Sometimes there is just nothing to say.

Mini Brown Butter Vanilla Bean Pound Cakes I

I made brown butter cakes! That are small! Tiny! Covered in glaze!

Mini Brown Butter Vanilla Bean Pound Cakes I

Other than that though? I don’t have anything to say.

Mini Brown Butter Vanilla Bean Pound Cakes I

I could tell you how I caught my entire oven on fire last night while broiling salmon. That was fun. Not. My husband got mad at me. Like it was MY fault that the oven caught on fire. Well. Maybe he was mad that I was talking on my cell phone… and continued to talk on my cell phone while pulling the fire-covered baking sheet out of the oven and blowing on it. All while maintaining my conversation and screaming “OMG my salmon’s on fire, my salmon’s on fire.” Ew. I’m SO in my twenties.

And do people even say “cell phone” anymore? I think not.

Mini Brown Butter Vanilla Bean Pound Cakes I

I could tell you how I’m smack dab in the middle of this gigantic closet and drawer purge, trying to simplify my life or something like that. I’ve ripped tons of clothes off of hangers and out of dresser drawers and just thrown them on the floor. Where they remain. Piles of hangers just tossed in a cluster for us to trip over every single morning and night. Big trash bags filled with clothes smashed against the walls, waiting to be dragged (drugged?) down the stairs and into my car. Not annoying enough for me to finish the project… yet.

Mini Brown Butter Vanilla Bean Pound Cakes I

Or I could simply tell you this non-pound cake lover has been converted by these soft and dense yet light and fluffy mini loaves, made with brown butter and vanilla beans then covered in more brown butter and vanilla beans. They are just scrumptious for breakfast.

Or lunch or dinner or every meal for the rest of your life.

Mini Brown Butter Vanilla Bean Pound Cakes I

Mini Brown Butter Vanilla Bean Pound Cakes

[adapted from this vanilla lime poundcake]

makes 4 mini loaves

3 large eggs

3 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 vanilla bean, scraped or 1 tablespoons vanilla bean paste

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened

Heat a small saucepan over medium-low heat and add butter. Whisk until melted, then continuously stir until butter begins to brown and brown bits appear on the bottom of the pan (about 5 minutes). Remove immediately from heat and let sit until cool. Once cool, place in the fridge for 10-15 minutes, or until it’s just barely solid but still soft.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl, whisk eggs, milk, vanilla extracts and beans together until combined.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, add flour, sugar, salt and baking powder and stir to mix. With the mixer on low speed, add butter (scrape the entire pan very well so every brown bit gets in the bowl!) and mix until combined and the butter has fully incorporated. It may still look somewhat dry at this point. Add in half of the egg mixture, then mix on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add the remaining egg mixture in two parts, mixing again for 30 seconds each time. Scrape the sides of the bowl if necessary and mix for another 30 seconds. Fill each mini loaf tin 3/4 of the way full, then place on a baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until top is golden. Once cool, remove from loaf pans and pour glaze on top.


Brown Butter Vanilla Bean Glaze

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

1/2 vanilla bean, scraped or 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste

1-1/4 cups powdered sugar

2-3 tablespoons milk

Heat a small saucepan over medium-low heat and add butter. Whisk until melted, then continuously stir until butter begins to brown and brown bits appear on the bottom of the pan (about 5 minutes). Remove immediately from heat and let sit until somewhat cool.

Combine butter, vanilla beans and sugar in a bowl. Whisk until combined (it should become paste-like), then add in milk 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing well until the desired glaze consistency is reached. If glaze is still too thick, continue adding milk in very small amounts and whisking for 1-2 minutes at a time. If it becomes too thin, add in a bit more sugar to thicken.

Mini Brown Butter Vanilla Bean Pound Cakes I

And since they’re mini, you can eat more. Life rules!

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120 Responses to “Mini Brown Butter Vanilla Bean Pound Cakes.”

  1. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — May 8, 2012 @ 6:58 am

    I am actually a huge fan of a good pound cake, this looks delicious!


