I love this crisp weather. It’s absolutely perfect. Unfortunately, the crispness in the air also means that snow will be here sooner than later. That makes me sad. But the snow isn’t here yet, so I’m going to do my best to enjoy autumn as long as I can! I love everything about autumn. I love pumpkins, colored leaves, apples and baking! Man, do I love baking. During the summer I still bake, but I never feel completely inspired. I just don’t feel like turning on the oven inside when it feels like an oven outside. Yuck. But now that the days are in the high 60′s and low 70′s, and since I had to work all weekend long, I thought I’d bake my co-workers a Brown Butter Pumpkin Cake.
This cake is really moist and has a really good flavor. Some would say it was because of the pumpkin—who doesn’t love pumpkin?—but I would disagree. I think it’s the browned butter, baby!
To make brown butter you just take regular butter and drop it into a skillet (I prefer my cast iron for this) until it foams up and turns a golden color.
The butter will eventually melt entirely and the foam will subside quite a lot. Brown butter isn’t just for baking though. Have you ever made scallops and finished them with a butter bomb? I recommend it! Sear them nicely then toss in some butter with a couple sprigs of thyme stuck in it. Finish the scallops by “poaching” them in the butter. I don’t know if poaching is the right word, maybe basting would be better? Anyway, they are delicious!
Back to the cake! This recipe is a keeper, but the only thing I would do differently is to bake it in multiple pans, maybe 2 or 3. I just used one 9″ x 3″ cake pan and it takes forever to bake this way! It will bake all the way through but I noticed my layers were a little more “doughy” than I’d like. Some people love “doughy” though, so do what you want!
I decorated the cake really quickly using a Cinnamon Brown Sugar Buttercream. This stuff is delish. I don’t really have a recipe for this but I think I had seen it somewhere. I just don’t remember! I just make a regular buttercream, adding some brown sugar and cinnamon. You have to cream the butter with the sugar though or else the frosting will be really grainy.
Before I left for work I cut a slice off to keep at home for Piyush. The night before he had been begging me to cut into the cake (before it was even frosted). He said the house smelled so good he just wanted to eat it! I told him no, so then he asked me if he could eat the cake scraps? I told him I didn’t level the cake so there were no cake scraps. I wish I took a picture of his reaction. He was so disappointed and tried to talk me into not taking the cake to work and leaving it for him. For someone that insists he does not like sweets, he sure doesn’t like to share them!
I ate one bite of the cake, the pointy end of Piyush’s triangle piece, and it was indeed amazing. I sliced the rest of the cake and took it to work. It was gone in 5 minutes. I’m not even joking.
Pumpkin Brown Butter Cake
(adapted from Fine Cooking)
- 6 oz. (3/4 cup) unsalted butter; more for the pans
- 9 oz. (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more for the pans
- 1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 3/4 tsp. table salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 can pumpkin
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- Make the brown butter (see how earlier in the post) and set aside.
- Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt and cloves in one bowl.
- Combine the two sugars and add in the eggs. Cream together. Add in the buttermilk and whisk it until its all combined.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and start mixing. Slowly drizzle in the brown butter until everything is combined nicely.
- Pour batter into greased pans that have the bottom lined with parchment paper (this makes it a million times easier to get the cake to slide out of the pan).
- Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven. I had to bake mine for over an hour but that was because I poured all the batter into one 9″ x 3″ pan. Use a couple shallower pans and you should only have to bake it for around 45 minutes.
- Cool the cake and then frost it with whatever you choose!
I’ve got all sorts of frosting left over…so be prepared to see some pumpkin spiced macrons. I think those sound amazing!