Salted Caramel Pound Cake


Occasionally I come across Martha Stewart’s baking show on PBS. It is strange for many reasons, not the least of which are the lighting (there seem to be multiple suns in her world because the “natural” light coming in through windows is coming from all sorts of directions), and her pronunciation of the word pretty (priht-tea, with a strong emphasis on each syllable). The whole thing is mesmerizing. I would probably join a cult if Martha Stewart started one. Maybe I already have.

Recently I came across an episode where Matt Lewis (from Baked) stopped by to bake a cake with Martha. I know Matt and so it sort of disrupted the trance I was in and I paid a bit more attention to what was actually happening. He was making a pound cake, and pouring caramel sauce over it. This seemed like a very good idea and few hours later I was cutting myself a slice. Man, this is a good cake. It’s a whipped cream pound cake, and they always have such nice crumb. Kind of like the old Sara Lee pound cakes of my childhood. But really the star here is the salted caramel glaze. I could (and did) eat it by the spoonful.

Fruit is on its way, but we have few more weeks of winter baking and this is the perfect cake for right now.

Buttery Pound Cake with Salty Caramel Glaze (From Matt Lewis via Martha Stewart)


  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, preferably high-fat European-style (cultured), softened, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

Salty Caramel Glaze

  • 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, preferably high-fat European-style (cultured)
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons fleur de sel, divided
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F and position a rack in the center of the oven. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Place a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up the two long sides of the pan and overhang slightly. (This will make it easy to remove the pound cake from the pan after it is baked.) Butter the parchment paper and dust with flour; remove any excess flour.

Whisk together the flours, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.

Beat the butter and granulated sugar on high speed until fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

Add the vanilla and beat until incorporated, about 15 seconds. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the eggs and the egg yolks, one at a time, beating for about 1 minute after each addition. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl again and beat for 10 seconds. Turn the mixer to low speed and add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the cream, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

Transfer batter to prepared pan, smooth top with an offset spatula, and bake until a skewer inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs, 55 to 65 minutes. (If top of cake begins to darken too much before it is done in the middle, tent pan with aluminum foil and continue baking.) Place pan on a cooling rack for 15 minutes. Using a small knife or offset spatula, gently loosen cake from sides of the pan, pull up on parchment paper to lift cake out of pan, and place it directly on cooling rack.

Salty Caramel Glaze: Stir together the brown sugar, cream, and butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. When butter is half melted, increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a boil. Whisking constantly, boil mixture for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from heat, whisk vigorously for 1 minute to release excess heat, and add 3/4 teaspoon fleur de sel. Let cool 5 minutes.

Sift in 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar and whisk until combined. Continue adding confectioners’ sugar, a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is pourable and slightly thick (it will thicken more as it cools); you may not use all of the confectioners’ sugar.

Place cake on wire rack set over rimmed baking sheet covered in parchment (to catch the excess caramel). Use a bamboo skewer to poke holes in cake. Pour warm caramel glaze over cake to cover. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 teaspoon fleur de sel. Let cool 15 to 20 minutes before serving.





35 comments to “Salted Caramel Pound Cake”

  1. oh my dear lord. i never knew i needed this in my life until this very moment. so relieved fruit has not yet arrived…

  2. AHH! I thought I was the only one who was entranced by Martha’s odd enunciations, especially the “prit-ty.” (Not only does she say it so weird, she says it so OFTEN.) I won’t hold it against her, though, because the cake sounds so delicious.

  3. Ina always says cashews in the most peculiar way. “Ca-shooz”

  4. Please don’t start stenciling your walls or making your own gift wrap. I think you were having a caramel shortage. Remember this one?

  5. Louise! How could I forget? I still love that cake. This one is sort of a more elegant (and easier) version of that cake. Also, saltier. I promise to stay away from stencils. ; )

  6. Tim Herrmann says:

    March 11th, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    So Louise beat me to it but repetition doesn’t spoil the prayer: how many different versions of favorite cake can you have, Tim? But onto an actual purpose: have you used creme fraiche much in baking? I wonder if it would provide a rich tang to this recipe if substituted for the heavy cream, similar to the effect of buttermilk in favorite cake. Also I’m a huge fan of extra egg yolks in cake.

  7. I am going to make your “favorite 2009 cake, period” w/ the caramel sauce on top instead. 1 less stick of butter, and buttermilk…….lesser of the 2 evils. :)

  8. What gets me most excited is that the glaze is pretty much stirred together… I have a baby and so the whole time-sensitive nature of making caramel is kind of out for now. This I can do!