  2. #
    Kathryn — May 8, 2012 @ 6:58 am

    I’m a little bit in love with my mini loaf tin and this combo of brown butter & vanilla bean will definitely seal the deal.


  3. #
    Rachel — May 8, 2012 @ 6:58 am

    It’s recipes like these that reaffirm my love for brown butter, these look so delicious!


  4. #
    Rachel Cooks — May 8, 2012 @ 7:01 am

    This looks seriously amazing—that glaze! Oh my.


  5. #
    Nicky @ Pink Recipe Box — May 8, 2012 @ 7:01 am

    Yum! I love the idea of a mini-loaf cake. These sound just perfect for spring.


  6. #
    Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles — May 8, 2012 @ 7:03 am

    Good point- I don’t say cell phone anymore really. I just call it ‘my phone’ or ‘his phone’ and ‘house phone’ but a cell phone is just a phone. …… Bummer about the salmon. But there is nothing wrong with a good fire in the kitchen ;) They always make for good stories!


  7. #
    Vicki @ WITK — May 8, 2012 @ 7:05 am

    Another good reason not to eat salmon. It lights your oven on fire.


  8. #
    Simply Life — May 8, 2012 @ 7:05 am

    haha, love the mini= eat more rule. that definitely applies to all things small. :)


  9. #
    Caroline @ chocolate & carrots — May 8, 2012 @ 7:07 am

    Pound cake is so delicious! I love how they are in little loaves too. That way you can give them out and save one for yourself! :D


  10. #
    chelsey @ clean eating chelsey — May 8, 2012 @ 7:07 am

    Is there even a thing as gluten free pound cake? Probably not. I looove pound cake!!!


  11. #
    Catalina @ Cake with Love — May 8, 2012 @ 7:07 am

    I love how moist and dense the pound cakes look!!! Brown butter is amazing in baked goods! I put our oven on fire when rosting chicken last week, my husband was also mad, but I am fine with this ;)


  12. #
    Maxine — May 8, 2012 @ 7:08 am

    If I was to make these in a big pan, would the temp stay the same? I’m assuming it would, but I’ve never tried changing the pan before, so I figured I’d ask.


    • Jessica — May 8th, 2012 @ 7:13 am

      I’m thinking yes (only because the recipe I adapted it from was the same temp), but honestly am not a baker and don’t know baker things like that, so I can’t be 100% positive until I try it.


  13. #
    Sally @ Spontaneous Hausfrau — May 8, 2012 @ 7:10 am

    I’ll take 3 of these, please. I really like the 5th picture. In my strange mind, I immediately thought, “Oh, look! A hasselback pound cake!”


    • Jessica — May 8th, 2012 @ 7:12 am

      Oh no. So did I.


  14. #
    Sally @ sally's baking addiction — May 8, 2012 @ 7:14 am

    I’m addicted to baking (duh)… with brown butter. Seriously. It truly brings your recipe to the next level! People always ask me what my secret ingredient is. :) Anyhoo. These mini pound cakes are too cute. And I kinda sorta am in love with the looks of that drippy vanilla bean glaze.


  15. #
    Jenna — May 8, 2012 @ 7:16 am

    Once again, this recipe looks delicious. Even though I follow dozens of food blogs, I feel like I could keep myself preoccupied every day by making only your recipes. :)

    And, yeah, saying “cell phone” seems kind of redundant now, doesn’t it? I actually get thrown off when I’m at someone’s house and their landline rings. Although the sound of a corded phone ringing just screams “classic.” ;)


  16. #
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — May 8, 2012 @ 7:24 am

    Oh my gosh!! These mini cakes are beautiful!!! These would be perfect for giving for Mother’s Day!!


  17. #
    Selina — May 8, 2012 @ 7:33 am

    gonna make these gonna make these gonna make these :):):)


  18. #
    Miriam @ Overtime Cook — May 8, 2012 @ 7:37 am

    Oh my goodness. These are beautiful! And I adore all things tiny, so these are perfect.


  19. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — May 8, 2012 @ 7:44 am

    Now this is what my dreams are made of!! Brown butter AND vanilla beans – how can you go wrong with those? I’d be sad about the salmon being burnt to a cinder, but one of these little cakes would totally make me happy again!


