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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!

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, as did these Triple Treat bars.

What Is a Sock It to Me Cake Made Of?

Traditionally, Sock It to Me Cakes were made with 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.

Check out these semi-homemade recipes for when you’re short on time.

How to Make Sock It to Me Cake


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 Tip: You can use any type of dairy or non-dairy milk.

Tools You’ll Need

Bundt Pan
Stand Mixer
Cake Tester

Take a peek at our best cake supplies for more top-rated tools.


Step 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.

Step 2: Mix dry ingredients

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

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 5: Pour batter into the Bundt pan

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, 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.

Step 6: Bake

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.

Step 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.

If you’re stuck, check out our tips for removing Bundt cakes from the pan.

Step 8: Decorate

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. If you’re still hungry, check out these other delicious Bundt cake recipes.

What Other Vintage Cakes Can I Make?

Old-Fashioned Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

A pleasingly moist cake, this treat is the one I requested that my mom make each year for my birthday. It’s dotted with sweet carrots and a hint of cinnamon. The fluffy buttery frosting is scrumptious with chopped walnuts stirred in. One piece of this homemade carrot cake is never enough—better than all the other carrot cakes recipes I’ve tried!—Kim Orr, West Grove, Pennsylvania

Go to Recipe

Psst! These are the secret ingredients Grandma used to make her cake taste so great.

Chocolate Bavarian Torte

Whenever I take this eye-catching torte to a potluck, I get so many requests for the recipe. —Edith Holmstrom, Madison, Wisconsin

Go to Recipe

Best Red Velvet Cake

It’s just not Christmas at our house until this festive cake appears. This is different from other red velvet cake recipes I’ve had; the icing is as light as snow. —Kathryn Davison, Charlotte, North Carolina

Go to Recipe

Classic Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

This pineapple upside-down cake is a classic recipe that never goes out of style! It’s delicious with the traditional pineapple, but try it with peaches or a combination of cranberries and orange. —Bernardine Melton, Paola, Kansas

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Hummingbird Cake

This impressive hummingbird cake is my dad’s favorite, so I always make it for his birthday. It makes a memorable dessert for any celebration and is lovely with a summer meal. —Nancy Zimmerman, Cape May Court House, New Jersey

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Contest-Winning Gingerbread with Lemon Sauce

I asked my mother-in-law for this recipe once I learned it’s my husband’s favorite. Now I bake it whenever he needs an extra-special treat. Spice cake topped with lemony sauce makes us both smile. —Kristen Oak, Pocatello, Idaho

Go to Recipe

German Black Forest Cake

As far as I know, this cake recipe can be traced back to my German great-grandma. When I got married, my mother gave me a copy and I hope to someday pass it down to my children. —Stephanie Travis, Fallon, Nevada

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Spiced Devil’s Food Cake

One of my mom’s friends gave her this recipe when I was a child, and it has been a family favorite ever since. When your chocolate sweet tooth acts up, this really hits the spot! —Linda Yeamans, Ashland, Oregon

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7UP Pound Cake

My grandmother gave me this 7UP pound cake recipe. On top of being delicious, this 7UP cake represents family tradition, connection and love. —Marsha Davis, Desert Hot Springs, California

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Moist Lazy Daisy Cake

We always called this Mama’s never-fail recipe. I guess the same holds true for me, since I’ve won contests with this lazy daisy cake. The tasty dessert always brings back fond memories of Mama. —Carrie Bartlett, Gallatin, Tennessee

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Lady Baltimore Cake

I first made this cake for my fathers’ birthday and now it is the only cake that he requests. This cake has complex flavors and is very unique. —Cleo Gonske, Redding, California

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Southern Lane Cake

I just love this southern-style dessert, and so do dinner guests. With pecans, cherries and raisins in the filling and topping, this version reminds me of a fruitcake—only so much better! —Mabel Parvi, Ridgefield, Washington

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Gran’s Apple Cake

My grandmother occasionally brought over this wonderful cake warm from the oven. The spicy apple flavor combined with the sweet cream cheese frosting made this recipe one that we treasured. Even though I’ve lightened it up, it’s still a family favorite. —Lauris Conrad, Turlock, California

