Pound cakes are amazing bakes which can light up any event and any gathering. This classic and old-fashioned sour cream pound cake is versatile, easy to bake and will impress anyone around. If you have tried my Cream Cheese Pound Cake, you will love this one too.
I love to get my hands on old retro recipes, fortunately handed over to us by the older generations. I usually refer to these classics as the 'grandma recipes.' This old-fashioned Sour Bundt Pound Cake is a grandma recipe as well that I have made numerous times over the years again and again. Why do I like it? Simple, I am a fan of the golden crust, fluffy yet dense, velvety and moist crumb, tangy and sweet taste, and the aroma - the same way when I first baked it. Yes - it is that good!
I have a thing for pound cakes and you will find it in my Cream Cheese Pound Cake, Southern Pecan Praline Cake and Lemon Yogurt Pound Cake recipes, which are a twist around the traditional Pound Cake. This recipe is not any different. It is a Pound Cake with a twist of Sour Cream. What is different than other Pound Cakes is the method used to prepare the batter. In this cake, we use the eggs yolks and egg whites separately that helps with the structure of this cake.
Note: I like pouring the lemon glaze on this cake. It is optional and you can omit it.
What is a Pound Cake?
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 with 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, much lighter and simpler to bake.
Sour Cream – A Powerhouse of Acid and Fat
I love sour cream in my bakes and the reason is simple. Sour cream adds moisture to the batter without thinning the batter resulting in fresh, tender, velvety and a very fine crumb that just melts in the mouth.
What is Sour Cream? The answer is simple. It is the cream thickened using the lactic acid bacteria, hence resulting in thick and sour-ish Sour Cream.
Fat: The sour cream has higher fat content as compared to other dairy products such as milk and buttermilk. Let’s compare the fat content of sour cream, buttermilk and milk. One cup of buttermilk and whole milk has 8 grams of fat, whereas one cup of sour cream has the hefty 45 grams of fats. These fats help with the moist crumb in the bake.
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.
What I love about this cake is that the possibilities are endless to serve it with. Try any of the following variations with this cake.
Chocolate Ganache: If you are a chocolate lover, pour down the chocolate ganache on the cake to give it an oomph flavor.
Berries: Pair the cake with any berries of your choice. I like strawberries, blackberries and blueberries with this pound cake.
Dollop of 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.
This cake is made with a few simple ingredients that are readily available in the pantry.
Note: The egg yolks and egg whites should be used separately in this cake. The yolks are creamed together with the butter and sugar. The egg whites are beaten separately until stiff peaks are formed and then folded in the batter in the end.
Step 1: Whisk together all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Step 2 & 3: Cream together the butter and sugar for 5 – 7 minutes until is the creamy and airy.
Step 4: Add egg yolks one by one to the butter and sugar mixture. Add vanilla extract and sour cream to the batter.
Step 5: Beat the egg whites in a clean bowl until soft peaks are formed. Mix in the dry ingredients until just mixed.
Step 6: Fold in the egg whites in the batter until just combined.
Step 7: Spray the Bundt cake pan with baking spray that contains flour as well.
Step 8: Pour in the batter in the cake pan and place in the middle rack of the oven.
Step 9: Bake the cake for about 75 – 90 minutes. Check if the wooden skewer inserted comes out clean of the cake.
Step 10: Let the cake sit in the pan for 30 minutes until the cake is cooled completely.
Step 11: Put the cake on the cake-plate.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, if you do not have sour cream, replace it with the same amount of yogurt.
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.
We bake this cake at 325 F. 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 cake is simple. Just follow the simple instructions below.
On the Counter: You can put the cake in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
In the Fridge: This cake will keep fresh in the fridge for up to a week.
In the Freezer: You can freeze the baked 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. (The freezing of individual pieces before putting them in a plastic bag will help the pieces to stay from sticking together.)
Tip: Do not add the lemon glaze if you plan to freeze the cake. Pour fresh ganache on the pieces when you are ready to serve.
Old Fashioned Sour Cream Pound Cake
- 1 12-cup Bundt Cake Pan
- 1 Stand Mixer
Sour Cream Pound Cake
- 3 cups All-Purpose Flour (360 grams)
- 3 cups Castor Sugar (600 grams)
- 1 cup unsalted butter (227 grams) room temperature
- 6 Eggs (separated) room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup sour cream (8 oz/240 grams)
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda (1.25 grams)
- ¼ teaspoon salt (1.5 grams)
Lemon Glaze (Optional)
- 1 cup icing sugar (115 grams/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.