Sunday, June 22, 2008

Brown Sugar Pound Cake

Brown Sugar Pound Cake

Pound cakes are perfect for certain occasions. They're fancier than muffins and don't require any rolling, frosting, decorating, chilling, or glazing. They are extremely portable and they feed a crowd.

I thought half of this recipe would be enough for my friday class, but it turned out to be more popular than I expected. It was devoured before the class even started. I brought the second half the next morning and it went nearly as quickly, though it had to compete with two boxes of donuts.

This poundcake has a unique texture and pronounced brown sugar flavor. It's moist, dense, and smooth with a very crisp upper crust. I omitted the caramel glaze- the cake was rich enough. It's not my favorite poundcake, but it was refreshingly different. If you love dark brown sugar, you'll really like it.

Because it's so moist, this cake doesn't store well. If you plan to store it for more than a day or two, I suggest freezing it. Also, be careful if you're using a tube pan. The batter was rather thin, and it leaked considerably in my oven!

Brown Sugar Pound Cake
adapted from Nancy McDermott's Southern Cakes

For the cake:
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
One 1-pound box dark brown sugar (about 2 3/4 cups)
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
5 eggs

For the Caramel Glaze:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup evaporated milk
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Make the cake
1. Heat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Grease 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 batches, and then add all of the white sugar, beating well after each addition. Add the eggs, one by one, beating well after each addition. Add half the flour and then half the milk, beating at low speed only until the flour or milk disappears into the batter. Add in 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 to cool completely, top side up.

Make the caramel glaze
1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Use at once. If the glaze hardens, stir in 1 or 2 spoonfuls of evaporated milk to soften it.


Aran said...

it looks all those things you mentioned, moist espcially. and the photos is lovely!

Patricia Scarpin said...

It looks really moist. And I love its golden color!

Erin said...

Thanks for posting the recipe! It's delicious, people. Delicious.

steph- whisk/spoon said...

i have this book, but have yet to bake from it. thanks for posting your results.

Arlynn said...

I made it this weekend and based upon your notes, didn't make the glaze. I used 3 mini loafs and a 9x5 loaf, as I needed to stretch this recipe for two events. I sliced the three loafs (8-9 slices each) and paired them with raspberries and nectarines for two dessert trays. The larger loaf I served with very ripe thin-sliced plums. I got raves at both events.
Very easy and fast to make recipe!

Anonymous said...

Delicious! But I do recommend making the glaze. It's wonderful!

tsippor said...

I'm now, sitting and waiting for my two Brown Sugar Pound Cakes to come out of the oven. The photographs look wonderful... I'm excited. =)