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Grandma’s Tandy Kake

My grandmother made this for all our family gatherings. Everyone loves it now I make it for every party we attend or host. —John Morgan III, Lebanon, Pennsylvania

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Flourless Chocolate Torte

Here’s the perfect dessert for chocoholics—like me! I bake this melt-in-your-mouth torte all the time for special occasions. For an elegant finish, dust it with confectioners’ sugar. —Kayla Albrecht, Freeport, Illinois

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Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

As a mother of three sons, sweets are a staple in my kitchen! I buy ripe fruit on sale and freeze it to make this cake. My banana cake with cream cheese frosting is a favorite among loved ones at my family picnics and dinners. —Bonnie Krause, Irvona, Pennsylvania

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Coconut Italian Cream Cake

I’d never tasted an Italian cream cake before moving to Colorado. Now I bake for people in the area, and this beauty is one of my most requested treats. —Ann Bush, Colorado City, Colorado

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Classic Tres Leches Cake

Tres leches means “three milks.” This cake gets its name because it uses three kinds of milk—evaporated, condensed and cream. This cake’s light and airy texture has made it a classic in Mexican kitchens for generations. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Best Angel Food Cake

For our daughter’s wedding, a friend made this lovely, angel food cake from a recipe she’s used for decades. It really is one of the best angel food cake recipes I’ve found. Serve slices plain or dress them up with fresh fruit. —Marilyn Niemeyer, Doon, Iowa

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Walnut Honey Cake

This light and fluffy marvel all but melts in your mouth. Back in the day, it took effort for my grandmother’s kitchen helper to make it, but it’s a breeze now that we have stand mixers. —Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia

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Pumpkin Spice Cake with Maple Glaze

Serve up some fun with this delicious cake that’s yummy any time of the year, but especially nice during the holiday season. No one will guess that cake mix simplifies the recipe. The traditional pumpkin and spices plus the delectable maple glaze give it a real from-scratch taste. —Barbara Elliott, Tyler, Texas

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Coconut Chiffon Cake

Toasted coconut adds visual appeal to this tall and impressive cake. With an airy texture and heavenly coconut-ginger flavor,it’s a lovely end to meals throughout the year.

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Sandy’s Chocolate Cake

Years ago, I drove 4-1/2 hours to a cake contest, holding my entry on my lap the whole way. But it paid off. One bite and you’ll see why this velvety beauty was named the best chocolate cake recipe and won first prize. —Sandra Johnson, Tioga, Pennsylvania

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Spicy Applesauce Cake

This picnic-perfect cake travels and slices very well. With chocolate chips, walnuts and raisins, it’s a real crowd pleaser. —Marian Platt, Sequim, Washington

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Jeweled Fruitcake

I promise this jeweled fruitcake is simply fantastic. Even my friends and family members who don’t normally care for fruitcake say they love it! —Sharon Hoffman, Donna, Texas

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German Chocolate Tres Leches Cake

I first tried tres leches cake while in Ecuador several years ago. Since then, I’ve changed it up by adding some of my favorite ingredients, namely chocolate and coconut. This version also has a splash of rum for an adults-only treat. —Lisa Varner, El Paso, Texas

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Gingered Apple Upside-Down Cake

I like that this gingerbread delight is so deeply flavored and delicious. Served warm from the oven, a nice scoop of vanilla bean ice cream is definitely the icing on this cake. —Raymonde Bourgeois, Swastika, Ontario

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Buttermilk Pound Cake

Now that I’ve retired from teaching, I have more time to bake. This buttermilk pound cake is the one I make most often. It is a truly southern recipe, and one I think can’t be topped—once people taste it, they won’t go back to their other recipes with buttermilk. —Gracie Hanchey, De Ridder, Louisiana

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Glazed Spiced Rum Pound Cakes

My recipe makes two loaf-sized treats, perfect for sharing. The spiced rum flavor really comes through in both the cake and the glaze. —Christine Russell, Littleton, New Hampshire

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Butter Pecan Layer Cake

Pecans and butter give this cake the same irresistible flavor as the popular butter pecan ice cream flavor. —Becky Miller, Tallahassee, Florida

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The post How to Make a Sock It to Me Cake appeared first on Taste of Home.