Perfect Cream Cheese Pound Cake

This recipe produces a perfect cream cheese pound cake. After persistent recipe testing with many failures, I found the best ratio of ingredients to produce a moist, dense, and flavorful pound cake. Using 9 simple ingredients, this cream cheese pound cake recipe will be your new favorite. To prevent a ruined cake, follow the baking time and temperature closely. 

slice of cream cheese pound cake on a white plate with whipped cream and berries

Until recently, I had never made really good plain pound cake. I have delicious lemon pound cake, raspberry swirl pound cake, and brown butter pound cake in my back pocket, but regular pound cake has always been a disappointment. It was so hard for me to tackle this recipe because pound cake can easily turn out dry, rock solid, and/or lacking flavor.

But then I began adding cream cheese and sour cream to the cake batter. And my long history of pound cake disappointments began fading away.

overhead image of cream cheese pound cake on white ruffled cake stand with berries in the center

Today I’m teaching you how to make my favorite cream cheese pound cake in a Bundt pan. I’m confident this is the best pound cake and I’m showing you exactly why:

  • Very buttery & very moist
  • Not dry
  • 1 bowl recipe
  • Only 9 basic ingredients
  • Dense, but not heavy as a brick
  • Soft & smooth crumb
  • A little tang from cream cheese
  • Sweet & vanilla flavored

You can easily halve this recipe for a loaf pan or try my mini pound cakes recipe.

slices of cream cheese pound cake

Cream Cheese Pound Cake Ingredients

Here are the ingredients for cream cheese pound cake and why each is used.

  1. Butter: Butter is the base of pound cake. You need 3 sticks of properly softened butter.
  2. Cream Cheese: Cream cheese is the difference between dry pound cake and moist pound cake. End of story. If you’ve experienced dry pound cake before, cream cheese will solve all those problems. I swear by it and you will too!
  3. Sugar: This is a very large cake, so a lot of sugar is required to sweeten the cake and properly cream all the butter and cream cheese. 2 and 1/2 cups seems like a lot, but remember this cake is heavy and yields many servings.
  4. Sour Cream: Sour cream is an unconventional ingredient in pound cake, but it adds so much moisture. We are avoiding dry pound cake as much as we can!
  5. Vanilla Extract & Salt: Both are used for flavor. See recipe notes for more flavors.
  6. Eggs: Eggs are the workhorse of pound cake– the main ingredient carrying all the weight. You can’t make pound cake without eggs.
  7. Cake Flour: Cake flour is lighter than all-purpose flour and produces the best pound cake in my opinion. Since it’s so light, the attention remains on the butter. All-purpose flour is simply too heavy for this pound cake recipe; the cake will be heavy as a brick. If needed, use this homemade cake flour substitute.
  8. Baking Powder: Baking powder is another unconventional ingredient in pound cake. I don’t use much for this amount of batter, but the small amount lightly lifts the crumb so the cake isn’t overly heavy and squat.

Each ingredient is important and has a very specific job!

2 images of pound cake batter in a glass bowl and in a cake pan

Cream cheese pound cake in cake pan after baking

Pound Cake Disasters: Don’t Do This

And now it’s time to discuss what can go very wrong with pound cake. I’m sharing my mistakes so you don’t waste time or ingredients. The picture below shows 2 pound cake disasters I experienced before landing on the perfect pound cake recipe and method.

  1. Mistake #1 – Left Picture: This is seriously under-cooked pound cake baked at 350°F (177°C). This temperature is TOO HOT for pound cake, which is mostly butter and eggs, to cook evenly. As you can see below, the exterior will brown before the center is cooked. I was so upset cutting into this cake. It looked perfect on the outside.
  2. Mistake #2 – Right Picture: This is seriously over-cooked pound cake. Learning from mistake #1, I cooked the pound cake at 325°F (163°C). I was so nervous to under-bake the pound cake, so I over-baked it. The cake wouldn’t release from the pan, even though it had been generously greased.

These cakes were just awful!

2 images of pound cake disaster

How to Make Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Now that you know what can go wrong, let’s talk about how to make the most perfect cream cheese pound cake. The *TRICK* is a lot of mixing before you add the eggs.

