Dinner Party: Browned Butter Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Browned Butter Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting


Holy hot pants, Batman! This recipe is indescribably awesome. The cake was moist, flavorful, rich and tasted appropriately pumpkin-y. The cream cheese frosting really accented it well.

I think what I like most about this confectionary creation is that both the cake recipe and the frosting recipe stand well on their own. They make one heck of a dream team, but they could definitely release successful solo albums if they so desired.

I love cinnamon (see: Cinnamon and Banana Crumble Muffins)! The cinnamon worked beautifully in this cake, both highlighting the sweetness and the pumpkin flavor simultaneously. It was just really great. Not overwhelming in anyway, and my dad said he would have liked it if I hadn’t told him there was pumpkin in it (high praise from a man who would form a lobbyist group against vegetables).

A slice of yumKeep it easy on the frosting though. While the frosting recipe I’ve listed below (from Cake Boss by Buddy Valastro) is just dreamy, overindulging on the frosting could cause the end result to be a little too sweet. I made one batch of frosting, and used about ¾ of it to frost the cake. My guests and I felt this was appropriate. There was enough frosting to add a presence, but not enough to over sweeten and steal the show. Note: I take a little bit of sugar with my sugar… so if I’m putting out a potential sugar overload advisory then take heed.

A word on cream cheese frosting: it melts.

I would not recommend it for a frosting amateur, like myself.

The cake is so moist!

The cake is so moist!

You have to work very quickly, because as it warms up, it melts and thins and becomes a sticky mess. I was legitimately up to my elbows in frosting. I had grander design plans, but ended up not being able to execute them. At one point I found myself torn between throwing the half frosted cake at the wall and crying in a cream cheese covered heap on the floor. The spiky frosting design you see in the picture was a last minute improvisation, which I undertook to save my sanity.  All things considered, I think Plan B worked better than I initially hoped for (success?).

So, if you glean any value from my blog (any at all) I hope it is that cream cheese frosting is not for the faint hearted and heavy handed.

But then again… anything that tastes that good is surely worth the effort!

Happy Eating 🙂

Cream Cheese Frosting (Cake Boss, Buddy Valastro)

16 oz cream cheese

8 tbsp unsalted butter (softened at room temperature)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 cups powdered sugar

  1. Put the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and paddle at medium speed until creamy (approx. 30 seconds).
  2. With the motor running, pour in the vanilla and paddle for 30 seconds. Add the sugar, a little at a time, and mix until smooth, approx 1 minute after the last addition.
  3. Use right away (seriously!), or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

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