Hands-on Time
35 Mins
Total Time
1 Hour 40 Mins
Serves 16 (serving size: 1 slice)

Patrick, my husband, offered the best praise ever when he suggested that I bring this cake to the next family reunion, where the great Southern cooks are known for their excellent pound cakes. Steeping a vanilla bean in canola oil, a secret I learned from our nutrition editor, Sidney Fry, turns the bland oil into something sweet and almost creamy—a great trick for boosting flavor while reducing sat fat. The bourbon in the glaze cooks for a bit, so the flavor is soft and more vanilla-forward, not alcohol-hot.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Step 2

Heat oil and vanilla bean in a small saucepan until bean begins to bubble. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes or until mixture reaches room temperature. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean; add to oil. Discard bean.

Step 3

Place brown sugar, butter, and vanilla oil in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

Step 4

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt, stirring with a whisk. Beating at low speed, add flour mixture and milk alternately to sugar mixture; beat until blended. Pour mixture into a 10-cup Bundt pan coated with baking spray. Bake at 350°F for 48 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes; remove cake from pan. Invert onto wire rack.

Step 5

While cake bakes, bring granulated sugar and bourbon to a simmer in a small saucepan; cook 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly. Brush bourbon mixture over warm cake until all is absorbed. Cool cake completely.

Chef's Notes

Executive Editor at Cooking Light, Ann Pittman, explores whole grain's all-around awesomeness in her new book, Everyday Whole Grains: 175 Recipes from Amaranth to Wild Rice. This complete guide to healthy, hearty, and incredibly versatile whole grains includes something for everyone and offers innovative new techniques to ensure the most flavorful results. From simple, delicious sides to satisfying mains and sublime desserts, this James Beard Award-winning author educates, inspires and does not disappoint. Discover a whole new way of looking at whole grains, how they are prepared, and how they can be incorporated into a healthy diet at every meal.

Also appeared in: Oxmoor House, March, 2016,Everyday Whole Grains: 175 Recipes from Amaranth to Wild Rice