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Brown Sugar Pound Cakes with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

These individual Brown Sugar Pound Cakes are an ode to the deliciousness of simplicity. Brown sugar stars in both the cakes and the frosting for an irresistible caramel-like flavor.

Brown Sugar Pound Cakes frosted with brown sugar cream cheese frosting

Brown Sugar Pound Cakes

When most of us think of dessert, we are likely to conjure images of decadent, elaborate treats with big flavor. It’s easy to forget that sometimes the simplest things can be among the best.

These Brown Sugar Pound Cakes are a testament to that kind of simplicity. Keeping the focus on the wonder that is brown sugar creates a fantastic caramel-like flavor in these cakes. And they have that fantastic pound cake texture, just in single-serving size.

And the flavor theme continues in the frosting, sweetening cream cheese frosting with even more brown sugar. It’s sweet and creamy and really just delicious.

Oh, my, but these little cakes are good. I don’t make cupcakes all that often, but these are some of the best I’ve ever had the pleasure to eat. If you’re a fan of brown sugar and cream cheese, I think you’ll agree!

overhead view of ingredients for Brown Sugar Pound Cakes

What You’ll Need

If you bake with regularity, you’re likely to have just about everything you need to make these Brown Sugar Pound Cakes!

For the pound cakes:

  • All-purpose flour – Measure by weight for best results. If you don’t have a scale, use the spoon and sweep method.
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Unsalted butter – Let the butter sit at room temperature for about half an hour before baking so that it can soften properly.
  • Light brown sugar – If your brown sugar has hardened, don’t fret because it can be fixed easily. See How to Soften Brown Sugar for a few options to get your brown sugar in baking shape!
  • Eggs – Set these out along with the butter so they’ll mix more easily and create a better texture for the cakes.
  • Buttermilk – Grab the buttermilk out of the refrigerator when you set out the butter and eggs. Out of buttermilk? Try one of these buttermilk substitutes.

For the frosting:

  • Unsalted butter – Make sure it’s properly softened so it will mix easily.
  • Cream cheese – Full-fat cream cheese works best. Be sure to let it come to room temperature so that your frosting will be smooth and lump-free.
  • Light brown sugar
overhead view of frosted Brown Sugar Pound Cakes on a white cake stand

How to Make Brown Sugar Pound Cakes

This is a really simple recipe that’s suitable for bakers of all skill levels. You’ll need an electric mixer, muffin pans, and whatever you’d like to use for decorating with the frosting.

Prepare for baking. Heat the oven to 325°F. Line 24 standard muffin cups with paper liners. Alternatively, you can skip the liners and grease the cups.

Combine the dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Combine the wet ingredients. With an electric hand mixer or stand mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar until lightened and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after adding each.

Add the dry ingredients and buttermilk to the wet ingredients. While continuing to mix, add the flour mixture in three portions, alternating with two portions of the buttermilk. Mix just until combined.

Fill the pans and bake. Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool the cakes. Place the pans on wire racks and allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes. Then remove the cakes from the pans and place them on a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the frosting. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, cream cheese, and brown sugar until smooth.

Frost the cakes. Pipe or spread the frosting on the cooled cupcakes.

a frosted Brown Sugar Pound Cake on a wire rack with more unfrosted cakes in the background

Tips for Success

  • To line or not to line. This is simply a matter of preference. Lining the pans means softer edges; leaving them unlined means crisper edges. Liners also make transporting the cakes easier.
  • Use light-colored metal pans. Dark pans tend to over-bake the outside edges while leaving the inside under-baked.
  • Need to reuse a muffin pan? Be sure to let it cool completely before adding more batter.
  • Don’t over-mix the batter. Too much mixing leads to tough cakes.
Brown Sugar Pound Cakes on a white pedestal cake stand

How to Store Brown Sugar Pound Cakes

Cover and refrigerate the frosted cupcakes if they won’t be eaten within a few hours. They should keep up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

If you won’t be serving the cupcakes the same day, consider storing the cupcakes and frosting separately for best results.

two halves of a frosted Brown Sugar Pound Cake on a white plate

Can These Cakes Be Frozen?

Yes! If you’re freezing the frosted cakes, first place them in the freezer uncovered for about half an hour to allow the frosting to harden. Next, wrap them well in a couple of layers of plastic wrap. Finally, wrap them again in aluminum foil or place them in an airtight, freezer-safe container. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or for about an hour at room temperature.