  20. #
    Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) — May 8, 2012 @ 7:56 am

    I made chocolate pound cake yesterday! How could you not love the dense fluffy cakes? These look amazing. You know, I never missed butter until Tony started to enjoy the finer butters and now, dangit, I miss it. When he melt butter, it smells like heaven in the house. Why don’t they just make a candle that smells like that? These cakes look beautiful!


    • Jessica — May 8th, 2012 @ 10:27 am

      Agree… brown butter candle.


  21. #
    Tracy via the traveling cupcake — May 8, 2012 @ 8:01 am

    Mini makes everything better! Perfect for giving as gifts (to yourself, duh). Would love this with mini chocolate chips too!


  22. #
    Gen — May 8, 2012 @ 8:09 am

    yum!!!! I love mini baked goods! so cute.


  23. #
    Sarah — May 8, 2012 @ 8:20 am

    What size are you’re mini pans? And do you think I could make one large (9×5) pan for Mom then a small loaf for me to keep?


    • Jessica — May 8th, 2012 @ 10:26 am

      Mine are about 5x3x2. Since it’s based on the recipe I adapted it from, it should make one larger loaf but I don’t think there will be enough for a smaller one too, unless you want the larger one to be smaller than normal.


  24. #
    Kaylie @ Skinny Muffin — May 8, 2012 @ 8:21 am

    I just adore your pictures. They’re outright beautiful. And mouthwatering.


    • Jessica — May 8th, 2012 @ 10:22 am

      Thank you!


  25. #
    Katrina — May 8, 2012 @ 8:22 am

    Oh, your poor oven! At least it didn’t catch on fire while making these bad boys. I’m super duper in love with these.


  26. #
    shelly (cookies and cups) — May 8, 2012 @ 8:31 am

    oh, the fire-in-the-oven-while-talking-on-your-cell. Been there. AND my husband got mad at me too. ridiculous.
    I got eat about 5 of those mini cakes right now.


  27. #
    Cookbook Queen — May 8, 2012 @ 8:49 am

    No one says cell phone nowadays? Crap. What’s the new word? I’m so old.

    I am a lover of pound cake. Cake in general, if we’re being honest. I’ll help you with your closets if you’ll give me some.


  28. #
    Nancy @ CouponClippingCook — May 8, 2012 @ 8:57 am

    This is perfection. Love the idea of the brown butter vanilla bean glaze. And soooo pretty with the strawberries.


  29. #
    Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray — May 8, 2012 @ 9:00 am

    Mini loaves = double the fun! Brown butter. Vanilla beans. [pound] CAKE. Perfection. This is my idea of a balanced breakfast.

    P.S. I don’t even know how to use the broiler on my oven, so you’re one twentysomething step ahead of me.


  30. #
    Lynne @ 365 Days of Baking — May 8, 2012 @ 9:10 am

    Brown butter, vanilla beans, and pound cake…*sigh*…a match made in heaven.
    We must be on the same wave length. I’ve actually been craving pound cake lately.


  31. #
    Cait's Plate — May 8, 2012 @ 9:10 am

    Haha – I legitimately laughed out loud at the last line of this post.


  32. #
    Amber — May 8, 2012 @ 9:13 am

    So often (especially around breakfast time when something irresistable like this is up) I am wishing you were my neighbor!


  33. #
    Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food — May 8, 2012 @ 9:18 am

    That glaze looks amazing! :)


  34. #
    Annie @ What's Annie Making? — May 8, 2012 @ 9:19 am

    Holy wow! I think I just went to pound cake heaven. This makes the cereal I’m currently eating look like dog food. Want cake!!!!


  35. #
    Lindsay @ The Live-In Kitchen — May 8, 2012 @ 9:35 am

    I love visible vanilla beans in things. So pretty! I also set my oven on fire once but was so taken aback that I just stood there yelling something about fire instead of actually doing something about it. Good for you being able to maintain a phone call in the midst of it!


  36. #
    Erin — May 8, 2012 @ 9:35 am

    What else would you call it besides a cell phone? And I was sold on these cakes once I saw them with the strawberries. Weird I know.


