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The very best cream cheese pound cake is a classic Southern dessert that has been loved for generations! It’s rich, buttery, and dense, with a moist crumb and a beautiful golden brown exterior. Perfect for Christmas, Easter, fresh summer strawberries, or weekly Sunday suppers!

Old fashioned cream cheese pound cake sliced on a plate on a cake stand
Table of Contents
  1. The Secret to a Good Pound Cake
  2. Ingredients
  3. How to Make a Cream Cheese Pound Cake
  4. Serving Suggestions
  5. Storage
  6. Recipe Variations
  7. Tips for the Best Cream Cheese Pound Cake Recipe
  8. Cream Cheese Pound Cake Recipe

Few desserts are more classically Southern than a cream cheese pound cake recipe! Every home cook should have a delicious and easy go-to cake that she can always turn to when hosting a party or serving a special Sunday dinner, and this moist cake always delivers.

It has that crisp exterior and soft, buttery crumb that we all know and love, maintaining the dense pound cake texture without feeling dry or crumbly. Add plenty of warm vanilla extract, a dash of almond extract, and a dusting of powdered sugar, and this treat is totally over the top. Simple dessert perfection!

Process shot showing how to make a cream cheese pound cake

The Secret to a Good Pound Cake

The best cream cheese pound cake recipe should be light, with a finely textured, moist, and even crumb. It should have a firm, crispy crust that serves as a beautiful contrast to the soft, buttery inside. Finally, the cake should boast a rich flavor, which is why this recipe calls for so much vanilla extract in addition to the almond extract.

Here are a few important tips to guarantee a moist cream cheese pound cake every time:
  • Room temperature ingredients: starting with room temperature ingredients makes it easier to cream the butter, sugar, cream cheese, and eggs. This ensures maximum volume and lift for your cake.
  • Real butter: always use real butter (not margarine or other substitutes) for the proper fat content and texture.
  • Cold oven: by cooking the cake at a lower temperature for a longer period of time, you achieve an extra-deep brown, thicker, more flavorful crust — a product of the Maillard reaction and caramelization of the sugars in the batter.
  • Store at room temperature: wrapped tightly, the pound cake will stay fresh at room temperature for 4-5 days. It actually gets better as it sits! While refrigerating the cake will extend its shelf life, this can also alter the texture of the cake.
Adding flour to a bowl of cream cheese pound cake in a stand mixer

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for an old fashioned cream cheese pound cake. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Granulated sugar: for just the right amount of sweetness.
  • Salted butter: for rich flavor and moist texture.
  • Cream cheese: use a block of full-fat Philadelphia cream cheese that’s softened at room temperature. Do not use whipped cream cheese or spreadable cream cheese from a tub.
  • Eggs: give the cake structure and lift.
  • Cake flour: such as Swans Down brand. The cake flour (rather than all-purpose flour) gives the cake a more tender crumb, and an extra-light, extra-fluffy texture.
  • Kosher salt: just enough to balance the sweetness in the cake. The cream cheese and the butter have salt in them, so you don’t need to add too much extra.
  • Pure vanilla extract: for rich, warm flavor.
  • Almond extract: adds a slightly fruity taste. So delicious — don’t skip it!
Pound cake batter in a Bundt pan

What does cream cheese do in baking?

A pound cake with cream cheese is one of the best desserts out there! The cream cheese helps the cake stay moist and dense, similar to how sour cream or yogurt add moisture to baked goods. This ingredient also contributes flavor and richness, since it’s slightly salty, very creamy, and full of fat (a key to delicious pound cake).

Dusting pound cake with powdered sugar

How to Make a Cream Cheese Pound Cake

This easy cream cheese pound cake comes together with just a handful of very simple ingredients. Bake it in advance and enjoy the cake for days — when hosting holiday gatherings, sipping tea with a friend who drops by, or at a large church potluck. No matter the season or the occasion, this dessert is always well received!

  1. Mix together the batter with an electric mixer, scraping the sides of the bowl regularly.
  2. Pour the batter into a Bundt pan or tube pan.
  3. Place in a cold oven, turn the temperature to 300°F, and bake for about 2 hours.
  4. Let the cake cool, then slice and serve!
Hands serving a plate of cream cheese pound cake

Why does my cream cheese pound cake fall?

