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. #
    Allie @ sweet potato bites — May 8, 2012 @ 11:24 am

    i think i need to get a mini loaf pan just so i can make these. and the brown butter vanilla bean glaze- too good.


  2. #
    OliePants — May 8, 2012 @ 11:48 am

    I always love mini personalized desserts. This is perfect. And who could refuse browned butter?


  3. #
    Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) — May 8, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

    Is there anything better than browned butter? I think not! On a delicious little poundcake… oh wow. You did good here, lady!


  4. #
    Danielle — May 8, 2012 @ 12:33 pm

    Sounds like you have lots to say. lol. These look so good!


  5. #
    Kim in MD — May 8, 2012 @ 12:54 pm

    Browned butter is like bacon…it makes everything better! What a yummy baby poundcake! :-)


  6. #
    Mal @ The Chic Geek — May 8, 2012 @ 1:07 pm

    Wow, these look fabulous!


  7. #
    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — May 8, 2012 @ 1:11 pm

    Nom nom nom. I love pound cake and that vanilla bean glaze is just drool-worthy. Anything in mini size rules!


  8. #
    Leslie @ healthybybalance — May 8, 2012 @ 1:20 pm

    Thank you! I just made a pound cake ish situation that I wasn’t totally happy with and was looking for another version…it’s fate…I like to add essential oils to change up the flavor, so this is perfect…thanks!


  9. #
    Cassie — May 8, 2012 @ 1:29 pm

    There really are no words. Nothing beats vanilla bean and brown butter. Really, nothing.


  10. #
    Nicole {Sweet Peony} — May 8, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

    Oh yesssssss. These look so good!! I’m a huge fan of pound cake & that drizzle looks insane!


  11. #
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — May 8, 2012 @ 3:06 pm

    ugh i’m totally cleaning out our house right now too and it’s SUCH a pain. the bags kill me every time!


  12. #
    Erin @ The Speckled Palate — May 8, 2012 @ 3:09 pm

    … Welp, I know what I’m making this weekend. Done and done.

    And if it’s any consolation, my husband had the same reaction to me accidentally catching the grill on fire. It totally wasn’t my fault. And I totally put it out. So no (serious) harm, no foul, right?


  13. #
    Lynna — May 8, 2012 @ 3:27 pm

    looks so YUMMY! :D i love poundcakes!


  14. #
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes — May 8, 2012 @ 4:11 pm

    These are so cute! I love the glaze :)


  15. #
    Tracy — May 8, 2012 @ 4:25 pm

    Oh yum, what perfect little loaves!


  16. #
    christina @ ovenadventures — May 8, 2012 @ 5:14 pm

    i think i’m in love. brown butter and vanilla bean are two of my fav things EVER. oh man i am soooo guilty of 1/2 completing projects. i’ve done that a million times.


  17. #
    Bethany @ Accidental Intentions — May 8, 2012 @ 5:21 pm

    Oh my. Yes please.


  18. #
    Maria — May 8, 2012 @ 5:24 pm

    Pinned these this morning and I can’t stop thinking about them!


  19. #
    Amber @ Slim Pickin's Kitchen — May 8, 2012 @ 6:20 pm

    Your pictures make those look AWESOME!!!!!!!


  20. #
    Katie — May 8, 2012 @ 6:23 pm

    I see what you did there with the strawberries. “Mini” pound cake + strawberries = health food.


  21. #
    mkr — May 8, 2012 @ 7:05 pm

    your recipes and your blog make me smile after a long day. these cakes look so delectable!


  22. #
    Maura @ My Healthy 'Ohana — May 8, 2012 @ 7:13 pm

    Whoa, these look just heavenly. I love anything with real vanilla bean in it :)


  23. #
    Erin — May 8, 2012 @ 7:20 pm

    Oh, sweet heaven, those look ridiculous!!!!!


  24. #
    Quiche-ing Queen — May 8, 2012 @ 7:22 pm

    These look so delicious. Closet and drawer purge? If you are interested contact me about your purge. I might be willing to pay to take some of it off your hands.


  25. #
    Brittany — May 8, 2012 @ 8:20 pm

    Dammit, I wish it wasn’t a million degrees outside right now so I could turn on my oven and make this…


  26. #
    Kayleigh — May 8, 2012 @ 9:00 pm

    Looks. SO. GOOD.


  27. #
    Katie — May 8, 2012 @ 10:36 pm

    Brown Butter! Yum! One of my favorite things ever. These cakes with the vanilla bean speckled through them look just beautiful.


