Classic Southern Pound Cake

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Classic Southern Pound Cake is perfectly moist and buttery with just the right amount of sweetness. The texture is wonderfully tender and it has a thick layer of crackly crust on top. It’s probably my favorite pound cake.

Slice Of Classic Southern Pound Cake with whipped cream and a strawberry.


I’ve tried oodles of pound cake recipes over the years and nothing beats this pound cake in my opinion.  The simple flavor of a classic pound cake is hard to beat. A combination of butter, cream cheese, and superfine sugar gives this cake a wonderful texture.

I think the superfine sugar is one of the keys to the great texture of tis pound cake. If you don’t have any, it is worth buying. It’s also handy to have on hand for making cocktails since it dissolves so easily.

A fabulous crispy crust develops on top. It’s my favorite part of a pound cake.

Whole Pound Cake on a plate.


Tips for making Classic Southern Pound Cake:

  • There is no leavener in this cake so it is very important to beat the butter, cream cheese, and sugar for at least 5 to 7 minutes. This is going to whip lots of air in which will help the cake rise and give it a lighter texture.
  • For best results, you want the butter, cream cheese, and eggs at room temperature. The butter and cream cheese will incorporate much more air when at room temperature and the eggs will blend into the batter much more easily.
  • To prevent a dry cake, be sure to measure the flour corrrectly. Fluff the flour up some in the bag and then scoop it with a spoon into a measuring cup. Level it with the back of a knife.
  • This pound cake freezes really well. You can either freeze the whole cake or freeze individual slices.


This is one of those southern pound cakes that’s perfect for snacking or even breakfast. It’s sweet, but not too sweet. Serve with whipped cream and strawberries for a wonderful southern dessert.

Slice of Classic Southern Pound Cake with fresh strawberries.

More Pound Cake Recipes You Will Love:

Slice Of Classic Southern Pound Cake with whipped cream and a strawberry.

Classic Southern Pound Cake

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: cake, old-fashioned pound cake
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 18
Calories: 385kcal
Classic Southern Pound Cake is perfectly moist and buttery with just the right amount of sweetness. The texture is wonderfully tender and it has a thick layer of crackly crust on top.
Print Recipe


  • 3 cups superfine sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees and spray a 12-cup Bundt pan with baking spray.
  • Using an electric stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat sugar, butter, and cream cheese at medium-high speed until very fluffy and pale, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Beat in eggs one at a time on low speed, just until the yellow disappears. Scrape down the sides of the bowl several times.
  • Add egg yolks, half-and-half, and vanilla extract and beat on low just until mixed in.
  • Whisk together flour and salt in a medium bowl and mix it into the batter in 3 additions with the mixer on low speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl halfway through.
  • Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes in pan and then remove cake from the pan to cool completely.


Be sure to use a good quality baking spray. I have good results with Baker's Joy.


Calories: 385kcal

Recipe source: Southern Living

Classic Southern Pound Cake


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

111 thoughts on “Classic Southern Pound Cake

  1. I’m not sure if this is a 1 rating or a 5. I followed the recipe to a “T”. I didn’t hv superfine sugar and neither did my grocery store, so I made my own in my Vitamix. The recipe calls for baking for 1 hr 20-30 min. I set my timer for 1 hr and 10 min. I was super busy getting ready for my husbands birthday party, so I never checked it till my timer went off. He loves pound cake. I went and checked on it and it was burnt bad, the whole outside was dark brown and crunchy about 1/4” in. I took it out and put it immediately into the freezer, hoping it wouldn’t cook any more. I used a Pampered Chef bunt pan that I’ve had for years and it works perfectly. This cake was probably ready at 50 min. I was pretty embarrassed as I didn’t have time to make another. Lessen learned.

  2. Made this cake yesterday and it turned out almost perfectly. I got the desired crunchy crust and the sweetly moist cake. I had to cook an additional 20 minutes. Do not place cake pan on a cookie sheet. Flavorful cake. Can’t wait to make it again.

  3. Hello. I have made this recipe several times. Its wonderful. Thank you so much. All of my family and extended family enjoys it and begs me to make it all the time. At the moment I’m using a cheap hand electric mixer and really need to invest in an electric mixer that does it for me. However, I’m struggling with the size I should get. Could you point me in the right direction of the size mixing bowl I woukd need to purchase to hold the batter for this recipe? If so, I’d greatly appreciate it. Thank you again.

  4. How can I adjust making this old fashioned crunchy top pound cake .. to bake it in a Tube Pan? The picture of tour pound cake looks like a Tube pan was used. Thank you

  5. This pound cake was awful. I was wondering what the problem was…… oh you cannot bake a pound cake without baking soda or baking powder.

    1. Yes you can if you follow the instructions. You HAVE to use a stand mixer and beat butter, cream cheese, and sugar for 5-7 minutes and bake at 300. It’s not optional to take a shortcut on these steps. I make this recipe once or twice a week and get beautiful results EVERY time!

        1. It’s a long and tiring process with a hand mixer. The lengthy whipping of the butter, sugar and cream cheese is important to make sure the cake rises. Working with a second person would make it more feasible. Good luck.

    2. My cake turned out like the picture…rose beautifully! Original pound cake has no leavened like Baking powder or baking soda

  6. I made this cake today and i was wondering can you do different flavors with this recipe? It was delicious by the way!

      1. I’m
        Excited!! I have my cake in the oven but just realized I forgot the half and half 😩😩😩😩 will it still turn out ok

  7. Has anyone tried this in two cake pans? There is a cake shop in Charlotte, NC that uses pound cake to make their famous tiered cakes and I’d like to give it a try, topping with a buttercream frosting.

  8. This is hands down the best pound cake ever. My kids didn’t want a traditional birthday cake this year. They ONLY wanted this pound cake. I made it a few months ago and it came out perfect. I think the key is the superfine sugar. I have a coffee bean grinder and I cleaned it out and used it for the sugar. Absolutely delicious!

  9. Did anyone else have a problem with it not being done after 90 min? Confirming 300 degree oven. My was still quite raw and yes, my oven temp is correct.

    1. I make a different pound cake with similar recipe. I cook on 300 degrees for 2-2 1/2 hours. Never ready in 90 minutes. The longer you cook on low temperature the better. I used to start on 250 degrees and increase to 300 degrees after one half hour

    2. If your cake is not baking fully it can be due to over mixing which can cause the cake batter not to rise correctly. The gluten is being over-processed. Make sure that you are using the correct mixer speed, do not over mix. Over mixing will make your cake heavy and dense, The cake won’t bake all the way through.

    1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Make sure that you are allowing the sugar, butter , and creeam cheese to whip for 5 to 7 minutes on medium-high. It may look like it’s not going to fluff up but it will. Reduce speed to medium.-low
      Your ingredients do need to be at room temperature as well. Sift the flour either into the cups and level OR sift the flour and spoon into the cups and level. DO NOT PACK THE FLOUR into the cups. The pan needs to be in the middle of the oven, make sure the rack is in the middle of the oven as well.

  10. Followed directions and it turned out as advertised! Moist, flavorful and the crunchy crust is where the magic starts. Definitely will add to my dessert arsenal!

  11. What kind of cake pan are you using to keep the Crunch, or what method was used to keep this shape/look

  12. Can this be made with regular extra fine sugar? What will the specific difference be? Also, is there something that can be added to give it a little more rise?

  13. I have never attempted to bake ANYTHING from scratch and I must say; this turned out to be the best pound cake I ever tasted!!! I followed the recipe to the letter and it tastes AMAZING

    1. I have baked many pound cakes recipes in my lifetime and I can say that this is THE BEST POUND CAKE EVER!!! OMG!!! THE CRISPY CRUST, THE BUTTER FLAVOR, MOIST CAKE…HAD TO STOP MYSELF FROM EATING ANOTHER SLICE!!! THE SUPERFINE SUGAR IS A LITTLE HIGH BUT WORTH IT!!! I had baked this cake for a friend for Thanksgiving and she said it was DELICIOUS AND MOIST. So I made one today, on Thanksgiving Day about two hours ago. It is everything and more. This pound cake will be my top favorites. My hats off to the person that came up with such an amazing recipe!!!! 5☆’s

        1. You can process your sugar in a blender briefly to get it superfine just don’t process it quite into powdered sugar.

  14. Excellent pound cake! I have made it a couple of times now and it is so good! Didn’t change a thing except I used a tube pan.

  15. So upset my cake did not turn out like the picture. I followed recipe exactly. The only thing I changed was I cut the ingredients in half. I have a tube pan that is exacting have as the regular size one, it’s only two of us at home.
    The cake rose beautifully but did not brown and did not have a crunchy top. I only have a hand mixer but I don’t see how that could make this kind of a difference.
    Should it be baked at a higher temp?

    1. I have tried this recipe twice and both times I didn’t achieve a crunchy crust. The cake itself was delicious but I just love the crust🥺

      1. Loaf pans never give you the top that a bundt pan will. They cook too fast for the top to get a bit dried out and give you that amazing texture. I swear by staring with a cold oven to get a better crusty top as well and using a large bundt pan that will give you a hour plus baking time.

    2. If you are using a full-sized tube pan, but filling it only halfway, the top of your cake will be baking way down inside the pan rather than being exposed to the drier hot air circulating in your oven. To get a crispy crust on a half-recipe, you’ll need to use a smaller pan that allows the top of the cake to reach closer to the top of the pan.

  16. OMG just delish! Love your recipe. I’ve made many through the years. This was my first with superfine sugar. Moist inside. Great crunchy crust. Taste is perfection.😍

    But I totally expected it to be great. I use your recipes a lot. Also a fan! Happy 4th🎊

  17. Is 6oz of cream cheese correct? As the package is 8oz…. just wanting to make sure!
    6oz ends up being about 3/4 cup.

  18. This is by far the best pound cake recipe. Has all the elements I was looking for. Crunchy top, moist, not too sweet and oh so very light. I followed directions as to processing my sugar and sifting my flour prior to measuring it. I did add little lemon zest for a special zing and used butter flavored extract. Love this re pie. Mine took one hour and 30 min to bake

    1. Yes, but the texture will be slightly different. If you have a food processor, you can make superfine sugar from granulated sugar. Google it and you will find instructions.

    2. Superfine sugar is very hard to find anymore.
      I used my food processor and it took a few min. but it turned out great. Only thing is you have to remeasure your sugar as it fluffs it up.

  19. Could you tell me how to get the outsides of the pound cake crunchy not as crunchy as the top but crunchy too.

  20. Hey! I am wanting to make this cake for a customer this evening. Can I use organic pure cane sugar instead?

  21. Not sure where my comment went… here goes again.

    I’m not a big cake eater but I love pound cake! I always make it with butter, eggs, flour, whole milk, baking powder, salt, vanilla extract and maybe lemon zest or a little almond extract.

    I’ve never made one with cream cheese. It seems odd to me. What does the cream cheese add?

    1. A recipe from King Arthur flour says bake in a loaf pan at 350° for 60 min.
      You might put a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the prepared loaf pan to make sure the bottom does not stick in the pan.
      Cover the top with foil if the top gets too brown.

  22. Followed the recipe exactly as written. It was delicious!!! The cook time was spot on for anyone that was questioning the low baking temp.

    1. I just baked this cake and followed the instructions to the t and it turned out wonderful! It takes it awhile to start rising but it’s a beautiful cake when dome. My oven was set on 300 degrees and I baked it for 90 minutes. I buttered and greased my tube pan very generously and it flipped right out perfectly! Thanks Kristin for this recipe. I will definitely be making it many more times in the future.

      1. I’m not a big cake eater but I love pound cake! I always make it with butter, eggs, flour, whole milk, baking powder, salt, vanilla extract and maybe lemon zest or a little almond extract.

        I’ve never made one with cream cheese. It seems odd to me. What does the cream cheese add?

      2. I’ve made this cake before and it was very good with that crunchy crust. Always bake at 350 for 1hr to 1hr and 15 minutes until ice pick comes out clean.

        1. The cream cheese adds flavor and, in my opinion, also adds moisture to the cake! THIS is the recipe I’ve been looking for forever!! My Big Mama used to make one just like this!!

  23. This put me right back in my mom’s kitchen.
    It is so nice and moist and the crackling crust is delightful.
    This will become the staple base for me.

  24. I was anxious to try this recipe, I used a hand mixer instead and I used Spenda sugar, and my cake didn’t rise, maybe that’s why. I was disappointed.

    1. Yes, I did. Follow directions on cake flour box for amount. It must be precise. 1st time It was dry because I measured messy. 2nd time moist miraculous deliciousness.

  25. This is now my go to pound cake, I add half tsp almond extract and it taste amazing. The cracked top it’s my favorite part. I also made homemade caramel frosting and this was the cherry on top. Love this recipe

  26. Hi, I made this beautiful cake today, and it was everything it looked to be. I followed the directions to a T, except I sifted my flour to add a little extra air. The cake was buttery, and good and it had all the little layers like yours in the picture I was so excited when I sliced the first piece and saw that. It had all of that beautiful crunchy crust on top. My family lived it, thank you for sharing.

    1. Anything baked that slow with no levening will not rise to the cracks stage. You can do two things for the fix. Add baking soda or powder and still bake slow and low or up the temperature for the first 45 min to 350’. If you use sour cream instead of half n half it will react with the protein enzyme in eggs and salt to create a crispier crust also. … it causes the glucose to concentrate at the edge.

        1. My family and I lived this cake ! I added 1 tablespoon if cooking oil, 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract, 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract and 1/4 cup of buttermilk . Buttered and floured my tube pan and moved my center oven rack down one. Perfection! Going to make it again today. Yumm! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

        2. Sorry, Judy, IMHO, you are wrong on this. Baked exactly like the recipe said – no baking powder/soda – it rose beautifully and was perfect! Great top!

      1. Wish I had read this comment before baking. I did not get that good crust. The crust lifted up but the cake did not AND my cake has been in the oven 1h 50 minutes and is still not cooked through.

  27. This recipe looks and sounds really good, I am going to try it. I am trying all kinds of new pound cake recipes. I’ve been looking for a remake of my grandnothers actually, that is a dense Pound cake recipe. With the flaky topping. Which uses Crisco shortening. Butter flavoring, vanilla extract, no milk, it’s soo good. I lost the recipe, and been searching for for so long. Yours looks like it, ingredients aren’t the same. I’m going to try yours though, as I do love a pound cake anytime !! Have a great day 💕

    1. Susan-Rose, I have a dense pound cake recipe that uses shortening. It is my Mom’s recipe. She is 87. If you are interested, you can email me I don’t want to hijack this post. I tried this recipe and it was wonderful!

  28. Can I run regular sugar through the food processor to make it fine or is “superfine” a separate form of sugar I have to buy, I which case….hmmmm…..

  29. I just wondered if you can provide a link to where I can purchase a 14-cup bundt pan? I have a 12 cup. Maybe Amazon? Thank you!

  30. Would this recipe work in a 12 cup capacity bundt pan? Or, maybe two 8X4 loaf pans? TBH, I didn’t know 14 cup bundt pans existed, and I’m afraid if I try it with my 12 cup, I’ll have a mess in my oven! Please advise.

    1. Yes, it should be a 12-cup Bundt pan. I will fix the instructions. It’s always a good idea to place your bundt pan on a rimmed baking sheet if it looks like the batter could possible overflow.

  31. I’m definitely trying your pound cake recipe! However, we love my old pound cake recipe . It’s Dense a nd doesn’t crumble except the crunchy goodness on top. It’s a Solid cake, not fluffy inside.
    Your sounds great and will be my next one to make. Thank you for your recipe.

    1. Hi Sandy, is there anyway I could get your pound cake recipe recipe as well ? I am going to also make this one. The one you’re talking about, my grandmother made a dense. Pound cake, flaky on top, as you’re talking about, sounds like the very same one. I’ve lost her recipe. Could you share that one too please ? Thanks ladies !!! 💕

    2. Yes, I would love your recipe, too! This recipe was a really good cake, but to me, it is not pound cake. Still loved it!

    1. Half and half that people put in coffee. Its in the cooler with the milk at most local grocery stores. Hope that answered your question.

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