Pumpkin Cake With Browned Butter Icing

Pumpkin Cake With Brown Butter Icing

Diana Rattray

  • Total: 53 mins
  • Prep: 18 mins
  • Cook: 35 mins
  • Yield: 1 cake (16 servings)

Browning the butter for this pumpkin cake's icing adds wonderful flavor, and it goes so well with the spiced cake. Feel free to use your favorite cream cheese icing or, if you're pressed for time, use a purchased frosting. This pumpkin cake makes a fabulous dessert for Thanksgiving, or make it for a fall treat.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice (ground)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (such as canola, safflower, or corn oil)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 can pumpkin puree (15 ounces, solid pack)
  • For the Brown Butter Frosting:
  • 5 tablespoons butter (unsalted)
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk

Steps to Make It

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

  2. Grease and flour a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking pan. 

  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and spices; stir and set aside.

  4. In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat the 1 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar with oil, eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and pumpkin until smooth and well blended.

  5. Slowly beat in the dry ingredients until moistened; beat for about 1 minute on medium speed, or until the batter is smooth and well blended.

  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

  7. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched with a finger. Cool completely.

Brown Butter Frosting

  1. Heat the unsalted butter in a saucepan over medium heat until melted. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, just until the butter begins to turn a golden brown, about 5 minutes. Immediately remove from heat and let cool.

  2. Sift the confectioners' sugar into a mixing bowl. When the butter is completely cooled, add to the confectioners' sugar along with the vanilla and 1 tablespoon of milk. Slowly beat to blend, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk, or enough to get to a desired spreading consistency.

  3. Spread on the cooled cake. Cut into bars or squares.

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