Pumpkin Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

Yeah, another cake. I will eventually post healthy recipes again one of these days, but I’ve been making a lot of repeats lately, or just giant salads that definitely aren’t worthy of a blog post. So you get cake again!

Ellie got to meet her great-grandparents this weekend. They flew down from Oregon for a few days and we marked the occasion with beer and cake. Mike even introduced them to beermosas (beer + orange juice…we’re classy like that).

Any time there are extra people around, I like to make cake, because it means I won’t end up eating the whole thing. Except this time I kind of wanted to.

I normally require a LOT more frosting than this on cake, but the brown butter is so rich and flavorful, it was actually perfect in such a small dose. The recipe was originally written to make a single-layer 9″ cake, but I baked it in two 6″ pans instead because stacked cakes just seem more festive.

Recipe
(from Martha Stewart via Shutterbean)

cake
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup warm (110 degrees) milk

frosting
4 tbsp butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp milk

Grease a 9″ pan (or 2 6″ pans) and line the bottoms with parchment.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Sift the flour, spices, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together and set aside.

Beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs one at a time.

Add the milk and pumpkin and mix until smooth.

Add the flour mixture and mix on low until just combined. Pour the batter into the pan(s) and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

To make the frosting, sift the powdered sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer.

Melt the butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally until it’s nut-brown (don’t let it get too dark!)

Pour the butter through a mesh strainer into the sugar, and add the vanilla and one tablespoon of milk. Beat on medium until smooth, adding more milk if necessary to reach a spreadable consistency.

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3 Responses to “Pumpkin Cake with Brown Butter Frosting”


  1. 1 Beth November 1, 2011 at 10:15 am

    brown butter frosting? that sounds genius! I also make what I jokingly call “company cake” whenever we have people over. I do love to bake and experiment in the kitchen, but when I end up with a couple dozen cookies staring up at me, it’s never good. Also, the photo of Ellie with her great grandparents is adorable, but then I don’t think I’ve seen a single picture of her yet that isn’t!

  2. 2 Kate November 2, 2011 at 10:00 am

    According to Eddie Izzard, cake is a far superior alternative to death.

  3. 3 ErinsFoodFiles November 2, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    Oh, you made me my dream birthday cake! Why thank you! You’re a bit early but I’ll take it anyway. 😉


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