Spiced Pumpkin Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

Pumpkin Cake with Brown Butter Icing

A simple, single-layer pumpkin cake complete with warm, cozy spices you can whip up in a flash. Sometimes you need something on the fly to satisfy your pumpkin-craving sweet tooth. This comes together so easy, mostly in one bowl aside from combining the dry ingredients that you will file it away in your recipe box to make again and again. The same way I did.

The cake is moist and dense, two words I love to hear most when describing a cake. The pumpkin makes itself obvious in every bite and is surrounded by spices that love it. Cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. The holy trinity of pumpkin baking.

At first I didn’t like the brown butter icing but as it aged the flavor seemed to mellow and I ended up really loving it. When brown butter meets sugar it kind of takes on a caramel note making it the perfect compliment to pumpkin.

I hope you won’t feel intimidated by the brown butter if it’s something you never made before. All you’re doing is cooking off the milk solids and just like the name states “browning” the butter.

The taste is hard to describe and it may sound strange if you’ve never had it before. Trust me when I say it’s a very good thing. I don’t know of anyone who’s tried it for the first time and didn’t like it. I’ve heard it described as “nutty” and “toasty” and in this frosting it’s slightly reminiscent of brown sugar.

This is a handy recipe for those times when you are suddenly hit with an impulse to bake but don’t want to be in the kitchen for hours. Or maybe you don’t want a big, double-layer cake that is going to be hanging around for days calling your name. Just another reason to love this cake.

One layer dreamy pumpkin cake.

Pumpkin Cake

Spiced Pumpkin Cake with Brown Butter Icing

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 1 (9-inch) cake

Spiced Pumpkin Cake with Brown Butter Icing

A simple, single-layer pumpkin cake complete with warm, cozy spices you can whip up in a flash.


8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 + 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 + 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup warm (110 degrees) milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sifted confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
a handful of chopped walnuts, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour or line with parchment a 9-by-2-inch round cake pan.
  2. In a large bowl sift the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together.
  3. In a separate large bowl beat sugar and butter together on medium speed until light and fluffy about 2 minutes. Add eggs and beat until combined. Add pumpkin puree and milk beat until combined.
  4. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean from center - about 55 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack about 20 minutes.
  6. Turn the cake out onto a cake dish or platter and allow to cool completely.
  7. Make the icing:
  8. In a small saucepan melt butter over medium-high heat and cook until nutty-brown in color about 10 minutes. Here's a helpful tutorial. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl leaving any sediment behind.
  9. Whisk in the sugar, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon milk to start. If too thick add the remaining tablespoon milk, a little at a time, until you get the right consistency for spreading. Let cool 5 minutes then spread over top of cake. Sprinkle with the walnuts.


Adapted from Martha Stewart

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved


What’s your favorite thing to bake with pumpkin?

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