Buttery classic pound cake is made extra southern with an infusion of sweet tea and finished with a simple sweet tea glaze. Originally posted May 2015. Last updated August 2022.
My late maternal grandma, Carolyn, was THEE pound cake queen in our family. She threw down in the kitchen and could make just about anything, but desserts were her speciality and she loved experimenting with flavors. I'm sure that's where I get it from and feel like I'm paying homage to her every time I share a new treat.
This sweet tea pound cake is a slight tweak of her classic buttery standby with strong brewed black tea infused into the cake batter and spooned all over top in a sugar glaze. This post will teach you how to make pound cake from scratch with a flavor twist that is like enjoying a slice of soul food pound cake with a glass of sweet tea on the side. Let's get into it.
If you love southern pound cake recipes, try one of these cakes next!
What is Pound Cake?
Did you know that pound cakes are called such because the recipe traditionally calls for a pound each of butter, sugar, flour, and eggs? It's an easy recipe to remember and has probably stood the test of time for the reason. The result is a uniquely dense and buttery cake that takes on a variety of flavors really well. I like this strawberries & cream version during the summer and my whole family enjoys my pecan praline pound cake just about any time of year.
What You'll Need for this Recipe
This sweet tea iteration is also good year round. Here are the ingredients you'll need to make it.
- Brewed Black Tea - Use whatever you'd brew to make sweet tea or any black breakfast tea.
- Granulated Sugar
- Sea Salt
- Vanilla Extract
Let me note that you'll want to brew extra strong black tea for this recipe because we won't add much of it. I brew 2-3 bags in one cup of water so that there's plenty of sweet tea flavor without adding excess moisture to the cake, which can lead to a gummy texture. Also, you don't need any rising agents like baking soda or baking powder for this cake, which is why it comes out so dense.
Pound Cake Baking Tools
As far as tools for making pound cake, I am partial to a good ol' bundt pan, though you could also make this recipe in a tube (sometimes called angel food) pan, which is what Grandma used, or divide it between two loaf pans. You'll also need a mixing bowl and a rubber spatula to scrape out all the cake batter. Last but certainly not least, a stand mixer, a hand mixer, or even a food processor, if you're in a pinch. I used a food processor exclusively for years before I could afford a stand mixer and it's adequate but a mixer is really best. I also like to slide a sheet pan under the cake while it bakes to catch any batter drips, just in case.
How to Make the Best Pound Cake
- Starting with the tools, make sure you use the right pan. Here is my go-to bundt pan that I have baked countless cakes in for years with not a single issue with sticking, whether or not I prep it!
- Make sure you soften the cold ingredients to room temperature. In this recipe, that would be the eggs and the butter. If you forget this step, try this trick to soften butter quickly and this one to warm up eggs without cooking them. Both tips work like a charm!
- How to make sure my bundt cake doesn't stick? Aside from using a non-stick pan, my number one tip to keep a bundt cake from sticking to the pan, is to grease and flour the pan well. Bake your cake on the middle rack so that the bottom is less likely to burn and, therefore, stick. This also helps ensure that the cake bakes evenly.
- Fluff or sift the flour well before measuring it out into the cake batter. Flour can get packed easily and you'll very likely wind up with much more flour than you actually need if you just scoop straight from the bag. Here is how to properly measure flour.
- Do not over mix pound cake batter. This will activate the gluten and result in a tough cake. Stir and scrape your batter bowl until everything is just combined and no dry pockets remain.
I hope you'll enjoy this recipe soon with your family and know it will become a fast favorite. And sharing is caring so make sure you pin this sweet tea flavored bundt cake on Pinterest. Thanks for reading!
Sweet Tea Pound Cake Recipe
Southern Sweet Tea Pound Cake
- 1 pound butter softened to room temperature
- 1 ¾ cups sugar
- 6 eggs at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup unsweetened black tea brewed double strength
- 4 cups flour sifted
- ½ teaspoon sea salt dash
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened black tea
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan and set aside.
- Cream butter in a stand mixer or food processor until smooth and a slightly lighter shade of yellow (about two minutes). Add sugar and continue to cream for three minutes. Then add eggs, one at a time, followed by sweet tea and vanilla extract.
- Meanwhile, add flour and sea salt to a large bowl and stir to combine. Add dry mixture to batter in two batches and mix until just combined. Give the batter a few stirs by hand to make sure no dry pockets remain.
- Transfer batter into prepared pan and bake on middle oven rack for about 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into multiple parts of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove cake from oven and let it sit in pan for about 10 minutes then carefully invert it onto a plate to finish cooling to room temperature.
- While cake cools, mix up brown sugar and remaining black tea until brown sugar is dissolved. Use toothpick to poke multiple holes into top of cake then spoon glaze over top.