This cream cheese pound cake has a buttery flavor and is perfectly moist and tender. It’s dense with a tight cake crumb, like you’d expect from a pound cake. Made with just 7 ingredients and beautifully simple.
**This post was updated August 2, 2021 with new photos, a slightly updated recipe and additional baking tips**
This cream cheese pound cake is the best pound cake recipe I’ve ever tried. The cream cheese adds a creaminess to the flavor and makes the pound cake extremely moist. It has a golden crust and the quintessential pound cake texture that’s dense without being heavy. Too often pound cakes can taste bland and dry, but not this one. It’s rich, buttery and tender.
I like to serve it with berries and whipped cream, but it’s just as delicious plain with a cup of coffee.
Cream Cheese Pound Cake Ingredients
Traditionally, a pound cake is made with 1 lb of each ingredient: butter, sugar, eggs and flour – hence the name, pound cake. For this cream cheese pound cake, we’re making a few adjustments to the traditional recipe which really elevates the flavor and texture:
- 1 ½ cups butter (12 ounces). Using high quality butter gives the cake the best flavor. Absolutely no substitutions can be used for butter in a pound cake recipe.
- 8 ounces cream cheese. Adding in cream cheese (and slightly reducing the amount of butter from the classic 1 lb) makes the pound cake extremely moist. It also adds a delicious creaminess to the flavor. Make sure to use full-fat, brick-style cream cheese.
- 2 ½ cups sugar. I like to use superfine or caster sugar in pound cake. Because it has finer granules, it dissolves more easily as you beat the butter.
- 6 large eggs. Yup – you read that correctly. The eggs add tenderness. They also help to lift the pound cake so that it rises properly. When you beat in the eggs, it adds air to the batter. This air helps the cake rise.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour. Make sure to measure the flour properly. If too much flour is added to the batter, it will get dry. If you have a measuring scale – make sure to use it! 3 cups weighs 375 grams or 12.75 ounces.
- 1 teaspoon baking powder. Traditionally, the rise in pound cake comes entirely from air added into the batter when the eggs are mixed in. However, I find that adding just a tiny amount of baking powder ensures that the cake doesn’t end up too dense or heavy.
- ½ teaspoon salt. This balances out the flavor and cuts the sugar.
Tips for the Perfect Pound Cake
Making the perfect pound cake is very simple, but a few small tips ensures success. Read the following tips carefully for the best results.
- Ingredients must be room temperature. Take your butter, cream cheese and eggs out of the fridge at least 30 minutes prior to making the batter. This ensures that you can really cream the butter and sugar properly, and that the eggs mix in evenly. Don’t warm up the butter in the microwave to soften it – this will inevitably melt some of the butter. Melted butter won’t cream properly.
- Make sure the bundt pan is well greased and floured. It’s imperative that every crevice of the bundt pan is evenly coated. Otherwise, the cake will stick to the pan instead of sliding out beautifully.
- Really cream the butter and sugar together for the best texture. Beating the butter and sugar together dissolves the sugar and gives the cake a lighter texture to ensure it’s not too heavy. It should be pale in color when you’re done beating together the butter and sugar. It will take around 5 minutes on medium-high speed, depending slightly on your electric mixer.
- When adding in the eggs, stop mixing as soon as you see pieces of yellow yolk disappear. While it’s really important to cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar together, overbeating the mixture after the eggs are added can lead to a tough cake.
- Sift the dry ingredients fist. This removes lumps, which ensures that you don’t have to overmix the batter. It also adds air to the batter, which ensures that it’s not too heavy.
- Mix in the dry ingredients with the mixer on low speed. You don’t want to overmix the flour – otherwise, the cake can get tough instead of tender. Mix in the flour about ½ at a time with the mixer on low speed.
- The bake time is low and slow. It’s important to bake the pound cake at a low temperature to ensure that the crust doesn’t over brown or burn. It will need to bake for around 75 minutes at 325 F (160 C) degrees.
- Cool the cake in the pan for at least 20 minutes, then carefully invert to let the cake slide out. If the cake is too hot when you invert the pan, it can fall apart. But if you leave it to cool in the pan for too long, it can get stuck.
This cake is designed for at least a 12-cup capacity bundt pan – mine measures 10.5 inches (27 cm) in diameter by 4 inches deep. If you’d like to make this recipe in a loaf pan, it will make two 8 ½ x 4 ½ loaves. They will need to bake for about 60-75 minutes at 325F. Alternatively, you can half the recipe and make one loaf.
Storing & Freezing Pound Cake
Leftovers are best if kept in an airtight container at room temperature. It will keep at room temperature for up 4 days. You can store it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 1 week, but I do find that the crust will soften.
Pound can freezes well. Be sure to wrap it very tightly in plastic wrap going around the bund shape, then wrap again in foil. Freeze for up to 2 months, then thaw overnight in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Simple, tender, moist and buttery – this cream cheese pound cake is impossible to resist. Don’t forget to try this chocolate pound cake while you’re at it. Or for more bundt cake recipes:
Cream Cheese Pound Cake
- 12-cup capacity bundt pan
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (375 grams)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups unsalted butter (340 grams) room temperature
- 8 oz cream cheese (226 grams) room temperature
- 2 ½ cups superfine sugar (500 grams)
- 6 large eggs room temperature
- Preheat the oven to 325F degrees.
- Grease and flour a large bunt pan, or brush with pan release (AKA cake goop). Be sure that every cavity and crease of the pan is well covered.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- In a separate very large bowl beat the butter until smooth and creamy (about 1 minute). Then mix in the cream cheese (about 1 additional minute).
- Mix in the sugar until the mixture looks pale and fluffy - this will take about 3 more minutes. In total, you'll have beaten the butter for about 5 minutes. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Turn the mixer to low speed and mix in the eggs 1 at a time until just combined. You should no longer see streaks of yellow egg yolk. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl half way through.
- Gradually beat in the flour about ½ at a time with the mixer on low speed. Stop mixing as soon as the flour is incorporated.
- Pour/spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 75 minutes or until the top is golden and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Half way through, rotate the pan ½ a turn. This ensures even baking in case your oven has a hot spot.
- Cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, then carefully invert the pan and let the cake slide out. Continue cooling on a wire rack.
- Nonstick Pans: Make sure to grease and flour the pan, even if its labeled nonstick.
- Pan Sizes: This recipe can be baked in two 8 ½ x 4 ½ inch (22 x 11.5 cm) loaf pans. The bake time will be about 60-75 minutes at 325 F (160C). There is a bit too much batter to use 8 x 4 inch pans. The recipe can also be halved and baked in one 8 ½ x 4 ½.
- Measuring Flour: The flour must be measured accurately, otherwise the cake will be dry. If using dry measuring cups, whisk the flour first. Then spoon into the cup and level off the top. 3 cups flour weighs 375 grams or 12 ¾ ounces.
- Room Temperature Ingredients: The butter, cream cheese and eggs must be room temperature before getting started. Take them out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before getting started. The butter should not be melty.
- Storage: Store cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days, or in the fridge for up to 7 days. Fully cooled cake can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap first, then wrapped in foil and frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge.