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Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Cream Cheese Pound Cake is one delicious way to treat yourself to dessert. This classic pound cake is one to make all year round.

Two white plates with slices of cream cheese pound cake garnished with whipped cream and fresh berries

Pound cake. For some reason, every single time I think of pound cake I think of little old grandmas and Sara Lee. Why?

I have no idea, it’s just a thing. I also don’t make a lot of pound cake.

Not that I have anything against it, it just always seemed kinda mundane to me next to the best chocolate cake or pumpkin crunch cake. If your thoughts on pound cake are at all similar to what mine were, allow me to change your mind.

This Cream Cheese Pound Cake will open up a brand new world of pound cake consideration and will literally have you secretly escaping to the kitchen to nibble on it.

Pound cake lightly dusted with powdered sugar on a cooling rack

WHAT IS POUND CAKE?

If you aren’t that familiar with pound cake, you might be wondering where it gets its name.

Traditionally, pound cake is made with 1 pound each of 4 ingredients:

  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Eggs

Because there isn’t any baking powder or baking soda in it, pound cake is very dense with a tight crumb.

Different variations on pound cakes have emerged over the years to add to the original 4-ingredient classic pound cake recipe. Heck, I even have a 7UP Pound Cake recipe that uses lemon-lime soda! 

This Cream Cheese Pound Cake is one of my favorite variations. 

A magical crust develops on the top of this cake that’s so incredible, I seriously wanted to slice the top off (well, actually the bottom once you flip it) and keep it all to myself.

Yes, it is that good.

My version of this cake is strongly lemony – the recipe calls for the zest of four lemons. But feel free to try lime zest or even orange zest. They’d both be fantastic in this cake.

Cream cheese pound cake with several slices removed

HOW TO MAKE CREAM CHEESE POUND CAKE

One of the best things about Cream Cheese Pound Cake is that it’s not a fussy cake. To start, grease and flour a bundt pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream room temperature butter and softened cream cheese until smooth.

In a medium bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest and mix them together with your fingertips until the sugar is moistened and fragrant. I use this trick all of the time – it really helps infuse the oils from the citrus zest throughout the final cake.

Cream cheese pound cake dusted with powdered sugar on a marble counter

Add the sugar mixture gradually to the butter and cream cheese and beat on medium speed until light fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Don’t be tempted to cheat and mix it for less time. You definitely want to mix the butter and sugar thoroughly; it’ll help the final cake to not be quite as dense.

Finally, add eggs two at a time, beating well with each addition. Add the flour all at once and mix it in, followed  by the vanilla, and mix thoroughly.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes, but start checking for doneness at 1 hour. The cake is done when a toothpick or thin skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cream cheese pound cake slices laying on a counter in front of the rest of the pound cake, dusted with powdered sugar

HOW TO SERVE THIS CREAM CHEESE POUND CAKE

Cream Cheese Pound Cake is tangy, sweet, and yet simple. That means there are lots of ways you can serve it! 

Pound cake is one of those things that’s perfect for toting along to outdoor parties. It doesn’t need refrigeration on its own, it pairs exceptionally well with fruit or fruit sauces, and it travels easily.

It’s really perfect for summer barbecues and even better if you toss it on the grill for a few minutes and serve with fresh summer fruit like raspberries or grilled pineapple.

If you’ve never tried grilled pound cake, you’ve really got to try it with this recipe. You know how garlic bread gets ten times more awesome when you throw it on the grill? Pound cake does the same darn thing.

But it’s just as good with a dusting of powdered sugar or a dollop of homemade whipped cream as it is with Grand Marnier soaked strawberries. Any way you serve it, I’m betting it will be hit!

Overhead view of a cream cheese pound cake on a cooling rack
Two white plates with slices of cream cheese pound cake garnished with whipped cream and fresh berries

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

Cream Cheese Pound Cake is one delicious way to treat yourself to dessert. This classic pound cake is one to make all year round.

Ingredients

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • zest of 4 lemons
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a 10 inch bundt pan.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest and mix together with your fingertips until the sugar is moistened and fragrant. Add the sugar mixture gradually to the butter and beat on medium speed until light fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add eggs two at a time, beating well with each addition. Add the flour all at once and mix in. Add vanilla and mix thoroughly.
  5. Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 325°F for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Check for doneness at 1 hour. A toothpick inserted into center of cake will come out clean.

Notes

  • Store cake at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • Recipe adapted from allrecipes.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 12 Serving Size 1 slice
Amount Per Serving Calories 566Total Fat 27gSaturated Fat 16gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 156mgSodium 48mgCarbohydrates 77gFiber 2gSugar 51gProtein 7g

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Elizabeth

Monday 15th of July 2019

Would this work well in a sheet cake form? Would you change anything baking if i were to do it in a sheet cake pan? Want to cut it into circles for individual strawberry shortcake type desserts.

Jamie

Monday 15th of July 2019

Hello! I haven't attempted this recipe as a sheet cake, so I am not sure of the result. If you happen to give it a try, I'd love to know how it turned out. Thanks so much for stopping by. -Jamie

Cake Addicted

Friday 18th of January 2019

Thanks Jamie for your reply! How much sugar do you think I can safely leave out without affecting the recipe?

Jamie

Tuesday 22nd of January 2019

Hello - Without having done it myself, I unfortunately can't say for sure. If you try it again, I'd love to know how it turns out. Happy baking! Jamie

Cake Addicted

Thursday 17th of January 2019

I tried this cake 2 weeks ago and it was a HIT! I want to try it next week again for a farewell party at work and have 2 questions Jamie: 1. Last time I reduced Sugar by 1 cup. The taste was great and so the cosistency. However, i had glowy greasy line in the cake. I did overbeaten the batter before and after adding the flour. Do you think this is the reason or it is the Sugar amount.

2. I would like to try it this time with raisin. Have you tried it before? Do you think it would work or would they sink to the bottom of the cake? Any advice? Thanks Alot for the great recipe!!

Jamie

Thursday 17th of January 2019

So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe! Changing the amount of sugar, especially by that amount, will definite have an effect on the final recipe, so I would imagine that may have been the issue. I have never made it with that much sugar left out, though, so I can't say for sure. I have not tried adding raisins, but I think you should give it a try. A trick to keeping dried fruits, etc, from all sinking to the bottom of cakes, breads, etc, is to take 1-2 tablespoons of the flour and stir it up with the fruit you'd like to add. Then fold in the fruit before baking. Hope this helps! Happy baking. Jamie

Jane

Monday 30th of April 2018

Hi.  Can I use a normal round or square cake pan instead?  Thanks. 

Jamie

Tuesday 1st of May 2018

Jane- Hello! You can definitely use a different pan, you will just need to adjust the baking time accordingly. I haven't tried this cake in either of the pan sizes you mentioned, so I am not sure how to guide you regarding the baking time. Thanks so much! -Jamie

Dawn

Wednesday 21st of February 2018

No baking powder right?? I want to make sure I was reading the recipe correctly

Jamie

Wednesday 21st of February 2018

You are correct, Dawn. No baking powder. Happy Baking! -Jamie

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