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.
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.
Here’s Why You’ll Love This Pound Cake Recipe
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.
Ingredients You Need & Why
Here are the ingredients for cream cheese pound cake and why each is used.
- Butter: Butter is the base of pound cake. You need 3 sticks of room temperature butter.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!
- Vanilla Extract & Salt: Both are used for flavor. See recipe notes for more flavors.
- Eggs: Eggs are the workhorse of pound cake– the main ingredient carrying all the weight. You can’t make pound cake without eggs.
- 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.
- 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!
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.
- 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.
- 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!
Here’s How You Make The Most PERFECT 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- Add dry ingredients: Add the dry ingredients right into the same mixing bowl.
- 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! 🙂
- 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.
- 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, raspberry sauce, strawberry sauce, blueberry sauce, and/or homemade lemon curd. The topping from my pecan pie cheesecake would also be fantastic spooned over each slice. There’s a simplistic beauty about pound cake– it doesn’t need glaze, frosting, bells, or whistles.
4 Final 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.
Cream Cheese Pound Cake
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
- Total Time: 4 hours
- Yield: serves 12-14
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
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!
- 1 and 1/2 cups (3 sticks; 345g) unsalted 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 (spooned & leveled)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- optional for serving: homemade whipped cream & fresh berries
- Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Not 350°F. Generously grease a 10-12 cup Bundt pan with butter or nonstick spray.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Slice and serve with optional toppings like homemade whipped cream & fresh berries.
- Cover leftover cake tightly and store at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- 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.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Electric Mixer (Handheld or Stand) | 10-12 Cup Bundt Pan | Cooling Rack
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Reader Comments & Reviews
Thank you for solving my “stuck pound cake” problem. I started having problems with older recipes when I moved to a new house, and could not figure it out after multiple experiments with different pans, different ways of greasing the pan, etc. Even got a new Nordicware pan, and that didn’t fix it. I never thought about the baking time. It appears that newer ovens don’t take as long to bake older recipes. I have cut most of my baking times by 15 minutes (low and slow!) and results have been perfect! No more ruined cakes! I can’t thank you enough.
I have a mini-bunt cake pan that makes 6 smaller cakes. How would I adjust temp/cooking time if I wanted to use it?
Hi Heather! This is A LOT of batter and would yield a significant amount minis, depending how much batter your mini Bundt pans hold. The bake time would be shorter, though we can’t be positive of the exact time. You can reference our mini vanilla pound cakes recipe. Let us know what you try!
This pound cake is AMAZING! I halved it and baked it in a 9×5 loaf pan for exactly an hour (tented it halfway through). Super soft, light, and moist. Pound cakes have a tendency to be dense and overly sweet, but this one was perfect. Added 1/2 a teaspoon of almond extract, and it was delicious. I’m new to baking and love your recipes! Also found out the hard way that weighing ingredients makes a huge difference. Even with spooning & leveling my flour, I was still like 20g heavy. Will definitely be weighing everything in the future lol.
We’re so thrilled to heat that you enjoyed this recipe, Danielle!
Best ever!!!!! Soooo moist, melts in your mouth almost. This made 1 loaf pan and an 8×8” glass pan. I made this in the afternoon and we decided to eat it right out of the oven…oh dear….It was so good we decided to try it right out of the oven. Warm, moist, melts in your mouth good. No dinner tonight…lol. Thank you for all your research to develop this recipe. It paid off.
My first time making this for a friend’s birthday. Let everything come to room temp and cooked for 75 minutes. When knife didn’t come out clean I cooked another 10 minutes, then another 5. When I took it out I could tell it was overdone since the edges were really dark. I tented it too about halfway. After cooking for 2 hours I plated it and the bottom stuck…..my husband subsequently ate a piece and loved it. I rushed back to the store and got ingredients for a second cake. Made it quickly after an hour of ingredients sitting out and this time took it out at 75 minutes. Tented it with about 15 minutes left and it was a nice golden brown color. Again let it cool for 2 hours, plated it and the bottom stuck again!! Didn’t try this one as I ran to the store again and got strawberries and blueberries and made a really pretty design on top. Then dusted with powered sugar for a snow effect. Wish I’d taken a picture as it was lovely. Despite myself. Really hope when they cut it, it’s completely cooked inside . Now what happened? I used the same pan and same ingredients and temp. And the cooking spray I used both times is the same can I’ve used this month making multiple loves of bread. Help!!
