Absolutely Perfect Sour Cream Pound Cake

This Sour Cream Pound Cake is a variation of my favorite all-butter pound cake. I spent months testing cake batter mixing methods and ingredients to achieve Pound Cake Perfection.

two slices of Sour Cream Pound Cake on a plate

If you’ve read through my “Cake Batter Course” you know that it took lots of work and testing to come up with a really great pound cake recipe. If you’re interested, over 7 classes (blog posts) you can learn all about the ingredients and mixing methods for cake batter. It’s pretty detailed stuff, but what you learn about baking can be applied to all your recipes, not just cake batter. And it’s free here on Baking Sense.


How to make Sour Cream Pound Cake

A bowl with eggs and sour cream. A sifter with flour.
  • Combine the eggs, yolks, half the sour cream and the vanilla in a small bowl. Set it aside.
  • Sift the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl with the sugar.
a stand mixer bowl with flour.  A hand tossing in butter.
  • Mix the dry ingredients to combine.
  • With the mixer running on low, toss the softened butter into the dry ingredients.
  • Mix until the flour is coated with butter.
a stand mixer with cake batter and eggs added.
  • With the mixer running, add the rest of the sour cream.
  • Mix on medium high for 2-3 minutes to aerate the batter.
  • Add the egg mixture and mix until smooth. Scrape the bowl in between to avoid lumps of thick batter.
Sour cream pound cake batter in pan. Baked sour cream pound cake in pan.
  • Pour the batter into a buttered and floured loaf pan, Bundt pan or angel food cake pan.
  • Use the tip of a small spatula to make a trench down the center of the cake.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool at least 20 minutes before turning out of the pan.

Why this is the best Sour Cream Pound Cake

For this pound cake I used sour cream in place of whole milk as the liquid in the batter. Since sour cream is acidic it adds a nice flavor to the cake and the acidity tenderizes the cake crumb.

If you have read through the “Cake Batter Course” (first of all THANKS) you might notice that even though I’ve added an acidic ingredient to the recipe, I haven’t used any baking soda. I purposely did this because I didn’t want to neutralize the acidity of the sour cream. I wanted a little edge to the flavor.

This really is a melt-in-your-mouth cake. It’s also a super easy recipe to make. I use my favorite reverse creaming method and it’s mixed in one bowl.


What does putting sour cream in a cake do?

Sour cream adds extra fat and acidity to cake batter. Fat enriches and tenderizes the cake. Acidic ingredients weaken the gluten formed in the batter, which tenderizes the cake crumb. If you don’t use baking soda to neutralize the acid, sour cream will also lend a slightly tangy flavor to the cake.

Does sour cream pound cake have to be refrigerated?

No. Store the cake at room temperature for 2-3 days. For longer term storage the entire cake, or individually wrapped slices, can be frozen for up to 3 months.

slices of Sour Cream Pound Cake on a plate and wooden cutting board

This cake bakes up nicely in the traditional loaf shape or you can bake it in a Bundt pan for a pretty presentation. I think you only need a sprinkle of powdered sugar for a pretty finish. But is would also be delicious with fresh berries and cream for a more indulgent dessert.

If you like this recipe as much as I do, please consider giving it a 5-star review.

An overhead view of two slices of pound cake on a white plate and a slice cake on a wooden cake stand.
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4.46 from 98 reviews

Sour Cream Pound Cake

I spent months testing cake batter mixing methods and ingredients to achieve Pound Cake Perfection. This Sour Cream Pound Cake is a variation of my favorite all-butter cake.
Prep Time30 minutes
Bake Time55 minutes
Total Time1 hour 25 minutes
12 slices
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  • 3 large eggs (room temp)
  • 4 egg yolks (room temp)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 oz sour cream (½ cup, divided)
  • 8 oz cake flour (1 ¾ cups, see note)
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 10 oz granulated sugar (1 ¼ cups)
  • 8 oz unsalted butter (room temp)


  • Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Butter and flour a 9"x5" loaf pan or Bundt pan.
  • Combine 3 large eggs, 4 egg yolks, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and half of the sour cream in a small bowl, whisk to combine and set aside.
  • Sift together 8 oz cake flour, ¼ teaspoon table salt, and 1 teaspoon baking powder in a mixing bowl. Add 10 oz granulated sugar to the flour and mix at low speed for 30 seconds. Add 8 oz unsalted butter to the flour and mix until combined. Add the remaining sour cream and increase the speed to medium high. Mix for a full 2-3 minutes. The batter will lighten in color and texture. If using a hand mixer add another minute to the mixing time.
  • Scrape the bowl and beater thoroughly. On low speed, add the egg mixture in 3 increments, scraping the bowl after each addition. Mix just until the eggs are incorporated.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 350°F until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean (about 55 minutes).

