Remember the delicious old-fashioned pound cakes your grandmother used to make from scratch? Like Minnie Lee Croley’s Sour Cream Pound Cake, they were glorious with a thick, crunchy crust and a delicious, dense, and moist interior.
After just one bite, this delicious pound cake will remind you of the timeless classics of your youth.
Who is Minnie Lee Croley?
Minnie Lee Croley was born in 1901 on Page’s Mill Creek in Coffee County, Alabama. She died at the age of 87 and is buried in Gadsden County, Florida. During her life, she was known for her skills as an old-time Southern country cook. This recipe was one of her favorites.
It continues to be a favorite with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Her grandson, Doug Croley, and his wife Dianne have graciously shared this incredible recipe and their memories of Grandmother Croley with me, and have permitted me to share it with you.
According to Doug, the sour cream pound cake his Grandmother Croley baked was a favorite of all the older men in the WP Woodbery Hunt Club in Gadsden County. “They always seemed to be asking my Grandfather Croley to get her to bake it. The men liked to eat it while drinking their coffee – usually black. The Woodbery Hunt Club hunted close to Shady Rest, which is in Gadsden County. But that was a long time ago.”
Doug also reminisced about watching his grandmother make this special treat from scratch when he was a little boy and said he always looked forward to getting to lick the spoon and the bowl once the batter was poured into the pan. His greatest fear was that his grandmother would scrape the mixing bowl too clean, and he wouldn’t have any batter to eat!
Why are they called pound cakes?
They originally got their name because they contained one pound each of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour, but today’s pound cakes are much lighter and smaller than their ancestors.
While this recipe doesn’t call for quite that much richness, this old-fashioned traditional Southern classic does call for a dozen egg yolks, which makes this cake truly one of a kind. You can make it with only six egg yolks, but for the best flavor, you will need the full dozen.
My hope is you will make it today so you can taste why this Southern treasure has stood the test of time and why it remains one of her family’s favorite recipes.
What’s in it:
You will need the following ingredients: butter, sugar, all-purpose flour, sour cream, baking soda, salt, vanilla extract. and a dozen eggs
Six or twelve eggs? You choose:
Mrs. Croley’s original recipe’s instructions said to add six egg yolks. But she included in the parentheses the following note: (For a more flavorful and moist cake add 12 egg yolks.)
The Croley family also recommends adding the full 12 egg yolks. And, so I did when making this tasty cake, and I have to say it was out of this world delicious.
How to make this recipe:
When you are ready to make this old-fashioned sour cream pound cake, preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Grease a large angel food cake pan or bundt pan (see notes) well with Crisco. You can also use non-stick baking spray, which contains flour or grease the pan with butter.
If you are using butter or Crisco, sprinkle in a few spoonfuls of flour or granulated sugar over the greased pan. Tap the pan to distribute evenly over the bottom, sides, and tube of the pan. Pour out any excess flour or sugar.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer until fluffy. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
With the mixer running, add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and mix well. (Be sure to save 6 of the egg whites.)
With the mixer running, add the flour, baking soda, and salt a little at a time until it is all incorporated. Add the sour cream and mix until it is well combined in the batter. The batter will be stiff.
Use an electric mixer to stiffly beat six (6) (not 12) egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter by hand. A rubber spatula works well for this.
Pour the batter into the cake pan and smooth out if necessary.
How long to bake it:
Bake approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. After about an hour and twenty minutes, use a skewer, toothpick, or paring knife and insert it in the middle of the cake to see if it is done. If the batter or wet crumbs cling to the tester, continue baking and check every 5 minutes.
When the tester comes out clean, remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.
Then carefully invert the cake onto the rack, gently lift off the pan and let it cool for an additional hour before serving.
Angel food and bundt cake pans come in different sizes ranging from 6.5 to 11 inches in diameter with 3 to 5-inch high sides. I used a large 18 cup, angel food cake pan, 10 inches in diameter with 5-inch high sides for this recipe, and that is what I recommend.
If you do go smaller, make sure that the batter doesn’t come up any farther than one, and one-half inches from the top edge. Or, you run the risk of it overflowing in your oven. Also, keep in mind that if you use a different size pan, the amount of time the cake will take to bake and the texture can also be affected.
