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Bourbon-Glazed Brown Sugar Pecan Poundcake


Serves twelve.

For the cake:
  • 12 oz. (1-1/2 cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature; more for the pan
  • 1/2 cup fine, dry, plain breadcrumbs (store-bought are fine)
  • 15-3/4 oz. (3-1/2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 cups lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 2-1/4 cups toasted, coarsely chopped pecans
For the glaze:
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup bourbon
Make the cake:

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 10-inch (12-cup) Bundt pan and dust it with the breadcrumbs, shaking out and discarding the excess crumbs.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda into a medium bowl. Add the salt and mix with a rubber spatula.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed, gradually adding the brown sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate and pausing to scrape the bowl once or twice. Add the vanilla and mix until just combined.

In a measuring cup, combine the buttermilk with the bourbon. With the mixer running on low speed, alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture in five additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, stopping occasionally to scrape the bowl. Mix until just combined. Add the toasted pecan pieces and mix until the nuts are just incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake until the cake is golden brown and a cake tester or skewer comes out clean, 65 to 70 minutes. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool in the pan for 15 minutes.

Make the glaze:

Combine the sugar and bourbon in a small saucepan or skillet. Cook over medium-low heat until the mixture comes to a simmer and the sugar dissolves, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn the cake out of the pan onto a cooling rack. With a pastry brush, brush the warm glaze over the entire surface of the cake. Allow to cool completely.

Make Ahead Tips

This cake can be made up to 2 days ahead.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 790, Fat (kcal): 42, Fat Calories (g): 370, Saturated Fat (g): 17, Protein (g): 9, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 16, Carbohydrates (mg): 91, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 6, Sodium (g): 170, Cholesterol (g): 150, Fiber (g): 3,

Photo: Scott Phillips

This is a fabulous cake...the crumb is soft, rich, moist, and caramel-like from the brown sugar. Use good quality fresh whole pecans and toast them well before chopping. It's out of this world. At the restaurant where I am pastry chef, we serve it with house-made Bourbon Eggnog ice cream and salted caramel sauce. Guests moan... I do triple the salt. It needs it...and add a knob of butter to the glaze while simmering to add some richness. Don't miss this one ! It also makes a great little snacking coffee cake if baked in a 9x13 cake pan. A keeper.

The recipe performed and presented well. My guests enjoyed it. I thought that it was way too sweet - so much so that the flavor of the Bourbon was quashed. If I made it again, I would reduce the sugar.

My husband likes this pound cake better than I do. I thought it was good, but not just outstanding. He loves it, though, and has been eating the leftovers from the dinner party with his coffee for breakfast. He did comment this morning that he thought it would taste better with more salt, and I had upped the salt already from 1/4 tsp. in the recipe to 1/2 tsp.

I served this for New Years Dinner and everyone loved it. I used chopped nuts to line the baking pan rather than bread crumbs

This cake was awesome and also forgiving! I did not read the recipe carefully and firm-packed the brown sugar, but the cake still came out absolutely marvelous. I also am not a big fan of bourbon, so I used a fine single-malt Scotch, Strathmill, instead. I took the cake to work and it disappeared quickly, with many requests for the recipe. For garnish, I sprinkled with just a bit of powdered sugar. With the smokey pecans and not too sweet flavor, this cake pairs well with a good cup of coffee or a nice dollop of vanilla ice cream.

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