Holiday Cream Cheese Pound Cake: Take a classic pound cake recipe to the next level by adding a row of Christmas tree cake cutouts 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

How to Make

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 of examples online…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 cutouts 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, and 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

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

A holiday surprise in every slice of this pound cake!


  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 stick (½ cup) butter, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 ½ 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 ¾-inch slices. Cut two shapes from each slice using one (1 ½ to 2-inch) cookie cutter; set aside.
  3. Combine butter, oil, and cream cheese in a bowl. Beat at medium speed until well mixed; add sugar and beat for 5 minutes.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, till incorporated. Add vanilla and food coloring and mix till combined.
  5. Slowly add half the flour, scraping down the sides and mixing till just combined, then add the rest of the flour.
  6. Beat at low speed just until the mixture is smooth.
  7. Pour ⅓ cup batter into the bottom of each prepared pan; smooth surface.
  8. Stand pound cake cutouts in the center of each loaf pan, in a single row, touching to form one long shape. Lightly press into batter.
  9. Pour the rest of the batter over the cutouts, making sure to keep them centered. Spread batter over the tops of the cutouts.
  10. Bake for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, but start checking the cake for doneness after 1 hour. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the green cake comes out clean.
  11. Allow to cool in pan on a wire rack for about 15 minutes, then remove and allow to finish cooling on rack.
  12. Ice or garnish as desired.

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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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.