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Holiday Cream Cheese Surprise Cake

Holiday Cream Cheese Pound Cake

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Holiday Cream Cheese Pound Cake: Take a classic pound cake recipe to the next level by adding a row of Christmas tree cake cut outs for a surprise in every slice!

Holiday Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Holiday Cream Cheese Pound Cake

I’m actually pretty amazed that this festive twist on an ordinary, yet delicious, Cream Cheese Pound Cake came to fruition. So many near disasters when trying to bake this one. First of all, take note that a SMALL cookie cutter is needed for whatever insert you’d like in your version.

I had numerous Christmas tree cookie cutters, but ALL of them were taller than my loaf pans. Phooey. So on to Plan B which was to use a Pullman bread pan. It’s shaped like a loaf pan, but it’s slightly narrower with higher sides. It would work, right?

Yeah, in theory, unless you don’t have enough batter to cover the top of the trees. That’s when cream cheese frosting comes into play. Camouflage, baby!

Holiday Cream Cheese Pound Cake

A Festive Holiday Surprise Loaf

It actually looked good enough to take it down to the hospital where Mr. Skinny Chick was treating his staff to a holiday luncheon. I hauled the youngest one out of bed and took him, Katie and this cake down to join the festivities. The cake tasted marvelous…and it drew loads of questions…mainly, “How did you do that????”

Even the non-bakers had to know. I’ll explain. I’d seen a couple examples on-line…like this one from Land O Lakes for a Chocolate Surprise Loaf. The whole secret is to take a frozen, store bought pound cake and cut many repetitions of the same figure, in my case, a tree. You line these cut outs up in the bottom of the loaf pan and pour the batter over them.

I’m sure you’ll be using a regular loaf pan, a small cookie cutter and therefore have a perfectly baked cake. It’s really not difficult. In fact, I was ready to bake up a second one so it would look picture perfect…but with a little food blogger magic and some icing, this one looked pretty cute. My recipe will reflect using the proper sized everything…and be sure to refer to the experts on the Land O Lake post if you need any reassurance. Remember, if you have a few imperfections, like me, a little icing goes a long way!!!  Merry Christmas!

P.S. This excellent cream cheese pound cake recipe is from my friend, Sandra, of Sweet Sensations. You can easily bake a traditional loaf cake if you don’t want to fiddle with adding the surprise element. And swap out the colors and flavorings to make this holiday surprise loaf your own. McCormick offers a fantastic array of options.

Holiday Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Holiday Cream Cheese Pound Cake

A holiday surprise in every slice of this pound cake!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Yield 12 servings


  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour, sifted
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick pure vanilla extract
  • 25 drops McCormick green food coloring
  • 1 frozen pound cake
  • Cream cheese icing, candies, optional to garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Grease a standard loaf pan (about 8 x 4); set aside.
  2. Slice frozen pound cake into 3/4-inch slices. Cut two shapes from each slice using one (1 1/2- to 2-inch) cookie cutter; set aside.
  3. Combine butter, oil and cream cheese in bowl. Beat at medium speed until well mixed; add sugar and beat for 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, till incorporated. Add vanilla and food coloring and mix till combined. Slowly add half the flour, scraping down the sides and mixing till just combined, then add the rest of the flour. Beat at low speed just until mixture is smooth.
  4. Pour 1/3 cup batter into bottom of each prepared pan; smooth surface. Stand pound cake cut outs in center of each loaf pan, in single row, touching to form one long shape. Lightly press into batter. Pour rest of batter over cut outs, making sure to keep them centered. Spread batter over tops of cut outs.
  5. Bake for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, but start checking cake for doneness after 1 hour. Cake is done when a tooth pick inserted into green cake comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool in pan on a wire rack for about 15 minutes, then remove and allow to finish cooling on rack.
  7. Ice or garnish as desired.
  8. Yield: 8-12 servings
  9. Total time: 2 hours

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 267Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 59mgSodium: 73mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 0gSugar: 29gProtein: 4g


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Holiday_Cream_Cheese_Pound_Cake (4)

Please consider sharing your favorite “flavor” story with McCormick who will then donate $1 to help feed those in need. They are celebrating their 125th anniversary with their Flavor of Together campaign.

