Pumpkin Cake with Browned-Butter Icing

Pumpkin Cake-2My nails are currently doused in a generous coating of sparkly bluish-purplish nail polish. Even better? I’m rocking the one finger different color thing (ring fingernails are silver). BOOM.

This is a completely un-Meganish look. To be honest, this entire week has been quite un-Meganish. I had another Euro group presentation on Thursday. Nothing out of the ordinary…except one of the video clips we filmed  included me exclaiming a somewhat sexually explicit phrase. It was in our textbook. Don’t judge me.

I also conducted three hours of interviews for my next story. (Read: “I have three hours of interviews to transcribe.”) I currently have about 1/6 of the interviews transcribed. Plus, next week is finals week. Partaaay!

Besides permanently tarnishing my reputation and creating 5+ hours of homework for myself, I did something else even more exciting! Last Wednesday, I emailed Joy the Baker and Tracy Shutterbean with a plea for Valentine’s Day recipe ideas (for my school newspaper, of course). They read my question and gave me an awesome suggestion on their podcast!! Heart-shaped dipped rice krispie treats (soaked in bourbon) anyone?

I was so excited I almost died. Listening to the podcast at 5:15 am Thursday morning totally brightened my day and brought my stress levels down considerably. It made up for the fact that I was awake at 5:15 am prepping for my humiliating presentation. Thank you for the adorable recipe suggestion, Joy and Tracy! I’m super excited to try it out today!

Anyway, speaking of journalism and Shutterbean, this Pumpkin Cake is my new favorite fall-flavored treat. It’s simple, elegant, and a breeze to throw together. I actually baked and served it over a month ago, but I still remember our EIC (editor-in-chief)’s reaction when she took a bite. Priceless.

Recipe Tips: Want to health-it-up a bit? Substitute half the ap flour for ww pastry flour. I didn’t make the caramalized walnuts, but you can find the instructions for that on Tracy’s blog. The nuts in the pictures are raw pecan halves. You can bake the cake a day in advance, wrap it in plastic wrap, and frost it the next day. Yum!

Pumpkin Cake with Browned Butter Icing

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, plus a bit more for the pan
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup warm milk

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Spray the bottom of an 8 or 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment paper. Butter and flour the cake pan (including the parchment-lined bottom). Set aside.

2) Sift the flour, spices, salt, baking soda, and baking powder into a large bowl. Set aside.

3) In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract and the eggs, beating until fully combined. Pour in the milk and pumpkin puree. Beat until combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Stir in the reserved flour mixture by hand, until just combined.

4) Spread the batter into the pan with a spatula. Bake for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake rest in the pan on a cooling rack for 20 minutes. Then, unmold the cake and allow it to cool completely. Slather on the icing! Mmmm.

Browned-Butter Icing

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tbsp milk, cream, or half-and-half

1) In a small saucepan, brown the butter. Pour the browned-butter into a medium bowl. Stir in the remaining ingrediants. The icing should be spreadable, and slightly runny. Use immediately.


Slightly adapted from Martha Stewart via Shutterbean.com

2 thoughts on “Pumpkin Cake with Browned-Butter Icing

Leave a Reply