While clicking through some archived photographs, I came upon this one I shared with the Los Angeles Times quite a few years back. I first learned of the cake when the newspaper had pulled it from their recipe archives publishing it again as part of their ‘Weekend Project’ series in the Food section. The L.A. Times Test Kitchen hand selects recipes for when Saturdays and Sundays allow a little more time for cooking and baking.
From the title alone, the “…with Caramel Glaze” sealed the deal for me. I don’t think two weeks had passed before trying the recipe.
Using a cake turntable, if available, makes pouring the glaze a…piece of cake!
I was struck by the simplicity of the cake, how easily it came together with basic ingredients from the pantry and the splendid flavor in the finished dessert. The crumb captivated me: it was smooth, moist and dense, harnessing all the qualities of a true pound cake. The glaze, which initially teeters between maple and caramel on the palate, draws a finish of sweet, light caramel. It quickly became a favorite in the house, and didn’t last long.
And then it dawned on me. I haven’t shared the recipe with you! Do yourself a favor and make this gem sooner than later. For leisurely weekends, or weekday treats, this pound cake is likely to make regular appearances at your table. Did I mention it’s an ideal match for a cup of fresh-brewed coffee?
A slight adaptation of the Los Angeles Times’ version for Nancie McDermott’s recipe from Southern Cakes.
This easy Brown Sugar Pound Cake recipe fancied up with its caramel glaze makes a knockout dessert garnering rave reviews!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened, plus additional for greasing the pan
- 1 (16 ounce) package dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 5 eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 4 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan; set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt―whisk together; set aside. In a small bowl, combine the milk and the vanilla; set aside.
- With a mixer, beat the butter at high speed until light and fluffy. Add the brown sugar in three batches; then add all of the white sugar, beating after each addition. Add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition. The mixture should appear light and creamy like a frosting in a perfect beige color.
- Reduce the speed to low and add half of the flour mixture and then half the milk, beating until the flour or milk has disappeared into the batter. Add the rest of the flour and the rest of the milk in the same manner. Quickly scrape the batter into the prepared tube pan. Smooth the top, but don’t be too fussy about it; the batter self-levels as it heats up. Bake until the cake is nicely browned at the edges, springs back when lightly touched at the center, and a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean―about 1 hour and 10 minutes. (See notes below)
- Remove the pan from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 20 to 30 minutes. Loosen the cake from the pan with a table knife and turn it out onto a wire rack or plate; cool completely. When cool, glaze with caramel glaze.
- In a large saucepan, place the butter and brown sugar over medium heat. Stir until the butter melts and blends with the brown sugar to a smooth sauce, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the milk and let the icing come to a gentle boil. Stir well, remove from the heat and add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat well with a mixer, whisk or spoon until the glaze thickens and loses a little of its shine, 1 or 2 minutes.
- Use the glaze at once by pouring it in a steady stream over the top of the cake allowing it to cascade over the sides. If the glaze hardens, stir in 1 to 2 spoonfuls of evaporated milk to soften it.
My total baking time for the desired color, spring and skewer test for doneness was 1 hour and 20 minutes, so it’s possible to have the recipe take longer to bake (my oven is perfectly calibrated, and I used standard baking mode). The cake may be baked in two 9×5 loaf pans; in this case start checking for doneness at about 55 minutes. The caramel glaze recipe seemingly makes much more (almost double) the amount needed for the cake; consider halving the recipe, or gently reheat leftover to loosen it, and spoon over ice cream. The cake freezes beautifully double-wrapped in plastic.