There are a few different reasons your pound cake may fall:

  • Too much leavening (such as baking soda or baking powder). You don’t have any of that in this recipe, so no worries! The cake gets its lift from the creamed butter and sugar, as well as the eggs.
  • Don’t overbeat the eggs. Once you’ve added the eggs to the cake batter, be careful not to overbeat them. This can cause the batter to overflow the sides of the pan, or might create a fragile crust that crumbles and separates from the cake as it cools.
  • Opening the oven door too soon. Keep the oven door closed until the minimum baking time has elapsed. If the cake requires more baking, gently close the oven door as soon as possible after testing to prevent jarring and loss of heat—both can cause a cake to fall if it’s not completely done.
Overhead shot of a sliced cream cheese pound cake on a wooden table

Serving Suggestions

The best pound cake recipe is absolutely delicious served plain, with just a dusting of powdered sugar. That said, you can make it even fancier with some fresh berries (or other fresh fruit) on the side and a dollop of whipped cream! You can never go wrong with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, caramel icing, or a simple lemon glaze.

Square side shot of a southern cream cheese pound cake on a cake stand

Storage

  • The pound cake will stay fresh when covered at room temperature for 4-5 days — it does not need to be refrigerated. To extend the life of your cake, wrap it tightly and store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • How to Store Pound Cake: For the refrigerator or countertop, you can just wrap the cake tightly with plastic wrap. For the freezer, I recommend a layer of plastic wrap, followed by another layer of aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn.
  • The cake is best when prepared 1 day in advance. The flavors come together and it gets more moist as it rests!
Side shot of a sliced Southern cream cheese pound cake on a cake stand

Recipe Variations

  • Instead of powdered sugar, finish the cake with a drizzle of caramel icing, lemon glaze, or vanilla glaze.
  • The flavor of the almond extract is subtle in this cake. If you’d like a more prominent almond flavor, increase the almond extract to ¾ teaspoon.
  • If you don’t have a Bundt pan or a tube pan, you can use 2 (8 ½ x 4 ½-inch) loaf pans. Alternatively, cut the ingredients in half to make just 1 loaf cake.
  • If using unsalted butter, add an extra ½ teaspoon – ¾ teaspoon of salt to the batter.
Close up front shot of cream cheese pound cake on a white plate

Tips for the Best Cream Cheese Pound Cake Recipe

  • Grease the pan really well and then coat with flour, or use a nonstick baking spray.
  • Use a block of full-fat cream cheese. Do not use spreadable cream cheese from a tub or whipped cream cheese for this recipe.
  • Properly measure the flour by spooning the flour into the cup and lightly leveling with the straight edge of a knife. Packing the measuring cup too tightly and using too much flour will result in a dry cake.
  • Make sure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature so that they blend together smoothly, resulting in a pound cake with maximum volume.
  • Cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, at least 3-4 minutes. Whipping this air into the batter will help the cake rise during baking.
  • Don’t leave the cake in the pan for too long after baking — about 10-15 minutes is plenty. After that, condensation will start to form and the moisture will negatively impact the crust.
Front shot of a wooden cake stand with an easy cream cheese pound cake on it

More Pound Cake Recipes to Try

Vanilla Pound Cake Recipe with Caramel Icing

4 hrs 50 mins

Chocolate Pound Cake

3 hrs 55 mins

7UP Pound Cake

3 hrs 40 mins

Square side shot of a southern cream cheese pound cake on a cake stand

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

5 from 6 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 2 hours
Cooling Time 10 minutes
Total: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 16 people
Calories 459 kcal
Rich, buttery, and dense, with a moist crumb and golden exterior, this classic Southern cream cheese pound cake recipe is truly the best!

Equipment

Ingredients
  

Instructions

  • Grease and lightly flour a tube pan or Bundt pan; set aside. Do not preheat oven.
  • In a large bowl, use the paddle attachment on an electric stand mixer to cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the cream cheese; beat until smooth, about 30 seconds. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl periodically.
    Process shot showing how to make a cream cheese pound cake
  • Gradually add the flour, mixing on low speed after each addition, and scraping the bowl as needed. Mix just until combined, about 1 minute total.
    Adding flour to a bowl of cream cheese pound cake in a stand mixer
  • Add the salt, vanilla extract, and almond extract; beat until smooth.
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Tap it a couple of times on the counter to release any big air bubbles.
    Pound cake batter in a Bundt pan
  • Place the pan on a rack in the lower third of the cold oven. Shut the oven, and turn the temperature to 300°F. Bake the cake until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour and 50 minutes – 2 hours.
  • Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert on a serving plate or wire rack to cool completely.
  • Dust with powdered sugar, then slice and serve.
    Dusting pound cake with powdered sugar