Hi Sue, thank you for giving this one a try! Sometimes, certain pans simply release Bundt cakes and are more non-stick than others. We also recommend heavily (more than you normally would!) spraying the pan to ensure an ultra non-stick environment. Does the bottom seem burnt? If so, a slight reduction in bake time could also help. Hope it’s a hit!
Would adding fresh lemon juice to batter create a problem?
Hi Janice! Adding lemon juice will alter the batter too much. The best way would be to use lemon extract (1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon). A little lemon zest would be delicious, too, and it wouldn’t alter the texture of the cake (amount depends on how much lemon flavor you’d like — you could start with a tablespoon or two and adjust for future batches). Let us know what you try!
Meant to get some lemon extract. I’ll get some today thanks for reminding me
This year, wanted a cream cheese pound cake and decided on using this recipe. The WORSE recipe I have ever tried. Followed the instructions as printed. Cake was heavy and looked as though it was still not done after 75 minutes (yes, the toothpick came out clean). Totally disappointed, especially given the cost of eggs, butter, etc.
Wish I could give it a ‘0’ rating. PLEASE DO NOT USE THIS RECIPE!!!
This recipe worked out really well! I made it for my family during my Christmas break and everyone loved it! This is my first time baking a cream cheese pound cake and I am so glad it turned out great! Sally is my go to person for baking anything. I love to bake but not everything turns out well, but every recipe I have tried has worked out perfectly and been a huge hit! Thank you so much for sharing your recipes! Merry Christmas!
How long would the baking time be of i split the batter into 2 6′ cake pans?
I’m trying to use your recipe to make an upside down pineapple cake
Hi Ami, this recipe as written will be too much batter for just 2 6 inch pans. We use this recipe for our Pineapple Upside Down Cake.
If I make this in a loaf pan should I use a glass or metal pan? Hoping to make this soon!
Hi Rachel! We usually use metal, the cake will take a bit longer to bake in a glass pan. This is enough batter for two loaf pans!
Great recipe! Very moist cake and will make it again. I will note that I find it a tad on the sweet side with the 2 1/2 cups of sugar. Next time will definitely reduce by 1/2 cup or more. Other than that this this a very versatile cake that can be eaten alone or dressed up with the addition of dried apricots, glace cherries , etc.
Perfect and delicious.
I followed the recipe it can put perfect. Usually I alternate the eggs and the flower. This time I didn’t. I like this way better. I made my own icing. This was a perfect treat.
Edit****. I followed this recipe and it came out perfect. I will be doing this from now on!
I love this receipe!!! I have tried it several times, now it is my favorite Pound cake!!!! Everyone loves it and it requesting it!!! Thank you for sharing such a wonderful recipe!!! I thank you so much!!!
I accidentally had put my Bundt cake in the oven at 350 and had it in there at that temperature for 15 minutes before realizing you said it’s supposed to be baked at 325.
I did drop the temperature as soon as I realized it.
I did still tent it at the halfway point and it’s supposed to be done soon would you recommend I take it out of the oven sooner now that I cooked it for 15 minutes at 350?
Could this be made with flax eggs rather than real eggs?
Hi Sonia, we haven’t tested that substitute so we are unsure of the results. Any time you make ingredient substitutions, you can expect different outcomes. It may be best to search for a recipe that is specifically formulated to be egg-free (so you don’t spend your time and ingredients trying this one in case it doesn’t turn out!)
I’m def not an expert, but my daughter is allergic to eggs, however CAN eat duck eggs. ♀️
I’ve read that they’re really good and rich, esp for baking.
I have no idea how to substitute, though.
