The Best Southern Brown Sugar Pound Cake Recipe

Updated on May 22, 2020
Margie Lynn profile image

Margie's been an online writer for several years. Her articles focus on great Southern-style recipes for any occasion.

This pound cake recipe is truly delicious.
This pound cake recipe is truly delicious. | Source

A Tried-and-True Southern Brown Sugar Pound Cake

I have made this fabulous brown sugar pound cake with cream cheese frosting many times over the years. The brown sugar gives it a caramel-like flavor that pairs so well with the pecans and delicious cream cheese frosting.

It makes an elegant cake that anyone would be proud to serve to their guest or give as a gift to friends or family. Pound cakes are one of my favorite cakes to make, and they freeze very well, too.

Real Southern brown sugar pound cake with cream cheese frosting.
Real Southern brown sugar pound cake with cream cheese frosting.


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 (16-ounce) package brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine the butter and shortening; cream together.
  4. Add the brown and granulated sugar gradually; beat until light and fluffy.
  5. Add the eggs, beating well after each addition.
  6. In another medium size bowl combine the flour and baking powder.
  7. Blend the dry ingredients alternately into the creamed mixture with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour, beating well after each addition.
  8. Add the vanilla extract and pecans; mix well.
  9. Pour the batter into 10-inch tube pan.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until the cake test done with a toothpick.
  11. Cool in the pan 10 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  12. When cooled completely, frost with the cream cheese frosting.
Southern brown sugar pound cake fresh from the oven!
Southern brown sugar pound cake fresh from the oven!

How Pound Cake Got Its Name

According to a little bit of online research, it turns out that pound cake started in Europe in the early 1700s. At first, the ingredients included eggs and lemon or orange juice. Then a kind of pound cake called "Indian Meal Pound Cake" started being made. It used corn meal in addition to flour. Interestingly enough, this Indian Meal Pound Cake became popular in Ireland, because they were looking for alternatives to wheat. For this reason they made their pound cake with corn meal.

Some people add sour cream to their pound cake recipe to make it moist. but that can also make it collapse! In the southern style pound cake, it was basically one pound each of butter, flour, eggs and sugar. My brown sugar pound cake has a slightly different list, but that southern one-pound each style is certainly easy to remember, and makes a really really good pound cake.

Making cream cheese frosting
Making cream cheese frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 (16-ounce) package confectioner’s sugar


  1. Combine the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and the cream together.
  2. Slowly add the confectioner’s sugar and beat until smooth.
  3. Frost the cooled cake.

Other Frosting Options

While cream cheese frosting is a natural with brown sugar pound cake, you do have many other options. Caramel frosting, for example, intensifies the brown sugar flavors for those true southern dessert aficionados. Here's a quick recipe for a caramel frosting that will make your pound cake dessert even more decadent.

Caramel Frosting Recipe


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar

Instructions (ready in 15 minutes)

  1. Melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Add milk and brown sugar and bring to a rolling boil for 1 minute.
  3. Remove from heat. Beat in half of the powdered sugar.
  4. Add vanilla
  5. Beat in the remaining sugar. Add milk if the mixture is too thick.

As with all frostings, let it cool a bit before frosting the cake. Enjoy!

Tips From Margie Lynn

  • Powdered sugar is also known as confectioner's sugar.
  • I like to decorate the top of the cake with pecan halves.
  • You can add a little lemon zest for a brighter flavor

© 2016 Margie's Southern Kitchen


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    • Margie Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Margie's Southern Kitchen 

      2 years ago from the USA

      Lonnie, I like to use light brown sugar, but I am sure dark would be okay if that is what you have on hand! Thanks for stopping by. If you have any more question let me know!

      Dana, it is so delicious, the cream cheese frosting is so good with this cake! Thanks for stopping by!

    • profile image

      Dana Thiebaut 

      2 years ago

      Absolutely delicious! Easy to make!

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      What of brown sugar? Light or dark?

    • Margie Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Margie's Southern Kitchen 

      2 years ago from the USA

      I know, I just need to see if I can do that!

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      you need to make a printable version

    • Margie Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Margie's Southern Kitchen 

      3 years ago from the USA

      Toni I am sure your parents would love this delicious cake! I have made many time and always enjoyed by everyone.

    • dangerouslydelish profile image


      3 years ago from NY

      Oh man- think I just gained a pound looking at that! I love that I typically have these ingredients on hand. Might make this for my parents when I go visit. They'd love this- looks super moist too! :)


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