Baked Goods & Sweet Treats Recipes

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cake

In case you are still frantically hunting a dessert for Thanksgiving next week, or if you just plain like pumpkin any time of year then I have a dessert for you! A brown butter pumpkin cake. Need I say more?

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cake

brown butter pumpkin cake
(Adapted from Rachel Ray)
115 g unsalted butter
1 cup of canned pumpkin puree
1 cup of sugar
2/3 cup of light brown sugar
1/4 cup of buttermilk
2 eggs
1  teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of ginger
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon of all spice
dash of cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
3/4 teaspoon of salt

(For frosting)
4 oz of cream cheese
1/2 cup of icing sugar
1 cup of heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
1/3 cup of hazelnuts (tasted and chopped) *optional*

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C) and grease/line two cake tins.  In a skillet cook the butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it’s completely melted and turns golden brown. After 4-6 minutes it should start smelling nutty. Remove the butter from the heat and pour into a small bowl to cool.

In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, sugars, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. In another bowl, mix together the flour, spices, salt and baking soda. Then add the dry ingredients into the wet ones and stir until just combined. Lastly mix in your bowl of browned butter.

Divide the batter between your two cake tins and bake for 25-30 minutes. After you remove your cakes from the oven and set them aside to cool, you can start preparing your frosting. Mix together the icing sugar and the cream cheese. Then whip in the heavy cream and the vanilla. Continue to whip until the frosting is thick and smooth. It should hold stiff peaks. This usually takes about 3-4 minutes.

Spread half your frosting on one cake, and top with the other cake. Spread the remaining frosting on top of that and decorate the edges with your hazelnuts.

unfrostedtop of cakecenter of cakeslice of cake  close up of cake
Do you have a favourite Thanksgiving recipe?

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  • Pumpkin loaf has been heavily on my mind lately. I want to curl up with a piece of this with a tall cup of coffee and have a magical day inside. I’d imagine that your Brown Butter Pumpkin Cake tastes a lot like pumpkin pound cake.

  • #yum! Question is there a way to take your recipe and convert to tablespoons and cups? Know of a website that will do that? I only ask because I so want to make this!

    • Not that I know off the top of my head, but I think everything is in cups and spoons expect for the butter and I can just tell you the conversion for that! You’d need 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup) for this recipe. xx

  • That cake looks amazing!! Have to make it sometime asap!!

  • We are having our Thanksgiving dinner this weekend and I have no idea what the dessert is going to be. This recipe may very well be the star of the show for us, looks delicious!

  • Definitely yes to ALL the pumpkin! x

  • Such a lovely cake….Looks very yummy <3

  • Thanksgiving always makes me wish I was American, I have always wanted to go to a thankgiving meal. This recipe looks great, I also really want to try pumpkin pie. x

    • I think that you should also celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s Sam’s new favourite holiday. πŸ™‚ Also I say, just go for it and make a pumpkin pie for the hell of it πŸ™‚ x

  • carlisa creter

    Gosh does that look amazing!

  • Thanks Hannah! x

  • Sounds like a great alternative to pumpkin pie πŸ™‚

  • Vera

    Ohhhhhhhh, it just look so delicious! I wish I could eat it!
    With love,

  • Is this real!??!?! It looks amazing. I adore brown butter, what a fantastic dessert idea! Too bad we’re already making a salted caramel chocolate tart for Thanksgiving. This we’ll have to fit in another time πŸ™‚

  • Ashley Angle

    This sounds so great! I love layered cakes!
    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle

  • Now, this is a cake I can get involved with – it’s autumn with rockets!

  • Now that’s a cake!! It looks so perfect! Can’t get over how great that slice looks! Yummy xo

  • Hey where do you get your canned pumpkin puree from in the UK? I can never find it!

  • how come everything you bake looks so good, haha? i’m seriously fighting the urge to go to the shop and baking this instead of writing my essay.. i just want to try out all your recipes! xx

  • That looks delicious. I love your dessert ideas!

  • Ok, I’m slowly coming to the conclusion I’ve been seriously missing out on this whole Thanksgiving feast thing. Next year I’m going to run a vigorous campaign to convince one of my American friends to aid in popping my Thanksgiving cherry (or would that be cranberry in this case?!)

    • Yes. Definitely! I fully support usurping Thanksgiving to be your own. Sam now loves it- I think it’s practically his favourite holiday now a days! x

  • That cake looks AMAZING!!! I wish I could have even half of your baking skills, Amanda!

  • Hi Catherine! I live in London and pretty much every Waitrose i’ve gone into carried tinned pumpkin at Β£2 per can. Partridge’s in Sloane Square carries it as well but it’s more expensive there. (You can see I’m obsessed with my expat grocery locations πŸ˜‰ ) x

    • Hi Catherine, I have randomly found Libby’s in TK Maxx and also Tesco. But Partridge’s and Skyco ( are usually guaranteed to have it… year round πŸ™‚

      • Partridge’s year round American section is like a black hole that I struggle to avoid but never fail to get sucked in to. πŸ™‚ xx

  • oh gosh! this looks SO good!

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  • Looks so good! I like your “messy” picture styling. I was thinking doing a pumpkin something for Thanksgiving but decided to go with an apple cake instead πŸ™‚ We decided to do dessert for breakfast this year since we were too full last year to eat our dessert πŸ™‚

    • Thank you! And dessert for breakfast is one of the BEST ideas I’ve ever heard. I love it! xx

  • yum this looks so amazing and perfect for thanksgiving!

  • Okay, the name alone makes me want to drool! That looks soo good!!!

  • *NOM*

    …That is all.

  • this just sounds delicious!

  • Yum! I might need to have a belated thanksgiving just to make this

  • Ah! Thank you so much! x

  • Ala

    The consistency of that icing looks spot on and I LOVE the orangey tinge to the cake! I would love a slice of this x