This old-fashioned sour cream pound cake is classic, versatile, easy to bake and will impress anyone around. The cake has a soft and smooth crumb with a crispy crust. This pound cake is made with a few basic ingredients and 90 minutes of your time.
Do you like pound cakes? Try Cream Cheese Pound Cake, Chocolate Sour Cream Pound Cake, Lemon Yogurt Cake, Southern Pecan Praline Cake and Pecan Upside Down Cake.
Table of Contents
Why This Recipe Works?
- Easy to Bake: This old fashioned sour cream pound cake is super easy to bake and anyone can follow the step-by-step instructions and get a perfect cake.
- Classic Recipe: This classic recipe is from my retro recipes collection and I love it. You can call it a grandma recipe which never fails.
- Texture: The cake has a beautiful golden crust, fluffy yet dense, velvety and moist crumb, tangy and sweet taste, and the aroma is to die for.
- Simple Ingredients: You need some basic ingredients to put this cake together.
- Serve at Any Occasion: You can bake this cake and enjoy it on any given day or serve at any gathering or occasions such as picnics, potlucks or brunches.
- Lemon Glaze: Adds a tangy flavor and sweetness to this cake.
Origin of Pound Cakes
The original pound cake recipe was simple and carried one pound of flour, eggs, butter and sugar. Hence, getting the name Pound Cake.
The cake originated in Britain in the 1700’s and there was no leavening agent used in the original recipe. The air was incorporated into the batter by beating the ingredients using the creaming method, which helped in rising the cake.
The original cake was heavy at 4 pounds (1 pound of each ingredient) and was enough to feed large families. The recipe changed overtime and was adjusted for much smaller quantities. With all the changes and variation the basic ratio (1:1:1:1) of ingredients remained the same and the name ‘pound cake’ stuck forever.
As compared to the past, the pound cakes now have a lot of variations and much lighter and simpler to bake - just like this one!
Sour Cream - Powerhouse of Fat & Acid
Sour cream adds moisture in bakes that gives tender, velvety and a very fine crumb.
What is Sour Cream? Sour cream is basically cream thickened using the lactic acid bacteria.
Fat: The sour cream has higher fat content as compared to other dairy products. The fat content is much higher than buttermilk and milk. One cup of buttermilk and whole milk has 8 grams of fat whereas one cup of sour cream has a whopping 45 grams of fats. These fats help with the structure and moist crumb in the bakes.
Acid: Another noticeable point is the acidity of the sour cream having an impact on the chemical reactions during baking. The acid content of the sour cream helps with the tenderizing of the gluten strands in the cake, which gives a finer and more tender crumb. Because of this chemical reaction, most of the recipes using sour cream will add baking soda (as I did in this recipe), because the acid in the sour cream reacts with the baking soda and helps with a good rise in the bake.
Flavor: The sour cream adds a tangy flavor to the bakes.
Pro Tip # 1
Always use room temperature ingredients for baking (unless otherwise specified) as they incorporate better and give perfect baked treats.
- All-Purpose Flour: weigh in the flour using a digital scale. The flour is an important ingredient that gives structure to this bake.
- Sugar: adds sweetness in the cake.
- Butter: use unsalted and high-quality butter.
- Eggs (separated): use large eggs at room temperature (see note below).
- Vanilla Extract: adds fragrance to the cake.
- Sour Cream: adds fats and acid to the cake.
- Baking Soda: helps with lifting the cake.
- Salt: balances and enhances the overall flavors.
Note: The eggs are used separately in this old fashioned sour cream pound cake. The yolks are creamed together with butter and sugar. The egg whites are beaten separately until stiff peaks are formed and then folded in the batter in the end.
Pro Tip # 2
Always use a digital scale to measure all-purpose flour and other dry ingredients for perfect results. Scooping it out directly using cups may result in uneven amount of dry ingredients and dense bakes.
These are basic process shots for this recipe. For detailed instructions refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
1. Whisk together all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
2. Cream together the butter and sugar for 5 – 7 minutes until is the creamy and airy.
3. Add egg yolks one by one to the butter and sugar mixture. Add vanilla extract and sour cream to the batter.
4. Beat the egg whites in a clean separate bowl.
5. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks are formed.
