Heavenly Parmesan Pound Cake

LunaCafe's Heavenly Parmesan Pound Cake

A few weeks ago, I posted a story on Metrovino’s Parmesan Pound Cake (Portland, Oregon), which I hope you had a chance to read. It’s all about my adventures with this extraordinary cake (the creation of Metrovino Executive Chef Gregory Denton and Chef de Cuisine Gabrielle Quiñónez), both in the restaurant and in the OtherWorldly testing kitchen.LunaCafe's Heavenly Parmesan Pound Cake

In that post, I mentioned that I tested the recipe three times and made only minor changes to assist the home cook to get the best results possible. I also cautioned to not expect a light cake. The original cake is dense and moist, with an intriguing and appealing texture. Here’s what a reader of the previous post said about it: “Hi. I love you. I just had this for the first time last week at Metrovino and I LOOOOOOOVE it. Thanks for posting!” So you see, I am not alone in my love for this cake. You really must try it.

LunaCafe's Heavenly Parmesan Pound Cake

Nevertheless, I adore a light butter cake and could not resist the temptation to rework the original recipe to meet this desire. The result is spectacular. I could make this cake every week and partake of it shamelessly every day with afternoon tea. It keeps remarkably well at room temperature if well wrapped and improves in flavor from day to day.

LunaCafe's Heavenly Parmesan Pound Cake, Sliced

I don’t think it has ever made it beyond day three here though. If I don’t hide it in a cupboard, I end up “snacking” on it whenever I breeze through the kitchen. No willpower whatsoever when this cake in on hand. So if you’re dieting, well, you really must try this Northwest Early Spring Farro & Lentil Salad instead.

LunaCafe's Heavenly Parmesan Pound Cake

LunaCafe’s Heavenly Parmesan Sour Cream Pound Cake

This is one of the most delectable butter cakes in my repertoire. It’s unlikely that anyone will detect the parmesan if not told in advance of its presence. It adds an extra something though that is irresistible (umami), and yes, possibly addictive.

There is no reason why you couldn’t finish this cake with an icing of your choice, but I prefer it served simply with a dusting of powdered sugar, fresh fruit, this fruit sauce, this fruit sauce, or marmellata, and perhaps a dollop of whipped cream. I leave these details up to you.

shortening and flour for the pan

2½ cups (250 grams) sifted cake flour
4 ounces very finely grated Parmesan
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon fine sea salt

1 cup (½ pound) unsalted butter, cool room temperature
1 pound powdered sugar, sifted (about 4¾ cups sifted)
4 large eggs, cool room temperature, beaten lightly
1 cup sour cream, cool room temperature

powdered sugar in a shaker
fresh fruit, optional
fruit sauce or marmellata, optional
lightly sweetened whipped cream, optional

  1. Coat the bottom and sides of a 12-cup capacity bundt pan with shortening. Dust generously with all-purpose flour, shake to distribute, and then tap out the excess. (Or simply coat evenly with and oil-flour baking spray.)
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, Parmesan, baking powder, and salt. Reserve.
  3. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and medium speed, cream the butter briefly until smooth.
  4. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar. Then cream on medium speed for 5 FULL minutes, until the mixture is light in color and fluffy in texture.
  5. With the mixer still on medium speed, slowly drizzle in the eggs, tablespoon by tablespoon. If the mixture begins to curdle, stop adding the eggs and increase the speed until batter is again creamy. Then decrease the speed and resume adding the eggs. Continue to cream, scraping the sides of the bowl a few times, until the mixture appears fluffy white, velvety, and increased in volume, about 3 minutes.
  6. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using a rubber spatula, stir in ¼ of the flour mixture. Then add 1/3 of the sour cream, stirring until blended. Repeat the procedure, alternating dry and liquid ingredients, ending with the final addition of flour.
  7. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly with a flexible rubber spatula. Tap the pan down hard on the counter to release any air pockets.
  8. Bake at 350° for 55-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean. Place the cake on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.
  9. Gently tip and tap the pan to release the cake. Place the rack on top of the cake and invert. Now the cake is right-side-up. Cool completely.
  10. To serve. Position cake on a serving platter. Dust with powdered sugar if desired. Cut into thin slices to serve, allowing two to three thin slices per serving.
  11. If desired, garnish each serving with fresh fruit, fruit sauce, or marmellata and whipped cream.