    • Jessica — May 8th, 2012 @ 10:20 am

      I think just a “phone.”


      • Erin — May 8th, 2012 @ 10:22 am

        Hmm curious ;-)

        • Hannah — May 8th, 2012 @ 4:04 pm

          I think that British people (or those from British English speaking countries) call them “mobiles” in their British accent. So funny! Sophomore year of college, one of my roommates was from Dubai, and she called it her mobile. Never failed to crack us up! Or maybe “ceullulars”. I just call it my phone, since I don’t have a land line.

          And those cakes look devine! Pretty sure I’m going to be making my first pound cake soon!

  37. #
    Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama — May 8, 2012 @ 9:39 am

    I am drooling!


  38. #
    Karen @ superfinefeline — May 8, 2012 @ 9:42 am

    This looks awesome! I feel inspired to try to make this even though I really am talentless in baking. Thanks for sharing the recipe.


  39. #
    Jocelyn — May 8, 2012 @ 9:46 am

    That cake is amazing!!! Vanilla bean and browned butter? Oh my!
    Hope your kitchen is ok…why do husbands get all worked up over stuff like that? You had it under control right?


  40. #
    Liz @ Tip Top Shape — May 8, 2012 @ 9:53 am

    And your reign as the browned-butter-queen continues!! These look AMAZING.


  41. #
    Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic — May 8, 2012 @ 10:01 am

    I love mini cakes. It makes me think I can have more hehehe


  42. #
    Julia {The Roasted Root} — May 8, 2012 @ 10:22 am

    So….since they’re small, I can eat a whole one to myself, riiiight? They look moist and delicious…the glaze on top has me so dialed in, it’s not even funny…with the vanilla bean specs, I’m sold. :)


  43. #
    Colleen @ Culinary Colleen — May 8, 2012 @ 10:24 am

    These are gorgeous. I love the specks of vanilla in the glaze!


  44. #
    thetobykennedy — May 8, 2012 @ 10:25 am

    I set light to a pan of string beans once and couldn’t think of anything to do but chuck them out the window… One of my dinner guests demanded a plate and a fork, and ate them anyway – apparently they were delicious.

    Nice cakes. ;) xx


    • Jessica — May 8th, 2012 @ 10:27 am

      Ha! Well… we still ate the salmon.


  45. #
    Milisa @ Miss in the Kitchen — May 8, 2012 @ 10:30 am

    I cooked salmon in the oven last night, but it was nothing exciting like a fire or these amazing little pound cakes. I am so in love with browned butter!


  46. #
    Lauren — May 8, 2012 @ 10:38 am

    Love using vanilla beans in everything!! And love anything mini! Basically, I need to make these right now.


  47. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — May 8, 2012 @ 10:59 am

    What adorable little cakes. Everything tastes better in mini form! And with lots of glaze like these :)


  48. #
    Kaelynn — May 8, 2012 @ 11:00 am

    One day I was broiling garlic bread because, you know, it’s faster than just baking it, and I didn’t leave the oven door cracked and therefore forgot about it. I looked down at the oven and thought, what is that weird flickering light? oh, my garlic bread’s on fire. it ended with my boyfriend calmly repeating for me to close the oven door, and me finally hearing him and then just sitting on the floor in hysterical tears while he went around the house opening windows and doors and waving smoke away from the smoke detectors. then he sat and stared at me in wonderment as I bawled over garlic bread. yayyyyy for women in their 20’s!!!


  49. #
    Melanie @ Just Some Salt and Pepper — May 8, 2012 @ 11:11 am

    These look delicious and would make a great Mother’s Day dessert!


  50. #
    Ashley — May 8, 2012 @ 11:18 am

    Pound cake may just be my favorite dessert..or breakfast-dessert. I LOVE the thick texture and simple flavor. So right now….I am drooling…and hungry. And you added vanilla bean glaze???? Only my favorite flavor + ingredient…ever. Wait…were you talking about salmon or something? I got distracted. Also…I hate the words drag/drug/dragged/drugged….



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