Sock It To Me Cake

Honey, this Southern Sock It To Me Cake recipe is the real deal from my Mississippi big mama herself. Those other ones on the internet ain’t holding a candle to this one, just sayin. I add a cinnamon brown sugar pecan swirl to the center of a homemade sour cream cake base (none of that box mix mess) that’s super moist, buttery and tender. And let’s not forget about that delish vanilla glaze that ties it all together. This Southern cake is next level good y’all. Every slice of this sock-it-to-me cake is a piece of Southern hospitality, guaranteeing smiles and compliments galore boos.

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A homemade sock it to me cake cut open on a white plate with pecans in a white bowl with white background

The south knows how to throw down on a cake recipe y’all. My big mama definitely made the best sock-it-to-me cakes in all of Mississippi. It was always so moist, buttery and tender with that undeniable crunch of the nutty filling tucked inside. When I saw folks online sharing their version (which ain’t from the South mind you), I knew I had to do the cake justice and put a recipe out that was near and dear to my heart. This is the way you make a real deal sock it to me cake boos.

What is Sock It To Me Cake?

Sock It To Me Cake is a retro cake that was super popular in the 1970’s, especially in the South. Housewives everywhere loved this cake because it was a simple recipe that proved to be extremely useful to have in your entertaining back pocket. It was traditionally a doctored cake mix which kept everything low key but this homemade version puts that version to shame, just saying boos.

The Lowdown of the Best Sock It To Me Cake Recipe

Closeup of Jocelyn in pink dress smiling

Cuisine Inspiration: Southern Comfort

Primary Cooking Method: Baking

Dietary Info: Can be made gluten-free with some substitutions

Key Flavor: Sweet and Nutty Cinnamon Swirl in a Delish Homemade Moist Pound Cake

Skill Level: Intermediate (You need a few skillz boos)

The cinnamon-nut swirl isn’t just delicious, it’s a bomb visual and textural contrast that takes the flavor over the top.

Sour cream is one of the essential ingredients in this cake, and it makes each bite moist, tender and light.

Perfect for make-ahead plans; it stays scrumptious whether you serve it up today or two days from now.

If you show up at any potlucks or family gatherings with this, just trust you will be everyone’s fave guest.

Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Sock It To Me Cake from Scratch

Eggs, pecans, butter, vanilla, flour, sugar and other ingredients in white bowls on a white background for baking
  • Butter: Use unsalted and keep it room temperature. It adds so much richness and flavor.
  • Granulated Sugar: This adds just a touch of sweetness to make everything nice.
  • Large Eggs: These help bind all of our ingredients together giving great structure.
  • Cake Flour: We sift this up to make the base of our batter. I find cake flour creates a lighter texture.
  • Salt: This helps balance the sweetness in our cake enhancing the flavor.
  • Baking Soda: This leavening is gonna give our cake a nice lift.
  • Vanilla Extract: Vanilla gives us a wonderful aromatic essence.
  • Sour Cream: This tangy fatty ingredient is the secret to that moist, tender crumb.
  • Chopped Pecans: Get ready for a nutty crunch in every slice.
  • Brown Sugar: This gives a wonderful deep, caramel goodness with that added molasses.
  • Ground Cinnamon and Nutmeg: These warm spices really jazz up that swirl.
  • Confectioner’s Sugar: Powdered sugar is essential for our wonderful glaze.
  • Milk: This thins out our powdered sugar making a luscious glaze that drizzles perfectly.

How to Make A Sock it to Me Cake

Step 1: Preheat and Cream It Up

  1. Crank up your oven to 325°F. Grease up your 12-cup Bundt pan so this cake won’t stick.
  2. Next add your butter and sugar to your stand mixer. Mix on high speed for about 3-4 minutes or until it’s looking pale yellow and super fluffy.
  3. Crack those eggs and add in one at a time, mixing after each addition.

