April 21, 2024| By

Sock It To Me Cake From Scratch

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
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Sock it to Me Cake is a rich and buttery cake that's delicately spiced and perfectly moist! It has a cinnamon pecan filling and is topped with a simple yet velvety cream cheese glaze. This easy bundt cake recipe has quickly become one of my favorite recipes due to its buttery texture and insanely delicious flavor.

For more pound cake recipes, try my sour cream pound cake and kentucky butter cake

sock it to me cake on a cake stand sliced to show the inner pecan streusel.
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This sock it to me cake recipe is made completely from scratch. Nope, we're not using boxed cake mix, put that back on the shelf!

This recipe calls for butter, shortening (aka good ol fashioned lard), sugar, eggs, and flour (and a couple other ingredients but you get the gist). And it's for good reason. Simple ingredients sometimes yield the best results - and this holds true for this southern staple. 

The cake itself is a super moist pound cake with a surprise filling - a cinnamon pecan streusel filling to be exact!  It's like coffee cake and pound cake got together and had a baby - and frankly, I'm all of the way here for it!

So skip using yellow box cake - and let's make this easy cake recipe, from scratch!

a slice of sock it to me cake on a plate with a spoon.

Why Is It Called Sock It To Me Cake?

Short answer, no one really knows. It's one of those popular cakes that no one really knows much about but everyone loves. One theory is that sock it to me cake comes from Aretha Franklin's song "Respect" where at the bridge she says "sock it to me sock it to me" - meaning give me a piece of that cake. Sock it to me = lay it on me! 

Another theory is that the cake's name came from a show called "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" where the show's catchphrase was "sock it to me". But apparently, Duncan Hines came up with the recipe, originally using cake mixes to make it and everyone else began to do their own rendition. 

Key Ingredients and Substitutions

ingredients to make sock it to me cake from scratch - eggs, butter, shortening, cinnamon, nutmeg, pecans, cream cheese, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, cake flour, kosher salt, heavy cream, and sour cream.

(full list of ingredients and quantities in the recipe card)

  • Cake Flour - you can  use all purpose flour, however, cake flour has a lower protein content thus making this cake more tender. It gives it that "melt in your mouth" texture, just like my lemon pound cake
  • Butter flavored shortening - this is crucial. Shortening gives the pound cake a nice crisp exterior. Make sure you get the kind that is butter flavored - it makes a huge difference! The difference between unflavored and butter flavored is night and day so keep this in mind at the grocery store.
  • Salted Butter - yes yes, I know, most baking recipes should have unsalted butter - BUT this buttery cake is so much more flavorful with salted butter. If you prefer, unsalted however, feel free to use it! Just increase the amount of kosher salt to 1 tsp as opposed to ½ tsp.
  • White Sugar - to add moisture and sweetness to the pound cake.
  • Extracts - vanilla extract and butter emulsion (or extract). It gives this tender butter cake its flavor. 
  • Sour cream - you can use full-fat greek yogurt as a substitute in a pinch. 
  • Baking Soda - ok, most pound cake recipes rely on the eggs to do all of the leavening. However, I like to help the cake out a bit and add a tiny bit of baking soda - just a ¼ of a tsp makes the world of a difference! 
  • Pecan Streusel - the streusel mixture consists of chopped pecans, brown sugar, and ground cinnamon. 

Pro Baking Tips

Don't skip the time requirements in the recipe! Please please cream the butter and sugar together for the full 3 minutes! Don't add the eggs too quickly! Let the cake cool in the pan for the full 20 minutes! These are critical to success of this recipe.

Liberally grease the bundt pan! This is critical to getting the cake to release cleanly from the pan without getting stuck. So really pile on the nonstick spray or cake release.

Let the cake cool in the bundt pan for 15 minutes after baking! When you remove the cake from the oven, it's still "cooking". You have to let the cake firm up prior to removing it from the bundt pan so that it doesn't fall apart. Trust me, wait the full 15 minutes to ensure that the cake's fully baked throughout and doesn't fall apart.

Don't overmix! As soon as all of the flour is incorporated into the batter, stop mixing. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then mix for another 20-30 seconds to make sure everything is mixed together.

Use the right pan! Make sure to use a 12 or 14 cup bundt pan to make this recipe! If you don't, the batter will overflow and all of your hard work will go to waste and we don't want that.

How to Make Sock it to Me Cake From Scratch

Prep the Bundt Pan and Dry Ingredients

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 12-cup bundt pan liberally with nonstick baking spray. Set aside. (Image 1)

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking soda, nutmeg, and kosher salt. Set aside. (Image 2)

Make the Cinnamon Streusel and Cake Batter

Make the pecan cinnamon streusel by combining chopped pecans, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Mix together until combined and set aside. (Image 3)

Add room temperature butter, shortening, and oil to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream together for 3 minutes on medium speed, scrape down the sides of the bowl and then add the sugar and continue to mix for 3 more minutes.

Begin adding eggs, one at a time, making sure that each egg is fully incorporated prior to adding the next (about 30 seconds). Then add the vanilla extract and butter emulsion. Mix until just combined, about 10-15 seconds.  (Image 4)

Add half of the flour mixture and mix together, about 30 seconds. Then add the sour cream and mix until combined, about 20 seconds. Then add the last half of the dry ingredients and mix until everything comes together and is smooth, about 30 seconds. (Image 5 and 6)

Assemble and Bake

Pour half of the batter into the prepared bundt pan, then sprinkle the  pecan filling on top of the batter. Add the rest of the batter and smooth into an even layer to make sure that the streusel is completely covered. (Image 7 and 8)

Bake for 1 hour and 10-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes, up to 15 minutes. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!  Then turn over onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the Cake Soak and Cream Cheese Frosting

Then mix together water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, then remove from the heat and add 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Mix together and use a pastry brush to coat the outside of the cake in the syrup. 

