Brown Sugar Cake Petite Fours

I made cake.  
Birthday cake.  Party cake.  Too good to be true cake.  
“Wait, you made this with a mix and canned frosting?” cake.

Brown Sugar Cake Petite Fours 1

Brown Sugar Cake Petite Fours

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 30 petite fours
Author Adapted from Kraft



  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • 1 – 3.4 ounce package instant vanilla pudding
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar

Add Ons:

  • 1/4 cup orange liqueur {I used Cointreau}
  • 1 can milk chocolate frosting
  • 1/2 cup whole pecans



  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine yellow cake mix, vanilla pudding, eggs, sour cream, water, and oil until well combined. Add brown sugar; mix well.
  3. Coat a 9″ x 13″ non-stick baking pan with cooking spray. Pour cake batter into prepared pan
  4. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Cool cake completely and remove from pan.


  1. Cut the edges off cake pieces. Using a serrated knife, level cake top. Cut the cake into quarters, and the cut each piece in half horizontally.
  2. Remove top from each cake piece. Brush the bottom half of the cake with orange liqueur – douse it pretty good. Top with a thin layer of frosting. Replace cake tops and press gently to “glue” the cake pieces together.
  3. Cut each cake piece into quarters. My cake pieces were about 1″ x 2″. If you like a square look, cut the large quarters into 1” x 1” pieces, you’ll get double the petite fours.


  1. Place remaining chocolate frosting into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave frosting for 20 seconds. Remove bowl and stir frosting. Nuke for another 20 seconds, stir frosting again. Frosting should be smooth and runny.
  2. Place a cake square onto a fork and hold over frosting bowl. Using a spoon, drizzle melted frosting over the cake until top and all sides are coated. Place cake square onto a cooling rack to let excess frosting run off. Top cake square with a pecan.

Recipe Notes

If frosting begins to get too thick while you’re coating the petite fours, reheat it for 20 seconds at a time – stirring each time – until frosting is smooth and runny again.

Brown Sugar Cake Petite Fours 7


The Cointreau gives this cake a whole new flavor level and is amazing with the chocolate.

No surprise there.  Chocolate and orange is a natural pairing.

Brown Sugar Cake Petite Fours 8

I did get impatient and also realized I didn’t have enough frosting to perfectly coat each cake square.  So I didn’t a messy casual petite four for the remaining cake.

Spoon some frosting onto the cake.

Run the back of your spoon in a circle over cake top to spread frosting.

Frosting will run over the sides of the cake.

Top with a pecan.

I like the casual cakes better.  They feel more approachable.

Now go eat some cake!


  1. says

    I really can't believe these were made with cake mix and canned frosting. Looks much too fancy. Thank you for linking!

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