Notes

  • Grease the pan really well and then coat with flour, or use a nonstick baking spray.
  • Use a block of full-fat cream cheese. Do not use spreadable cream cheese from a tub or whipped cream cheese for this recipe.
  • Properly measure the flour by spooning the flour into the cup and lightly leveling with the straight edge of a knife. Packing the measuring cup too tightly and using too much flour will result in a dry cake.
  • Make sure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature so that they blend together smoothly, resulting in a pound cake with maximum volume.
  • Cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, at least 3-4 minutes. Whipping this air into the batter will help the cake rise during baking.
  • Don’t leave the cake in the pan for too long after baking — about 10-15 minutes is plenty. After that, condensation will start to form and the moisture will negatively impact the crust.
  • Recipe adapted from Southern Living.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 459kcalCarbohydrates: 55gProtein: 6gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 14gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 121mgSodium: 224mgPotassium: 73mgFiber: 1gSugar: 38gVitamin A: 812IUCalcium: 32mgIron: 1mg
Keyword: cream cheese pound cake, pound cake recipe with cream cheese, southern cream cheese pound cake
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Southern
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

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Comments

    1. Hi, MaryAnne! I’ve never baked with gluten-free flour, so I’m not sure. If there’s a 1:1 gluten-free cake flour substitute, or a 1:1 all-purpose GF flour substitute that you can use to make your own cake flour, then it would probably work fine.

      1. 5 stars
        Made this on Xmas Eve. All I can is “oh hell yeah!”. I’m a pound cake affectionado, and this absolutely the best recipe I’ve ever tasted. I had to hold my wife back from devouring it. Thanks for sharing and the Swans cake flour suggestion.

  1. Hi! This is a great recipe but when doubling and tripling the recipe, the butter content doesn’t change. Is this correct??

    1. Hi, Belinda! That doubling and tripling function is automatically done by the recipe card software, so it’s not always perfect. If the butter doesn’t double with the rest of the ingredients, then you’ll just need to calculate that on your own. I don’t know why it isn’t working. Definitely keep all of the ingredients in the same proportions to bake additional cakes. 🙂

      1. Hi Blair,
        I’m about to make this cake and I’m double checking that the cake will turn out in a glass loaf pan (2) like it would in a bundt pan.
        Thanks!

        1. Hi, Lisa! A glass pan will not conduct heat quite as well as a metal Bundt pan, so the crust probably will not be quite as nice. You’ll definitely need 2 loaf pans to accommodate the batter. Hope that helps!

    1. Hi, Bobbi! I just tested it again, and it seems to be printing fine. I would double-check your connection or settings on your computer.

      1. Absolutely! I always use a block of full-fat Philadelphia cream cheese. I don’t recommend the spreadable tubs of cream cheese.

    1. Absolutely! I always use a block of full-fat Philadelphia cream cheese. I don’t recommend the spreadable tubs of cream cheese.

    1. Hi, Renie! No, I would stick with real butter for a pound cake. Otherwise the texture of the cake is likely to be off.

  2. Hi Blair,
    I am back with another question. OK so I went to the store to get real butter and with my luck they only had unsalted butter and I was too tired to go to another store. Can you please tell me how I can adjust the salt for this recipe using the unsalted butter? Anxiously waiting for your reply, Renie

    1. Hi, Renie! I would add an extra 3/4 teaspoon of salt to the batter in order to account for the unsalted butter. 🙂

  3. I’d love to try this recipe, but don’t like the taste of almond extract. Can I just increase the vanilla or should I simply omit the almond? Thanks…

  4. 5 stars
    I made 2 weeks ago and again today. Following recipe except the almond. First one, I added pure orange extract and this one will be strawberry and real chopped berries. For the glaze, I have my own favorite made with butter & heavy whipping cream. I fold the zest or berries in it and it’s thicker so doesn’t disappear 2 seconds after being applied. This was a definite winner & love discovering Swans Down. I’ll still continue to just doctor my boxed cakes for ease but if I want the extra work, it’s awesome.

  5. 5 stars
    Haven’t tried it yet but it looks delicious! I was curious about the amount of vanilla extract though…1.5 tablespoons seems like a lot!

    1. That’s the correct amount! It’s a big cake, and the vanilla adds wonderful flavor. Of course, you can use less if you like. Totally up to you — the baker! 🙂