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Cream Cheese Pound Cake with Baking Tips

Cream Cheese Pound Cake is sweet, buttery, moist, and delicious—the perfect pound cake! It's an easy go-to cake for any occasion and it's my family's favorite cake!

Slice of Cream Cheese Pound Cake on a plate with the cake stand.

Cream Cheese Pound Cake Recipe

Remember those cookbooks that churches or various ladies' groups put together? Not even a hard cover book, just pages held together with a plastic binder? I have at least a dozen of those, some dating back to childhood.

One of my favorite old cookbooks is Andersonville Skillet, a collection of recipes put together by the Andersonville Guild back in 1980 — a book used so much it no longer has a cover.

This old cookbook features some of my favorite recipes, like Chicken Pie and Chocolate Sheet Cake. It's a gem!

Our family favorite from the cookbook is the Cream Cheese Pound Cake recipe, which makes the best pound cake I've ever had. It's a recipe that I've been making for more than thirty years, with a few adjustments along the way, such as butter instead of oleo.

Is it Southern Cream Cheese Pound Cake?

I'm not sure whether the Cream Cheese Pound Cake, or even regular pound cake, originated in the South, but most Southerners will tell you their Mama made the best. Usually you'll find the recipe in scripted handwriting, an heirloom passed from one generation to the next, with a lot memories attached to that little card.

For instance, you won't go to a funeral in the South without seeing a Southern Cream Cheese Pound Cake somewhere. And it's my go-to dish when taking food to someone who's had a baby or just needs a little comfort food.

Because this old-fashioned Cream Cheese Pound Cake is dense and heavy, it packs and travels well and keeps for days.

And if you'd like to try a pound cake that uses whipping cream instead of cream cheese, I suggest Aunt Sue's Famous Pound Cake from my friend Christy.

Pound Cake Pan

Let's talk about the pan you're going to cook your pound cake in. You can use a tube pan or a Bundt pan, just make sure it's large enough to hold the batter without it spilling over in your oven.

I love this pan by Nordic Ware because it has a large capacity and it's what I use almost every time I make the cake.

You can also use a couple of loaf pans and fill them about ⅔ full, then just watch the cake and adjust your baking time accordingly.

Ingredients for the Cream Cheese Pound Cake Recipe

I've made this cream cheese pound cake so many times over the years that I no longer even pull out the recipe—it's simple enough that after you make it a few times, you'll have the whole process memorized!

The ingredients list couldn't be more simple:

  • Cream Cheese
  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Vanilla

How to Make Pound Cake

Step 1.

For this recipe, you do NOT need to preheat the oven. I start with a cold oven. First, butter and flour the tube or Bundt pan.

Bundt pan buttered and ready for cream cheese pound cake batter!

Step 2.

Next, you'll sift together the flour and salt and set aside. And here's a little tip regarding the flour: I always use White Lily All-Purpose flour which has a lower protein content than a lot of flours.

**Cook's Tip: Aerate the flour before measuring, which means just use a spoon or the measuring cup and stir and scoop the flour around in the canister before measuring. I am a scooper, but if you prefer then you can spoon the flour into the cup. 

Step 3.

Start beating the butter and cream cheese at medium speed of electric mixer until mixed well and then beat at medium until creamy, about 8 minutes. Don't go all the way to the high speed.

**Cook's Tip: It's important to make sure the cream cheese is not lumpy and the mixture is creamy and well-blended so your Cream Cheese Pound Cake will come out just right!

Creaming the butter and sugar to make cream cheese pound cake.

Step 4.

Gradually add sugar, beating at medium for another 5-7 minutes. Now the batter should be very creamy and light—almost white—before you add anything else.

Remember, it's important to mix well to make sure all the cream cheese has been incorporated.

You may also like
Easy Lemon Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze - I used this same recipe and added lemon and a super easy lemon glaze ??it's divine!

Step 5.

Add the eggs, one at a time on low to medium speed, mixing just until yellow disappears, about twenty seconds. Add vanilla.

Add flour mixture to the batter, a little at a time, beating on low speed just until blended. Add vanilla.

