This delicious dense textured Brown Sugar Cake is a tender, rich in flavor bundt cake covered with a buttery caramel glaze.
If you’ve never had brown sugar cake, you have to try it! It’s one of my all-time favorite cakes and my go-to when I need an easy dessert for last-minute guests. It’s packed full of flavor and a big hit with anyone who has had it. The caramel glaze is the perfect finishing touch, but this Brown Sugar Cake is so delectable it can be served on its own with just a dusting of powdered sugar. Once you try it, you’ll want to make it again and again!
Why This Recipe Works
- Sweetening this cake with mainly brown sugar gives this cake rich flavors without being excessively sweet.
- Buttermilk adds moisture and a bit of tanginess.
- Vanilla adds an extra layer of flavor to the buttery caramel richness of this delectable cake.
The caramel glaze is super simple to make. It’s made on the stove and thickens as it cools. The longer it cools, the thicker it becomes. So if you like a thicker icing instead of a glaze, this recipe is perfect. For more detailed information, see my Caramel Icing recipe.
- Flour: I use unbleached, all-purpose flour, but any plain or all-purpose flour will be fine.
- Sugar: I use light brown sugar and granulated sugar, but dark brown sugar and superfine/caster sugar work.
- Eggs: Use large, room-temperature eggs.
- Butter: I use salted butter in my baking, but unsalted works.
- Buttermilk: Buttermilk is essential for a soft, moist cake; if you don’t have any, see the section below for how to make your own.
- Vanilla: I use vanilla bean paste, but you can use vanilla extract or flavoring.
- Baking Powder: Always make sure your baking powder is fresh. Out-of-date baking powder will affect the rising of your cake.
How To Make Your Own Buttermilk
To make your own buttermilk, add one tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk. Full-fat milk is best; however, low-fat or skimmed milk will also work. Stir and let it stand for 5 minutes. The mixture might look a little curdled, but that’s fine.
How to Make Brown Sugar Cake
- Mix the flour, baking soda and salt.
- Cream the butter and sugars until fluffy.
- Beat in eggs one at a time, add vanilla.
- Mix in flour mixture and buttermilk alternately until fully combined.
- Bake for around an hour.
- Cover the cooled cake with caramel glaze.
- Serve & enjoy!
Step By Step Instructions
Preheat oven to 350°F/176°C and then generously grease and flour a 12-cup capacity Bundt Cake pan and set aside.
Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
Place the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and butter in a mixer (or a medium-sized mixing bowl).
Cream the mixture together until light and fluffy this will take at least 3 minutes. Don’t rush this step – it’s what creates the cake’s tender texture.
In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients.
Add a third of the flour to the creamed butter and a third of the egg mixture. Mix until combined, repeat with another third of each, then fold the remaining flour and egg mixture by hand, until fully incorporated, scraping off the bottom of the bowl to ensure all the ingredients are thoroughly combined. The batter will be pretty thick.
Spoon into the prepared pan—Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
For The Glaze:
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat to prepare the glaze.
Add the brown sugar and constantly stir for 1 minute (be sure the butter and sugar are thoroughly combined and you can’t see any separated butter in the mixture).
Bring to a boil over medium heat. Continue cooking, stirring, for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and set aside to cool. The longer it cools the thicker it becomes.
Drizzle over the cooled cake.
Serve and enjoy!
Erren’s Top Tips
- To prevent air pockets from forming on your bundt cake, set your Bundt pan on a dish towel and firmly tap on the pan’s surface five to ten times before placing it in the oven.
- To ensure an easy release of your bundt cake from the pan, set a timer for cooling so you don’t forget to flip the cake out of the pan at the proper time.
- The caramel glaze thickens the more it cools. You can have anything from a shiny, thin glaze (like in the top photo) to a thicker frosting (like in the bottom picture of the cut cake).
- This cake can be quickly frozen (see below). Just freeze without the glaze and then drizzle it on before serving.
Storing & Freezing Instructions ❄
- At Room Temperature: Keep this cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.
- To Freeze: The cake can be frozen (without glaze) in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic in the Freezer. When ready to use it, let it defrost overnight at room temperature.
This recipe will yield up to 14 sliced (using a 12 cup bundt pan).
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Let’s Make Brown Sugar Cake
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2½ cups Brown Sugar packed
- ½ cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 cup Butter softened
- 5 Eggs at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 cup Buttermilk at room temperature
For The Glaze:
- 1½ sticks butter (¾ cup)
- 1 cup brown sugar packed packed
- ½ cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F/176°C. Generously grease and flour a 12-cup capacity Bundt Cake pan (measuring about 10 inches in diameter) and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl or mixer, cream the butter, brown sugar, and Granulated sugar until light and fluffy. (around 3 minutes is perfect)
- In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients.
- Add a third of the flour to the creamed butter and a third of the egg mixture. Mix until combined, repeat with another third of each, then fold the remaining flour and egg mixture by hand, until fully incorporated, scraping off the bottom of the bowl to ensure all the ingredients are thoroughly combined. The batter will be thick.
- Bake for 55 – 65 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
For the glaze:
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the brown sugar to the melted butter and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute (be sure the butter and sugar are completely combined and you can’t see any separated butter in the mixture). Bring to a boil over medium heat. Continue cooking, stirring, for 2 minutes.
- Add the milk and vanilla. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Continue cooking, stirring, for 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and set aside to cool. The longer it cools, the thicker it becomes. When it’s at your desired consistency, drizzle over the cooled cake and serve.
Erren’s Kitchen is written and produced for informational intentions only. We are not certified nutritionists, and the nutritional information found on this site has not been assessed or authorized by a nutritionist or the FDA. The nutritional information found in our recipes is offered as an estimate and should not be considered a guarantee or fact. The estimated data is provided as a courtesy and calculated through a third-party online nutritional calculator, spoonacular API. Although we do our best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered rough estimates. Many factors, such as brands or products purchased and the nutritional fluctuations that naturally occur in fresh produce, can alter the effectiveness of the nutritional information in any recipe. Furthermore, various online calculators provide different results depending on their particular algorithms and nutrition fact sources. To obtain the most precise nutritional information in a provided recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the exact ingredients you are using when preparing the recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.
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