In addition to Sarah sending me The Sweet Spot link, she recently emailed me a Cream Cheese Pound Cake recipe link. I think she sent it as a dare. Or maybe because she wanted me to bring some for sharing to swim lessons. Or maybe just because she knew that some day I’d be looking for something new for Sunday dinner dessert and I would have all of the ingredients on hand, which is what happened last week. And even though we had it last week, my husband asked for it again this week as his birthday cake. I think that is a great endorsement for a successful recipe.
The cream cheese makes this a slight twist on a traditional pound cake. As described in the original recipe, it adds “tang” and I think it also might add moisture, because this is not a dry pound cake. It is also not a birthday cake sort of cake texture.
If you have cream cheese, the other ingredients just a handful of standard baking pantry items. Check if you have a bunch of eggs before you start, because you’ll need half a dozen in this recipe.
The recipe comes from one of Sarah’s favorite places on the internet, a blog called Orangette. Sarah loves the content as well as the cleanliness and layout of the website. Because the website is so clean, I can’t really send you directly to the recipe, so I’m going to reprint it here. But make sure to check out Orangette some time. The original recipe is here, under May 2013, and you’ll need to scroll down. We have no affiliation with Orangette, other than Sarah’s die hard fanship, but I recommend clicking over there and I do not take the recipe credit.
Like Molly, the author of Orangette, I’m not a pound cake person. I’m not really a cake person. Meaning that I’m neither made of cake, nor enjoy cake all that much. But I love baking and I like sweet things, and making this covers both categories, so I am a fan of this recipe, and it is so simple, I’m fairly certain you will be a fan of it too.
I thought for sure I would want to put some sort of glaze on this cake. But once I tasted it, I found it to be plenty sweet on its own, yet it is not crazy sweet. My family agreed that it did not need a glaze or frosting of any sort, which isn’t something kids would normally choose. I might make this again with half of the sugar so I can put a frosting or glaze on top. The second time I made it I cut the sugar and substituted 1 cup of all-purpose flour for white whole wheat flour and the cake came out similar tasting.
It was also hard making this the first time not to add even a little lemon zest to the recipe, but since I was following through on Sarah’s dare, I contained myself and made the recipe without it. I’m glad I didn’t add it. The cream cheese adds enough flavor. My daughter who does not like cream cheese at all, tasted this (before my son announced the secret that it had cream cheese) and liked it.
I made the recipe almost as described in Orangette. I added more vanilla, cut some sugar, forgot to grease and flour the pans, didn’t trim my parchment pretty, and my oven took longer to bake. I didn’t have the patience to let the cakes get quite as beautifully crispy and baked on top as the original, and I have a phobia of dry baked goods so I ended up taking it out at a light golden brown, which was still longer than the recommended bake time and it still had a nice outer crust and moist inside.
This cake would be great topped or eaten with things you top pound cakes with. We topped ours with fresh berries and whipped cream. I liked raspberries on top in particular. Stuff like berries, chocolate, fresh whipped cream, ice cream, jam, a cup of coffee, or any combination of those things could top this cake. Cutting back the sugar and adding a fruity or boozy glaze might be fantastic.
The cake comes together very quickly and easily with few steps and would make a quick and easy hostess gift. The original recipe says it freezes exceptionally well.
Thank you, Sarah!
Orangette Cream Cheese Pound Cake
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 8 oz. package of cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 6 large eggs, room temperature (I put mine in a bowl of warm water for about 5 minutes)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans with parchment paper and/or grease and flour the pans.
- Mix together the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl (flour, salt, baking powder).
- Mix the butter and cream cheese in a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides. Add in the sugar and whip it up, scraping down the sides as needed.
- With the mixer running, add in the eggs one at a time, and then the vanilla. Mix until everything is well combined.
- With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients in three batches until just combined.
- Separate the batter evenly into the prepared loaf pans and bake until golden brown and a toothpick stuck into the center comes out dry. This can take anywhere from 55 minutes to 75 minutes, so start checking at about 50 minutes.
- Remove the pans from the oven and cool slightly in the pans before lifting out to cool on a wire rack.