**Cook's Tip: Be sure and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to get every bit.

Step 6.

Pour the batter into your prepared pan and place in a cold oven along with a 2 cup oven-proof measuring cup or bowl filled with water (about 1 ½ cups).

Batter in pan ready to bake Southern Cream Cheese Pound Cake.

How Long to Cook Cream Cheese Pound Cake

This pound cake bakes for a long time! It's different in every oven though. I've baked it in an oven where the cake took about an hour and forty-five minutes to cook and I've baked in an oven that took an hour and twenty minutes!

I suggest you start checking after about an hour and fifteen minutes. Just stick a wooden pick into the pound cake and see how it looks—you want a few wet crumbs clinging to the toothpick. Don't overcook or it will be dry.

Altitude, humidity and all sorts of mysterious unknowns can affect the baking time of a cream cheese pound cake or any pound cake for that matter, so checking is important.

Step 7.

Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for ten to twenty minutes then flip the cake onto a wire rack or platter.

Side view of a baked Southern Cream Cheese Pound Cake.

Step 8.

You can then flip back onto a cake platter so that the bottom of the cake becomes the top if you're using a tube pan or just leave it the way it comes out of the pan, which will look a little tidier.

Slice of cream cheese pound cake on a plate.

And don't worry about any cracks on the top crust of your gorgeous Cream Cheese Pound Cake. That's just the love coming through!

And the cracks are a perfect excuse for the cook to "tidy" up the cake. You know what that means! All those little pieces falling off the side have to go somewhere...

Whole baked Southern cream cheese pound cake on a blue cake stand.

More Tips for the Best Pound Cake Recipe:

Ingredients

  1. Use room temperature ingredients. I set out the butter and eggs about an hour before making the cake. If you forget and leave it out too long then just
  2. Use high quality ingredients - I only use Domino's Granulated Sugar because of the extra fine grains.
  3. Use White Lily all-purpose flour or cake flour.
  4. Use good quality, stick butter. Do not use margarine. I only use Land O Lakes unsalted butter.
  5. Aerate the flour before measuring—take the measuring cup and stir it around in the canister, just to mix and loosen the flour prior to measuring.
  6. Crack the eggs and place in a bowl before adding to the sugar mixture. This ensures you don't accidentally get a piece of shell in the batter, and also makes it easier to pour in the eggs.

Mixing the Pound Cake Batter

  1. Pound cakes are unique in that they do not use leavening agents, other than a small amount of salt. So to make the cake rise properly, the mixing technique is important.
  2. Be sure that you beat the butter and cream cheese until it's creamy and then add the sugar GRADUALLY and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. This will take several minutes, but these steps are vital to the success of the cake because this is what whips air into the cake batter and makes it rise during baking.
  3. Don't over-beat after adding the eggs. Just beat until the yellow is blended in after each egg.

Prepping the Pan and After Baking

  • Grease the pan well and dust with flour. The flour helps the cake batter adhere to the sides of the pan.
  • The cake should cool about 10 minutes in the pan and then be flipped onto a rack to cool completely.

Do You Need to Store Pound Cake in the Refrigerator?

No, pound cake does not need to be refrigerated. The pound cake can be wrapped in plastic and stored for several days or stored in an airtight container.

How to Freeze Pound Cake

To freeze the cream cheese pound cake, wrap it in plastic wrap and then tightly with tin foil. Store the pound cake in the freezer for up to three months.

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Slice of Cream Cheese Pound Cake on a plate with the cake stand.

