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Brown Sugar Pound Cake

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This Brown Sugar Pound Cake is an all-time favorite. Pound cakes are a quintessential Southern delicacy and this rich brown sugar variation gives you one more reason to fall in love with them all over again. Serve it as a sweet treat at the holidays or any meal all year long.

Brown Sugar Pound Cake

Brown Sugar Pound Cake is a Southern Classic

This Brown Sugar Pound Cake is one of my all-time favorite recipes from my good friends at Martha White. Pound cakes are a quintessential Southern delicacy and this rich brown sugar variation gives me one more reason to fall in love with them all over again. This recipe from Martha White is tried and true, they’ve been in the baking business for decades providing quality products from cornbread to biscuits. Ingredients you’ll need to make Brown Sugar Pound Cake from scratch:

  • Flour – All purpose flour sifted with baking powder and salt.
  • Sugar – Light brown sugar and granulated sugar.
  • Butter – Salted or unsalted butter, softened.
  • Shortening – Solid vegetable shortening.
  • Flavorings – Vanilla extract.
  • Eggs – Large eggs.
  • Milk – One cup whole milk.
  • Nuts – Chopped pecans, toasted.
  • Glaze – Butter, light brown sugar, whole milk, vanilla extract, powdered sugar and chopped toasted pecans.
Brown Sugar Pound Cake

How to Make the BEST Brown Sugar Pound Cake Recipe

Pound cake is a classic Southern dessert and they’re on the dessert table at every special event or holiday gathering with my family. It’s the dessert equivalent of comfort food and worth the small amount of effort it takes to make them.

  • Kitchen tools you’ll need to make homemade Brown Sugar Pound Cake: A stand mixer or hand mixer, large bowl, medium bowl, whisk, angel food pan, silicone spatula, sheet pan for toasting the pecans, measuring cups and spoons.
  • When measuring flour, always spoon the flour into the measuring cup then level. Never scoop the enture cup into the flour or it can become compacted and the cake will be dry.
  • Allow ample time for the butter to soften at room temperature or use the soten function on your microwave. This will ensure that it creams beaurifully with the sugar.
  • You can toast the pecans in advance for a timesaver. To toast pecans: Spread chopped pecans in a single layer on a sheet pan. Roast in a preheated 350°F oven for 6-8 minutes, then set aside to cool completely.
  • Store Brown Sugar Pound Cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days or chilled in the refrigerator for one week.
  • You can also freeze this Brown Sugar Pound Cake for up to 3 months.
Brown Sugar Pound Cake

More Southern Pound Cake Recipes to Make

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Brown Sugar Pound Cake

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 15 minutes
Cooling time4 hours
Total Time5 hours 30 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: brown-sugar-pound-cake
Servings: 16 servings (may vary)
Calories: 558kcal
Author: Melissa Sperka


  • Cake:
  • 2 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup chopped pecans toasted
  • Glaze:
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans toasted


  • HEAT oven to 350°F. Spray a 10-inch tube pan with flour no-stick baking spray. Set aside.
  • Spread the pecans for the cake and garnish in a single layer on a sheet pan. Toast for 6-8 minutes. Cool completely.
  • Combine 2 1/4 cups brown sugar, sugar, 1 cup butter, shortening and 2 teaspoons vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • COMBINE flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl; mix well.
  • Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Stir in pecans. Spread batter in prepared pan.
  • BAKE 1 1/4 hours or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool 1 hour or until completely cooled.
  • GLAZE Melt 1/4 cup butter in small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add 1/2 cup brown sugar; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Add 1/4 cup milk; bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  • REMOVE saucepan from heat. Stir in vanilla. Gradually stir in powdered sugar; blend until smooth. Drizzle over cooled cake.
  • Garnish with additional toasted pecans.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 558kcal | Carbohydrates: 79g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 203mg | Potassium: 180mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 59g | Vitamin A: 554IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!


  1. Can I have the measurement for a smaller cake… Only 2 of. Us… How much more butter to add if without shortening… Thanks

  2. I really want to try making this cake, it calls for shortening, is that the white solid kind in a can? Or can I use the Crisco oil? Thanks

  3. Are there any variations for high altitude? I’m a Georgia girl out in the desert of New Mexico at an altitude just over 4300ft. So far, the only alterations I’ve had to make was adjusting the baking temperature.

    1. Often lowering the temperature and baking longer generally works. If you’ve had success with adjusting the temperature alone, that should also work for this cake.

    1. It will change the cake. The shortening in this cake provides some stability to the crumb since there’s brown sugar in the recipe. You can use all butter but, it will change how the cake bakes.

    1. Hi Sandy, this is a big cake that’s why it calls for a tube pan. I would recommend sticking with that.

      1. Can someone please tell me how to modify the sugar to how much stevia to use?
        Thank you in advance!

      2. Robin, I was wondering the same. I have found in other recipes to use 1/2 the amount of Stevia for a sugar substitute.
        Does anyone have any suggestion for a sugar free powdered sugar. I cannot find in our local grocery.

  4. This looks unbelievably delicious. I never bake because I don’t have a mixer, and can’t afford one. But I’d make this in a heartbeat.

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