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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Browned Butter Birthday Cake

I'm still here! I just took some time away from my blog and cooking because things got a bit busy. We had a house-guest. And there was an Admitted Student Day. And I was preparing for my final advocacy trial. It's amazing how much time can be spent preparing for something. My portion of the trial lasted 30 minutes. Yet, I spent probably about 30-40 hours preparing for it. This is not a joke. Of course, because of all of that (and Mother Nature's crazy abrupt weather changes) I am now sick again! So, the blog is in need of a pick me up and I am posting a delightful treat!
OH my goodness. Wow. This cake was made for Ron's birthday. And it will be made for birthdays to come. It was my first time browning butter. I was standing there for a good five minutes before anything happened. But then it did. And it was life-changing. I'm going to brown butter every single day!!  It smelled amazing. Then it turned into a nutty, caramel smell. And it permeated throughout the entire house. And then I put the cakes in the oven. And they smelled amazing. And then I took them out and set them on the counter to cool. And I guess the cakes smelled so amazing that they attracted our four legged friends. Cali, our sassy little calico cat, was caught on the counter with crumbs on face. She was standing on one of the cakes. I frisked her off, shut the door, and went about my business fully intending to deal with the cake once I was done. Apparently, I should have checked to see if Salem was locked in the kitchen when I shut the door. Because she was. And she too had her share of birthday cake. But her crumbs covered nearly all of her tiny chin. What a messy eater!

The cats ate one half of the cake. And then they ran around the house like they were on drugs. I was highly annoyed, but I chose just to cut off the parts that I knew they had attacked. Honestly, we might have been eating cake that had been stepped on, but we didn't care. This cake was so good. It's no wonder the cats ate so much of it!
Browned Butter Birthday Cake
from Honey and Jam
For Cake
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup browned butter* (see step #3)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
For Frosting
  • 5 oz good quality bittersweet chocolate
  • 8 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp baking cocoa
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 4-8 Tbsp milk
For Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two cake pans or two cupcake pans.
  2. Beat sugar and eggs together until slightly thickened, about one minute.
  3. *Brown butter: Heat pan on medium heat. Cut butter in to pieces and melt in pan. Stir continuously. Butter will begin to foam up. After foam subsides, small brown flecks will start to appear in bottom of pan. Continue stirring, until butter has reached a nice brown color, and a nutty aroma. Turn the heat all of the way down. (This will take anywhere from 5-7 minutes.)
  4. Add milk, browned butter, and vanilla, to sugar and egg mixture. Stir just until combined.
  5. Add flour and baking powder, beating until well mixed -- about one minute. Do not over mix.
  6. Bake in preheated oven. For cake, bake for about 30 minutes. For cupcakes, bake for about 20-22 minutes. When done, the top will be springy to touch and a toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean.
  7. Cool completely before frosting.
For Frosting
  1. Melt chocolate in a double boiler and allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. Beat in butter until creamy.
  3. Add powdered sugar, baking cocoa, cinnamon and vanilla.
  4. Slowly beat in milk 1 Tbsp at a time until you reach desired consistency.


  1. The part about the cats with the cake is absolutely fabulous! I know it must have been frustrating, but I can't say I blame them! The cake sounds amazing! I admit I laughed pretty hard when I imagined Cali and Salem trotting around the house with a face full of crumbs. The girls have done this sort of thing, too. But, instead of crumbs, we once busted Cordie with an entire Bit o' Honey in her chin hair!!! Lol.

  2. Oh my gosh! How did you get all of the candy out of her fur?? Awww!! Those things are SO sticky!! Lol!!