PRO TIP: Make sure you scrape down the sides of the bowl as you create your batter. We want to make sure none of those ingredients hide out and not make it into our finished product.

a collage of butter and sugar being reamed and eggs being added then the batter is smoothed

Step 2: Mix in the Dry Ingredients and Finish Up with the Sour Cream

  1. Now we are gonna slow that mixer down a bit. Carefully add the flour in two batches.
  2. Next get in that salt and baking soda. Make sure you keep your mixing gentle and don’t overbeat boos.
  3. Finally we are gonna add in our sour cream and vanilla. Give a good scrape and make sure that batter is gorgeously combined.
a collage of dry ingredients and wet sour cream ingredients being added to a pound cake batter

Step 3: Make the Filling and Start Assembling

  1. Add your pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg to a small bowl and get it all mixed up.
  2. Pour about 2/3s of your cake batter into the prepared bundt pan.
  3. Next sprinkle the filling over the cake batter in the pan evenly.
A collage of pecan mixture being combined then assembled in a sock-it-to-me bundt cake

Step 4: Bake, Cool and Ice

  1. Finish adding the remaining batter to the top of the filling and smooth out with a spatula.
  2. Pop in the oven and bake for about an hour and 15-20 minutes. Use the good ol’ toothpick trick. Insert into the center of the cake to make sure it comes out clean with just a few moist crumbs.
  3. Now it’s chill mode time. Let the cake cool on a rack for 10 minutes then invert onto your cake stand or serving plate and let cool completely.
  4. Once cooled, add your confectioner’s sugar and milk to a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Drizzle right on over your cooled cake, let it set then serve it up.
A collage of baked sock it to me pound cake before and after baking then topped with icing

How to Serve Southern Sock-It-To-Me Cake

Recipe Substitutions

  • Butter: While I prefer using unsalted butter here, salted is fine. Just omit the salt in the recipe.
  • Sour Cream: I like to substitute sour cream for Greek yogurt!  It has a similar texture and thickness.  You can also use buttermilk or coconut milk as a replacement.
  • Cake Flour: I really believe in cake flour y’all. It changes the texture so much. If you don’t have any around but you have all-purpose flour and cornstarch, you can make your own cake flour.
  • Vanilla: For more intense vanilla flavor, use vanilla bean paste. Or toss in some almond extract.
  • Pecans: Almonds and walnuts are great options for replacing the pecans boos.
  • Brown Sugar: If you have granulated sugar and molasses, you can make your own brown sugar.
  • Ground Cinnamon and Nutmeg: Grab the apple pie spice or pumpkin spice if you ran out of these two.
  • Powdered Sugar: If you don’t have confectioner’s sugar lying around, make your own powdered sugar with granulated sugar and a blender in a flash.
Homemade sock-it-to-me cake overhead with white icing on a white plate with pecans in a white bowl on white background ready to serve

Recipe Variations and Additions

  • Gluten-Free: Replace the all-purpose flour with a 1:1 ratio gluten free baking flour. It will change the texture slightly but still taste great.
  • Chocolate: Add some chocolate chips to the center of the swirl or change the batter to chocolate flavor for a remix.
  • Adult Twist: Add a tablespoon of bourbon to the batter for a boozy adult touch.
  • Brighten it up: Throwing some lemon, lime or orange zest into the batter can give a distinct citrus flavor.
  • Top with Real Deal Caramel: Skip the icing and use my real deal caramel cake icing instead. That’s some good eatin boos.
  • Sweet Potato or Pumpkin: Give a fall flavor twist by adding a bit of pureed sweet potato or pumpkin to the batter along with the sour cream.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Use room temperature ingredients: Proper baking requires softened butter and room temp eggs and sour cream. This is gonna give you a smooth even batter.
  • Toast the Pecans: For an extra dose of flavor, toast the pecans in the oven. It intensifies the nutty vibes.
  • Don’t Skip the Cake Flour: It makes such a difference in creating a lighter texture y’all.
  • Cream that Butter and Sugar Well Y’all: This is gonna add air to the batter so it rises beautifully. Cream it until it’s super light and fluffy.
  • Don’t Overmix: We don’t want no dry dense cake y’all. Once you add your dry ingredients, don’t overdo it activating the gluten too much.
  • Don’t Overbake: Use the toothpick to insert into the center of your sock it to me pound cake. If it comes out with just a few crumbs, it’s all good boos. If it’s super wet, keep on baking y’all.
  • Cool Completely: Don’t add the glaze until the cake has cooled completely. You don’t want it to melt and run off the cake boos.
A slice of sock it to me cake from scratch on a white plate with other slices in the white background ready to serve

