A dense and buttery pound cake loaf made with sour cream.
Yep, I made another pound cake loaf except this time I used sour cream!
How Sour Cream takes Pound Cakes to the Next Level
So, what exactly does sour cream do to a cake? Why add it to pound cake batter?
Sour cream is four things; tangy, fatty, creamy, and acidic.
When you add it to a cake you’re incorporating all of these things!
Wondering about that tang? Fear not. The vast majority of the tanginess is masked by the other ingredients and “baked out” when it’s in the oven, so you’re left with just the right amount.
The fat adds richness and moisture, the cream tenderizes the gluten strands which results in a tender cake, and the acid breaks down the gluten which equals a finer and more uniformed crumb.
And best of all, sour cream plus butter in a cake will almost always result in a beautiful, velvety texture.
All of these things reinforce why this recipe is a darling classic, loved by bakers old and new, and a go-to for many. Here, simplicity wins.
Just 4 Tips:
- Don’t substitute anything! This ingredient list is very simple and changing anything will result in a much different cake. I got my eye on you, you serial ingredient swappers.
- For this recipe you’ll need to cream the butter and sugar until fluffy which can take up to 4 minutes, more if mixing by hand, so be patient!
- When measuring the flour make sure you spoon it into the measuring cup then level it off. Don’t use the measuring cup to scoop the flour out of its container because this will add too much to the batter which will result in a dry, hard cake. I know many of you already know this but I still have to say it just in case!
- When mixing with an electric mixer, over mixing the batter becomes an easy thing to do so just mix slowly like it says in the instructions and once no dry streaks of flour remain, stop mixing immediately.
Let’s get those aprons on, shall we?
Loaf Pan Sour Cream Pound Cake
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- Electric Mixer (Read notes below)
- 3/4 cup (172g / 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (210g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup (123g) sour cream, 14% milk fat
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups (182g) all-purpose flour
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C).
- To a large bowl add the butter, sugar, salt, and baking soda.
- Using an electric mixer, beat on high speed until fluffy and almost doubled in size, about 3 - 4 minutes.
- Add the sour cream and mix well.
- Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract - make sure they are fully incorporated.
- Add the flour and mix on low speed until fully combined. Do not overmix.
- Line a 9x5 inch (23x13 cm) loaf pan with parchment paper or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Note: Using cooking spray will result in a crisper, more golden crust.
- Transfer the batter to the pan and smooth the top into an even layer.
- Bake for 64 – 65 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with very few crumbs.
- Cool in pan 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack.
- Let the cake cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.
What does Sour Cream Pound Cake taste like?
This pound cake is:
- Pleasantly dense (not like a brick though!)
- Perfectly sweetened
- Rich but not too rich
- Aromatic (thanks to the vanilla and sour cream)
This is a Pound Cake Recipe for Beginners
This recipe is really as simple as it gets.
The ingredients are basic and so are the instructions. You only need one bowl to mix everything and the prep time is about 15 minutes. Also, you’ll need a 9×5 inch (22×12 cm) loaf pan for this.
Why is it baked at 325°F (163°C)?
Baking this cake at a lower temperature for a longer amount of time ensures that the crust doesn’t burn before the inside is finished.
This results in a perfectly golden crust around the sides and bottom (interestingly, the top doesn’t brown) and a fully baked interior.
How do I serve this thing?
You can serve this cake plain like I did, or with berries, dusted with powdered sugar, or maybe with some whipped cream. For brunch, you can serve this with coffee or tea.
This is a pound cake so it doesn’t need to be dressed up! Keep it light.
You can store it in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. I wouldn’t recommend wrapping it in foil because this cake sweats and will most likely stick to it and you may end up losing the top layer of it to the foil.
How long does it last?
It will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Every single time I’ve made this cake it has been amazing.
When it came to the leavening ingredients, with my buttermilk pound cake recipes I opted for baking powder, but with this recipe I went with baking soda.
Why, you ask? Due to my years of baking experience, I know that when baking soda reacts with the acid in sour cream it creates a certain type of flavor and I wanted that specific flavor in this pound cake. The creaminess and tangy undertones of the sour cream stand out so much more!
It was the right decision.
Compared to my buttermilk pound cake loaves, I thought this one would be much denser but it was only marginally so. It could not be more perfect. The sweetness, the texture, and the flavor are spot on for what a pound cake should be. It’s so delicious! I find myself making this recipe again and again.
Before I forget, here’s my Cream Cheese Pound Cake Loaf.