Brown Butter Spice Cake – Fresh Baked Friday!

28 Jan

I’ll be honest, I was skeptical when my mom showed me this recipe.  Brown butter on some delicious pumpkin ravioli, yes, but in a cake?  Just not sure.

Well, I am here to tell you, push that skepticism aside.  This cake, which is more along the lines of a zucchini or banana bread, is absolutely delicious.  Filled with wonderful spices, a fabulous nuttiness and a perfect texture, this is surely a keeper.

You will notice some less conventional ingredients, like natural cane sugar and whole wheat pastry flour.  Feel free to sub as you see fit.  The source, 101 Cookbooks, sticks with all natural foods and ingredients, so I stuck with her ingredients this go-around.  If you sub with more traditional ingredients, be sure to let me know how it goes in the comment section.

Start by browning the butter.  This can take a bit of time, so be patient.

I forgot to keep an eye on the clock, but it was definitely close to 15 minutes.  Like I said, be patient.  You want the bits brown, but not burnt.  Fine line here, fine line.

Once browned, but the butter aside to cool while you prepare the rest of the dough.

But first, prepare your loaf pan with butter and flour.  Just in case you need it… first butter the pan (don’t be skimpy here) and throw some flour into the pan.

Now slowly, hit the flour around the pan.  You will have extra, just throw it out.  I know, a bit of waste.  Just go with it.

Now to the dough.  Whisk together the flour, baking soda, spices and sea salt,

In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, pureed squash and milk.

By they way, I thought the cane sugar deserved a little close up.  Isn’t it pretty?

Anyway, test the butter.  It should still be melted, but not hot to the touch.  If it’s there, add to the sugar mixture.  Whisk until well combined.

Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture.  Mix until just combined.

Mix in the almonds.

Pour into the prepared pan.  Sprinkle the top with sugar and the almonds.

Bake.  Be sure to not over bake.  You want to keep that moist texture.

Once cool, slice and enjoy.  Just like I’m about to do… right now!

Looking for other sweet treats?  Take a look here!


Brown Butter Spice Cake
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9 ounces unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour, plus more for the pan
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
⅛ teaspoon cloves
⅛ teaspoon finely ground black pepper
½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 cup fine grain natural cane sugar or muscovado sugar
2 eggs
½ cup pureed roasted squash
¼ cup milk
⅓ cup lightly toasted sliced almonds

1 ½ tablespoons fine grain natural cane sugar or muscovado sugar
¼ cup lightly toasted sliced almonds


Preheat the oven to 350F.  Butter and flour a loaf pan.

Melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat until brown, with a nutty aroma.  This can take between 10 and 20 minutes.  Be patient.  You want the butter solids to be nice and toasted, but not burnt.  Once browned, set aside and allow to cool (but not set).

Sift the flour, baking soda, spices and sea salt in a large bowl.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk the sugar, eggs, squash and milk.  Whisk in the cooled, melted butter.  Be sure the butter is not hot to the touch before adding.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Mix until just combined.  Fold in the almonds.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Sprinkle with the sugar and almonds.

Bake for 50 – 60 minutes, or until the edges have browned and the center of the cake is well set.  Be sure to not over-bake.

Source: adapted from 101 Cookbooks



3 Responses to “Brown Butter Spice Cake – Fresh Baked Friday!”

  1. Lisa January 29, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

    What a moist looking piece of cake. I’ve heard so many good things about brown butter that I don’t doubt it made your cake fabulous.

  2. Lisa January 29, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

    Oh I forgot to mention, I have a linky party going on at my blog called “Sweets for a Saturday” and I’d like to invite you to stop by and link your delicious cake up.

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