Ahhhh….glorious, buttery, rich, and delicious Vanilla Cream Cheese Pound Cake. The recipe is one of my favorite’s from none other than the Barefoot Contessa herself, Ina Garten. I just love her food and this one is a classic and it’s definitely the best pound cake I’ve ever had. I make it all the time and have shared the recipe with many friends and it’s a favorite of theirs as well.
One of the things that make this pound cake so special is the slightly crunchy exterior created by coating the loaf pan with some Turbinado Sugar. Turbinado sugar, also called Demerara Sugar, is a darker less refined sugar. It’s large crystals are what gives the pound cake a little bit of crunch…so yummy! I spray the loaf pans with Baker’s Joy, which is a baking spray that already contains flour. After you liberally spray the pans coat them with the Turbinado Sugar.
Of course the premier ingredient in this Vanilla Cream Cheese Pound Cake is the vanilla…it takes both vanilla bean and vanilla extract, and makes the cake extra delicious.
To make your batter, start by creaming the butter and cream cheese together with an electric mixer until light and creamy, 2-3 minutes. Then add eggs one at time, allowing the egg to incorporate and scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla beans an vanilla extract and mix until blended.
Now for the dry ingredients. So…this recipe calls for cake flour. I don’t know about you, but I rarely have cake flour in my pantry. There is an easy trick to making your own cake flour. For every cup of all purpose flour, remove two tablespoons of flour and replace it with two tablespoons of corn starch. Then sift the flour and cornstarch mixture, twice. The cornstarch swap removes some of the gluten and the sifting lightens up the flour and will result in a tender cake. Fill each pan, level off the batter, and bake at 325º for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted to the center of the cake comes out clean.
This recipe makes two cakes. We’ll usually eat one right away and I’ll wrap the other one in plastic wrap and put it in a ziploc bag and store it in the freezer. It freezes very well and you have a wonderful dessert waiting for you to use at the spur of the moment. It’s perfect with a cup of coffee for breakfast!!
These cakes are great on their own but are the perfect base for my Very Berry Cheesecake Trifle. Check it out…you’ll definitely want to try this recipe!
If you would rather bake three smaller pound cakes than two larger ones, just buy the smaller sized aluminum foil loaf pans and follow the same process.
Ina’s Vanilla Cream Cheese Pound Cake
- 3 sticks butter softened
- 8 oz. pkg cream cheese
- 2 ½ cups sugar
- 6 eggs
- 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 vanilla bean
- 3 cups cake flour (see notes for substitution)
- 1 tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch metal loaf pans with the baking spray and sprinkle the insides of the pans with the demerara sugar, tilting the pans to cover evenly.
- Place the butter, cream cheese, and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes, until light and creamy. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula to be sure it's well mixed. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the bowl before adding the next egg. Mix in the vanilla extract and vanilla seeds.
- Combine the cake flour and salt in a medium bowl. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, scraping down the bowl and beater with a rubber spatula. Mix the batter with the spatula to be sure it's well mixed. Divide the batter evenly between the two loaf pans, smooth the tops, and bake in the center of the oven for 60 to 70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean.
- Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then carefully turn them out and cool completely on a baking rack.
If you want to see Ina’s video for how to make these delicious Vanilla Cream Cheese Pound Cakes on the Food Network click here.