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Just-baked pound cake on a cooling rack.

Better Than Classic Pound Cake (One Bowl, Hand Mixed)

  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf


From Deb Perelman’s latest book, Smitten Kitchen Keepers


  • You need a 6-cup loaf pan for this. I use this 9×5-inch USA Loaf Pan (1.25 lb), which works beautifully, but if you are using a smaller one, you may want to not use all the batter. Deb suggests scooping out some of the batter and baking a mini cake muffin or two. 
  • You can also bake the batter in mini loaf pans. I used three of these, but depending on the size of your mini pans (which come in many different sizes), you may need more or less. 
  • You could also use disposable pans such as these, which also come in various sizes, so do measure before ordering.  
  • Because the recipe calls for turbinado sugar in addition to granulated sugar, I tried sprinkling it over the surface of one of the mini cakes I baked, but in the end, I preferred the look of the cake topped with granulated sugar. 


  • 1 cup (225 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 cup (200 g) plus 1 tablespoon (15 g) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (110 g) turbinado or packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (6 g) kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup (240 g) sour cream
  • 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (use the smaller amount if you’re using vanilla bean paste, too)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, optional
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups (260 g) all-purpose flour


  1. Heat the oven to 350ºF (175ºC). Coat a 6-cup (see notes above) loaf pan well with nonstick spray or butter, and line with a sling of parchment paper that extends up the two long sides. 
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, 1 cup granulated sugar, all of the turbinado sugar, and the salt. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition. Add the sour cream, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean paste, if using, and whisk until smooth. Sprinkle the baking powder over the surface of the batter, and whisk many more times than are needed to make it disappear (to ensure it is very well dispersed through the batter). Add the flour, and stir with a spatula until just combined. 
  3. Scrape the batter into the loaf pan, and drop the pan on the counter a couple of times to release any trapped air. Smooth the top, and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (see notes above). 
  4. Bake for 1 hour and 10 to 15 minutes, until a skewer inserted all over comes out batter free. If you are baking in mini loaf pans, start checking after 30 minutes. Depending on the size of your pan, it will take more or less time after that. My three minis were done in about 42 minutes total. Let it cool in the pan. Run a knife along the short sides of the cake, and use the parchment sling to remove the cake for slicing. 
  5. Store the cake at room temperature for 5 days. Deb stores it in its loaf pan with the top uncovered so that it stays crisp. She presses a piece of foil against the cut side of the loaf only.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 70 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Amerian

Keywords: sour cream, vanilla, one bowl, pound, cake