6. Fold the egg whites into the cake batter until just combined.
7. Do not over-mix the batter.
8. Pour the batter in the greased Bundt pan.
9. Bake the cake at 325 F for about 75 – 90 minutes. Check if the tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean of the cake.
10. Once the cake has cooled prepare and pour the lemon glaze.
- 12'' Bundt cake pan of your choice.
- 3 mixing bowls.
- 1 electric mixer.
- Digital scale
- Measuring cups and spoons.
- Rubber spatula.
Substitutions & Variations
- Yogurt: Use full-fat yogurt as a substitute for sour cream in 1:1 ratio for this old fashioned sour cream pound cake.
- Chocolate Ganache: If you are a chocolate lover, pour over the chocolate ganache on the cake to enjoy an oomph flavor.
- Berries: Pair the cake with any berries of your choice. I like serving strawberries, blackberries and blueberries with this pound cake.
- Whipped Cream: Use a dollop of the whipped cream and it pairs greatly with this cake.
- Ice-Cream: Are you an ice-cream lover like me? Feel free to add a scoop of ice-cream with this cake to enhance the flavor.
Grease the Bundt Pan: It can be tricky at times to release the cake properly from the deep Bundt cake pans. To avoid this situation, I use baking spray on the Bundt cake pans right before I am ready to put the cake in the oven. Do not grease the cake beforehand or the spray will collect in the bottom of the pan.
Do Not Over-bake: Take out the cake out of the oven right away once it is done. Insert a toothpick in the center of the cake until it comes out clean.
Do Not Over-Mix: Do not over-mix the cake batter or it will result in dense and tough crumb because of the active gluten strands in the batter.
We bake this cake at 325 F as pound cakes are heavier with a dense crumb and therefore require more time in the oven to cook properly. This cake will take anywhere from 70 – 90 minutes to bake at 325 F.
I always find this cake tastes better the next day of baking. Somehow, the ingredients fuse better overnight. My two cents are to make this cake ahead of time to fully enjoy it.
This cake bakes great in a 12-inch Bundt cake or use two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, 9 x 13 inch pan or a 12-cup tube pan. Beware of the different baking times with the pans and check the cake at about 40 - 45 minutes.
How To Store
Storing this old fashioned sour cream pound cake is simple. Just follow the simple instructions below.
- You can put this pound cake in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
- This cake will keep fresh in the fridge for up to a week.
- You can freeze the baked old fashioned sour cream pound cake easily for up to 3 months. Cut the cake into pieces and wrap each cake piece in plastic wrap, further add a foil layer and freeze the individual pieces before stashing them in the plastic bag. Do not add the lemon glaze if you plan to freeze the cake.
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Old Fashioned Sour Cream Pound Cake
- 1 12-cup bundt pan.
- 1 Stand Mixer
- 3 Mixing bowls
- 1 Digital Scale
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- 1 Rubber Spatula
Sour Cream Pound Cake
- 3 cup All-Purpose Flour (360 g)
- 3 cup Castor Sugar (600 g)
- 1 cup unsalted butter (227 g) room temperature
- 6 Eggs (separated) room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (5 ml)
- 1 cup sour cream (8 oz/240 g)
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda (1.25 g)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Lemon Glaze (Optional)
- 1 cup icing sugar (115 g/4 oz)
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice (30 ml) fresh
Sour Cream Pound Cake
- Preheat the oven a 325 F.
- Sift together the all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Whisk together and set aside.
- In a bowl of the stand mixer, beat the butter until it is pale.
- Add sugar and beat for 4 - 5 minutes at medium speed until creamy and fluffy. Scrap the sides and beat again.
- Add in the vanilla extract and egg yolks, one by one, and mix until well incorporated.
- Pour in the sour cream and mix until incorporated.
- Add in the dry ingredients and fold until just mixed.
- Take a clean bowl and beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
- Fold in the egg whites to the batter.
- Spray the bundt pan with baking spray and pour in the batter. Place the bundt pan in the middle rack of the oven.
- Check at 80 minutes with a wooden skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean.
- Cool the cake for 30 minutes before taking it out. Place it on the wire rack and pour the lemon glaze.
Lemon Glaze (Optional)
- Sift the icing sugar in a bowl and add lemon juice to it until a smooth consistency glaze.