If you’re freezing the cakes and frosting separately, place the cakes in an airtight, freezer-safe container. Place the frosting in an airtight, freezer-safe container. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Allow the cakes to come to room temperature before serving. Let the frosting sit at room temperature until it’s easy to handle. You may want to beat it briefly with an electric mixer to make it fluffier.

two Brown Sugar Pound Cakes on a stack of white plates with more cakes on white pedestals in the background

Brown Sugar Pound Cakes with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield 24 cupcakes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Simple flavors make for an extraordinary treat with these Brown Sugar Pound Cakes with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting!

a frosted Brown Sugar Pound Cake on a marble surface


For the pound cakes:

  • 3 cups (360g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 & 1/4 cups (450g) packed light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

For the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces (226g) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) packed light brown sugar


To make the pound cakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 24 cups of standard muffin tins with paper liners.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk. Mix just until combined.
  4. Fill the lined cups 3/4 full with batter. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on wire racks 10 minutes. Then, remove from the pans to cool completely.

To make the frosting:

  1. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, cream cheese, and brown sugar until smooth.
  2. Frost the cupcakes immediately, or refrigerate the frosting for up to 3 days. After refrigerating, bring to room temperature and beat on low speed until smooth.


Recipe slightly adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes.

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    22 Comments on “Brown Sugar Pound Cakes with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. How delicious!! Would it be sad to admit, I want to jump into a tub of that brown sugar cream cheese frosting and live there for a while :$. Stunning cupcake 🙂

  2. Yum – your pictures and descriptions are making me drool!

  3. Absolutely divine. I’m so glad that I found this food blog – I can’t stop browsing through all the pages. I’m excited, because now there are a lot more recipes that I can try out.

  4. Ahhh these look incredible. I’m so obsessed with pound cake, but I’ve never made it with frosting before. Definitely going on my need to bake list! 🙂
    Happy New Year!

  5. MMMmmm, yummy! I’ve not had anything likes these so I will be trying them!

  6. These look incredible! I absolutely ADORE brown sugar — made some brown sugar ice cream last summer for ice cream sandwiches, and it was divine. I’ll bet your brown sugar cream cheese frosting [Lord, just typing those five words in a row!] tastes similar. Can’t wait to try it!

  7. Mmmmmmmmmm, what an amazing blog!
    Now i´follower, i invite you to visit my little blog, i hope you enjoy it, ang if you like it, you can become my new follower.
    xoxo from Spain


  8. Hi, these look tasty and I’m excited to make them with my kids but noticed that you have 2 tsp of baking POWDER listed in the ingredients but, in your instructions say to whisk flour, salt and baking SODA together. Just wanted to let you know about this mistake…and ask for clarification on which it should be. Thanks!

  9. Hi, I made these last week.
    The cake is truly a pound cake and quite heavy. People expected them to be more cake-like because they look like cupcakes, so I had to give a “warning” to everyone who tried them that “they are pound cake, not a cupcake”.
    If I made them again I would try it as a loaf instead.
    Icing was great though — I ate half the icing before I knew it! 🙂

  10. Brown sugar cream cheese frosting?! Sign me up! You should enter this cupcake into the Celebrations Cupcake Crown competition. I bet it would be a hit!

  11. Sad to say I love the taste of them but mine fall every time I make them… Any reason why???? I LOVE the taste.

  12. Angela, check the expiration date on your baking powder.

  13. I loved your pictures because of the large bubbles in your cupcakes. However, when I made mine, they did not have these large bubbles. Suggestions?

    • Hi, Brita. Actually, the bubbles are a sign of overmixing. Unless the batter is mixed so much that it makes the cupcakes tough, the bubbles don’t really affect the cupcakes. A perfectly mixed cupcake shouldn’t have those.

  14. I don’t have the patience (or kids at home) to make cupcakes – any idea as to time and oven temp to make this as a full cake? Love your blog!

  15. Hello! I made these for some friends who came over for lunch on Saturday, We ALL ate four each! They’re nice and buttery and soft, and the frosting is so good that I could take a spoon and eat it by itself.

  16. Hi. Can I replace buttermilk with something else. Don’t have it.
    Love your recipes

    • Hi! There are several good substitutes for buttermilk. The simplest options are sour cream and yogurt, which usually work pretty well, although you may want to thin them with a bit of water. You can also try about 2 teaspoons of lemon juice or vinegar and add regular milk to make the 3/4 cup in the recipe. If you do a Google search for buttermilk substitutes, you’ll find many more options.

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