Jodi Rhoden’s Sour Cream Pound Cake

June 17, 2017
6 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Makes 2 loaves or 1 bundt
Author Notes

Behold, the only sane reason to turn on your oven for the next three months. Jodi’s pound cake has the steadfast sturdiness of a butter cake and, thanks to a boatload of sour cream, a deeply flavored, delightfully moist crumb. While a classic, old-school pound cake uses pound each of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour, with no leaveners, Jodi ups the fat and sugar ratios, then gives everything a boost with baking soda and salt. —Emma Laperruque

What You'll Need
  • 3 cups sugar, plus more for sprinkling the pan
  • 14.4 ounces all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, soft
  • 6 large eggs
  • 10 ounces sour cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Generously spray or butter your pan(s) of choice. Add a really big scoop of sugar and tap around—as you would with flour—until you’re left with a thin, even coat.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar for a few minutes until cohesive and just beginning to become fluffy, scraping as needed. Add the eggs—one at a time, mixing well after each—and scrape again. Add the sour cream and vanilla and stir to combine. Slowly add the dry ingredients and stir until they just disappear and the batter looks smooth—don’t overmix!
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake at 350° F until a thin, serrated knife (not a toothpick!) inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool until you can touch the pan without burning yourself, then turn out to cool completely.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • GSalvador
  • Regine
  • Donna Ryder
    Donna Ryder
  • Ann
Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

