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Sour Cream Pound Cake

Every year for the Twelve Days of Pound Cake, I want to shout out the “plain” pound cake lovers. This year, Friends, I have for you the Sour Cream Pound Cake. It’s definitely one for those who don’t want a lot of rigamarole around their pound cakes, but it’s not boring AT ALL.

I’m chuckling because I’m saying “every year”…like this isn’t just the second year of the Twelve Days of Pound Cake’s existence.

But anyway…

This cake is quintessentially classic. Classic, like a little black dress. Classic, like a string of pearls that’s been handed from mother to daughter for generations. Classic, like beer and hot dogs at a summer baseball game. It’s just…timeless.

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About this Sour Cream Pound Cake

This pound cake is the one that kind of started my pound cake obsession as a child. My mother’s “plain” pound cake was, in fact, a Sour Cream pound cake, and the absolutely delightful sensory assault that that cake did to me every time she casually released one from a bundt pan imprinted on me firmly as a child.

It was the pound cake that taught me what pound cake should look and feel and smell like. It was the one that showed me that the unassuming pound cake had the ability to be a true showstopper on a holiday table.

This is a picture of a sliced Sour Cream Pound Cake.

In other words, it was the cake that stressed me out the most for this holiday event.

Let me explain.

This cake is so simple, Friend, that it’s very easy to overthink it. Also, since I didn’t have the chance to get my mother’s pound cake recipe before she passed, I was working on sensory memory to try and recreate it. And I was determined to honor her cake with my own.

So this one took a while. 😊

Sour Cream Pound Cake Ingredients

All-Purpose Flour: I love the pleasantly plump texture of a good pound cake. In my experience (and with my cakes), that beautiful texture comes from all-purpose flour. In this cake, the all-purpose flour helped me achieve the texture that I really wanted.

Baking Soda: Sour cream is a kind of cultured dairy. Cultured = acidic, so baking soda was the proper leavening to add to this cake.

Kosher Salt: Salt is very important in any dessert; it balances the sugar and keeps the dessert from becoming cloyingly sweet. If using table salt for this recipe, cut the amount in half.

This is a picture of a sour cream pound cake.

Unsalted Butter: This cake has some heavy-duty ingredients, so I wanted to use butter instead of oil. The reason is surprising…butter helps this cake become lighter! Specifically, the process of creaming butter and sugar creates air pockets that assist with cake rise.

Granulated Sugar: In this cake, granulated sugar adds sweetness and caramelization. That beautiful crust on the outside of your pound cake? It is largely because of the amount of sugar in your recipe!

Eggs: The protein in the eggs adds structure to the cake, while the fatty yolk adds delicious flavor.

Pure Vanilla Extract: This cake calls for two teaspoons of vanilla extract. Make sure to use the good stuff, like Nielsen-Massey, for this incredible recipe! Whatever brand you use, make sure you use pure vanilla extract. It can be difficult to find this time of year, so make sure to stock up!

Full-Fat Sour Cream: The sour cream in this recipe adds the slightest bit of tang. It also helps tremendously with the luscious final texture that makes the Sour Cream Pound Cake famous. You want to use full-fat sour cream in this recipe; fat = flavor and you don’t want to skimp on flavor!

Beginners Start Here

If you’re new to baking, or if you want to brush up on basics, here are a couple of super helpful articles from the BwB site that will help you get set up for success with this Sour Cream Pound Cake.

These resources are super helpful to help you build consistency and confidence on your baking journey. Happy Reading!

This is a picture of a sliced Sour Cream Pound Cake.

Important Tools Used in this Sour Cream Pound Cake

Below, you’ll find some tools that I used for this pound cake. These are the tools that I use all the time in my own kitchen.

**I get paid a small commission if you purchase directly from these links, but they are truly amazing products that you’ll find in my kitchen.**

This is a picture of a sign.  The sign reads "I just want to bake cookies & drink hot cocoa."

If you have them already, great! Think of this as a checklist to help you build the confidence that you’ll need to execute this recipe!

This was the cake that made me fall in love with pound cake. And it’s even more special to me now because my son loves it. He’s not much for chocolate or “fancy” desserts, and he was all over this. one. It was a true full-circle moment for me.

Enjoy the recipe, Friends! See you tomorrow for Day 5!

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Sour Cream Pound Cake

This quintessentially classic pound cake has such a special place in my heart; it was the first pound cake of my life and it is the reason why I do what I do.  Enjoy!

  • Total Time: ~5-7 hours
  • Yield: 18 servings 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale

For the Cake:

  • 384 g (3 c) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 227 g (1 c) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 500 g (2.5 c) sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 284 g (1.5 c) full-fat sour cream

For the Simple Syrup:

  • 67 g (1/3 c) granulated sugar
  • 84 g (1/3 c) water
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the Vanilla Glaze:

  • 240 g (2 c) confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 22.5 tbsp whole milk
  • 11.5 tbsp heavy cream

Instructions

To Make the Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.  An oven thermometer will help you reach the right oven temperature; our ovens are often off, and that makes a huge difference!
  2. Sift all-purpose flour, baking soda, and kosher salt into a medium bowl.  Set aside.
  3. Add butter to the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl.  Mix the butter until it is completely smooth.
  4. Add granulated sugar and cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Take your time with this step, and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.  (Not sure what properly creamed butter and sugar should look like?  Take a look here!)
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until each egg is completely incorporated.  Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  6. Add the vanilla extract and mix until completely incorporated.
  7. Add half of the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.
  8. Add all of the sour cream and mix until just incorporated. 
  9. Add the other half of the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.  Give the batter several turns with a stiff spatula.
  10. Prepare the bundt pan as your normally would (I use the butter/flour method, and you can see how to do that right here!).  
  11. Add the batter to the pan.
  12. Bake for 60-75 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer reads 210°F-215°F.  My Goldilocks temp is 212°F. 
  13. Remove from the oven and allow to place on a cooling rack, in its pan, for ten minutes.  Place a piece of parchment paper under the cooling rack!
  14. After ten minutes, invert the cake onto the cooling rack. 

To Make the Vanilla Simple Syrup:

  1. Add the water, granulated sugar, and fine sea salt to a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil and boil just until all of the solids are dissolved.  Remove from the heat.
  2. Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine.
  3. Brush on the cake after inverting it onto the cooling rack.  Allow the cake to cool completely.  (3-5 hours)

To Make the Vanilla Glaze:

  1. Add the confectioner’s sugar, fine sea salt, vanilla extract, and two tablespoons of whole milk to a medium mixing bowl.  Stir until the mixture is mixed but clumpy.  If all of the confectioner’s sugar won’t incorporate into the clumpy mixture, add another 1/2 tbsp of whole milk.
  2. Add heavy cream to the mixture and stir until smooth.
  3. The final glaze should have the consistency of thick honey.
  4. Once the cake is completely cooled, pour over the cake with a spouted measuring cup, squeeze bottle, or spoon.  
  5. Enjoy!
  • Author: Shani
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60-75 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American

See the other cakes from the Twelve Days of Pound Cake 2022!

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