If you like this recipe, you might also like these easy and delicious Southern cake recipes: Apple Dapple Cake with Caramel Glaze, My Favorite Carrot Cake, Georgia Cornbread Cake, and Southern Pecan Praline Cake.
Need more ideas, check out all of my Dessert Recipes. And, if you like sheet cakes, you should take a look at my roundup Incredible Sheet Cake Recipes to Make Now.
★ If you make this dish, please leave a comment and give this recipe a star rating. I would love to know how you liked it!
Thank you so much for visiting Grits and Pinecones!
Minnie Lee Croley's Sour Cream Pound Cake Recipe
- 1 cup butter softened
- 3 cups sugar granulated
- 6 egg yolks use 12 yolks for a better cake, I used 12 yolks when making this cake and the Croley's recommend using the full 12.
- 6 egg whites
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sour cream
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- (Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F and grease a (large, 10 x 5 inch) angel food cake pan or bundt pan well with Crisco. You can also use non-stick baking spray which contains flour, or grease the pan with butter. If you are using butter or Crisco, sprinkle in a few spoonfuls of flour or granulated sugar over the greased pan and tap the pan to distribute evenly. Pour out any excess flour or sugar.)
- Cream the butter and sugar. (In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer until fluffy, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.)
- Add six egg yolks (For a more flavorful and moist cake add 12 egg yolks. With the mixer running, add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and mix well.) (Be sure to save six of the egg whites.)
- (With the mixer running, add the flour, baking soda and salt a little at a time until it is all incorporated. Add the sour cream, and mix until it is well combined in the batter. The batter will be stiff)
- (Use an electric mixer to stiffly beat six (6) (not 12) egg whites until they form stiff peaks.) Gently fold the egg whites into the batter by hand. (A rubber spatula works well for this)
- (Pour the batter into the cake pan and smooth out if necessary.)
- Bake approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. (After about an hour and twenty minutes, use a metal or wooden skewer, toothpick, or paring knife and insert it in the middle of the cake to see if it is done. If the batter or wet crumbs cling to the tester, continue baking and check every 5 minutes.)
- (When the tester comes out clean, remove the cake from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Then carefully invert the cake onto the rack, gently lift off the pan and let the cake cool for an additional hour before serving.)
Oh my God!! This cake baked up so pretty and crisp on top. I went exactly by the recipe with 12 egg yolk and after mixing everything I add the well beaten 6 egg whites and it came out perfect. It’s a large cake so I baked in a very deep Bundt pan. It’s a lot more than 12 servings to. I did add a bit more flavoring than the recipe called for.
This was the absolute BEST pound cake recipe. As you recommended I used 12 egg yolks. It turned out perfect and it was absolutely delicious. I put a lemon glaze on mine. Thank you so much.
Hi Sherrye, I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe, and thank you too for taking the time to let me know!
All the best,
Can you recommend a sugar substitute for no sugar me????
I’m so sorry but I have never made this recipe with a sugar substitute so I really can’t recommend one.
All the best,
Hello can I freeze?
Hi Lavonia, yes, pound cakes freeze beautifully, just make sure it’s completely cooled and wrapped tightly before freezing.
All the best,
I just made this cake and it is tasty. I had to use a different size pan so adjustments had to be made on time but it turned out fine
This is THE BEST TASTING pound cake! But a question, I used a angle food tube pan but almost half of recipe spilled over into oven. Can you help? I used the 12 eggs. Again taste amazing!
I’m so sorry you had a problem with the batter overflowing in your oven but I’m happy you enjoyed the cake. My guess is that your pan was too small and I should have been more specific about the size of the pan. Angel food and bundt cake pans sizes are not uniform and the sizes and capacities vary widely. This is a large dense cake with a large volume of batter, and it needs a large cake pan. I have added a section in the notes to address this with a recommended pan size so hopefully, no one else with have the issue.
Thanks so much for letting me know.
All the best,
Yes I tried this cake and it’s do good. I’m about to make one for Thanksgiving.