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If measuring the flour by volume use the “dip & sweep” method. That is, dip the measuring cup into the flour bin, overfill it, then sweep away the excess.


Serving: 12g | Calories: 350kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 152mg | Sodium: 108mg | Potassium: 58mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 677IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 1mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!

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Recipe Rating



    1. I couldn’t say without knowing all the details and seeing exactly how you made the cake. A few general tips: make sure your butter is not too soft. Room temperature butter should be pliable but not soft and greasy. Batter made with soft and greasy butter won’t emulsify as well. Is your oven temperature accurate? If you oven isn’t baking at the right temp it could affect the way the cake bakes.

  2. How do I use this recipe to make a regular size in a tube pan? My usual calls for 3 C of flour, sugar and 3 sticks of butter, 6 eggs. The liquid varies depending on what I use. I’m really curious about how many eggs and egg yolks I would need.

    1. You can make this recipe in a tube pan. Depending on the size of the pan the cake may be slightly shorter than your usual recipe since the volume of your recipe (based on 3 cups (15oz) of flour) is more than this recipe.

  3. 4 stars
    This cake was amazing. I was drawn in by the crumb in the photos and it did not disappoint. The perfect texture all the way through. My cake was yellower than yours, probably just the colour of the egg yolks.
    I used 3/4 tsp of table salt and salted butter for this, and it was exactly right. I recommend upping the salt from the 1/4 tsp in the recipe.

  4. 5 stars
    This pound cake is delicious. The texture is tender. I baked mine in 3 mini loaf pans for about 40 minutes. I will definitely use this recipe again. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Thank you for all the info! I’m trying this today, in my effort to copy a commercial coffee cake that I love. I’ll be adding the streusel topping to bundt pan and then as a middle ribbon. Otherwise all will be the same. I’ll post back my results. 😀

    1. My cake does crack along the top. Are you baking in a loaf pan? What size pan did you use. Also, after spreading the batter in the pan use the tip of your spatula to form a groove down the center of the cake.

  6. If I wanted an extra high/pronounced dome what would I change with this recipe? Or should I use your vanilla sponge recipe? I’m baking in a single 4″ deep 8″ round tin and wanted that madeira cake look. Most recipes try to get a level top to a cake so it’s hard to find the opposite. Thanks so much for all your work, so few bakers actually post controlled experiments like you do!

    1. I’m not sure what the “madeira cake look” is. A “pound cake” probably makes the biggest dome sense it’s a relative dense cake.

  7. Hello! Love your recipe, I have been using it for a couple years now. Just wondering if I can replace the soured cream for buttermilk?

  8. Hi Eileen,

    I wished I had stumbled upon your excellent site years ago! It would have saved me a lot of failed experiments! Thanks so much for being so generous to share!

    I would like to ask 3 questions:

    1. If I want to add 50g of fine almond flour to the recipe, do I remove 50g of the cake flour or just add on top of it?

    2. If I want to add 50g full cream milk powder, what adjustments do I need to do?

    3. As per the reverse creaming method, I have already read through your 7 steps (which is awesome) but I am still wondering what the end point should be before adding the liquid? There aren’t many videos online. This one: shows that the butter and the flour is only just combined before the liquid is added. From your description, it is quite different. Are we aiming for a buttercream type consistency before the liquid is added?

    1. 1. I would substitute the almond flour 1:1 for the cake flour.
      2. Sorry, I don’t know what full cream milk powder is.
      3. I generally add the liquid when the butter is partially incorporated.

  9. Hi, I would like to try this recipe. But before I do so. I’m wondering how would this cake taste like? I’d never try sour cream cake before I’m not so sure what to expect. And the amount of eggs would the eggs and amount of sugar would the cake be tii dense and sweet? I personally like a moist, and fluffy yet abit dense cake.
    Should I whipped the egg white instead? Should I whipped it with sugar or just purely the whites will do?

  10. Hello I just tried the recipe but did find in the egg whites at the end. It seems to make it fluffier and light.

    1. Sorry, I’m not sure what you’re saying. Are you saying you folded in the egg whites? Did you whip them? That would make the cake fluffier and lighter. Personally, I like a pound cake to be more dense (in a good way) than a layer cake. But do the recipe however you like best!

  11. Clarification to my question, sorry I wasn’t clear – When we bake in a 9×9, do we have to drop temperature to 325 and check doneness 10 mins prior?


    1. If you bake in a 9×9 pan the cake will be more shallow. So, yes, I would check it much earlier. Maybe 15-20 minutes earlier. I don’t think you need to change the oven temp.

  12. Hi Eileen – thank you for the so many posts you have on the science of ingredients, to educate simple household daily cooks like myself. I have a question on the baking pan/tray size for this recipe. Recommended is the 9×5 or 12 cup Bundt pan. Would this work in a 9×9 square pan…? Since square cube like sizes of the cut pieces are desired. Would maybe 325 degrees work? Also, check doneness 10 mins prior?

