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This pound cake is the perfect base for your favorite toppings.

Gallery

Credit: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Ruth Blackburn; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe Summary

cool:
2 hrs 10 mins
bake:
1 hr 10 mins
total:
3 hrs 35 mins
active:
15 mins
Servings:
16
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You're in for a real treat with this weekend bake. Our Test Kitchen pros call this Brown Sugar Pound Cake "the definition of the perfect pound cake."

It all starts with a spectacular Bundt cake, made with a base of cream cheese, butter, and brown sugar. The cake has a very tender crumb and rich, caramelly flavor from the brown sugar, with just the slightest tang from the cream cheese. The key to any good pound cake is to get the batter just right—beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, but after that, don't overmix; beat in each egg just until incorporated. When baking in a Bundt pan, don't be afraid to use plenty of baking spray to get into all the nooks and crannies.

This versatile Brown Sugar Pound Cake is meant to be dressed up—we've devised countless ways to top this simple cake. From lemon curd and blueberries to peanut butter and bananas, the opportunities are endless with this blank canvas of a cake. For a fancied-up Southern version, top with bourbon whipped cream, pecans, and orange zest. For a garden-fresh dessert, toss on a dollop of mascarpone cheese, strawberry jam, strawberries and mint. Or you could go the Mexican hot cocoa route with vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, cinnamon, cayenne, and pepitas. Anything goes with pound cake; this best-ever brown sugar dessert is incredible however you choose to top it.

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Heavily spray a 15-cup Bundt pan with baking spray; set aside. Beat butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment at medium speed until creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually add brown sugar and granulated sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 6 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until incorporated after each addition (do not overbeat).

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  • Whisk together flour and salt in a medium bowl. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture in 3 additions alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture and beating on low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla with a spatula just until blended. Pour batter into prepared pan, and spread evenly.

  • Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 1 hour, 10 minutes, to 1 hour, 20 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes. Gently loosen sides of cake from pan with an offset spatula, if needed, and turn cake out of pan onto a wire rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours.

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