also a great way to enjoy this cake!

But honestly, it’s amazing on its own. It’s so buttery and flavorful, you really don’t need anything to garnish it.

Why this recipe works

  • 2 whole cups of butter beaten with 3 cups of sugar until it’s very pale and fluffy are what makes this pound cake so supremely tender.
  • A little lemon juice is added to help minimize the eggy flavor that can sometimes happen in pound cakes.
  • Cake flour is used for a tight crumb that leaves the cake so soft.
  • You won’t see leavening agents in this recipe! Traditional pound cakes don’t use leavening and if done right, you won’t need one!!!
side view of a slice cut out of sour cream pound cake

Why do they call it pound cake?

Pound cake gets its name because it uses a pound of each ingredient.

Traditional pound cake contains 1 pound of butter, 1 pound of sugar, 1 pound of eggs, and 1 pound of flour. Sour cream pound cake contains ½ pound of butter, ½ pound of sour cream, 1 pound of each of the remaining ingredients.

My sour cream pound cake calls for more butter. I’ve played around with this recipe and tested many variations of butter and sour cream. I find the texture is best with a full pound of butter and the addition of ½ pound of sour cream.


What does sour cream pound cake taste like?

Sour cream pound cake is rich yet incredibly tender and moist. It kind of reminds me of my basic vanilla cake but it’s so much more flavorful and decadent.


Sour cream pound cake ingredients

  • Butter – Unsalted sweet cream butter works best here.
  • Sugar – White granulated sugar is traditionally used but I bet brown sugar would taste amazing also!
  • Eggs – You need 5 large eggs.
  • Vanilla extract – Use high-quality pure vanilla or make vanilla at home for the best results.
  • Lemon juice – Lemon helps to counteract the eggy flavor that can become present in pound cakes. Use freshly squeezed lemon juice for the best results.
  • Salt – Just a dash is all you need to balance the flavors.
  • Cake flour – I love the soft, tight crumb that cake flour has to offer. Sift the flour a couple of times after weighing it for a supremely tender cake.
  • Sour cream – Use full-fat sour cream for the best results.

To make this lemon sour cream pound cake you’ll need:

  • Stand mixer: I find that a stand mixer with a paddle attachment works best for getting the batter mixed thoroughly.
    • You can use a handheld electric mixer but I find it’s difficult to get the batter to emulsify. You’ll need to scrape the bottom of the bowl several times during mixing.
  • Bundt pan: Make sure to use a 12-cup bundt pan. There’s a ton of batter!
two slices of sour cream pound cake topped with whipped cream, blueberries, and strawberries

How to make sour cream pound cake?

This moist sour cream pound cake is very easy to put together. If you have a stand mixer, it’s even easier.

Make sure to let all the ingredients come to room temperature before you begin. Set the cold ingredients out on the counter 1 hour before you plan to bake. Preheat the oven about 30 minutes prior. Prep and measure all the ingredients beforehand.

Step 1: Make the batter

Cream the butter and sugar together until it’s super light and fluffy. The color should look pale and the mixture should be close to double in volume. This is when you know you have perfectly creamed butter and sugar. This can take 5-7 minutes.

Mix the eggs in one at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each addition of egg before adding the next one. This allows more air to be added to the eggs which will help the cake rise.

process shots for creaming butter, sugar, and eggs

Beat in the lemon, vanilla, and salt after all the eggs have been well incorporated.

lemon, vanilla, and salt being added to pound cake batter

Next, mix in the flour, alternating with the sour cream. I like to add half the flour, then all the sour cream, then the last of the flour. You’ll want to mix just until the flour is fully mixed in but be careful to not overmix at this point.

process shots for making sour cream pound cake

Step 2: Bake the cake

You need a 12-cup bundt pan for all the batter. And make sure you grease and flour the pan well before adding the batter. I’m a huge fan of baking sprays that contain flour. Just pray it in and use a brush to work it into all the crevices.

The cake needs to bake for a good 70-75 minutes but start checking it about 10-15 minutes sooner. Oven temperatures vary and yours may run hotter or cooler than mine.

Test to see if the cake is done by sticking a toothpick in the middle and if it comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, it’s ready to come out.

process for baking a sour cream pound cake

Step 3: Cool and serve

Cool the cake in the pan for about 10 minutes then invert it onto a wire rack and allow it to cool completely before slicing. This can take about 40-60 minutes.

I like to serve sour cream pound cake with whipped cream and berries but it’s also great with a scoop of ice cream. However you serve it, I’m certain you will love the texture of this classic recipe!

overhead of two sour cream pound cake slices topped with whipped cream and berries

How long can you keep sour cream pound cake?

This pound cake will keep for up to 4 days stored at room temperature or for up to 1 week stored in the refrigerator. Wrap it tightly with plastic wrap or place it in a cake keep to prevent it from drying out.


Tips for making sour cream pound cake

  • Weigh your ingredients. The success of the recipe depends on using accurate measurements.
  • Take your time mixing the butter and sugar together. Let it beat for a good 5-7 minutes to ensure it’s as light and fluffy as it can get.
  • Also, don’t rush adding the eggs. Drop them in one at a time and mix very well after each addition.

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side view of sour cream pound cake on a cake stand

Basic Sour Cream Pound Cake

Yield: 16 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

A basic Sour Cream Pound Cake that is just like grandma used to make! Top it with whipped cream and fresh berries for a taste of nostalgia.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups (600 g) granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (227 g) sour cream, room temperature
  • 3 ¼ cups (390 g) cake flour, sifted - SEE NOTE 1

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease a 12-cup bundt pan and dust with flour, tapping out any excess; set aside.
  2. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or handheld electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together for 5 minutes until light, fluffy, and increased in volume. Stop and scrape down the sides as needed. (If your butter isn't super soft, you may need to add the sugar in 2 addition. Just mix in half at a time then continue to beat for 5 minutes.)
  3. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, mixing to combine after each addition. Then add the lemon juice, vanilla, and salt; beat until well combined. (The batter may appear curdled at this point. That's okay, it will smooth out once you add the flour.)
  4. Sift half of the flour over the butter mixture and stir gently with a rubber spatula until just incorporated.
  5. Add the sour cream and continue to stir until almost fully incorporated.
  6. Sift in the remaining flour and stir just until the flour is incorporated and no dry streaks are visible. But take care not to over mix or the cake may develop a gluey strip during baking. See Note 3.
  7. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 70-75 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached.
  8. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes then invert it onto a wire rack to cool completely. Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar or whipped cream and fresh berries if desired.

Notes

  1. It is important to use cake flour for this recipe. All-purpose flour will cause the cake to be dense due to the amount of mixing involved. You can find cake flour on the baking aisle at your local grocery store.
  2. Sifting the flour into the batter makes the cake lighter. It also breaks up any large clumps of flour, making it easier to incorporate into the batter.
  3. There will be "gluey" streaks in the cake if the batter is overmixed. This is just a bit of gluten development and doesn't change the taste of the cake. It's quite common with pound cakes so don't be alarmed if you notice it in yours. I've updated the recipe to use a hand-mixing method for incorporating the flour to help avoid any gluten development.

Make ahead tip

  1. The cake will keep for up to 4 days wrapped tightly and stored at room temperature or for up to 1 week stored in the refrigerator.
  2. The cake can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 16 servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 490Saturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 120mgSodium: 108mgCarbohydrates: 57gFiber: 1gSugar: 38gProtein: 5g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the values shown are just an estimate.

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