Russian Pound Cake

Russian Pound Cake

There is something tremendously comforting about pound cake. It’s dense, buttery and, if baked correctly, supremely moist. This particular pound cake is kind of like pound cake on steroids. My mom said that waaaaaay back in the day when I was a mere apple in her eye, a lady she worked with brought this cake in for an office party. My mom loved it and asked her for the recipe. And so for the last three-plus decades, my mom, grandma and aunt have been making this. I can’t seem to recall a Christmas when this hasn’t graced the table for nibbling throughout the day. It sometimes makes an appearance at Thanksgiving too. And randomly throughout the year when someone gets the urge to bake it. This cake is uber dense, even by pound cake standards, thanks to butter, cream cheese, sugar, and oh, 10 whole eggs. Throw in cherries and walnuts, and you have a cake that is just a little extra special and perfect for serving to company or for the holidays. Or to celebrate it being Monday. Or the sunshine. Basically, it’ll make you happy whenever you decide to make it.

Russian Pound Cake

My grandma claims that she has a special supersized loaf pan to bake this in and says it’s even better than a tube pan. I have yet to see it, so I’m not sure what supersized exactly entails. But, if you like your pound cake in loaf form, feel free to divide this batter between two standard loaf pans and bake for a little less time, but still lowering the temperature halfway through. My mom and grandma always made this the day before they planned to serve it, so they could wrap it in plastic wrap and let it sit overnight. My grandma claims that it’s even better if you wrap it and put it in the refrigerator. Like most family recipes handed down, everyone has their own way of doing things. I think you’ll find that you’ll want this cake to become a family tradition of your own!

Note: I am unsure of the origin of this recipe. I tried to find some background information on the history of this version of pound cake, but wasn’t able to find much of anything, only a few other similar variations with some different ingredient quantities. I suppose it is just one of those old-time recipes that have been handed down and passed around! And quite frankly, those are usually some of the best!

Two years ago: Homemade Pierogi

Russian Pound Cake

Yield: 16 to 20 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients:

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
12 ounces (1½ cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
10 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 (10-ounce) jars maraschino cherries, drained, stems removed and quartered
2 cups walnuts, chopped

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan; set aside. (Note #1: The recipe my mom got specifically states not to use a Bundt pan for this cake. Most likely because it rises too much and a Bundt pan would be too small for this much batter plus the rise. Note #2: If you're using a dark non-stick pan, lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees F for both baking stages.)

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder; set aside.

3. Cream the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. With the mixer still running, add in the sugar and continue to beat, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, for another 2 minutes. On medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix to combine. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture; beat until combined. Use a rubber spatula to give it a final mix to make sure all of the flour is incorporated.

4. Add 1/3 of the batter to the tube pan and then sprinkle with half of the cherries and half of the walnuts. Cover with another 1/3 of the batter and then sprinkle with the remaining cherries and walnuts. Top with the remaining batter and use a rubber spatula to smooth the top. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, then reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F and bake for an additional 45 minutes. Cake will be golden brown and a thin knife or skewer inserted in center will be clean.

5. Cool in pan for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack or platter and let cool. Serve at room temperature. Wrap cake well in plastic wrap and store at room temperature or in refrigerator for up to 5 days. Wrapped in plastic and then foil, and stored in a freezer bag, cake can be frozen well.

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52 Responses to “Russian Pound Cake”

  1. the blissful baker on October 4, 2010 at 12:50 am

    this looks rich and buttery and DELISH. so pretty too!

    Reply

  2. Katie on October 4, 2010 at 2:31 am

    Yum ti looks amazing and so festive with the two layers of filling. Perfect for Christmas for those people who don’t like traditional fruit cake. I’ll have to make this – looks delicious

    Reply

  3. Tabitha (From Single to Married) on October 4, 2010 at 6:26 am

    oh my – this looks amazing! Love that it has bits of cherries and nuts, perfect combination in my opinion!

    Reply

  4. Lori on October 4, 2010 at 6:29 am

    Michelle – thanks for posting this great recipe. Just want to let you know I made your pumpkin scones yesterday. Rave reviews from family and friends.

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 5th, 2010 at 11:17 am

      Thanks Lori, so happy to hear the scones were a hit!

      Reply

  5. Amalia on October 4, 2010 at 7:02 am

    I don’t usually like nuts or fruit in my cake (and kill me, but I don’t think I like maraschino cherries) but this recipe intrigued me a great deal for some reason…I’ve never made a good pound cake that isn’t greasy…I’ll try this one ;) thanks!

    Reply

  6. Paula on October 4, 2010 at 7:30 am

    I’m with you all the way on the delights of pound cake, all kinds! Like the idea of using two loaf pans, can gift one. We enjoyed a legendary pound cake from our church bake sales in the sixties, my mother would call ahead to reserve it (!). It was so dense yet had the most wonderful texture, oh, and the taste, indescribable loveliness. We also kept it refrigerated and it took on a creaminess that would make a baker proud. Let’s bring back the art of making pound cakes…

    Reply

    • Shea on December 30th, 2012 at 1:54 am

      Hey Paula,
      I was wondering if you have the poundcake recipe that you are referring to….and if so if you would be willing to share it…..it sounds yummy, and actually the type of poundcake that I have been searching for for a very long time…..if not …no worries…..if so…thank you so very much.

