Yield: 1 cinnamon roll pound cake // Total Time: 1 hr. 30 min. // Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. //
Moist brown sugar pound cake with a cinnamon swirl and cream cheese glaze.
brown sugar cinnamon roll pound cake
Hello hello! Today we’re taking all the delicious flavors of a cinnamon roll and putting them into a moist, buttery pound cake. The pound cake base is made with brown sugar rather than the standard granulated sugar to make it even more moist and flavorful. We’ll then add some cinnamon and brown sugar to part of the cake batter to create a flavorful cinnamon swirl throughout the cake. The cake is moist, buttery, and super easy to put together. We’ll finish that deliciousness off with a cream cheese icing to tie all the classic cinnamon roll flavors together!
weigh your ingredients
Weighing your ingredients is important for getting the recipe perfect and getting consistent results. Not weighing your ingredients can lead to adding too much or too little of an ingredient which can give you some undesirable results. This kitchen scale is super cheap and worked well for me when I was starting out! If you don’t have access to a scale, here is the best way to measure flour: fluff up the flour with a fork, then use a spoon to scoop it into your measuring cup. Use a knife to level off the top of the cup, then use as directed.
mix the batter carefully
After adding in your flour, you’ll want to be careful to only mix until that last streak of flour disappears into the batter to avoid over-mixing. Over-mixing your batter leads to developing more gluten in the batter, which will make the cake more tough and chewy.
room temperature ingredients
It is important for the ingredients to be at room temperature so that they properly incorporate with each other. In a pound cake it’s especially important because a lot of the lift in the cake comes from beating the ingredients together. If you have ever had your batter look curdled, it is most likely due to the ingredients separating from being at different temperatures. Take out the butter, eggs, and sour cream at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hr 30 min. before starting the recipe. A little hack that I do is to run the eggs under hot water for 1 minute to bring them to room temp. and microwave the sour cream/butter in 5-second intervals until it’s no longer cold (but not hot.)
how to tell when your loaf cake is done.
It’s always a little game with telling if your loaf is done. Sometimes it will look done, but it’s still super wet in the center, and now that you’ve opened the oven door, you risk the loaf collapsing in the middle which is never desirable. I recommend waiting until at least 45 minutes to start checking for doneness. If the cake jiggles when you move it, it’s not ready to be checked on yet. When checking for doneness, you’ll want to take a toothpick and stick it down the exact center of the loaf. If it comes out with a few moist crumbs, you’re good to take it out! If it’s still a little wet, put the loaf back in the oven, checking in 5-minute intervals for doneness.
ingredients and substitutions
For the pound cake:
All purpose flour: gives the cake structure.
Baking powder: helps the cake rise. It’s not in a standard pound cake but we’ll use it for a little extra lift to make it lighter.
Salt: for balancing and bringing out the sweetness of the batter.
Unsalted butter: for tenderizing the cake and adding flavor. You can substitute in salted butter, just be sure to omit the extra salt in the batter.
Light brown sugar: for sweetening the cake and keeping it moist. The sugar also helps aerate the butter to give this cake its rise.
Eggs: for binding, moisture, and leavening.
Vanilla: for flavor.
Sour cream: adds moisture and makes the cake tender. I recommend full fat for the best texture.
For the cream cheese glaze:
Cream cheese: the base of the glaze.
Milk: for thinning out the glaze. Use your favorite milk!
Salt: for balancing and bringing out the flavor and sweetness of the glaze.
Vanilla: for flavor.
Powdered sugar: for sweetness and for thickening the glaze.
cinnamon swirl pound cake q&a
what size loaf pan do I need?
I used an 8×4″ metal loaf pan but you can also use a 9×5″. Just note that your pound cake may take a little less time to bake in a 9×5″ pan. I recommend against using a glass loaf pan but if that’s all you have on hand, note that the baking time may significantly increase.
can I double this recipe?
Of course! Just double all the ingredients and bake them in two loaf pans.
why do you measure in grams?
My recipes are all written in grams because it is the most accurate way to bake. When you use a kitchen scale, you ensure that your baked goods turn out as close to the written recipe as possible. Plus, the cleanup is way easier when using a scale! I will provide standard cup measurements but please note that I have not tested the recipe using cup measurements and therefore can not guarantee your recipe will come out how mine did. Here is my favorite kitchen scale.
a note on oven temperature
Ovens vary and fluctuate in temperature and aren’t always at the temperature they claim to be. If you love to bake like I do, I highly recommend getting an oven thermometer. They are super helpful for letting you know when your oven might be lying to you! I use this one.
tools and ingredients
You can find all my favorite tools and ingredients that I use on my Amazon Storefront page, here!
did you make this cinnamon swirl pound cake?
If you made this brown sugar cinnamon swirl pound cake I would love to see them and know your thoughts! Please leave a comment and review down below, and tag me on Instagram @freshbeanbakery. If you have any questions about the recipe I will gladly do my best to answer them in the comments below!
Cinnamon Roll Pound Cake
Brown Sugar Pound Cake
- 226 g unsalted butter room temperature (1 c.)
- 210 g light brown sugar (1 c.)
- 4 eggs room temperature
- 90 g sour cream room temperature (¼ c. + 2 tbsp.)
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 240 g all purpose flour (2 c.)
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp. light brown sugar
Cream Cheese Glaze
- 56 g cream cheese room temperature (2 tbsp.)
- 2 tbsp. milk of choice
- 120 g powdered sugar (1 c.)
- ⅛ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. vanilla
Brown Sugar Pound Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C. Butter and line an 8×4" loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (Alternatively, you can use a hand mixer and a large mixing bowl.) Beat the butter and sugar on medium speed for 4 minutes.
- With the mixer still running, beat in the eggs one at a time, beating for 30 seconds before adding in the next egg.
- Beat in the sour cream and vanilla until well combined.
- Add in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix on low speed just until the flour is completely incorporated.
- Remove about 1 ½ c. of batter and pour it into a small bowl. Carefully mix in the cinnamon and brown sugar until just combined.
- Layer the pound cake into the prepared loaf pan. Pour ⅓ of the vanilla pound cake batter into the pan, then top it with ½ of the cinnamon batter.
- Add in half of the remaining vanilla batter, followed by the rest of the cinnamon batter then the rest of the vanilla batter. Use a knife to gently swirl the batters together in the pan.
- Bake the cake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean or with only a few moist crumbs.
Cream Cheese Icing
- In a small mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and salt until well combined.
- Add in the milk and vanilla and beat until no clumps remain, then beat in the powdered sugar until the icing is smooth.
- Once the cake has come to room temperature, pour the icing over it. Slice, serve, and enjoy!