  1. Mix, mix, mix: Beat the butter until creamy. Add the cream cheese, then beat the two until smooth. Get all the cream cheese lumps out. Beat in the sugar, then add the sour cream and vanilla. So far there’s been a lot of mixing and that’s ok!
  2. 1 egg at a time: Add the eggs 1 at a time, making sure each is incorporated before adding the next. When the eggs are room temperature, the mixer only needs a few turns and won’t over-mix them. Over-mixed batter = heavy-as-a-brick cake.
  3. Add dry ingredients: Add the dry ingredients right into the same mixing bowl.
  4. Pour into pan: Pour the batter into a generously greased 10-12 cup Bundt pan. This is totally not sponsored, but I absolutely adore Nordic Ware Bundt pans. Make sure you use one that holds 10-12 cups of batter. This one is also gorgeous! 🙂
  5. Bake: Bake the cream cheese pound cake at 325°F (163°C). Halfway through baking, loosely tent the cake with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning.
  6. Cool, then invert: Let the pound cool for about 2 hours in the pan, then invert onto a serving plate and cool completely before serving.

Serve with whipped cream, fresh berries, strawberry topping sauce, and/or homemade lemon curd. There’s a simplistic beauty about pound cake– it doesn’t need glaze, frosting, bells, or whistles.

Cream cheese pound cake on a white cake stand with berries in the center

Cream cheese pound cake on a white ruffled cake stand

Pound Cake Success Tips

Enough from me! Let me leave you with 4 tips before you get started.

  • Follow the recipe. Use the ingredients and measurements listed.
  • Bake low and slow. Pound cake is a large heavy cake and requires a cooler oven. Don’t be alarmed if your cake takes longer than 90 minutes.
  • Bring all ingredients to room temperature before beginning. Room temperature ingredients promise a uniformly textured cake. Cold ingredients do not emulsify together and the pound cake won’t bake properly.
  • Make sure each egg is mixed in before adding the next.
Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
slice of cream cheese pound cake on a white plate with whipped cream and berries

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: serves 12-14
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This recipe produces a perfect cream cheese pound cake. After persistent recipe testing with many failures, I found the best ratio of ingredients to produce a moist, dense, and flavorful pound cake. Using 9 simple ingredients, this cream cheese pound cake recipe will be your new favorite. To prevent a ruined cake, follow the baking time and temperature closely. Learn from my mistake!


Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (3 sticks; 345gunsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 8 ounce (226g) block full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2 and 1/2 cups (500g) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80g) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 cups (354g) cake flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • optional for serving: homemade whipped cream & fresh berries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Not 350°F. Generously grease a 10-12 cup Bundt pan with butter or nonstick spray.
  2. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the cream cheese and beat on high speed until completely smooth and combined, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on high speed until combined, about 1 minute, then add the sour cream and vanilla and beat on high speed until combined and creamy. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  3. On low speed, beat the eggs in 1 at a time allowing each to fully mix in before adding the next. Careful not to overmix after the eggs have been added. Once the 6th egg is combined, stop the mixer and add the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat on medium speed *just* until combined. Do not overmix. Using a rubber spatula or sturdy whisk, give the batter a final turn to make sure there are no lumps at the bottom of the bowl. The batter will be a little thick and very creamy.
  4. Pour/spoon batter evenly into prepared pan. Bang the pan on the counter once or twice to bring up any air bubbles. Bake for 75-95 minutes. Loosely tent the baking cake with aluminum foil halfway through bake time to ensure the surface does not over-brown. The key to pound cake is a slow and low bake time. Use a toothpick to test for doneness. Once it comes out completely clean, the pound cake is done. This is a large heavy cake so don’t be alarmed if it takes longer in your oven. If it needs longer, bake longer.
  5. Remove cake from the oven and allow to cool for 2 hours inside the pan. Then invert the slightly cooled pound cake onto a wire rack or serving dish. Allow to cool completely.
  6. Slice and serve with optional toppings like homemade whipped cream & fresh berries.
  7. Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: Wrap baked and cooled pound cake in 1-2 layers of plastic wrap, then a layer of aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw in the plastic wrap & foil overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature before slicing and serving.
  2. Loaf Pan: Pour the batter into two greased 9×5 inch loaf pans. Bake each at 325°F (163°C) for about 60 minutes. Or halve all of the ingredients to make one loaf.
  3. Cake Flour: For the best results, I strongly recommend cake flour. You can find it in the baking aisle and I have many more recipes using it. If you cannot get your hands on cake flour, you can make a DIY cake flour substitute.
  4. Almond Extract or Other Flavors: Along with the vanilla extract, mix in a little almond extract. This is optional, but it adds the most exceptional flavor! I usually use around 1 teaspoon of almond extract. Alternatively, use 1 teaspoon of lemon extract, orange extract, coconut extract, or any of your favorite flavors.

