Oh man. It’s been quite the week. In the past 10 days we’ve been to the vet at least 5 times. Our puppy, Emmy, has been sick with Giardia and something else that they can’t quite figure out. Tuesday was the first time her fever finally went down, she got her appetite back and had a little bit more energy. She’s slowly getting back to her spunky self and Rob and I are glad to be done with giving her pills, fluids and taking her temperature. It made me so sad seeing her feel so crappy and not being able to fix it. When I’m stressed or feeling kind of down I turn to baking to relieve that anxiety. It’s relaxing to mix the ingredients and focus on something else. So here is the result of that mood: brown butter cake with dark chocolate frosting!
Yes, more brown butter! Hope you’re a fan because I use it a lot around here! I’ve used it in frosting, cookies, and Rice Krispies treats, but haven’t tried using it in a cake. Until now! The flavor is very subtle, but I like that it adds a slight nuttiness to a simple vanilla cake. And what do I love even more than brown butter?! Chocolate! So let’s top it with some dark chocolate buttercream! One thing I learned while decorating this cake is that freezing your cake layers makes it SO much easier to frost! I made the cake part ahead of time and kept it in the freezer until I was ready to assemble it. It was much easier to create those smooth sides and top. Then I just piped the remaining buttercream around the edges. For a fun birthday-inspired look I added this glittery candles which I picked up from Mingle. They are the Meri Meri brand, which is my favorite for festive party supplies![one_half padding=”0 10px 0 0″][/one_half] [one_half_last padding=”0 0 0 10px”][/one_half_last]
Brown Butter Cake with Dark Chocolate Buttercream
The brown butter adds a subtle nutty flavor to a simple vanilla cake. Top with dark chocolate buttercream for a classic combo!
For the Brown Butter Cake
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup egg whites
- 3/4 cup buttermilk room temperature
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 3 tsp. canola oil
For the Dark Chocolate Buttercream
- 1 cup butter room temperature
- 1/3 cup dark cocoa powder (or more to taste)
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
For the cake
In a small, light-colored saucepan melt butter over medium heat, stirring frequently until the butter starts to brown and smell nutty. Transfer to a heat-proof bowl (use a rubber spatula to get those brown flecks!) and chill in the freezer for about 20 minutes. Once solid, remove and let it warm up to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray 5 6" cake pans with cooking spray (you could also use two 8" round pans). Set aside.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt on low speed until combined. Gradually add the butter, one spoonful at a time. Mix on low until combined. Add egg whites and continue mixing on low speed. Pour half of the buttermilk in, mixing until combined. Add remaining buttermilk, vanilla and oil. Turn up to medium speed and mix for an additional 30 seconds.
Evenly distribute between prepared cake pans. If using smaller pans, bake for 15 - 17 minutes (about 35 minutes for larger pans) until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes, then remove from pans and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
For the buttercream
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add cocoa powder and 1 cup of powdered sugar. Mix on low and alternate adding the remaining powdered sugar and heavy cream until you reach the desired consistency. Add vanilla and pinch of salt, then mix on medium-high for an additional minute.
Spread an even layer on top of one cake layer, then repeat until cake is full stacked. Frost the top and sides, using a bench scraper to get it extra smooth. Enjoy!