      Happy New Year
      Shea

      Reply

  7. Julie @ Willow Bird Baking on October 4, 2010 at 7:57 am

    This looks moist and incredible!! Yum!

    Reply

  8. Barbara on October 4, 2010 at 8:22 am

    http://www.amazon.com/Wilton-Aluminum-2-Inch-Long-Loaf/dp/B00024WNOU/ref=sr_1_14?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1286194755&sr=1-14
    Here is a link for one of the loaf pans your Grandmother was talking about. I have one and my Mom has one too. They make wonderful poundcake loafs and I will try this one in mine. It looks yummy:)

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 4th, 2010 at 10:41 am

      Thank you so much for that link Barbara!

      Reply

  9. Barbara | VinoLuciStyle on October 4, 2010 at 9:46 am

    I love pound cake; remember a couple of years ago when my daughter and I ‘tested’ several…it was a fun test but none had maraschino cherries and nuts…sounds wonderful.

    Reply

  10. Jenny Flake on October 4, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Looks so beautiful! Love the pretty colors!

    Reply

  11. Maria on October 4, 2010 at 10:36 am

    I love the sweet surprises inside this cake:)

    Reply

  12. Nicole on October 4, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Oh my goodness – 10 eggs!!!! Sounds yummy and it looks gorgeous & impressive with the 2 layers of walnuts/cherries.

    Reply

  13. leslie on October 4, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Pound cake on steroids??? YES PLEASE!

    Reply

  14. Marina on October 4, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Well, being Russian myself, I would say this is “similar” to a Russian type of cake called “Beliy Tort” or Angel Food Cake. The original recipe does not contain any sour cream, but does call for 10 eggs that are whipped with sugar. The true Russian cake that I, my mom and my grandma bake, is a bit denser than Angel Food Cake, and usually doesn’t contain any other ingredients such as cherries or nuts.

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 5th, 2010 at 11:19 am

      Hi Marina, Thank you so much for sharing some background about traditional Russian cakes!! I tried to find some information online but didn’t uncover much. It’s so fun to hear about the authentic cakes!

      Reply

  15. Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels on October 4, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    I LOVE pound cake but this pound cake looks INCREDIBLE! I absolutely love the two layers of walnuts and cherries in the middle. I’m definitely going to be making this recipe soon, thanks so much! :)

    Reply

  16. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking on October 4, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    Oh my gosh, I would love to dig into this pound cake for breakfast! It’s marvelous!

    Reply

  17. Tina from PA on October 4, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Holy cow 10 eggs and cream cheese ! This cake sounds out of this world ! I really have to try this! My husband loves marachino cherries, he will love this! Thanks for sharing another winner ! You rock! Oh by the way ,are you sure this hasn’t been posted by some else out there in Blog land ? Ha Ha Ha ! ( Sorry just had to get that in there!)

    Reply

  18. Patty on October 4, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Sounds awesome – and I love the look of the layers of cherries and walnuts – so pretty! Inherited recipes are the best. :)

    Reply

  19. torviewtoronto on October 4, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    looks delicious love the layer

    Reply

  20. Barbara Schieving on October 4, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    Wow, 10 eggs. It really does look amazingly moist and perfect all by itself, no cream or toppings needed.

    Reply

  21. Dee D. on October 4, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    oh that looks beautiful! I love the two layers of nuts and things :)

    Reply

  22. Lana @ Never Enough Thyme on October 4, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    Pound cakes are my most favorite dessert and this one looks scrumptious!! Can’t wait to give this a try.

    Reply

  23. Tracy on October 4, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    This looks amazing, and so festive! I’m bookmarking it to try out for the holidays!

    Reply

  24. Sharlene on October 4, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    This looks like a lovely updated version of a fruit cake. And, guiltily, I love fruit cake so this will definitely be made in my household!

    Reply

  25. Terr T on October 4, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    Oh my, that looks good enough to die for – or kill for!!!

    Reply

  26. Belinda @zomppa on October 4, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    I love pound cake, but never had one with maraschino cherries. This one is so pretty!

    Reply

  27. Cookin' Canuck on October 4, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    Ten eggs – wow! Now that promises a cake worthy of some serious nibbling.

    Reply

  28. notyet100 on October 5, 2010 at 5:34 am

    i satrted baking with pound cake :-)
    ur look so yum

    Reply

  29. madge @ vegetariancasserolequeen on October 5, 2010 at 9:59 am

    I LOVE the layering in the cake! Don’t you just love food related holiday traditions? So comforting

    Reply

  30. Nic on October 5, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    The little flecks of cherries make this irresistible! but 10 eggs.. holy moly. I bet its so good!

    Reply

  31. blackbookkitchendiaries on October 5, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    I love how rich and decadent this cake is. It has a festive feel to it. thank you for sharing:)

    Reply

  32. The Klutzy Cook on October 5, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    The layers in this cake look fantastic, and anything with maraschino cherries is good in my books. thanks.