64 Reviews

Ann May 5, 2019
I have mixed feelings about this pound cake. For me, it was incredibly difficult to extract from the pans—I used 2 loaf pans. Though well-buttered, the cake would not release without some prodding. The sugar seemed to form a stickiness with the pan. I would advise everyone to really butter their pans well—especially the lips—and then butter again.
The flavor and texture of the cake was fine, not my favorite pound cake, but more than passable, though a bit crumbly to cut. And certainly not the most attractive pound cake I’ve made. I’m glad I tried this recipe, but will return to my old-faithful recipe, which pre-dates even me!
Frank P. August 12, 2018
I cut a half a cup of sugar from the recipe. I might take another quarter cup out. It is sweet enough
GSalvador April 27, 2018
I’m so intrigued by the people for whom this recipe went awry.
I’ve made this numberous times for parties, pot luck, poker games, and it always disappears within seconds
kevzmom December 30, 2017
This is the recipe my grandmother used.
Lisa M. December 16, 2017
I've made at least 12 of this cake, all got raves. I use ricotta instead of sour cream. This recipe is a gem and I'll be buying Ms Rhoden's book. Thank you!
brenda September 26, 2017
Okay, I've made this twice now, and both times it was t3H BOMB. It was so good the first time, it went like lightening, with my 22-year old daughter and her visiting-for-the weekend friend from CA raving how good it was, and my hubby scarfing piece after piece. The first time I made it in a Bundt cake and additional loaf pan. The second time I made it, I used two large loaf pans, which made it very handy for travel. Yes, this cake travels well, with blueberries in one and the other plain. So great to have a hunk of this with hot coffee while going down the interstate. North Dakota didn't see so long. It stayed moist and delish all the way to Oregon, which is a very long trek from Minnesoooooota. My waistline tells me I have to wait to make another, but I will look forward to it. TLDR: It's yummy. Make some. Add blueberries to pretend it's healthy.
brenda September 26, 2017
That's lightning, not lightening. :)
brenda September 26, 2017
I forgot to include the raves from two work associates who came to my summer office (aka the front porch) for a business meeting. I served the Bundt pan version and some scones. These two guys were nuts for the pound cake. The one fellow called it 'crazy good'. So there you go, six reviews (daughter, friend hubby, me, and two associates) for the price of one. Such a bargain!
Regine September 26, 2017
I forgot to say thank you for sharing this recipe, Emma. I look forward to trying it.
Regine September 26, 2017
I have not yet made this recipe, but I think that those of you who were not successful maybe did not properly weighted the flour and sour cream. A good scale is essential. But since some measurements are in cups, it might have been useful to do the same for the flour and sour cream - or maybe put in parenthesis what 14.4 oz of flour and 10 ounces of sour cream are worth in cups. Also, you wan to make sure you really cream the butter and sugar well. Sometimes it can take several minutes. Emma, maybe you should edit the recipe and put the cups measurements that Maria listed for the flour and sour cream.
maria July 26, 2017
P.S. SORRY JODI, didn't mean to misspell your name. Thanks again for this wonderful recipe. I'm going to be 'aggressive' in a good way and order your book 'Cake Ladies' on Amazon. Looks great; excellent reviews and the price is very reasonable.
maria July 26, 2017
It's insulting to Jody and Emma who provided this wonderful recipe for us to read that it's 'terrible' and 'inedible'. I've added almonds, raisins, cranberries, coconut, chocolate chips, etc. and each time it's turned out great. The flour measurement is 2 3/4 cups + 2 TBSP. and 1 1/4 cups of sour cream. Perhaps this was causing the problem? I used large eggs and not extra large, which might also make it too watery . Sorry if I was the one sounding aggressive, but I after having my wallet stolen from my purse in a drug store with $800, which I had just taken out of the bank machine for plumbing repairs, and all my cards, etc., I might have been in an unpleasant mood. Always zip up your purse when shopping and don't leave it in the cart. A caution: 'Toronto the Good' is no longer an appropriate name.
Jennifer W. August 5, 2022
Hi! Thanks for translating to ounces to cups etc.....I looked online for this info and got wildly different answers....can you share the site/math you use for translating ounces to cups? Thanks!
Kathleen July 25, 2017
No need for aggression.. Just posting about my experience.. Didn't think this was the place for insults
maria July 24, 2017
Brad, can you not see that you and Kathleen are completely outnumbered?? Why is everyone else saying it's delicious and you say it's 'terrible'? Even Kim has come on board saying that it was a big hit! Brenda, I look forward to hearing your comment after you try it.
kim July 23, 2017
i love this recipe. i've made the cakes twice and they were a big hit! i'm making them again tomorrow.
brenda July 23, 2017
Brad and Maria are really making me want to try this recipe. I have to see for myself. :)
Brad July 23, 2017
Maria. I have made many great cakes and I certainly know how to read a recipe. I followed the recipe exactly as did many others. There is something wrong with this cake and It should be removed from the site. It's terrible.
maria July 23, 2017
Kathleen: have you not baked cakes before??? If it's TOO watery then obviously you should figure out that you didn't use enough flour. Yes, the flour in ounces is confusing but in one of the comments we are told how many cups of flour to use. It's an excellent recipe and if you messed up measuring the ingredients, then that's your fault. Sorry, but You and Brad should go back to Basic Cake Cooking Classes!!! Don't shoot the messenger, try it again following the exact instructions and you'll see that it's a great cake. I've also made it several times and love the way it turns out
Donna R. July 23, 2017
I have made it several times, with nuts in loaf pans, plain, and with blueberries in an angel food pan. Every time, it gets raves. I have one in the oven right now!
Brad July 5, 2017
Dear La Chefa, how can you say the cake is wonderful after you changed the ingredients? I'm telling you there is a problem with this recipe. Something is wrong.
la C. July 10, 2017
The first time I made it I followed the recipe exactly and it was delicious. The second time, I experimented with some changes and it was still delicious. I wish I could explain why it did not work for you. I stand by how it worked for me.
la C. July 10, 2017
Pardon, the first time with full-fat greek yogurt instead of sour cream. I've used these interchangeably in many recipes. I doubt your use of sour cream made any difference for you.
la C. July 5, 2017
This cake is wonderful: easy to make, nice contrast between "crust" and soft inside, firm texture but not too dense or heavy, forgiving of variations, freezes well. I don't understand the comments about weird texture or too-wet batter -- maybe errors in measurement? Instead of sour cream I used full-fat greek yogurt. I coated the bundt pan with raw sugar, which gave a nice crunch to the outside. In one version I replaced 1 cup of brown sugar for 1 cup of white, and I think this made the cake even better (more moist, enhanced the vanilla flavor). Can't wait to experiment some more.
Brad July 3, 2017
I agree with Kathleen. I think something is wrong with this recipe. I couldn't eat it and ended up tossing it.