One of the biggest (and ongoing) lessons of my adult life has been to find ways to celebrate myself. They don’t have to be ((and mine typically are not) huge, grand, pricey gestures. But they are necessary. And, mind tend to taste really good.
This past week, I turned 33. Per a tradition I’ve been keeping for about nine years, every year for my birthday, I bake a new cake to celebrate…well, myself. 32 was an amazing year for me. There was a lot of new changes, a lot hard work, and a lot of great accomplishments–among them, getting a year older.
Great accomplishments always call for great cake. I’ve made quite a few great pound cakes in past years for past birthdays, but the pound cake will jus† always be my favorite, so here we go again for Year 33.
This year’s pound cake is pretty simple in terms of ingredients, but I did a few things differently that set it apart from some of the other ones I’ve made.
First, I used brown sugar instead of white to give it a deeper, more caramel-y sweetness. Combined with the five eggs, using brown sugar also gives the cake a denser texture, which I’m a huge fan of. So far as mix-ins, I added Heath Toffee Bits, which I’ve also never used in a cake before but thought they would pair well with the brown sugar and denseness of the cake. The other new addition was the browned butter frosting, which I’ve done in glazes before, but not frosting itself.
While I do think the cake is delicious enough to eat on its own, I do think the browned butter frosting added a really pleasant, nutty flavor to it that cut through some of the sweetness. Also, toffee bits are now a new favorite add in for me, so you’ll probably be seeing those used a bit more in baked goods to come on here.
I really liked my 33rd birthday, and I really liked this cake.
Brown Sugar Toffee Pound Cake
- 1½ cups unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 5 large eggs
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or Butter Vanilla emulsion
- 1 (8-ounce) package toffee bits
For Browned Butter Frosting
- 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or Butter Vanilla Emulsion
- 2 to 4 tablespoons whole milk
Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan. Combine the milk and vanilla in a glass measuring cup and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk-extract mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating at low speed just until combined after each addition.
Stir in toffee bits and pecans.
Spoon batter into prepared pan. Tap the pan a few times on the countertop to eliminate air bubbles.
Bake until a wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean, 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 25 minutes, covering with foil to prevent excess browning, if necessary.
Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack.
For Browned Butter Frosting
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, gently swirling pan constantly, until particles begin to turn golden brown and butter smells nutty, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and continue swirling the pan until the butter is a rich brown, about 15 seconds longer
Carefully pour butter into a bowl. Add sugar, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons milk to butter, and stir until smooth. If frosting is too thick, add more milk until it reaches desired consistency.
Spread frosting over top and sides of cake. Place in the refrigerator to allow frosting to set, about 30 minutes.
Sharing at Fiesta Friday #452.