Brown Sugar Walnut Pound Cake


Brown Sugar Walnut Pound Cake / Patty's FoodI love to bake with walnuts.  I think it comes from my formative years, growing up in a small tract home in Danville, California that was built on what was an old walnut orchard.  We had a huge walnut tree in our front yard and another one in the back.  I remember they were great for  providing shade and for climbing.  I also remember the big mess they made when all the green powdery worms fell off the tree on to our driveway, but that mess was nothing compared to the walnuts covered with a thick black skin that fell later.  As children we loved to stomp on those green worms as soon as they hit the pavement and I suppose we also liked to stomp on those black walnuts.  But, that didn’t last too long because when the walnuts started falling out of trees men would come through with really tall sticks, knock the walnuts down and cart them off.  The stains from where the walnuts fell on the pavement would last until the rains washed them away.

We also had giant snowball trees on our street and when the branches were covered with snowballs the kids in the neighborhood would rip the snowballs off the trees and have snowball wars.  I can understand why parents like their children to play quietly indoors.  I won’t even tell you about what we did with the pomegranates…or maybe I’ll save that for another post.

My brown sugar walnut pound cake iced with a brown sugar glaze and covered with chopped walnuts makes a wonderful Fall weekend cake to enjoy with your family-especially kids love it.  The little people in my life, aka grandkids, Noah(8), JD(5) and Gracie(3) spent the night at our house last Saturday.  My cake kept shrinking and shrinking, finally down to a few walnuts crumbs on the plate -I’m lucky to have snapped a few photos before their visit.
Brown Sugar Walnut Pound Cake / Patty's Food

Brown Sugar Walnut Pound Cake

Yield: 16 slices

Adapted from King Arthurs Flour and Epicurious.


  • 1 cup (8 oz or 226.8 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (220 grams) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (128 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (128 grams) whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (242 grams) sour cream
  • 1&1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped, plus extra to sprinkle on top of glazed cake
  • for the Brown Sugar Glaze
  • 4 tablespoons (56 grams) unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream (30 grams)
  • 1/2 cup (110 grams) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4-1/2 cups (32-64 grams) confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Pinch of sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).
  2. Lightly grease with butter or spray with baking spray a 9 cup Bundt pan.
  3. Sift together the flours, baking powder, salt and baking soda, set aside.
  4. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer beat the butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy(2-3 minutes).
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for a minute between additions, scrape the bowl down as needed.
  6. Beat in half the flour mixture.
  7. Gently beat in the sour cream and vanilla.
  8. Add the remaining flour mixture, mixing on low speed until just blended.
  9. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in cake comes away clean or with a few crumbs.
  10. Cool the cake in the pan on a metal rack until cool enough to handle, then remove the cake from the pan to finish cooling before glazing and sprinkling with chopped walnuts.
  11. to make the Brown Sugar Glaze
  12. In a small heavy saucepan over a medium high heat bring the butter and cream to a low simmer, add the brown sugar, stir until blended.
  13. Continue cooking and stirring mixture over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
  14. Stir in the powdered sugar, use more for a thicker glaze.
  15. Remove from heat when glaze is blended and smooth, add vanilla, lemon juice and salt.
  16. Pace the cooled cake on a cake platter and glaze with Brown Sugar Glaze, sprinkle on the chopped walnuts and serve

Germany 2013 / Patty's FoodMissing My Trip to Germany 2013

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  1. This pound cake is absolutely beautiful, Patty! Such a perfect fall treat, and so festive for any party. Your last photo from Germany is just stunning, too. Thanks for sharing!

  2. What a beautiful treat, Patty. I’m pinning this cake right away. And I loved learning about why walnuts hold a special place in your heart. And like Georgia said, the last photograph is just lovely!

  3. Patty, what a gorgeous cake! Love the brown sugar glaze – it’s so pretty! And the walnuts are so perfectly chopped and sprinkled on top! Pinned!

  4. What a gorgeous fall cake Patty! Mmm wish I could share a piece with you over tea at your beautiful house :)

  5. Beautiful cake, Patty! I love the shape of your Bundt and that glaze looks to die for!

  6. Patty, this cake looks delicious. Just very, very tasty. Since I am having some luck with baking cakes in the high altitude (well, to be honest, I have been successful one time) I am going to pin and make it this month. I especially like the Brown Sugar Glaze – it just cries “Fall”. Since we are having some snow every night here in Colorado, I want to think “Fall” for a few more weeks. Lovely pictures, also. Enjoyed following your Euroipean escapades.

