Southern Cream Cheese Pound Cake – Old Fashioned Recipe!

Recipe Pin
4 hours 20 minutes
16 servings

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Southern Cream Cheese Pound Cake is an old-fashioned recipe that yields a big, beautiful moist cake for special occasions like Valentine’s Day or any time of year!

With much gratitude and appreciation, this recipe courtesy of our friends at Southern Living Magazine!

a cake on a pedestal, with glaze

All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC

Southern Cream Cheese Pound Cake – Old Fashioned Recipe!

Southern Cream Cheese Pound Cake is an old-fashioned recipe that yields a big, beautiful moist cake for special occasions like Valentine’s Day or any time of year!

Simple ingredients come together quickly for an easy cake batter and ultimately, the BEST old-fashioned cream cheese pound cake imaginable.

Have I mentioned this is a two-step method? TWO! Two steps to a delicious pound cake…two steps to an old-fashioned pound cake as good as any southern baker!

Pair this pound cake with my Boozy Macerated Strawberries or my Simple Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce Recipe.

a cake cooling on a wire rack

This recipe will require baking in a 12 cup Bundt pan or a 10-inch tube pan. A traditional loaf pan, even with the thick batter divided, has never baked up correctly for me.

Because of this, and to really achieve that perfect pound cake, I do not recommend loaf pans for this method.

In particular, this cream cheese pound cake recipe makes a big cake. The slices are dense yet moist, the crumb surprisingly light with a slight tang.

If you are baking this to take to a gathering, for a school bake sale, or just have a large family who LOVE DESSERT, this is your easy recipe.

How This Recipe Came About…

Over 25 years ago, I tore a page from a Southern Living. Into my infamous giant stack of ‘recipes to try’ it went for a later date presumably.

I had no way of knowing that the initial ‘go’ with this very good pound cake would not take place for some three decades and until I moved to Charleston, South Carolina, a move I myself would NEVER have predicted.

For those of you new to Not Entirely Average, I am not a baker. Like, IN NO WAY am I a baker.

a cake on a pedestal, with glaze

Upon baking this old fashioned pound cake for the first time, I took note of how few ingredients I would be required to muster. I also as a practice, make sure to read a recipe all the way through before jumping in.

The best part of this method is the fact that there are two steps. So, in terms of cake recipes, this is an easy one.

It’s also now my go-to easy pound cake recipe for whenever I have to say thank you to somebody or if company is coming.

Do You Have What’s Needed To Make This Old-Fashioned Southern Cream Cheese Pound Cake Recipe? Check The List!

  • vegetable shortening
  • unsalted butter
  • cream cheese
  • granulated sugar
  • eggs
  • bleached cake flour
  • vanilla extract

Why Is It Called Pound Cake?

As it suggests, the proportions of a pound cake are right there in the name. Traditional pound cakes call for one pound each of four ingredients; a pound of butter, a pound of sugar, a pound of eggs, and a pound of flour.

Can you say dense?

If we were using only butter, we would refer to this as an all butter pound cake. The addition of sour cream indicates a sour cream pound cake. And lemon (lemon zest, lemon juice, or lemon extract / lemon flavoring), a delicious lemon pound cake.

The recipe I share today is brought to us by friends at Southern Living Magazine. I love it because it incorporates cream cheese yielding another popular choice cream cheese pound cake.

For me, it’s the best pound cake recipe going.

a cake cooling on a wire rack

Why Are There No Typical Leavening Agents In This Pound Cake Recipe?

The function of leavening agents in baked products is to hasten the expansion of dough or, in the case of a cake, the batter.

Leavening agents such as baking soda, baking powder, and salt produce a volume increase which improves the appearance as well as the texture of the final product.

Bleached cake flour has no leavening agent. Rather, in this recipe, creaming the butter and the sugar will create what is referred to as a mechanical leavener.

The process of creaming integrates tiny air bubbles into the mixture as the sugar crystals physically cut through the structure of the fat.

Also, in their propensity to froth, eggs are also leavening agents. Because they integrate air into the batter, beaten eggs act as a leavening agent, causing cakes and souffles to rise in the oven.

Despite being absent the typical components we think of as acting as leaveners, this cake will rise with the combination of ingredients as well as the method for altering each ingredient prior to adding it to the batter. Leaveners also makes for a lighter cake.

a cake on a pedestal, with glaze

How To Make A Cream Cheese Pound Cake?

First let me say, if you own a stand mixer, pull it out and fit it with the paddle attachment for this recipe.

Given the ‘101’ on air in doughs and batters, the stand mixer does a far better job, faster and for longer, than the handheld electric mixer.

If you do not have a stand mixer, the handheld will work just fine. Do commit though to the full 5 minutes of beating time required when beating the butter, cream cheese, and sugar together.

It’s about it being mixed well, yes, but paramount it’s about adding that air!

Preheat your oven to 300°F and use a pastry brush to brush about a tablespoon of melted butter all over the sides, bottom, and tube of a Bundt cake pan or tube pan. Use about a tablespoon of the cake flour to flour the pan making sure to get the entire inside coated.