    You inputs will help me largely, to prepare this for a gathering.

    Thank you.

  13. Which version you prefer? The original one with milk or this one with sour cream? Which one has a better texture (which for me means more light or more spongy)? Thanks.

    1. Hmmm, I really like both. The Sour Cream cake has the slightest tang to it and it is more tender and probably a little more dense (in a good way). These pound cakes are not light and spongy, they’re tender and melt-in-your-mouth. That’s my favorite kind of pound cake. If you like cake that is more light and spongy I would recommend my Vanilla Cake.

  14. I usually bake pound cake on a 12 cup tube pan. How would the recipe for sour cream pound cake need to be changed in order to get a bigger cake?

    1. I think this recipe would work in a tube pan. If you want a larger cake you could make 1.5x the recipe. Or you could bake it as is and it will be a slightly shorter cake. You’ll have to adjust the baking time for a larger cake.

  15. The recipe say 1/2 cup of sour cream
    ur but in the direction it said the other 1/2 cup of sour cream, so is there a cup of sour cream?

    1. Hi Annie – The sour cream is added in two increments. Half goes in with the eggs and the other half is mixed with the flour and butter. I’ve reworded the recipe to make it clearer. Thanks for the feedback.

  16. Hi… I have a hand mixer only… Was wondering if the reverse creaming method would work in this case. Am worried it may lead to over mixing the batter. Please do let me know if I can use the same method or stick to the regular creaming method.

    1. Hi Shirley, I have used a hand mixer to do reverse creaming. It may take a little longer to get the butter worked into the flour since the beaters tend to be fairly open. Make sure your butter is softened to room temperature and add the sour cream right away to make it easier to mix in the butter. The great thing about reverse creaming is that you can’t really over mix the batter before the eggs go in. But, also as an FYI, this recipe could certainly be made with the traditional creaming method.

  17. I absolutely love this recipe. I wanted to make a red velvet pound cake using this recipe as a base but replacing the sour cream with buttermilk and adding 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder and red food colouring. As Baking soda and white wine vinegar is required in a red velvet cake would adding this change the structure of the cake?
    Many thanks.

    1. Hi Sharma, first of all, I like the way you think! Off the top of my head I would say this is possible. But you might have to do a few test runs to get the recipe just right. As far as replacing sour cream with buttermilk, the main consideration is that buttermilk has more water than sour cream does. My Pound Cake Perfection recipe has 1/4 cup of milk. I would suggest you start with 1/4 cup of buttermilk. However much cocoa powder you use, reduce the flour by the same amount. As far as the vinegar & baking soda-You need just a 1/2 tsp of baking soda to neutralize the acid in a cup of an acidic ingredient. Depending how much vinegar you use, I would think just 1/8 tsp of baking soda would work (since you also have the buttermilk in the recipe you should hopefully be safe from making a soapy flavor). The red food coloring shouldn’t have too much affect. But I would use a paste coloring, not the liquid coloring you get in the grocery store. That way you’ll add less liquid. Please let me know how it works out. I might do some experimenting of my own.

      1. Thank you so much for your response. I will definitely try a few test runs and let you know how I get on.

          1. I haven’t tried a red velvet version yet. Not sure if Sharma ever tried it. It is on my list of recipes to develop. Just haven’t gotten there yet.

  18. Hi dear .. Is the granulated sugar in the cups measurement accurate? I can see 8 oz of cake flour equals to 1 ¾ cups in ur recipe and 10 oz of sugar = 1 ¼ cups? please let me know as am planning to bake it this week ..

    thanks a lot

    1. Yes, the weights & measures of all ingredients are accurate. Sugar is more dense than flour so a cup of flour will weigh less than a cup of sugar. Just use either the volume or weight measures as listed and the recipe will work.

  19. I love pound cakes and was happy with my sour cream pound cake until I finished trying your recipe. It is the best recipe ever! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe.

  20. I just made this pound cake and it’s moist with just enough sweetness. The taste and texture is eggy and spongy. Is that how the recipe was supposed to be?

    1. Hmmm, it’s hard to know exactly how someone else would describe the texture. I wouldn’t say eggy and spongy. I think of this cake as tender, buttery and melt in your mouth. Do you have a photo?

      1. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture because I gave the pound cake away. I think it was due to having so many eggs/egg yolks in the cake and less flour. Most recipes call for about 3 cups of regular flour.

        1. Did you use large eggs? More flour would make the cake drier and heavier and regular flour rather than cake flour would make a chewier cake.

          1. Yes, I used large eggs, followed the recipe exactly and I weighed the dry ingredients. Thanks for trying to trouble shoot.