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

4.61 from 63 votes
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Cream Cheese Pound Cake is sweet, buttery, moist, delicious, and easy to make! It's the perfect pound cake recipe!
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prep time: 30 mins
total time :2 hrs 20 mins
servings :20 servings
author: Lucy Brewer

Ingredients 

  • 8 oz. cream cheese (use Philadelphia), softened
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • teaspoon salt (don’t use kosher salt)

Instructions

  • Do not preheat the oven. Butter and flour a large (12-cup) Bundt or tube pan. You can set the pan on a foil-covered baking sheet in case of any over-flow.
  • Sift together the flour and salt and set aside.
  • Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed of electric mixer until blended and creamy, about 8 minutes. Gradually add sugar, beating another 5-7 minutes on medium. The batter should get very creamy and light with no discernible pieces of cream cheese.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low to medium just until yellow disappears, about twenty seconds. Add vanilla. Add flour to batter, a little at a time, beating on low speed just until blended. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of bowl to blend every bit.
  • Pour batter into the prepared pan and place in cold oven along with a 2 cup oven-proof measuring cup or bowl filled with water (about 1 ½ cups).
  • Bake at 300° for about 1 hour and 15-30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean or has just a few crumbs. Start checking about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  • Let cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes then flip onto wire rack.

Notes

More Tips to the Best Pound Cake Recipe:

Ingredients

  1. Use room temperature ingredients. I set out the butter and eggs about an hour before making the cake. If you forget and leave it out too long then just
  2. Use high quality ingredients - I only use Domino's Granulated Sugar because of the extra fine grains.
  3. Use White Lily all-purpose flour or a comparable low-protein all-purpose flour.
  4. Use good quality, stick butter. Do not use margarine. I only use Land O Lakes unsalted butter.
  5. Aerate the flour before measuring—take the measuring cup and stir it around in the canister, just to mix and loosen the flour prior to measuring.
  6. Crack the eggs and place in a bowl before adding to the sugar mixture. This ensures you don't accidentally get a piece of shell in the batter, and also makes it easier to pour in the eggs.

Mixing the Pound Cake Batter

  1. Pound cakes are unique in that they do not use leavening agents, other than a small amount of salt. So to make the cake rise properly, the mixing technique is important.
  2. Be sure that you beat the butter and cream cheese until it's creamy and then add the sugar GRADUALLY and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. This will take several minutes, but these steps are vital to the success of the cake because this is what whips air into the cake batter and makes it rise during baking.
  3. Don't over-beat after adding the eggs. Just beat until the yellow is blended in after each egg.

Prepping the Pan and After Baking

  • Grease the pan well and dust with flour. The flour helps the cake batter adhere to the sides of the pan. 
  • The cake should cool about 10 minutes in the pan and then be flipped onto a rack to cool completely. 

Do You Need to Store Pound Cake in the Refrigerator?

No, pound cake does not need to be refrigerated. The pound cake can be wrapped in plastic and stored for several days or stored in an airtight container. 

How to Freeze Pound Cake

To freeze the cream cheese pound cake, wrap it in plastic wrap and then tightly with tin foil. Store the pound cake in the freezer for up to three months.
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Nutrition
Serving: 20servingsCalories: 364kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 4gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 191mgSugar: 30g
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Other Fabulous Cakes to Try:

Best Hershey's Chocolate Layer Cake

Granny's Chocolate Sheet Cake

Update Notes: This post was originally published October 13, 2010, and on November 1, 2018, was updated with one or more of the following: step-by-step photos, video, updated recipe, new tips.

One Month Ago: Cake Mix Chocolate Chip Cookies

Having trouble with your cake? Here's a great post on Baking Cakes: Problems and Tips.

Recipe Rating




Christine Reichenberger

Friday 9th of September 2022

Amazing! We can’t stay away from it! Followed directions and first time I am so pleased trying a new recipe. Going in my family binder❤️

Terrie

Tuesday 31st of May 2022

I made this for coffee hour at church. Followed all directions except did not have Lilly flour so used Gold medal. I got so many compliments. Even form my BFF who is a great cook and baker. Try it. Delicious 😋

Grace

Monday 25th of April 2022

Cake was excellent

P

Sunday 17th of April 2022

Turned out just like my grandma’s - THANK YOU!!!

Lucy Brewer

Saturday 23rd of April 2022

Best compliment ever! THank you!

Deb

Wednesday 16th of March 2022

This is not worth the cost of the ingredients. Terrible taste on sweet side and it took over 1 hour and 45 minutes. Do no waste your time