This classic Pound Cake recipe is buttery, moist, dense and melt in your mouth delicious. Flavored with just a hint of vanilla and topped with a simple lemon glaze, it tastes great on its own or served with whipped cream and fresh berries.
Perfect Pound Cake Recipe
This soft and buttery Pound Cake is one of those recipes that you need to keep in your back pocket. It’s dense, super moist and flavored with just a hint of vanilla. That way, you can pair it with different glazes, fruits, creams and sauces. Or, use it in parfaits, trifle recipes or even as a dipper for Chocolate Fondue.
While a by-the-book traditional pound cake recipe is made only from butter, sugar, eggs and flour, this recipe does add a little milk and cream cheese for extra flavor and moisture. Follow along for all sorts of tips, tricks and answers to your most frequently asked questions so that you will be making the perfect Pound Cake in no time.
Ingredients in Cream Cheese Pound Cake
- Butter - your butter should be soft so it’s best to pull it out to room temperature in advance. If you forget, you can microwave it for about 10 seconds at a time until softened but not melted. We recommend unsalted butter, but you could use salted and then remove some of the additional salt.
- Cream Cheese - this adds moisture, flavor and great texture to the pound cake. Make sure it is softened at room temperature, just like the butter.
- Sugar - this recipe calls for granulated sugar.
- Eggs - any kind of large eggs will work. It’s best if they are room temperature so that they don’t cause the butter mixture to seize up. You can run them under warm water, too.
- Flour - either all-purpose flour or cake flour work best for pound cake. Be sure not to use self-rising flour.
- Milk - whole milk is best, although 2% makes a good substitute.
- Salt - sea salt works great.
- Vanilla Extract - pure vanilla extract tastes best.
- Powdered Sugar - this adds sweetness without any grittiness.
- Lemon Juice - fresh lemon juice tastes worlds better than stuff from a bottle.
- Lemon Extract - this isn’t completely necessary but does add an extra boost of lemon flavor.
- Vanilla Extract - we like to use vanilla extract to compliment the lemon flavor.
How to Make the Perfect Pound Cake Recipe
- Cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar. In a large bowl with an electric mixer or a stand mixer, whip together the butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy, or about 3-5 minutes.
- Mix the batter. Slowly add the room temperature eggs, mixing after each addition. Scrape down the sides as necessary to make the mixture smooth. Add the flour and mix on low speed until almost completely combined. Finally, add the milk, salt, and vanilla extract and mix.
- Bake. Grease and flour two loaf pans and add your cake batter. Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for about 45-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool. Once finished, remove the cake from the oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edges and flip upside down to remove the cakes, then let cool completely on a cooling rack.
- Make the glaze. In the meantime, make the glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon extract and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Add more lemon juice as necessary to reach your desired consistency.
- Glaze and serve. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled pound cakes and let it set up before slicing to serve with a dollop of whipped cream, fresh raspberries or a scoop of ice cream. Enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Many traditional pound cake recipes, including this one, do not use any chemical leaveners such as baking powder or baking soda. Pound cake is a dense cake to begin with. It gets most of the rise from the air bubbles that have been trapped while the butter and sugar cream together. From there, the large amount of eggs in the recipe help to stabilize the trapped air as it bakes, giving pound cakes a bit of natural rise.
The first secret to moist pound cake is making sure you mix the ingredients correctly. You want your butter and cream cheese to be softened at room temperature so that they will cream properly with the sugar. Then, make sure your eggs are also at room temperature so that they will create an emulsion in the batter when added.
If your eggs are too cold, they will cause the butter to seize up when added. This can cause problems when the butter-heavy cake batter hits the oven because if it’s not emulfied properly, the butter can leak out taking a lot of the moisture with it.
The other secret is adding extra dairy in the form of cream cheese, sour cream or buttermilk. This extra dairy adds flavor and moisture to the pound cake.
Yes! Pound cakes freeze very well. It’s best if you freeze your pound cake before adding the glaze. Just be sure and wrap the cake well in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. If it will fit, place it in a freezer bag and store for up to 2 months.
Once you are ready to eat, pull from the freezer and store at room temperature, or in the fridge, overnight. Glaze at least an hour before eating so it has a chance to set.
Perfect Pound Cake Tips and Tricks
Even though this cream cheese Pound Cake Recipe is fairly simple, there are a few tips and tricks we want to share to give you the most success.
- Make sure your eggs are at room temperature and that you add them slowly. There are a lot of eggs in this recipe. If they are too cold, they will shock the butter and break the emulsion. If you add them too quickly, it will be hard to emulsify without just whipping them and overmixing.
- Do not overbake! Keep an eye on your cake and make sure and do the toothpick test.
- Be sure and cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. This is where much of the rise of your cake comes from so you want to be sure you do it properly.
- In order to avoid the cakes from continuing to bake and steam, let them cool outside of the loaf pans or bundt pans for most of the time. We’ve given you directions for how to cool your cakes whether you use loaf pans or a bundt pan.
Storing and Freezing
- Room Temperature: wrap any unfinished cake in aluminum foil, or any airtight container, and store for up to 2 days at room temperature.
- Refrigerator: pound cake can also be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Freezing: wrap your unglazed pound cake well with plastic wrap and aluminum foil then place in a larger freezer bag. Store in the freezer for up to 2 months. Once you are ready to eat, pull from the freezer and store at room temperature, or in the fridge, overnight. Glaze at least an hour before eating so it has a chance to set.
Pound Cake Recipe
- 1 ½ cups Butter room temperature
- 8 ounces Cream Cheese room temperature
- 3 cups Sugar
- 6 large Eggs room temperature
- 3 cups All-Purpose Flour
- ¾ cup Milk
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Lemon Glaze for Pound Cake
- 1 cup Powdered Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
- ¼ teaspoon Lemon Extract
- ¼ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease and flour 2 loaf pans and set aside.*
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer, whip together the butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy, or about 3-5 minutes.
- Slowly add the eggs, mixing after each addition and scraping down the sides as necessary to make the mixture smooth. Add the flour and mix on low speed until almost completely combined. Finally, add the milk, salt, and vanilla extract, mix and transfer to the prepared pans.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 45-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Once finished, remove the cakes from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edges and flip upside down to remove the cakes, then let cool completely on a cooling rack.
- In the meantime, make the lemon glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon extract and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Add more lemon juice if necessary to reach your desired consistency.
- Drizzle the glaze over the pound cakes and let it set up before slicing to serve with a dollop of whipped cream, fresh raspberries or a scoop of ice cream. Enjoy!
More Of The Best Bundt and Pound Cake Recipes
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- Lemon Pound Cake
- Key Lime Pound Cake
- Funfetti Bundt Cake
- Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake
- Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake
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This cream cheese Pound Cake recipe is moist, dense and super delicious. It's flavored with a hint of vanilla and topped with a homemade lemon glaze.