Keywords: pound cake, cake

Sally’s Baking Addiction Email Updates

Sign up for email updates so you’re alerted as soon as I publish a new recipe!

535 Comments

  1. You’re not going to believe this. I made this recipe for the first time this afternoon, put it in the oven and then 15 minutes later a storm came through and the power went out. I left the cake in the oven knowing that I had just wasted all those wonderful ingredients. About 1 1/2 hours later the power came back on so I continued to bake the cake. I had no idea how to gauge how much more time it needed and before I realized it, it had browned a little too much and tested done. Tonight I sliced into it knowing that it was going to be a gummy mess or dry as a cracker. Yet…the texture was perfect and it is moist and delicious! I consider this a baking miracle, especially since pound cakes have always been a challenge for me even without power mishaps! Your recipes always turn out terrific for me but this one takes the cake!

  2. Annette Vittori says:

    Hi Sally, I truly enjoy all of your recipes as well as your videos! My husband and son along with other family members go hunting every year in the fall and request an all-butter pound cake as well as a lemon blueberry pound cake. I will try this cream cheese recipe for sure! Can I alter or change the flavor profile to create a lemon blueberry pound cake, maybe with almond extract instead of vanilla just for a flavor variation using this recipe! My search will be over! Thank you Sally!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Annette! The best way would be to use lemon extract. A little lemon zest would be delicious, too, and it wouldn’t alter the texture of the cake. You can also add fresh blueberries (we recommend about 1-1.5 cups) to the batter. Make sure the Bundt pan is large enough as add-ins will create extra batter. The bake time may be a little longer too. Or you can try this lemon version. You can leave out the poppy seeds if desired. Let us know what you try!

  3. I have made this cake 3 times and it turns out perfect every tim
    . My family really likes it 2 thumbs up!!!

  4. I love to cook and googled A recipe for a poundcake and ran across yours. I made it as directed however with a Confection oven a baked at 325° And it bake for one hour and a half exactly. It turned out wonderful and beautiful. Thank you for your post

  5. I was skeptical of the sour cream but I did everything except use unsalted butter, and I wish I had put flour in the bundt pan for an easier release and I didn’t wait 2 hours, that may have made a difference. Overall, the best pound cake I’ve ever made. Picture perfect once I jimmied it out of the pan. Everything else, I followed to the letter and I couldn’t be more pleased. My husband and I both agreed, my best work yet….Delicious!

  6. Why unsalted butter?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Cindy, we like to use unsalted butter because it allows us to control the amount of salt being added to a recipe. The amount of salted butter can vary by brand. We share more about that in this unsalted butter vs. salted butter post, if you’re interested!

  7. I made this pound cake for a party and it is so delicious! Everyone loved it. I followed all of the instructions exactly. Even though it has tons of butter, it tastes very light and summery. Perfect with berries and whipped cream. Thank you!

  8. I just made this cake. It’s the best pound cake ever! I served it with lemon curd and cool whip. I will be making this again!

  9. Could this be made chocolate?

    1. Michelle @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Terry! We don’t actually have a chocolate pound cake recipe that we love. However, if you’d like to experiment, you can definitely add chocolate chips to this pound cake batter. We recommend 1 and 1/2 cups. Some bakers like to (very) lightly coat the chocolate chips in flour before adding to the batter to help from sinking. Enjoy!

  10. Diane La Pointe says:

    Well ladies, I made this pound cake, along with little suggestions from other bakers, and YES, THE best pound cake I have ever made!!!!!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing this fabulous recipe.

  11. LaNissa Lightner says:

    Excellent recipe! We loved it, it was full of flavor and moist. Topped it with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. 5 stars!

  12. I was wondering if you could make this recipe in a round cake pan instead of a bundt pan? If you can, does cooking time change?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Marie! We haven’t tried pound cake in other cake pans, but you can certainly give it a try. The bake times will vary. Let us know if you give it a try!

  13. I have been looking for this EXACT kind of recipe!! I have a bunch of overly ripened bananas, wanted to try to make a banana pound cake. Is there any way to incorporate bananas to this recipe to make it into a dense and moist banana pound cake? I’ve baked so many of your recipes and was met with rave reviews, btw!! Thank you!!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jen, so glad to hear you’ve been enjoying our recipes! You could try replacing the sour cream with mashed banana or even try adding some banana extract to the mix. Adding much more than that would require some additional recipe testing since bananas add so much additional moisture and weight to batters. Let us know if you give anything a try!