    Reply

  33. Vibey on October 6, 2010 at 8:33 am

    Now this is the business! Like something my own grandmother would have made.

    Reply

  34. Ameya on October 7, 2010 at 6:02 am

    A pound cake with cream cheese and walnuts? Give me my oven back so I can make it!!Not that I’m currently facing any shortage of desserts in Paris, but I sure do miss baking!

    Reply

  35. Jen @ How To: Simplify on October 8, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    This is such an interesting pound cake! It’s so colorful and it looks delicious!

    Reply

  36. Sharon on October 9, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    One of my biggest pet peeves about cooking blogs is all the comments about how “good it looks” or how “I am so making that” etc etc. I want to sincerely thank you for a fabulous cake recipe! It really delivers a bang on the head with flavor, texture and satisfaction. I was aghast at picking up a block of fat free cream cheese by accident but used it anyway in this recipe. This cake is so amazing, I cant even begin to think of it any better with the full fat cream cheese. It is now one of my favorite cakes, just delicious! Thank you, thank you!

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 10th, 2010 at 6:16 pm

      You are very welcome! I’m always so happy when others enjoy recipes that have been in my family for ages.

      Reply

  37. Carolyn Jones on November 29, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    I made the Russian Pound Cake for Thanksgiving..Thank you for posting this recipe, because my best friend used to make it for me at Christmas and I loved it. I refused to get the recipe and she passed. I have used other recipes for it, but it wasn’t even close. I believe from the texture and moisture of this recipe that I have the same one that she used!! Thank you! Thank you! Everyonwe loved it!

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 29th, 2010 at 8:07 pm

      Hi Carolyn, I am sorry for the loss of your friend, but it warms my heart to know you can now enjoy something that she used to make for you! Happy belated Thanksgiving!

      Reply

  38. linda s on January 31, 2011 at 9:30 am

    This cake not only tastes wonderful, it looks beautiful! Comes together
    easily and the texture and flavor are perfect. It’s large enough to satisfy
    my family of four with plenty to share with a lucky neighbor! Thanks for posting,
    love your site.

    Reply

  39. Anna on April 13, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    My husband’s aunt shared this with me and my sister-in-law and we have been making this pound cake for over 30 years and have shared it with many people. It is a sensational pound cake and I think impossible to mess up. Does it really keep for five days? Never had it last that long!

    Reply

  40. Bev on May 28, 2012 at 1:46 am

    This cake freezes wonderfully, and is even better than the day you bake it. I use two pullman loaves for it. My aunt suggested rinsing the cherries and daubing them with paper towels before cutting. This way, the juice does not color the batter at all. This has been a family favorite for years.

    Reply

  41. Garima on January 20, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    Can I use this recipe to bake in a standard 9X13 inches cake pan..
    I need to make a birthday cake and that is the preferred size.
    Thanks.

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 21st, 2013 at 7:03 pm

      Hi Garima, I have never made this particular cake in a 9×13-inch pan or in 8 or 9 inch layers, so I can’t give you a definitive answer as to how it will turn out. It is a traditional tube or Bundt-style cake, but if you try the 9×13 let me know how it goes. You’ll need to decrease the baking time, but as I’ve never made it like that, I can’t tell you exactly how long it will need to bake.

      Reply

  42. BARBARA on March 8, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    I HAVE THIS IN THE OVEN AT THIS TIME. ONLY PROBLEM I HAVE RUN INTO I PUT IT IN OVEN AT 1:30 AND IT IS 3:57 NOW AND I JUST CHECKED ON IT AND IT IS JUST ABOUT READY. I THINK THE TIME SAID 1 HR 45 MIN. MINE WAS ALOT LONGER BUT SURE LOOKS GOOD.

    Reply

  43. pria on April 16, 2013 at 12:52 am

    I am new to baking and really nervous about the outcome. The cake turned out great..thanks for posting an awesome recipe! It was a huge hit with my family!

    Reply

  44. Eydie ann on May 2, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    My Aunt used to make a cake that looked just like this, but I remember cinnamon in the strudel mixture, so I added cinnamon to nut and cherries. It stops the juice leaking and discoloring the cake and I remember loving the flavor. Mine is in the oven right now. Hopefully your recipe will be similar enough to take me back to youthful memories. Thanks!

    Reply

  45. Pearl on August 24, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    Hi Michelle!
    Just wanted you to know that I made it yesterday for a special breakfast treat for my husband.. I baked it yesterday and wrapped it tightly in the plastic wrap and left it overnight for the flavours to infuse in and I must say this is the best pound/fruit cake I have ever made and I have some really excellent recipes!!! The crumb, flavour and texture is spot on!!
    I must admit though I adapted it a bit to our taste.. First I halved the recipe and baked in a 9*5 loaf pan baked at 350 for 50 mins and at 325 for 40 mins it came out perfect!! Husband doesn’t care for cherries so I substituted them for some dried cranberries and fruit glacé also I used chopped pecans instead of walnuts and added some currants in every layer!! Colours and sweetness were perfectly balanced. We loved it with our morning coffee.. Thank you so much for posting this recipe

    Reply

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