Pound Cake With Brown Butter and Pecans
This twist on a traditional pound cake takes the ordinary and turns it into something extraordinary, making the longtime favorite taste like a buttery, nutty maple-glazed doughnut. Beyond being delicious, it’s also a great way to use up any pecans, rescuing them by toasting them and tossing them in a sweet glaze. (If you like, you can also use a mix of pecans and walnuts.) It’s a big cake, great for a crowd, and a little goes a long way. But it keeps well in the fridge and is especially nice heated up for 15 seconds in the microwave.
- Serves: 14 persons
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 3cups plus 2 tablespoons/400 grams cake flour
- 1teaspoon baking powder
- 1teaspoon fine salt
- ½teaspoon baking soda
- ½cup/60 grams chopped pecans
- 1 ½cups/339 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2cups/400 grams granulated sugar
- 4large eggs, at room temperature
- 1tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1cup/240 milliliters buttermilk, at room temperature
- ½cup unsalted butter
- 1(14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1cup/102 grams confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 2teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2cups/250 grams finely chopped pecans
- Whole milk (optional), for thinning glaze
Step 1Place a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12-cup Bundt cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Step 2Prepare the cake: Sift 3 cups cake flour with the baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside.
Step 3In a small bowl, toss the chopped pecans with the remaining 2 tablespoons cake flour; set aside.
Step 4In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the 1 ½ cups butter on medium-high until light and creamy, 5 minutes. Add the granulated sugar and continue to mix until pale yellow, another 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, waiting until each egg is completely mixed before adding the next. Add the vanilla extract. Turn mixer to low, and add the flour mixture in 3 batches, starting and ending with the flour mixture and alternating with the buttermilk. Do not overmix. Fold in the pecans.
Step 5Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan. Spread the batter evenly and tap the pan on the counter to release any air. Bake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center of the comes out with a few crumbs, 50 minutes to 1 hour.
Step 6Remove the cake from the oven and let cool at room temperature for 20 minutes. If needed, gently run a butter knife along the edge of the cake to make sure it isn't sticking to the pan. (The cake should naturally start pulling away within a few minutes of being out of the oven.)
Step 7As the cake rests, prepare the glaze: Cook the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Carefully pour it into a medium bowl, leaving behind the sediment. (You can also pour through a fine-mesh strainer to make sure the sediment stays behind.)
Step 8Add condensed milk, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and stir until combined. Add the finely chopped pecans and stir until incorporated. If glaze is too thick, stir in milk, 1 tablespoon at a time. Pour over cake immediately. Cake will keep, covered, at room temperature, for up to 4 days.