Sour Cream Pound Cake

February 11, 2019
Photo by Bobbi Lin
Author Notes

My mom's sour cream pound cake has been about as much of a fixture in my life as she has. The "sour cream" part of the title might throw some for a loop at first, but in actuality this cake is one of the most moist, tender, and beautiful cakes I could imagine. It makes an appearance at just about every major holiday—and a few other non-celebratory times throughout the year—and many have come to look forward to it at family gatherings. (My Great-Aunt Ida calls it "crunch cake" because of the way the top gets crispy after baking.) —Aaron Hutcherson

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: Mother's Signature Sour Cream Pound Cake (& Its Many Origin Stories). —The Editors

  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Makes one 10-inch cake
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature (plus extra for greasing the pan)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra for dusting the pan)
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or your choice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
In This Recipe
  1. Heat the oven to 325˚F. Butter and flour a 10-inch aluminum tube pan; set aside.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or with an electric hand mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes.
  3. Turn the mixer to low and add in the eggs two at a time, waiting until the eggs are fully incorporated before adding the next couple. Mix in the vanilla extract and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl.
  5. Still on low speed, add in a third of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, then half of the sour cream, then another third of the dry ingredients, then the remaining sour cream, and followed by the remaining dry ingredients. Mix until almost fully incorporated. Use a rubber spatula to make the last few strokes by hand and ensure there aren’t any hidden clumps of flour. (The batter will be very thick.)
  6. Evenly spread the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Let cool completely before serving.

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