Brown Sugar Pound Cake

This makes a handsome cake with a luscious caramel color and a deep, sweet flavor. It’s grand plain, but if you want a fancier finish, top it off with a drizzle of quick caramel glaze.–Nancie McDermott

LC Aptly Titled Note

Perhaps the most aptly titled cake there ever was, seeing as this brown sugar cake calls for an entire 1-pound box of brown sugar. Our kinda cake.

Brown Sugar Pound Cake Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 1 H, 40 M
  • Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • For the cake
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pans
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk, preferably whole
  • 3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pan
  • One 1-pound box (about 2 3/4 cups) dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • For the caramel glaze (optional)
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  • Make the cake
  • 1. Heat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Butter and flour a 10-inch tube pan or two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans.
  • 2. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and stir with a fork to mix well. Stir the vanilla into the milk and set aside.
  • 3. In a large bowl, beat the butter with a mixer at high speed until light and fluffy. Add the brown sugar in 3 additions, mixing well after each, and then add the granulated sugar all at once, beating well after each addition. Add the eggs, 1 t a time, beating well after each addition. Add half the flour and then half the milk, beating at low speed just until the flour or milk disappears into the batter. Add the rest of the flour and then the remaining milk in the same way.
  • 4. Quickly scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake at 325°F (160°C) for 1 hour and 10 minutes (55 to 60 minutes for loaf pans), or until the cake is nicely browned at the edges, springs back when touched lightly at the center, and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • 5. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack or a folded kitchen towel for 20 to 30 minutes. Loosen the cake from the pan with a table knife and turn it out onto a wire rack or a plate, top side up, to cool completely, top side up.
  • Make the caramel glaze (optional)
  • 6. Combine the butter and brown sugar in a medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until the butter melts and blends with the brown sugar to make a smooth sauce, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the milk, and let the icing come to a gentle boil.
  • 7. Stir well, remove from the heat, and add the sifted confectioners’ sugar and the vanilla. Beat well with a mixer, whisk, or spoon for 1 or 2 minutes, until the glaze thickens and loses a little of its shine.
  • 8. Use at once. If the glaze hardens, stir in 1 or 2 spoonfuls of evaporated milk to soften it.
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Comments
Comments
  1. Testers Choice says:

    [Jeremy Schweitzer] I served this cake to six friends after a light meal. I served it plain, since I didn’t make the caramel glaze. Everyone liked it. The texture was dense, and it was sweet without being overwhelmingly so. My only issue is that the servings as stated must be huge. Two of my friends had seconds and then I brought the leftovers to work the next day to get finished off (not everyone was there, but that still meant about five people had a slice). Overall, this was very simple to make and used only ingredients that I almost always have on hand. This will probably land in my “in case of emergency” recipe stash.

  2. Testers Choice says:

    [J. Hutchinson] It’s like a praline in the body of a cake. The buttery and nutty crust that formed on the outside of the cake was almost crunchy, while the texture on the inside was smooth, dense, and moist like a good pound cake should be. If you want to take this cake right over the top, serve it with buttered pecan ice cream while it’s still a little warm. This recipe is an easy and delectable twist on the venerable pound cake.

  3. Rebecca says:

    Outstanding. The baking time was much longer than stated, even in my new convection oven, and the glaze makes about twice what you need.

  4. Beth Price, LC Director of Recipe Testing says:

    Hi, Rebecca. Convection ovens and cakes can sometimes get a little tricky. There are numerous articles on the web about conversion times and temperatures. If you have the ability to set your oven on a non-convection setting, you might get better results.

    Extra glaze? Wow, I never seem to have problem–perhaps because I am sampling too much!

    Beth

  5. Larry Noak says:

    I checked out Southern Cakes from The Cincinnati Public Library. It is a wonderful cookbook, and this cake and the glaze are STELLAR!

  6. JL Licea says:

    Loved that book!

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