    • pattysfood says:

      Thanks Mary, let me know how your cake turns out, I’m curious about the adjustments made for high altitude cake baking ;) ps. Snow sounds so cozy right now we are still having warm days!

  7. Gorgeous cake (love the graceful shape!). If I had walnut and lemon trees in my backyard, I’d be the happiest person in the universe.

  8. Looks really yummy, I had to grow to love walnuts but I do like them now, my dad ate them like crazy. We have several walnuts trees on our property but we don’t bother them, why when you can buy great ones without the hassle. I showed my son the other day on our walk a green walnut fruit he was curious but couldn’t get it smashed open :)

    • pattysfood says:

      Thanks Suzanne-I had to laugh about your son trying to smash open the green walnut, so tempting but not easy to open a green walnut ;)

  9. I’m so happy to hear you speak out in defense of the humble walnut. For some pecans are the only “nut” and the walnut is dismissed as a second class ingredient! I believe both have their own unique flavors and parts to play in recipes. And the Brown Sugar Walnut Pound Cake is a shining example of just how magnificent walnuts can be!

  10. I too enjoy baking with walnuts! The bundt cake looks divine, Patty.

  11. I’ve wanted to plant nut trees in our yard, but reading about the oozy worms and such I’m afraid may make me averse to the nuts. :) I luv using nuts in baking, salads and cooking when I can and so glad that we don’t have nut allergies (I would miss them too much).

    Beautiful cake and unmolded to perfectly. A treasure to share with your little ones. :)

  12. Such a gorgeous cake. And I love the childhood memories you shared. Yes, do tell us more another time!

  13. Oh, this would disappear by more than a nibble full at a time if it were in my house. LOVE!!!!

  14. I want to know about those pomegranates, Patty? Love this cake…walnuts are one of my favorite nuts! It looks so pretty! No better compliment then those grandkids leaving crumbs! Wish I could share a piece with you…we enjoyed our dinner with you and Scott so much. SF is my new favorite city…right after NY!

  15. I can see why your “Littles” gobbled this one up…I would, too! Loved reading your childhood shenanigans…those were the days! My parents didn’t seem to notice that we were playing in the flooded streets during thunderstorms…yikes. I’m certain I would have joined you in worm stomping!

  16. I bet it kept shrinking. I would have loved to help shrink it. When we were little we left the house the first thing in the morning and then had to be home when the streetlights came on, boy how things have changed. I didn’t have a walnut tree, but we had a pom and what a mess we made with it. Lol. Enjoy your newest adventure.

  17. Whoa.. This cake looks SO good! I would love a slice right now!

  18. I would have loved to have grown up with a walnut tree in my backyard so I could eat as many as my belly would fill. Your pound cake is so pretty and looks delicious. I love your shot of the building and bicycle — didn’t know you were in my neck of the woods.:)

  19. Oh my, I can see why this got gobbled up, it looks wonderful Patti. I love how certain ingredients can give us a rush of amazing memories!

  20. Patty – you are one of the best bakers and make some of the most wonderful treats. This cake is no exception!

  21. That’s the perfect cake to take to a party – my mother would love to bring that to her CWL meetings, too, I’d bet. I love the photo of the bike against the wall. So quintessentially European!

  22. I have similar memories about walnut trees growing up! They’re so unappealing when they fall from the tree, yet are truly marvelous in the kitchen. This cake is so my style, must taste amazing Patty!

  23. Patty, can you please, please, please send me a slice of this – it looks devine!

  24. Sounds like you kids had a wild time outdoors…playing outside was what we used to do as children.
    I love walnuts too, and they go great with your gorgeous cake. Also, the wheat flour is a nice complement to the walnuts.
    Looking at that beautiful photo, I can understand why you miss Germany!

  25. Mmm pound cake! This looks great. I just bought a giant bag of walnuts, so this recipe is going on my short list!

  26. Wow this looks good!

  27. This is a GORGEOUS cake, Patty and I am such a huge fan of bundt cakes. I am so envious that you grew up around walnut trees. What a baker’s dream! Wouldn’t it be great to always have the ingredients we need in our own yards all the time! I can see why your grandkids scarfed this down! And that brown sugar glaze….just give me a spoon! Beautiful photos! : )

  28. We have a walnut tree on the coast and I’ve always thought they were beautiful. I have to say that I’m happy not to live there if the green worms come out some parts of the year! I didn’t know that. When the oak worms dangle from the oak trees each spring I stay away from the yard, LOL!

    I love this cake, though. Absolutely everything about it.

  29. Divine!! I love a good pound cake that looks just as airy and light :)


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