How to Store Sock It To Me Bundt Cake

  • Room Temperature: You can keep the cake on the counter in a cake keeper or wrap well in plastic wrap. This is great for short-term storage. It will last this way for up to 3 days.
  • Fridge: I personally don’t believe in storing my pound cakes in the fridge. It dries them out and changes the texture.
  • Freezer: If you need longer storage options, freezing is the move. Wrap the cooled cake in plastic wrap tightly covering all sides completely then cover in foil and label with the date. It will last in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature when you want to serve again.

Frequently Asked Questions

I don’t have time to make this from scratch. Can I make this sock it to me cake with cake mix?

Yep boos, you actually can. Just use 1 box of yellow butter cake mix along with 1 cup of sour cream, 1/2 cup of vegetable oil, 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, 4 large eggs and a 1/4 cup room temperature water and stir together. Use this instead of making your cake batter from scratch.  It should bake up much quicker in about 35-45 minutes.

Do I have to use cake flour for this homemade sock it to me cake?

You don’t “have” to use it but it is preferred. If you have all-purpose flour and cornstarch lying around, you can make your own or just sub all-purpose flour (at least sift) for the entire recipe. It will be denser but still good.

My sock it to me cake glaze seems a bit too runny. How can I fix it?

Just add more powdered sugar until it stiffens up some. Start with 1 tablespoon and increase until you reach a nice pourable consistency.

Can I make this sock-it-to-me cake without a bundt pan?

Yep you can boos. You can make this in a tube pan or even divide the batter between two loaf pans. Make sure you adjust your bake time if you use two pans.

Can you make this sock it to me cake recipe ahead?

Yep for sure. In fact, you can make it up to 2 days ahead and just keep on the counter. It will taste even better since you let those flavors develop.

Help! How can I make sure you cake doesn’t stick to the pan?

I love to use my homemade cake release. It ensures that the cake comes out clean as a baby’s bottom boos.

More Southern Cake Recipes to Try

A homemade sock it to me cake cut open on a white plate with pecans in a white bowl with white background

Sock It To Me Cake

This Southern Sock-It-To-Me Cake recipe pairs a moist and buttery cake texture with a cinnamon brown sugar pecan swirl that is to die for!  The vanilla glaze brings it all together perfectly. 
4.30 from 78 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course: Dessert
Servings: 16 servings

Ingredients

For the Cake Batter

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter room temp
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 cups cake flour sifted
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup sour cream room temperature
  • 2 tbsp pure vanilla extract

For the Pecan Filling

  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

For the Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk plus 1 tsp

Instructions

  • Preheat oven at 325 F. Liberally spray a 12-cup bundt pan with non-stick baking spray or use my homemade cake release to make sure your cake doesn't stick
  • In your stand mixer bowl, add butter and sugar and mix for 3-4 minutes on high speed until very pale yellow and fluffy.
  • Next add eggs, one at a time, combining well after each addition and scraping down the sides of your bowl as needed.
  • Turn your mixer down to its lowest speed, and slowly add flour into batter in two increments then add salt and baking soda. Be careful not to overbeat.
  • Lastly add in sour cream and vanilla extract, scrape down sides and mix until just combined and turn off the mixer. 
  • Pour 2/3rds of batter into the prepared bundt pan.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg until combined. Evenly pour the filling over the batter then add the remaining cake batter over the top. You may want to smooth out the top with a spatula.
  • Bake for 1 hour and 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes then invert the cake on a serving plate for at least an hour or until the cake is cool to touch.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners sugar and milk. Drizzle over cake and serve.