Hi , do you think it would be ok to use the Nordic WareClassic Cast Pound Cake and Angelfood pan instead of a Bundt pan for this recipe? I’m trying to avoid having to serve the cake bottom side up. Or any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
Hi Rae, we haven’t tested this recipe in that pan so we’re unsure of the results. Let us know if you do decide to give it a try.
Cake was very good , however it over flowed my 12 cup bunt pan. Any suggestions?
Hi Jeff, did you happen to make any changes or substitutions to the ingredients? The batter as written should be just the right amount for a 10-12 cup Bundt pan without overflow. For next time, you can fill it slightly less and use any leftover batter for a few cupcakes/muffins on the side.
So so good! It was such a huge hit at work. I’ve already gotten requests to make it again.
Making 2 in less than a week isn’t too excessive, is it?
Thank you so much for this recipe!
Great recipe and really appreciate Sally’s – I turn to her stuff any time I need to try something new or different! Thanks for sharing!
Would adding chocolate chips to the batter mess up the recipe?
Hi Shelby, 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!
would would the baking time be in a deep muffin pan? and would there be a temperature adjustment also? i have a counter convection oven that i bake in. thank you. i just realized that i was eating a muffin i bought in a pack of 4. that i can make at home. thank you
Hi Martha, 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.
I made this pound cake yesterday with few additions of blueberries and a glaze. It was so good and even better the next. As we say in our house it is a “make again” . After searching for a specific similar recipe I had lost years ago, this one jumped out at me. It is a heavy dense cake which In retrospect I think would be just as delicious with or without the blueberries. BTW I think this is hands down better than the recipe I lost.
Thank you for sharing!
PS With Christmas around the corner will have to try your sugar cookie cut out recipe that was mentioned in one of the reviews.
I wonder if I could make this into a marble pound cake. Have you experimented with adding cocoa to part of the batter?
Hi SLR, Cocoa powder and chocolate can be complicated ingredients, so unfortunately it’s not an easy swap! It requires some testing and we haven’t done so with this recipe. While not a pound cake, you might enjoy this marble loaf cake recipe as well.
My favorite pound cake recipe!! Everyone loves it!! It always comes out moist and delicious and tastes even better a few days later. Thank you for sharing it!!!
I made this cake tonight for my mom’s birthday. She requested pound cake, and I have never made one by myself. I found the recipe because I absolutely love your sugar cutout cookie recipe. It turned out amazing! Thank you! I will definitely make this again!
Followed it to the letter. OMG, it is so delicious. Thank you!!!!
Question – if I used 3 8-inch round pans, how would that change the cooking time?
Hi Shreya, This recipe works best in a Bundt pan or in two 9×5 loaf pans. It’s a dense cake, so we fear it would be too heavy for a layered cake. We’d recommend something lighter, like Vanilla Cake. Perhaps paired with Cream Cheese Frosting?
I’ve now made this recipe at least a half-dozen times since finding it, and it always turns out delicious! It’s my husband’s favorite cake (and mine!) I use the Nordic Anniversary Bundt pan shown in your photos and bake it exactly 75 minutes. I also add the almond flavor as you suggested and I follow the recipe EXACTLY as you’ve written. It comes out absolutely perfect every time. This is the best pound cake recipe I’ve ever tried, and I’ve been baking for over 45 years. Thank you, Sally; you’ve created another winner.
I love this wonderful recipe ! I also have baked many versions of pound cakes for over 40 years and this one is the winner ! Everyone loves it !
I made this recipe and followed it exactly. I used mini Bundt pans and decrease the cooking time. Every guest said it was the best pound cake they ever had. Thank you
We’re so thrilled this cake was a hit, Karen!
I’m just made this for my family and it was so moist and delicious. It was light and I’m so glad I used cake flour. Thank you much!!
Hi Karen! i just read your review, Today in Target I bought a mini bundt pan. What was your baking time for the pound cake? Thank-you for your input.
How many minute did you bake it? I want to make it into mini bundt. Thank you
Followed recipe (less 1 1/2 c of sugar) came out of oven beautifully and then proceed to lose volume ??
Hi Angelo! Sugar has many functions in baked goods (not just sweetness), so the outcome of your cake will be impacted by reducing it.