  14. Can I use a tube pan instead of a bundt pan. If so ..what size tube pan.
    Thank you
    Nancy Taylor

    1. Michelle @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Nancy, We haven’t tried pound cake in other cake pans, but you can certainly give it a try. A tube pan should work!

  15. Naomi Brown Williams says:

    I did add about 1/4 of a block more of cream cheese and 3 cups of sugar instead of 2 1/2 since that’s what my previous cream cheese pound cake recipe had called for. I buttered and sugared the Bundt pan which gave the outside a delicious crispy crust. It turned out perfect! My go to recipe now!

  16. Hi Sally can l make this pond cake and divide the batter into 4 different Pans like 4-inch each

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Abby, for mini pound cakes, the bake times and yield will vary with the size pan you use. Fill your pans 2/3 full with batter. When the cakes are lightly brown and spring back when lightly poked with your finger, they are done. You can also use a toothpick to test for doneness. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out *mostly* clean with zero raw batter. Or see our recipe for Mini Vanilla Pound Cakes instead.

  17. Ruined a special occasion. Flavor resembled a pancake with cream cheese. It tasted so bad it was embarrassing. I followed the directions very carefully. Something seems dishonest about the 4.9 score here. Cyber Ninjas should investigate.

    1. Thanks for your feedback and for trying the recipe! I can assure you that we do not have time to leave fake reviews on our own website. Testing recipes in the kitchen and managing our site and social media followings leave little time for anything else. Again, appreciate the feedback on this one.

  18. This is an absolute delight! I made it and it was gone in a couple of days. I’d like to bring to work and the best way I can think of is to make it muffins or cupcakes. But I am pretty sure the baking times would change- is there a recipe I could look at to make this same batter, but into muffins/cupcakes?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Denisse, A few readers have tried this pound cake recipe as cupcakes. Same oven temperature and baking for about 20 minutes. They won’t rise too much. Fill about 3/4 full.

      1. Thank you! I will try it 🙂

  19. Can you substitute egg yolks for whole eggs?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sue, for absolute best taste and texture, we recommend using the 6 whole eggs as written in this recipe.

  20. So I made this recipe a few days ago and I made an amazing discovery! I don’t have a bundt pan, so I decided to make this in my loaf pan. But since I only have one loaf pan, I had to leave half the batter in the bowl (covered) while I baked the other half for about 70 minutes. And while the first loaf was delicious, the second loaf was AMAZING. Letting the batter sit for an hour or so before baking did some magical things to this cake and my entire family loved it more. The top was more caramelized, the inside was just a little lighter and softer, AKA perfect.

  21. Silvia Castillo says:

    Hi! So I ventured into the recipe and followed instructions carefully and exactly as explained. So far, so good…baked the cake for 85 min, beautiful color, perfect rise etc., until it was time to release from the pan. It was stuck to the pan like glue. Had to slice in the pan. What happened? What did I do wrong? Was 2 hrs cooling in the pan too much?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Silvia, for next time, try coating your Bundt pan even more before adding the batter and baking. It needs to be very generously coated with butter or non-stick spray in order to ensure an easy release from the pan. You can also try reducing the cool time in the pan if you’d like, but make sure it has cooled enough that the cake won’t bread when released. Hope these are helpful for next time, and we’re so glad you enjoyed the recipe otherwise!

  22. Trezia Huddleston Roper says:

    I just baked the cream cheese pound cake per your recipe and it turned out beautifully!!!

  23. If I want to use this recipe for a 10 cup bundt cake, should I double it? Thanks!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Maureen, this recipe is written for a 10-12 cup Bundt cake pan, so no changes needed. Enjoy!

  24. Loralee North says:

    What adjustments need to be made for an altitude of 5300 ft?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Loralee, I wish we could help, but have no experience baking at high altitude. Some readers have found this chart helpful: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/learn/high-altitude-baking.html

  25. Loretta Brown says:

    I made this cake, following instructions too the letter….The result oh! my goodness this cake will be my go to for pound cake from now on. Everything you promised is true and delicious. This cake came out incredibly well. Thank you.

1 10 11 12

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.

Sally's signature

Recipes You’ll Love

Archives

Categories

Join the community on the 1st of every month as we tackle a new challenge recipe. Review Sally's Baking Challenge FAQ page if you have any questions.

View More

A tradition since 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row!

View More

The first week of every November is all about Thanksgiving Pies.

View More

My Cookbooks

Sally's Cookbooks

About Sally

Welcome to my Kitchen!

I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally

×