Traditional Pound Cake Recipe With Brown Sugar

Cold Oven Brown Sugar Pound Cake is an easy and simple old fashion, southern pound cake recipe. 

It’s unique, but delicious fall flavor comes from the wonderful blend of brown sugar and toasted nuts.

It comes from Faith Lutheran Church’s (Marietta, GA) 50th Anniversary Celebration Cookbook.

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Cold over pound cake 300 degrees

A unique, but traditional pound cake

While looking over this recipe I was disappointed there were no traditional fall spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.  But, as any good Southerner, I so love brown sugar and pound cake that I made it anyway.  And after gobbling it up, I’m glad I did.

As it turns out, this is a very fall cake.  The fall taste doesn’t come from your usual fall spice suspects, but from the tang of the walnuts or the sweet, buttery flavor of the pecans  and the brown sugar.   

I’m so glad I followed my southern instincts and made this traditional brown sugar pound cake. Though it’s pictured here topped with powdered sugar, I’ve also topped it with a brown sugar glaze and it taste amazing either way. 

If you love fall, brown sugar, pound cake or food in general you will love this easy and simple brown sugar pound cake recipe.

Southern Cold Oven Pound Cake

ingredients for this pound cake recipe

  • Butter – For best results use room temperature. I use real butter.  I Can’t Believe It’s Butter equals I Can’t Believe This is Even Pound Cake.
  • Shortening
  • Brown Sugar – firmly packed.
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Eggs – Room temperature
  • Cake Flour – If you don’t have cake flour, all purpose if fine.
  • Baking Powder
  • Evaporated Milk
  • Vanilla
  • Toasted Walnuts or Pecans – For best results, toast your nuts. This adds flavor to the cake.

how to make this cold oven pound cake

  • Don’t preheat oven
  • Beat butter and shortening, slowly add sugars and then eggs.
  • Add sifted flour and baking powder alternately with milk.
  • Add toasted nuts and vanilla.
  • Pour batter into greased and floured bundt or tube pan.
  • Set oven to 300 degrees and place cake in oven.
  • Bake cake 1 hour and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes.
  • Cool in pan for 10 to 15 minutes and remove from pan.
  • Dust with powdered sugar or top with brown sugar glaze (recipe on card below).

Kitchen Aid Classic Stand Mixer

Nordic Ware Bundt Pan

Nordic Ware 2 Piece Tube Pan

Nordic Ware Cake Cooling and Serving Grid

Brown Sugar Pound Cake Recipe

how to toast nuts

Toasting the nuts exponentially brings out the flavor of the nuts.  It draws the natural oils to the surface, which enhances the rich flavor of the nuts.

Here are three methods to toast your nuts, which I found in this post on toasting nuts from The Spruce Eats.

  • The Skillet Method 
    • In a skillet cook over medium heat in a even layer.  
    • Shake the skillet and stir with a wooden spoon.
    • Consistently turn the nuts until they are brown and fragrant.
    • Move them to a plate to cool as soon as they are browned and done.
  • The Oven Method
    • Preheat oven to 350 and place nuts in a single layer on rimmed baking sheet.
    • Bake for 10 – 15 minutes, periodically stirring and turning.
    • When done move nuts to a plate.
  • The Microwave Method
    • Put one cup of nuts on a plate.
    • Microwave 3 to 4 minutes, uncovered.
    • They will not be browned, but should have the nutty smell and taste.

how do you keep nuts from sinking in a cake?

How many of us have made a cake with nuts and all the nuts sunk to the bottom?  The cake is still good, but it’s just not a sexy look and it would be better if the nuts were dispersed evenly.

Here’s how to prevent that:

  • Place the nuts in a zippered bag or sealed container with one to two tablespoons of flour.  
  • Shake the bag or container so the flour lightly covers the nuts.
  • Fold the nuts in last, just before you put the cake in the oven.

This works in any type of cake.  The flour helps suspend the nuts in the batter while it bakes.

Brown Sugar Pound Cake Recipe
Brown Sugar Pound Cake Made Using Floured Walnuts
Southern Pound Cake Recipe
Brown Sugar Pound Cake Made Without Using Floured Walnuts

Why A Cold Oven Pound Cake?

Pound cakes baked in a cold oven:

  • Seem to rise higher.
  • Have a thicker crust (this is what I love). 

how to freeze pound cake

It tastes just as delicious, if not more so, after serving time in the freezer.

To freeze the cake or a portion of the cake:

To freeze in slices:

Glad Cling Wrap, 100 sq ft

Reynolds Wrap Heavy Strength, 50 sq ft

Ziploc Slider Stand-and-Fill Storage Bags

Reynolds Kitchens Parchment Paper, 15 in 45 Sq Ft

Southern Pound Cake Recipe

More autumn theme cakes

Southern Pound Cake Recipe
Print Jump to Recipe Pin Recipe

Easy Cold Oven Brown Sugar Pound Cake

Simple and easy to make brown sugar pound cake recipe. Moist and delicious with that lovely taste of home.
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Easy, recipe, taste of home, old fashion, million dollar, moist, southern, glaze, brown sugar, best, bundt, desserts, homemade, coffee, rum, simple, cold oven
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Cooling Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 18 Slices
Calories 440kcal
Cost $10


  • Stand or Hand Mixer
  • Medium to Large Bundt or Tube Pan


Brown Sugar Pound Cake Ingredients

  • 1 cup Butter softened
  • ½ cup Shortening
  • 2 cups Brown Sugar firmly packed
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 6 Large Eggs
  • 3 cups Cake Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 cup Evaporated Milk
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups Toasted Chopped Walnuts or Pecans Using toasted nuts is critical. Link to toasting nuts in notes below.

Brown Sugar Glaze Ingredients

  • cup Butter
  • cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 – 3 Tbsp Milk Optional, depending on consistency you desire.


Brown Sugar Pound Cake Instructions

  • Don't preheat oven. This cake gets its start in a cold oven
  • Beat butter and shortening at medium speed until creamy
  • Slowly add sugars. Beat until light and fluffy
  • Add eggs one at a time. Beat just until yellow yolk disappears
  • Sift together flour and baking powder
  • Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk. Beginning and ending with flour mixture
  • In a separate bowl toss 2 to 3 teaspoons of flour with the toasted nuts. See explanation in notes below.
  • Stir in vanilla and toasted nuts.
  • Pour batter into a greased and floured medium to large bundt or tube pan
  • Place in cold oven and set temperature to 300°
  • Bake 1 hour and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes or until a long sharp knife inserted in the center of cake comes out clean.
  • Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes
  • Remove and cool completely on wire rack
  • Ice with Brown Sugar Glaze, dust with powdered sugar or just eat it naked.

Brown Sugar Glaze Instructions

  • In a saucepan melt the butter over medium heat.
  • Add the brown sugar and vanilla and incorporate well.
  • Stir in the powdered sugar. Continue to stir until thick.
  • You may need to add some milk if you'd like the consistency to be thinner.


For this recipe, much of the cake’s flavor comes from the toasted walnuts or pecans.  So, it’s critical you toast the nuts.  Here is a link showing three methods to toast nuts from The Spruce Eats.
Tossing  flour with nuts before adding the nuts to the batter will prevent them from sinking.  Your nuts will then scatter evenly throughout the cake.  
Starting a pound cake from a cold oven will give the cake a thicker and crustier crust.  
Pound cakes freeze extremely well.  Wrap the cake tightly with aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap, or place in a heavy duty freezer bag.  Keeps best 4 to 6 months, but can stay in longer.  I personally think they taste better after they’ve served some freezer time.  


Calories: 440kcal

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