Into the bowl of a stand mixer go softened butter and softened cream cheese. Beat only to combine them, about 45 seconds to 1 minute. The mixture will be smooth.

Gradually add in granulated sugar. Here’s where the mixing matters – 5 minutes you will beat on medium speed until the butter, cream cheese, and sugar is very light, and very fluffy.

Next comes the addition of 6 eggs. Add one at a time and beat until just blended, about 30 seconds. Pre-sifted cake flour is added and beaten until smooth, about 30 seconds. Lastly, vanilla.

Pour batter into the prepared cake pan using a rubber spatula to scrape any remaining batter left in the bowl. Place the cake into your preheated oven and bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour, 45 minutes.

Cool in pan 20 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack, about 2 hours.

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Southern Cream Cheese Pound Cake – Old Fashioned Recipe!

Jenny DeRemer
Southern Cream Cheese Pound Cake is an old-fashioned recipe that yields a big, beautiful moist cake for special occasions like Valentine's Day or any time of year!
4.32 from 80 votes
Servings: 16 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Cooling 2 hours 20 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 servings
Calories 490 kcal


  • stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment or an electric handheld mixer
  • 12-cup Bundt pan or 10-inch tube pan
  • pastry brush (if using butter to grease cake pan)
  • wire cooling rack


Ingredients For Southern Cream Cheese Pound Cake – Old Fashioned Recipe!

  • vegetable shortening for greasing pan; may substitute 1 tablespoon unsalted butter melted
  • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 cups + 1 tablespoon bleached cake flour sifted; I am using Swans Down
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


The Method

  • Preheat oven to 300°F. Generously coat a 10-inch tube pan with shortening and dust with flour. Alternatively, melt 1 tablespoon unsalted butter and use a pastry brush to 'paint' the butter up the sides, the bottom, and the tube (and dust with flour). Beat butter and cream cheese with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed until smooth, about 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs; beat until just blended, about 30 seconds. Add flour; beat until smooth, about 30 seconds. Stir in vanilla.
  • Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan or tube pan. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour, 45 minutes. Cool in pan 20 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack, about 2 hours. Because of the high sugar content of this cake, it will develop a delicious, crunchy crust on top, that may separate from the cake as it cools.

The nutrition value can vary depending on what product(s) you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.

Please note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not deviate unless otherwise specified.


Serving: 1sliceCalories: 490kcalCarbohydrates: 71gProtein: 8gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 116mgSodium: 30mgPotassium: 78mgFiber: 1gSugar: 38gVitamin A: 635IUCalcium: 23mgIron: 1mg
Did you love this recipe?Leave a comment and Let me know how it was!

Modifying The Norm To Make It Not Entirely Average…

As I mentioned above, with the addition of flavorings, you can easily change the flavor of a regular pound cake to something bright.

Oftentimes, I will add lemon zest and lemon extract to achieve a lemon cream cheese pound cake.

Many southern recipes also use nut extracts and floral extracts. Next time I may experiment with violet or butter pecan. You know, for whimsy!

The best results are using the main ingredient and supporting flavors YOUR eaters will enjoy.

How To Serve Pound Cake?

There’s not a whole lot you can do to make a really great recipe for homemade pound cake much better than it is by itself.

If I add anything at all, it’s fresh fruit like fresh berries (in particular fresh strawberries), a thin drizzle of lemon glaze, freshly whipped cream, or just a dusting of powdered sugar.

My Dad would argue ice cream merits a mention here, but I’m a purist. I get better results the less I dress this cake.

Heavy whipping cream with a pinch of sugar whipped until peaks begin to form. Well, and maybe a cup of coffee, but that’s it.

If You Like This Recipe…

…you might also like:

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Recipe Rating


    1. Patsy, just take your time with it – the payout is 110%! Not sure what neck of the country you’re in but if you can still source peaches and/or cherries, a compote made with one or both is divine with this pound cake! Let me know what you think 🙂 Jenny

  1. This looks gorgeous and rich! What a beautiful, golden cake…I do love pound cake with a hot cup of coffee. Save me a slice ^_^5 stars

        1. Michelle, super easy – 1½ cups sifted confectioners’ sugar, 1 Tablespoon salted butter that you’ve melted and cooled, 2 to 4 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice plus more as needed, and finally 1 tablespoon lemon zest. Whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, zest, butter and 2 Tablespoons of the lemon juice. It’s going to be thick. Whisk in more lemon juice, one tablespoon at a time until it reaches your desired consistency. et Viola! If you do not like lemon, omit the zest and use equal parts whole milk and vanilla extract in lieu of the lemon juice.