Notes

If you want to make Sock It To Me Cake with a Cake Mix- follow these steps:
Use 1 box of yellow butter cake mix along with 1 cup of sour cream, 1/2 cup of vegetable oil, 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, 4 large eggs and a 1/4 cup room temperature water and stir together. Use this instead of making your cake batter from scratch.  It should bake up much quicker in about 35-45 minutes.
How to Store Sock-It-To-Me Cake
  • Room Temperature: You can keep the cake on the counter in a cake keeper or wrap well in plastic wrap. This is great for short-term storage. It will last this way for up to 3 days.
  • Fridge: I personally don’t believe in storing my pound cakes in the fridge. It dries them out and changes the texture.
  • Freezer: If you need longer storage options, freezing is the move. Wrap the cooled cake in plastic wrap tightly covering all sides completely then cover in foil and label with the date. It will last in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature when you want to serve again.

Nutrition

Calories: 522kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 116mg | Sodium: 195mg | Potassium: 105mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 47g | Vitamin A: 717IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 1mg
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Filed Under:  Cake, Dessert and Baking, Mother's Day, Oven

Comments

  1. I made this for the first time today and my family loved it. It is so easy to make. The only adjustment I made was to double the icing. I will definitely be making this again and I’m looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

  2. I made this cake using just the cake batter recipe with every flavor cake mix i could fine. this is the moistest cake I’ve every baked. I have served it to many people, and they all rant and rave about it. All I have to say is Job well done!

  3. Hey ,
    I just found your site and this recipe. This was the first cake I ever made for my husband 45 years ago. Tomorrow is his 69th birthday and he asked me to make it ,one for him and one for everyone else! LOL. One thing I do that isn’t necessary but I think adds to it is I toast my pecans first. Happy cooking to you!

  4. I have to start with I’m not a cook or baker by any means. With that said I made this cake today for boyfriend’s birthday. This was his favorite cake. He hasnt had it in 16 years. Id never even heard this cake until 2 weeks ago. Well I tried my hand at it & y’all it tastes amazing!!! Super moist, I didn’t over bake it. I used tons of the Pan baking spray I read from one comment. Another said she doubled the glaze & I did the same. I had a paper plate under the cooling rack while pouring the glaze so when I transferred it to the cake holder I added the nuts on top then took the plate & scrapped the rest of that glaze over top it all again. My wonderful man couldn’t believe I did it lol, again I stay out of the kitchen on purpose haha! He loved every bite & was so happy. Now both my kids want this for their birthdays too. I will even add my daughter mixed the batter to help & she’s 9. Thank you so much for this recipe! I’m so happy I got to do this for him.

  5. I made this cake for the first time Thanksgiving 2020, and it was an ABSOLUTE hit! Even set a little man trap with it, let’s just say that someone who is health conscious , works out regularly and watches his sugar intake begged for his own WHOLE cake! Cooking is the way to a man’s heart ladies on certain roads that is!

  6. This cake was absolutely fantastic. One of those “can’t stop eating” things. Only concern was it was a little mushy 🙂 Or maybe that wasn’t actually a problem as no one stopped eating it! My question is if you use the sour cream pound cake batter, does that necessitate a longer cook time than 45 minutes? It calls for 1 hour and 15-25. and I’m assuming cooling outside the pan? Really great site you’ve got. Your Lemon Pound Cake has become the gold standard for my entire baking rotation. Thanks so much for all this 🙂

  7. I have questions about the process…what size bundt pan should I use? Is whisk the same as mix, (as with a mixer) or you literally mean use a hand whisk? How long do I whisk or mix the batter?

    1. You can use a hand mixer if you’d like, but that would probably be overkill, because it’s a small amount. If you don’t have a whisk, use a fork and stir well. Just make sure it’s well combined and there are NO lumps!

  8. I am making this cake for the county fair and we can’t have dairy in our glazes as they will be sitting out and not refrigerated. Do you have any glaze recipes that would work with this cake that are dairy free? I can’t wait to bake this cake!

4.30 from 78 votes (53 ratings without comment)

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