How to Make a Sock It to Me Cake

This enticing Bundt cake is a sour cream pound cake with pecans swirled through. It's topped with a creamy glaze and toasted pecans that makes it as enticing to the eyes as it is to the appetite.

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I know pound cake on its own is delicious, but this Sock It to Me Cake makes it even better. It has brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans swirled through, and a creamy maple-vanilla glaze drizzled on top. Many home bakers “doctor up” boxed cake mixes for this cake, but I promise that this simple pound cake recipe is worth the extra effort!

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Why Is It Called “Sock It to Me Cake”?

“Sock it to me” was a popular phrase in the late 1960s-early 1970s. The phrase is in the outro of Aretha Franklin’s 1967 hit, “Respect.” It means something like “lay it on me.”

It’s like when a baker asked someone if they wanted a piece of this buttery cake, the answer was “sock it to me!”—which is how this cake got its name. Duncan Hines published the “Sock It to Me Cake” recipe on the back of its boxed mix in the 1970s, and the rest is history.

Love vintage baking? This impressive hummingbird cake also gained popularity in the 1970s.

What Is a Sock It to Me Cake Made Of?

Traditionally, Sock It to Me Cakes were made by doctoring up boxed cake mixes—adding sour cream, pecans, brown sugar and cinnamon. Others call this kind of dessert semi-homemade. Whether you use this delicious sour cream pound cake recipe or a boxed cake mix, all Sock It to Me Cakes have pecans, brown sugar, melted butter and cinnamon ribboned through. And while you can top it with a simple creamy glaze of powdered sugar and milk, this recipe adds maple syrup to the glaze for extra flavor.

How to Make Sock It to Me Cake

Sock it to me cake slicedVallery Lomas for Taste of Home

Ingredients

FOR THE CAKE
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (8-ounce) container full fat sour cream
  • 1-¼ cup chopped, toasted pecans
  • 3 tablespoons packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
FOR THE GLAZE
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk*
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon maple extract, optional

Editor’s Note: You can use any type of dairy or nondairy milk.

Tools You’ll Need

This recipe makes the perfect amount for a 10-cup Bundt pan. Use a nonstick Bundt pan, and coat with baking spray with flour for easy release.

Use a KitchenAid stand mixer or electric hand mixer to cream butter and sugar together for a fluffy cake.

Toothpicks may work for layered cakes, but Bundt cakes are deep, so you’ll need a long cake tester. (Though a skewer works fine, too!)

Instructions

1. Prep the pan

Preheat the oven to 325° F. Using baking spray with flour, generously coat the inside of a 10- or 12-cup Bundt pan. (See our Test Kitchen’s advice on how to grease a Bundt pan the right way.) Set the pan aside.

2. Mix dry ingredients

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside.

3. Cream butter and sugar

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the softened butter and beat on medium until creamy, about one minute. Sprinkle in the sugar and continue to beat on medium until the mixture transforms from yellow and grainy to pale and light, about 7 minutes on medium.

4. Add eggs, vanilla, butter and sour cream

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and beat on medium until just combined.

Reduce the speed to the lowest setting. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the sour cream, in three additions. Mix until just combined, taking care not to overmix.

5. Pour batter into the Bundt pan

Pouring batter into the bundt panVallery Lomas for Taste of Home

Remove the bowl from the stand mixer, and pour half of the batter into the Bundt pan.

In a small bowl, combine 1 cup of the chopped pecans, the brown sugar and cinnamon. Stir to combine. Then, sprinkle the brown sugar and nuts over the cake batter.

Pour the remaining cake batter over the nuts and brown sugar. Smooth the top.

6. Bake

Baked sock it to me cakeVallery Lomas for Taste of Home

Bake for 60-70 minutes, until a cake tester or skewer stuck deep into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven and let rest on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.

7. Remove from the Bundt pan

Use a butter knife or small spatula to go around the edges of the pan. Then, invert the pan so that the cake comes out. Let the cake cool to room temperature.

8. Decorate

Pouring icing over a sock it to me cakeVallery Lomas for Taste of Home

When ready to glaze, whisk the powdered sugar, milk, maple syrup and maple extract together until creamy. Spoon the glaze over the cake before topping with the remaining ¼ cup chopped pecans.

How to Store a Sock It to Me Cake

You can store a Sock It to Me Cake like other pound cakes: in a cake stand or airtight container at room temperature for up to four days. It can also be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. It may be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months (be sure to place in a sealed container or freezer bag first).

Can a Sock It to Me Cake Be Made Ahead?

Yes! This cake is even better the second day, so it can be made ahead by one day for best results.

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