Once the cake has cooled completely,  combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract with a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Use a hand mixer to mix everything together, then pour on top of the cooled cake. (Image below)

sock it to me cake on a cake stand topped with cream cheese frosting.

Variations

Nut-Free - simply omit the pecans from the cinnamon filling.

Gluten Free - you can use gluten free 1-to-1 flour for this recipe. Swap it out to equal parts.

Commonly Asked Questions

What makes a cake made from scratch moist?

To ensure a cake made from scratch is moist, you can add ingredients that retain moisture, such as buttermilk, sour cream, or yogurt, which also enhance the flavor. Additionally, avoid overbaking the cake, as this can dry it out; instead, check for doneness a few minutes before the recipe suggests.

What is another name for pound cake?

Pound cake is also known as "quatre quarts" in France, which translates to "four quarters," highlighting the equal proportions of its main ingredients: flour, butter, eggs, and sugar. In Britain, it is sometimes referred to as "sponge cake" or "Madeira cake," though these can have slightly different textures and ingredients. The German equivalent, "Sandkuchen," is similar in its basic components but often includes flavors like lemon or almond. Each regional variation keeps the spirit of the original recipe, focusing on rich flavor and dense texture.

Can you make this recipe with box cake mix?

If you're short on time, you can absolutely make this with yellow cake mix (I recommend duncan hines or betty crocker). If using box mix then you’ll add 1 cup of sour cream, ¼ cup water, 4 eggs, and ¼ cup granulated sugar to make the bundt cake. Keep the filling and the cream cheese frosting the same as listed in the recipe card.

More Pound Cake Recipes

sock it to me cake on a cake stand sliced to show the inner pecan streusel.

Sock it to Me Cake From Scratch

Sock it to Me Cake is a rich and buttery cake that's delicately spiced and perfectly moist! It has a cinnamon pecan filling and is topped with a simple yet velvety cream cheese glaze.
Serving: 12
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Calories: 814kcal

Equipment

  • 12 or 14-cup bundt pan
  • Stand Mixer
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Electric Hand Mixer (optional)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Salted Butter (room temperature)
  • ½ cup Butter Flavored Shortening (room temperature)
  • 3 cups Sugar
  • 6 Large Eggs (room temperature)
  • 4 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tsp Butter Emulsion or Extract
  • 3 cups Cake Flour
  • ¼ tsp Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp Kosher Salt
  • tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 cup Sour Cream (room temperature)

Cinnamon Pecan Filling

  • ½ cup Pecans (chopped)
  • ¾ cup Brown Sugar
  • 4 tsp Cinnamon
  • tsp Kosher Salt

Vanilla Cake Soak

  • ½ cup Water
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch Kosher Salt

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz Cream Cheese
  • 1 ½ cups Powdered Sugar
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon
  • 3 tbsps Heavy Cream
  • ½ tsp Vanilla Extract

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 12-cup bundt pan with nonstick baking spray. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking soda, nutmeg, and kosher salt. Set aside.
  • Make the pecan cinnamon streusel by combining chopped pecans, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Mix together until combined and set aside. 
  • Make the pecan cinnamon streusel by combining chopped pecans, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Mix together until combined and set aside. 
  • Add room temperature butter, shortening, and oil to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream together for 3 minutes on medium speed, scrape down the sides of the bowl and then add the sugar and continue to mix for 3 more minutes. 
  • Begin adding eggs, one at a time, making sure that each egg is fully incorporated prior to adding the next (about 30 seconds). Then add the vanilla extract and butter emulsion. Mix until just combined, about 10-15 seconds.
  • Add half of the flour mixture and mix together, about 30 seconds. Then add the sour cream and mix until combined, about 20 seconds. Then add the last half of the dry ingredients and mix until everything comes together and is smooth, about 30 seconds. 
  • Pour half of the batter into the prepared bundt pan, then sprinkle the  pecan filling on top of the batter. Add the rest of the batter and smooth into an even layer to make sure that the streusel is completely covered. Bake for 1 hour and 10-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes, up to 15 minutes. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!  Then turn over onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • While the cake is baking, make the cake soak. Mix together water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, then remove from the heat and add 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Mix together and use a pastry brush to coat the outside of the cake in the syrup after you turn the cake onto the wire rack to cool.
  • Once the cake has cooled completely,  combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract with a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Use a hand mixer to mix everything together, then pour on top of the cooled cake. 

Notes

Variations
Nut-Free - simply omit the pecans from the cinnamon filling.
Gluten Free - you can use gluten free 1-to-1 flour for this recipe. Swap it out to equal parts.
Dairy Free - use your favorite nondairy butter and sour cream.
Pro Baking Tips
Don't skip the time requirements in the recipe! Please please cream the butter and sugar together for the full 3 minutes! Don't add the eggs too quickly! Let the cake cool in the pan for the full 20 minutes! These are critical to success of this recipe.
Liberally grease the bundt pan! This is critical to getting the cake to release cleanly from the pan without getting stuck. 
Let the cake cool in the bundt pan for 15 minutes after baking! This is crucial to the success of the cake. When you remove the cake from the oven, it's still "cooking". It's also important to let the cake firm up prior to removing it from the bundt pan so that it doesn't fall apart. Trust me, wait the full 15 minutes to ensure that the cake's fully baked throughout and doesn't fall apart.
Don't overmix! As soon as all of the flour is incorporated into the batter,

Nutrition

Calories: 814kcal | Carbohydrates: 105g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 168mg | Sodium: 373mg | Potassium: 165mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 80g | Vitamin A: 1041IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Anytime, Dessert, Holidays
Cuisine: American

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