Coffee Cake Friday: Brown Butter Pound Cake

by Jeanne on November 13, 2009

Today’s coffee cake is a simple pound cake made with brown butter. Brown butter is one of my favorite baking ingredients. It’s just butter that’s been cooked so that that the solids turn brown and nutty-flavored–but it really packs a flavor wallop. It may sound intimidating to do–but it’s really not. You just need to pay attention to what you’re doing. And your kitchen will smell amazing. Other than making the brown butter (which takes very little time), this recipe is very easy.

I found the original of this recipe on Gourmet‘s web site. As I discussed in my last post, Gourmet has been discontinued. And, apparently, the web site will be discontinued as well. If there are any recipes over there that you like and that you can’t find anywhere else, go print them now. I’m assuming the web site will go away soon after November ends. My printer has been busy lately.

Brown Butter Pound Cake
-adapted from Gourmet magazine

Note: This recipe uses my gluten-free flour mix:
Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix (mix together and store in fridge):
1 1/4 C. brown rice flour
1 1/4 C. white rice flour
1 C. tapioca flour
1 C. sweet rice flour (also known as Mochiko)
2 scant tsp. xanthan gum

Special Equipment Needed
-loaf pan, 9″x2″x5.5″
-stand mixer is nice, but a hand mixer will do

2 1/4 sticks (18 TBL) unsalted butter
2 C Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix (sift before measuring)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C dark brown sugar
1/2 C granulated sugar
4 large or extra-large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
extra butter and tapioca flour for pan

Preheat oven to 325 degrees
-butter and flour pan with tapioca flour
-in a small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside
-in a large skillet, heat butter over medium heat until the milk solids on the bottom are dark chocolate brown.

-transfer butter to a shallow bowl or baking pan and chill in freezer until just congealed–about 15 minutes. You want to get it to the consistency of soft but not melted butter

-transfer butter to the bowl of mixer
-beat the butter for a couple of minutes–until fluffy
-add sugars, beat for a couple more minutes
-add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition
-add vanilla extract
-with mixer at slow speed, add flour mixture–do not over mix
-transfer batter to prepared baking pan
-thump on counter to release any trapped air bubbles
-bake at 325 degrees for about 1 hr 20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean


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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Nurit Philip July 2, 2015 at 11:05 am

Hi there,
Thank you for the Recipes .
What can i use instead Tapioca flour ?
We do not have arrowroot powder .

Sabbath Shalom


Jeanne July 8, 2015 at 6:01 pm

Nurit: Check out my Ingredient Substitutions list for info on how to substitute for different flours.


Toni Tierney March 13, 2015 at 12:08 pm

I need a gluten free recipe for a pound cake for a character cake (a 3 diamentional bear cake) will this recipe work? or would the pan be too thick for the recipe?


Jeanne March 13, 2015 at 1:43 pm

Toni: Hm, I’ve never made a character cake so I’m not completely sure how that works. But, it is a fairly standard pound cake, so if that’s what you need–this should work well. You might also want to check out the Cream Cheese Pound Cake or the basic Pound Cake recipes to see if those might work.


Toni Tierney March 13, 2015 at 9:38 pm

Thanks I’ll try them both.


Maria June 2, 2014 at 1:30 am

Hi, Jeanne.
Finally got around to trying out this recipe and the cake came out truly delicious!!! I am enjoying baking with your gf mix. Looking forward to your new book. Kind regards – maria


Jeanne June 16, 2014 at 11:23 am

Maria: Yay! I’m so glad!


Vince January 27, 2014 at 10:23 am

This was one of the most incredible desserts I’ve ever eaten. I made this yesterday for a small get together that included people who normally eat gluten. Everyone absolutely loved it and my favorite comment was “this doesn’t even taste gluten free”. I really appreciate that I can pick pretty much any recipe on your list and know that it is going to turn out wonderful and delicious for everyone.
Thank you so much!!


Jeanne January 29, 2014 at 9:40 am

Vince: Yay! I’m so glad!


Amy Cohen January 21, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Thanks so much, Jeanne! I will try it and will let you know.
One other issue: there seem to be so very many sizes for loaf pans – makes me a bit crazy! Are the sizes so critical?


Amy Cohen January 20, 2011 at 5:04 pm

I’m wondering how this cake would be if you were to substitute almond flour/ground almonds for some of the flour. Any thoughts?


admin January 20, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Amy: Hm, interesting question. I haven’t done this. What I would recommend to you is to experiement. Substitute almond flour for 1/3 of the flour and see what happens. It will affect the taste and texture a bit, but not necessarily in a bad way. It will just be different. If you do this, please let me know how it goes!


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