  2. My favorite pound cake – I put cream cheese in anything. This is a great recipe. I can hardly make the cake because I like the dough so much.5 stars

    1. Nancy, you and I must be cut from the same cloth because I have my fingers in this batter, too! Thank you so much for this sweet compliment. The cake speaks for itself and I wish I could take credit for the method, but it’s all Southern Living Magazine. They just excel at everything baked! x – Jenny

  3. Visiting as I saw your post at INSPIRE ME MONDAY LINKY PARTY #409. Pinned this and will for sure try it out one day. I would love to invite you to also come and participate and share your posts over at Senior Salon Pit Stop. You will find my link in the linkup for today. Hope to see you soon.

    1. Esmé! What a lovely invitation, and yes…I will happily share over on your site 🙂 Thank you for pinning, and thank you for stopping by! x – Jenny

  4. I had a pound cake recipe that I loved and lost it in a move. The recipe was similar to yours with one difference it was started in a cold oven. Why start in a cold oven vs preheated???5 stars

    1. Good morning, Beverly and thanks for the comment/query! So, you know when you cut into a pound cake how dense it is? That solid wall of crumb? There are MANY pound cake methods that require the cake to begin in a cold oven for the purpose of that dense, tight crumb pound cake is known for. Starting cold means preventing the cake from rising quickly. Or at least that is the science I have had explained to me behind it. The recipe I share here is from Southern Living Magazine, those folks who test, taste, and test again! This is among just a handful of recipes for pound cake I have seen which do NOT specify starting in a cold oven. I get great results every time I bake this, so would love to know how you enjoy it versus the method you unfortunately lost. Jenny

  5. I would like to make this recipe, but I would love to add lemon zest and fresh lemon juice. How much should I add of each?

    1. Ana Maria, I have added lemon zest to my batter before. I left it as ‘us enjoying it with the zest of one whole lemon.’ I have not added lemon juice to the batter, rather made a simple glaze of lemon juice and Confectioners’ sugar (using the entire zested lemon) and found the combination spot on. If an entire lemon seems a lot to you, keep in mind that this is a heavy and very dense cake. Assuredly, if anything, it could handle additional. I stop at one lemon because it is not a lemon pound cake, rather a sweet cream cheese pound cake enhanced by the addition of lemon which I do not want to become the main flavor profile.

  6. Such a delightful explanation of what makes our pound cake so special. I was taught to bake at age 10; pound cake was always waiting when our guest(s) arrived. I tend to add a bit of finely zested lemon to my pound cake. We usually serve it ‘plain’ because fruits of the season normally accompany each piece.5 stars

    1. Thalia, you must be an expert baker if you were taught so young and I envy you for that. I wish I’d paid attention to those recipes as a child but I just wasn’t interested in cooking and baking until later in life. I just finished answering a question of another reader regarding the same cake – she too, wishes to enhance the cake with lemon. If you have a moment, and would not mind, I appreciate when readers share their baking successes with other readers. How much zest do you personally introduce to your pound cake batter, and why? Also, do you introduce lemon juice in any way? How?

    1. Carolyn, I hope you sure do bake this soon, and I hope you’ll let me know how you enjoy it! Thanks for taking a minute out of your day to drop me this sweet note! Jenny

  7. At this time of year I particularly like pound cake with homemade Meyer lemon curd. The last time I made one I baked the curd right in (there’s no law saying you can’t put more on top of each slice later on!). I will make pound cake a million ways but this cream cheese recipe is one of my favorites.

    1. Barbie! Thank you for this sweet message, and you’re correct – no law says you cannot ‘dollop!’ Should you decide to bake this gem, please take pictures and send them as I would love to see how pretty this turns out for you. Love you my Sister from Madisonville Road! x – Jenny

    1. Linda, the capacity of a 9 x 13 is 14 cups, so would more than accommodate this volume of batter. Typically, the tube plays an essential role in distributing the heat. Their high walls also provide a surface for some batters to grip as they rise. Normally I would tell you that it would be cheaper to buy a tube pan than to chance throwing out baking mistakes trying to find the right length-in-baking adjustment. That said, the lower height of layer cake or lasagna-type pans (about half as high as tube pans) allows for a different type of (and still efficient) heat diffusion. Cakes will still bake through, but you’d need to begin testing for doneness at 1 hour and continue to test every 10 minutes beyond that. If you bake the cake in a 9 x 13, do let me know how you fare. I would love to be able to add a caveat to my post from a reader who has done this successfully, as I have not. Jenny

      1. I make a pound cake almost identical to this recipe, and often bake in a 9×13 pan with excellent results in about an hour of baking time.5 stars

        1. Portia, this is great to know as I’ve already been asked about other sized baking pans. Any other tips you can share for readers when baking in a 9 x 13? For example, cool in pan or test for doneness specifically in the middle of the cake? So grateful for your thoughts! Jenny

    1. Jhuls, thank you! Do you know what? I’m NOT a very good baker, but this cake would have you thinking I was a classically trained Patisserie chef…!!! Thanks for taking the time to send me this 🙂

    1. Kate, thank you for this sweet comment, and I 100% agree! I plan to give this a strawberry rhubarb compote shortly to accompany!