  28. #
    Cookie and Kate — May 8, 2012 @ 11:12 pm

    Vanilla bean pound cake… I’m into that. I went on a spring cleaning kick a month (or longer?) ago and gave up when I reached my closet. Now I have a giant pile of stuf to be sold/given away that’s just sitting on my bedroom floor. I’m looking at it right now… do you think that extra coffee maker and the terra cotta pots will go away if I stare at them long enough?


  29. #
    Emily — May 9, 2012 @ 12:12 am

    WOW! your pictures are making me hungry! :)


  30. #
    Sabine — May 9, 2012 @ 2:57 am

    Hi Jessica,

    I just found your blog (much too late) and love it ! ! ! Love your recipes, your pictures, your writing style – expecially your writing style!

    Greetings from Germany!


  31. #
    Zee — May 9, 2012 @ 7:02 am

    These mini pound cakes look awesome! I love the picture with dripping brown butter!


  32. #
    Tammi — May 9, 2012 @ 7:15 am

    No need to be an adult……..LOL EVER…ok maybe once you have children, but the second my daughters eyes are closed, I’m no longer an adult :)


  33. #
    ronda — May 9, 2012 @ 8:33 am

    I want to thank you for my brown butter addiction. I can eat that stuff anytime of the day.


  34. #
    Amarachi — May 9, 2012 @ 10:25 am

    Your pictures are amazing. I have already planned on making this over the weekend. This looks incredible. Keep doing what you’re doing Jessica.


  35. #
    Linda B — May 9, 2012 @ 3:04 pm

    Good grief! You may be my culinary hero. Love what you are doing.


  36. #
    Ali — May 9, 2012 @ 4:53 pm

    Your pictures. Your stories. Can’t get enough. Thank you for making me smile.


  37. #
    Jamie {green beans & grapefruit} — May 10, 2012 @ 12:53 am

    Yummmmm. I’ll eat anything with vanilla beans.


  38. #
    Connie the Cookie Monster — May 10, 2012 @ 2:26 am

    your photos always amaze me!


  39. #
    Lauren — May 10, 2012 @ 1:56 pm

    These sound and look amazing, I know its hard to believe but I never browned butter before but I am sure I would like it, I have Burnt butter though :-) . Anyway I wonder if I could stuff a mashed banana or two in these I have over half a dozen bananas sitting here need to be used. I bet it would still taste good and moist but may take a minute or more to cook.


  40. #
    90 — May 10, 2012 @ 3:10 pm

    I think that this is the art of maximazing taste by minimizing the size of cakes :) Another great one…


  41. #
    Claire — May 11, 2012 @ 1:29 pm

    Looks so good– do you think I could replace the vanilla bean with vanilla extract?


    • Jessica — May 11th, 2012 @ 5:10 pm



  42. #
    Allison — May 13, 2012 @ 6:03 pm

    I’m a new follower, and made these little goodies today. I LOVE the glaze.


  43. #
    Margaret — May 14, 2012 @ 3:45 pm

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I made this this weekend for my 2 SIL’s and MIL for mother’s day and they were a hit! Since it made 4, I was able to sample one for myself :) I could not keep my fingers out of the batter and glaze…sooooo good.


  44. #
    Jackie — May 15, 2012 @ 1:52 pm

    Hi Jessica

    Could I bake it in a standard bundt cake pan, if so, how long do I bake it.


    • Jessica — May 15th, 2012 @ 2:11 pm

      I’m honestly not sure if that would work… I’m not a baker and don’t have much experience with bundt pans and converting recipes to cakes – sorry!


  45. #
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — May 17, 2012 @ 4:18 pm

    I’m a brown butter fanatic – these little cakes look delish!


  46. #
    Karen — June 6, 2012 @ 1:57 pm

    Thought you might love this.. sent the recipe to my mother in law and she just emailed this back:

    I made the recipe today….4 little cakes…so cute. I have a cold so am sitting with a cup of tea and a piece of cake. It has lovely delicate texture and flavor. I made the brown butter glaze but decided to make it more of a frosting. I put three of them in the freezer so you can taste when you come out to visit.. SOON RIGHT?? ;)



  47. #
    Sadhika — June 11, 2012 @ 12:36 pm

    Heyyy jessica! your blog is absolutely beautiful- just a quick question, do you think I could make these into cupcakes instead? I don’t have any loaf tins at home


  48. #
    Rose — August 3, 2014 @ 11:31 am

    Can this recipe be adjusted for one bundt pan? Any idea of quantity changes or minutes to bake?


  49. #
    Tori — September 30, 2015 @ 4:18 pm

    Hi Jessica – I’m going to make these for a shower and wanted to try and make it ahead of time. Do you think the glaze will work if I have to reheat it? Or will the butter become an issue?



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