Print Friendly


  1. Anonymous says

    I am currently enjoying a big slice of this warm, amazing cake and I just cant wait to THANK YOU FOR SHARING THIS RECIPE. Our family’s favorite is your Rapberry Rosewater White Chocolate Cheesecake and this will add to my list. The cake is so moist, and smell soooo good!! Im just wondering if instead of parmesan cheese and sour cream, can I add some rosewater instead? Wiill teh cake will stay moist without the sour cream? Again, Thank You!!

    • Susan S. Bradley says

      Hi there! I’m so glad you like this cake. It’s one of my favorites. The sour cream is key to the cake’s texture and moist quality. You can probably leave out the Parmesan without affecting the texture, but the flavor will be diminished. In any case, you can always add a small amount of rosewater. That would be lovely. Hope this helps. :-)

  2. Penny Wolf says

    This looks fantastic! Looks like I better stock up on some Parm and make this along with this recipe in waiting. I’ll share this find with you, maybe you know of it. A historical recipe.

    Take six eggs, half a pint of syrup and a pint of cream; put them into a stewpan and boil them until it begins to thicken; then rasp three ounces of parmesan cheese; mix and pass them through a sieve, and freeze it.
    — Hannah Glasse, The Compleat Confectioner (c. 1760)

  3. Stacey says

    I made this cake for a potluck this evening and made guessing the “secret ingredient” part of the fun. It was a big hit! Thanks for posting this.

  4. Sherwood says

    NOT GOOD…..I made this pound cake, and I am NOT a novice baker. I followed the directions to a tee and it rose very nicely and then….it just sunk like crazy about 2 inches while in the oven baking. The batter looked beautiful during the mixing phase and then cooked it felt and tasted like heavy raw cooked batter. Severely disappointing.

    • sms bradley says

      Sherwood, I’m not sure what happened here. I reviewed the recipe to make sure there is not a typo, but it is correct as written. The formula is a classic butter cake except for the parmesan. From your description, it sounds as though the cake was not cooked through (“heavy raw cooked batter”). The Metrovino version of this cake does sink after baking, but this version does so only slightly and has the most wonderful light texture. The only thing I can think of here, since you are an experienced baker, is perhaps the baking powder has lost some of it’s potency.

  5. says

    Hi Susan – this looks so good. I love pound cake & the idea of parm in it is very intriguing. You should bring this to my other site for contribution – DessertStalking.com – I would love to feature it! I think you are already registered even? In any case, I will be giving it a try!
    .-= Donalyn´s last blog ..A Mother’s Day Mum =-.

    • sms bradley says

      Donalyn, thanks so much! Yes, registered at DessertStalking (http://dessertstalking.com/) recently. What a great foodporn site!!! Now just have to get our lazy Admin :-) to submit our dessert posts for your consideration. Will definitely get on him about that. Poor guy; his list of blog chores is a mile long. :-)

  6. Sheryl says

    Susan, this cake is absolutely beautiful and mouth-watering! I have had the original in Portland and can’t wait to try this version. Please, can you tell me what pan that is that you used? The presentation of this has as much to do with the appeal as the concept of a parmesan cake does. Thanks! Keep these wonderful finds coming!!

    • sms bradley says

      Sheryl, thank you! :-) I thought the pan was either Nordic ware or Kaiser bakeware but the pan has no identifying stamp of any kind on it, and I can find nothing that looks like it on the web. In all likelihood, I probably purchased it at Sur La Table, so you might take a picture of the cake to the store to see if they can identify it. Sorry I can’t be of more help. I have had the pan for several years at least.

  7. Susan says

    Oh, thank you, Susan, I’ve been waiting for this! I’m going to make it as soon as I get some strawberries, like tomorrow! I’ll let you know!

  8. junecutie says

    Hi Susan,

    This cake sounds so wonderful. I live in Denver, Colorado; and I am used to converting sea level cake recipes by switching to AP flour, adding another egg, and cutting the baking power down to 1 1/2 tsp baking powder plus 1/4 tsp baking soda. I also sometimes reduce the oven temp 25 degrees and increase the bake time. What do you think of these changes? Would you make any more changes due to the increased altitude, the lack of moisture in the air, and the other problems associated with baking at high altitude? I really, really want to bake this cake! Thanks.

    • sms bradley says

      junecutie, so sorry but I know very little about the requirements for high altitude baking. However, if these modifications usually work for you, they are certainly worth a try here. This is a classic butter cake process and formula, so nothing unusual in that regard, except the Parmesan of course. Do let us know how your cake turns out!


  1. […] Parmesan sour cream cake recipe came from Susan at LunaCafe.  She was inspired to develop the recipe after trying Parmesan pound cake at Metrovino in […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

CommentLuv badge