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Crème fraiche pound cake

Wed, 7 July, 2021

Not a big deal – this is only the best pound cake ever baked. It’s both rich and fluffy, it melts in your mouth, and it has this amazingly satisfying quality of a pound cake: velvety and smooth.

creme fraiche pound cake

Two tins or one?

By all means bake just one loaf cake using a standard sized tin. I fancied using my mini half-loaf ones, plus I intended to share one little cake with The Weather Man on the weekend and to freeze the other. There’s no better feeling than the knowledge that you have cake in the freezer, ready to eat within a few hours.

It did not happen quite like that. The first of the cakes was gone by midday Saturday, with substantial inroads made into the other loaf by Sunday morning. It was simply too tasty, too luxurious and too delightful with the morning coffee.

the best pound cake

Crème fraiche is gorgeous

Crème fraiche is one of my favourite substances in the world (innuendo fully intended). I have never quite gone full debauchery, to get the tub out of the fridge and eat it with a spoon. But it is highly dangerous for me to have the stuff at home because I dollop it onto everything I can: baked potatoes, chilli, tacos, salad, fruit, cake and ice cream.

I sometimes make my own crème fraiche of sorts, which is a lot like the Mexican crema: I mix equal amounts of double and sour cream with a large pinch of salt and a good squeeze of lemon or lime. The concoction then sits on the kitchen worktop for a few hours to thicken, turn tangy and absolutely irresistible. That kind usually goes onto my savoury foods; if you want to try it on desserts, limit the salt to a few grains.

The only thing (substance!) better than that is mascarpone, the Italian crème fraiche. But mascarpone is so dangerously rich (it contains more fat than crème fraiche) that it would feel obscene to dollop it onto all my foods, so I decently manage to only gorge on it in desserts and cakes.

pound cake with creme fraiche

How to make the best pound cake?

The classic pound cake is equal volumes of flour, fat, eggs and sugar, the simplest cake in the world. In this recipe, Melissa Clark’s of NY Times Cooking only reduced on sugar, thankfully with no detriment to the outcome, the measure is approximately one and a half cup of flour, eggs, sugar and the fat in the shape of butter with crème fraiche combined. It works beautifully.

The flour is plain, lightened with addition of cornflour, which is the classic cake flour mix. The eggs, the butter and the crème fraiche should best be at room temperature because we start with beating butter and sugar together.

After the eggs go in the batter invariably curdles which is to be completely ignored – it will become smooth and glossy again once the flour goes in, alternated with the crème fraiche.

Once baked, the cake (or cakes) cools in the tin while you prepare the icing – and it’s luscious and thick made with crème fraiche again. Be generous with vanilla!

creme fraiche pound cake

Varieties of pound cake flavours

So many that life is too short to taste them all. Lemon zest, orange zest, cocoa powder replacing about two tablespoons of flour, green tea powder used in the same manner, baked in a round tin and layered with strawberries and cream or glazed with caramel. In any of those incarnations it will be perfectly delightful.

Crème fraiche pound cake

Servings: 14Time: 1 hour 30 minutes plus cooling
Rating: (2 reviews)


  • 190g (112 cups) plain flour
  • 10g (112 tbsp.) cornflour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 12 tsp fine sea salt
  • 225g (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 220g (1 cup plus 1 tbsp.) caster sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 80ml (13 cup) crème fraîche (or sour cream), at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • For the glaze:
  • 100g (1 cup) icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. crème fraiche


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Butter and flour two small (1 pound) loaf tins (or one regular size, 2 pound).

2. Stir together both flours, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

3. In another, large bowl or the bowl of the standing mixer place the butter and beat it with the sugar until fluffy, pale and voluminous. Add eggs one by one and beat after each one, the mixture will curdle but ignore it.

4. Beat in half the flour amount followed by the crème fraîche and vanilla. Beat in the remaining flour.

cake batter

5. Divide the batter between the two small loaf tins or pour it into the one. Smooth the top and transfer to the oven.

6. Bake for 40-45 minutes for small tins or 55-60 for a large one, or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

cakes in tins

7. Cool in the tins, then run a sharp knife around the edges to unmould the cakes.

8. To make the glaze, beat the crème fraîche and vanilla into icing sugar. Spoon over the tops of the cakes and let it dribble down the sides. Allow 30 minutes for it to set before slicing.

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Your comments

Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Sarah - lovely to hear that! And must try this one with yoghurt too.
3 years ago
I subbed full fat plain yogurt for the creme fraiche with seemingly no issues. Delish! Love this site and your recipes — this is the third one I’ve made, looking forward to trying many more!
3 years ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Gill - better without, the icing might crack and crumble when frozen.
3 years ago
Hi Can you freeze this cake with icing please
3 years ago
So luscious, so intoxicatingly delicious! So perfect alongside our wealth of berries. We have Marion, blue berries, wild blackberries and cherry plum all ready to devour. This cake was such a hit, there are never any leftovers at all. From the babies to the ninety plus crowd! I freely share this with every one that asks for the recipe and they are stunned how simple and gorgeous it is.
3 years ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Barbara - I'm delighted you enjoyed the hot cross buns (any season is good for them). This cake can be baked either in one 2 pound loaf tin (9 x 5 inch) or two 1 pound tins (approx. 7 x 4 inch). Baking time for either is above in point 6. I've updated the recipe instructions too. Hope that helps!
3 years ago
is it possible to be more specific about the tin size , for instance, one pound loaf tin, or 6 or 7 or 8 inch round or, or,or......? P.S. Out of season, but just made the wholemeal hot cross buns. To die for!!! Thanks.
3 years ago

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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