The original pound cake appeared in America’s first cookbook and was made with one pound each of butter, sugar, eggs and flour. Now that’s a lot of cake! Vintage recipes also suggest separating egg yolks from whites and whipping the whites to stiff peaks before folding them into the cake batter. We tested and didn’t feel this extra effort was worth the pay-off. We've scaled down the ingredients and the work involved to make a showpiece cake that is perfect for your next family gathering. The key is the sour cream, which balances the sweetness and ensures your cake remains soft for days! This pound cake is moist, dense and dangerously buttery.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a coated 10- to 14-cup Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray and dust with flour, making sure to coat all the details of the pan. Invert the pan and shake out any excess.
Add the butter to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the granulated sugar and beat on medium-high speed until very light and fluffy, about 4 minutes more. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add the sour cream and vanilla and mix on medium speed until incorporated.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add to the butter mixture in 2 parts and mix on low speed until just incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, using a rubber spatula to smooth the top into an even layer.
Bake until golden brown and crackly on the surface and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out almost clean with just a few crumbs, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Invert onto a cooling rack and cool completely before removing the pan. The cake will contract while it cools, making it easier to remove.
Sprinkle the cake with confectioners' sugar. Top each slice with fresh berries if using.
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