Disclosure: McCormick supplied me with a large assortment of baking supplies including extracts and food coloring . I was not compensated for writing this post and the opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of McCormick.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links; view my Disclosure Policy for details. I earn a small percentage from any purchase you make by clicking on these links at no extra cost to you.

32 comments on “Holiday Cream Cheese Pound Cake”

  1. This is so fun and festive, I love the tree shape!

  2. What a gorgeous cake, so season appropriate. Merry Christmas Liz!

  3. Frosting, whipped cream and chocolate are baker blessings, indeed…And your cake sure does look mighty cute with or without the cream cheese frosting…I’m looking forward to making this lovely recipe which I’ve had on my to-do list since Halloween!

  4. Lizzy, that is awesome! A Christmas tree hidden in a cake, very impressive! Here’s wishing you and all at home a Merry Christmas!

  5. Beautifully styled, as always. Are those Simon Pearce glass trees? They’re on my Wish list. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Merry Christmas to you and yours. xo

    • I wish they were Simon Pearce, Carole. I bought them a couple decades ago when we lived in Iowa…they were quite inexpensive, but I still love them ๐Ÿ™‚ Merry Christmas to you, too!!! xo

  6. So festive, but I think I need a video tutorial before I tackle this! I personally like the frosting on top!

  7. I love everything about this! You did a wonderful job with the cake and the photos!
    Merry Christmas!

  8. It really turned out cute Liz, no doubt it was gobbled up quickly! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas:@)

  9. How clever and I love the festive icing on top!

  10. What a fabulous cake, Liz, and I’m so glad you explained how it’s made.
    Hope you and your family have a very merry Christmas!

  11. That looks fantastic Liz! Love the green color and the Christmas tree embedded into the bread. Delicious!

  12. beautiful! Merry Christmas dear Lizzy!!

  13. Thank the heavens for a little frosting and sprinkles, they have saved us all at some point ๐Ÿ˜€ this cake is stunning, I love how festive it looks its a really clever idea for a surprise cake. A real festive treat no wonder everyone was asking how it was done. Merry Christmas to you and your family I hope you have a great one ๐Ÿ˜€

  14. That is such a beautiful pound cake my friend, simply designed to perfection ๐Ÿ˜€

    Happy Holidays!

  15. Wow!!! Mind blowing, Liz! This gorgeous pound cake is to make any holiday table brighter and happier. Pinned! Merry Christmas!

  16. How fun! This is so pretty too. Thank you for sharing this great recipe.

    Have a Merry Christmas!

  17. That green color is so great. It makes this pound cake very beautiful.

  18. Have a Merry Christmas!

  19. So festive and not even difficult to make…excellent!
    Happy Holidays!

  20. Nice Cake! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year ๐Ÿ™‚ ela

  21. You are so clever. I want to be half as talented and truth be known, I’d be happy with half skinny too. Merry Christmas to you all. I hope you have a joyful day.

  22. This is so cool! I wish I had your artistic talent, it’s quite the masterpiece!

  23. What a fun and festive cake! I love the wonderful green color and the cute Christmas tree inside, it came out beautifully ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Love this such fun and so festive! Not sure I would get the trees so perfect!!

  25. I’ve seen these done but never tried myself. Yours looks perfect, frosting and all! I always say when a cake doesn’t look perfect, frosting fixes all.

  26. Lizzy,
    This cake looks adorable and I’ve got to try it. Hope you and your family had a lovely Christmas. Many wishes for a Happy New Year.

  27. Very clever!

  28. You did a great job, Liz – Happy New Year ๐Ÿ™‚

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