    Also it sounds like a glaze I remember my grandma putting on a spice cake for my aunt’s birthday once, when I was about six. I loved it then and haven’t had it since.

  9. Love pound cake and this is a great way to top it off. Mouth watering!

  10. Have you seen her dogs on the show? They sit on little stools and watch her bake and it is oddly entrancing and sickening at the same time. Only Martha.

  11. How about this: MARTHA CAFE!! Coming soon to NYC.Who knew?!

  12. Alex: WHAT. I had no idea.
    Anna: Those dogs, I love when they are sitting there. I love that it doesn’t make any sense.

  13. Does your Chicago public TV station do a Create channel? I’m in Boston so I’m very spoiled to have WGBH Create with all its amazing cooking shows. (There are gardening and craft shows, too, but I find the cooking shows to be the best ones on TV.) Martha Stewart’s show is mesmerizing. Did you see the puddings episode from this past weekend? I want her to come to my house and separate all the eggs.

  14. Molly- Yes, we do have Create (” It was creation, happening.”). And I enjoy it. We don’t have cable, so it really the only place to watch any food tv. I missed puddings, but I love her giant bowl of multi-colored eggs, which I am sure played a big part in that episode.

  15. i don’t catch martha’s show often enough, i love to hate on her, even though everything i’ve ever made of hers as always turned out well.

  16. I agree with Tim H. Wonder how this would turn out with creme fraiche instead of heavy cream…hmmmm.

    Awesome as always, L+D!

  17. Tim and Sophie- I’m not convinced creme fraiche would be better than cream here. I think something would be lost. But if you try both, let us know the difference…

  18. Oh my gosh so much yes.

  19. You nailed the photo on this one. Well done!

  20. Dorian Swift says:

    March 13th, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    Mouth watering..Yum!!!

  21. I collected some recipe ideas for my swiss mountain holidays were the kitchen is equipped only with basic ingredients. It was instantly clear I must try this one and so did I today with fresh heavy cream from the local cheese shop. An easy and fast done cake with a fantastic taste! Thanks for this interesting twist on a simple cake, a clear keeper!

  22. Hi Tim.

    Just wanted to leave a message to say I really love your site. I came here via Molly at Orangette, and it’s taken me a day and a half to read your site. It’s brilliant. Looking forward to the next post.


    P.S. I’ve mentioned you in my new blog as one of the inspirations behind it. Hope that’s okay?

  23. First time reading your blog and I laughed out loud reading this because I feel the same way about Martha! I could watch her forever. Will definitely make this pound cake – LOVE salted caramel….

  24. I can’t watch the Martha Stewart shows on PBS anymore b/c there is this “ding” at the end of every recipe recap that drives my dog crazy!

  25. Made this today. It got rave reviews! This salted caramel sauce will be my new go to recipe…it is delicious!

  26. Delightful!

  27. Leslie Duffy says:

    March 27th, 2015 at 8:15 am

    OMG this sounds wonderfully delicious – considering we are still in full winter mode here in Guelph, ON!
    Thanks for sharing Tim!

  28. Hi Leslie! Always nice to see your name. Hope all is well, and that spring arrives eventually. : )

  29. This cake is moist, delicious and (as Martha always says) dee-lectable! I’m not a big fan of pound cake as I find them to be dry and crumbly. This cake is buttery and rich; I irresistible with that salted caramel glaze. I did not use cultured European butter, just your run-of-the-mill unsalted Challenge butter and it was amazing. I wish the caramel glaze would run into the cake more even after poking several holes into the top and using only 2 tablespoons of sifted confectioners sugar. I will try pouring the glaze on when it is warmer. This recipe is a keeper for sure!

  30. Schneiderluvsdoof says:

    May 6th, 2015 at 11:11 am

    I am still waiting for the post in which you reveal your membership in the cult of Sara Lee.

  31. Hi! Just wondering how this tasted on day 2. Hoping to make to make the night before I plan to serve it.

  32. Hi Lauren- It tastes great on day 2. Day 3, even.

  33. Dying to make this but here is a question: how warm should the cake be when you glaze it?
    Thanks in advance and love your blog.

  34. Hi Pat- I don’t think it matters too much. I did it immediately after removing it from the pan, but as long as the cake is still warm you should be good. Can’t go too wrong with this recipe.

  35. Thanks very much, Tim!

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