She likes to bake. Actually, baking is the only thing she does. It's a passion.

Browned Butter Birthday Cake

Posted: October 17th, 2009 | Author: bakezilla | Filed under: Bakezilla | 4 Comments »

Birthdays, to me, mean one thing: cake (okay, and champagne).  I know people will make other favorite desserts on birthday, but to me, you can’t have a birthday cobbler or tart, it’s just not right.

I think the reason people look for alternatives is because traditional, yellow or white birthday cake, is kind of boring/tasteless.  But, it’s also tradition, and really symbolizes the occasion.  And since I have a birthday to go to tonight, I decided to try to remedy this.  So, I got out this random cookbook I bought at a used bookstore, where I found a tasty cupcake recipe and adapted it to a cake.

You know how butter smells delicious when you heat it up to cook something in?  This works on that principle.  It’s a pretty basic cake recipe, but heating the butter changes the flavor immensely, and for the better.

First, take a stick of unsalted butter, heat it in a heavy skillet, and cook until it turns dark brown, stirring often.  Pour it into a bowl, cover and chill (this takes a while, you can go off and do something else in the meantime).

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a cake pan.  Use whatever size you want/have, just remember to vary cooking times.  I made a small cake and only a third of the recipe today.

In a medium sized bowl, sift together 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour, 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt.  Set aside.

Mix together the browned butter and 1/4 cup shortening.  Then, slowly add in 1 1/4 cups of sugar.  Then, add 3 eggs, one at a time, and 2 tsp vanilla.  Then, alternately mix in the flour mixture and 3/4 cup milk.  Put it in the pan, and bake.  My small pan took 25 minutes, so a bit longer for a large pan.  Just watch it and take it out when it passes the knife test.

For icing, you can also brown the butter first before making a regular buttercream (which tastes good but looks ugly) or just make a plain buttercream, which I did here because I wanted it to look nice and birthday-ey.

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4 Comments on “Browned Butter Birthday Cake”

  1. 1 Johanna said at 4:49 pm on October 17th, 2009:

    I L-O-V-E Brown Butter!! I make shortcake cookies that are the ugliest things ever, but that I call Brown-Butter-Brown-Sugar-Shorties (or, y’know, Shawties) that make excellent use of this principle. As well as a brown-butter, brown-sugar raspberry tart. So delish.
    I may have to try a brown butter cake for my next cake-baking experiment.
    Uh, whenever that turns out to be. Yum.

  2. 2 Ben said at 9:22 pm on October 19th, 2009:

    Sure, it looks ornate and birthday-ey. But how does it taste?

    Well, it’s rich and sweet. It’s delicious in the morning, afternoon, evening, and maybe even as a 2 a.m. snack. Although I might have dreamed that last one.

    In short, when your birthday comes around, it’s good to have a Bakezilla in your life.

  3. 3 leah said at 1:11 pm on October 25th, 2009:

    i’m with ya. traditional, yellow or white cake is usually just a vehicle for icing to get in my mouth. this is really creative! and from ben’s description, tasty to boot!

  4. 4 The Kosher Chick » Blog Archive » Shabbat Birthday Dinner said at 2:38 am on November 6th, 2009:

    [...] orange swirled with wisps of chocolate. Pictures will be posted in my next entry. I know Bakezilla wrote about cakes making the best birthday dessert and I definitely agree! But I can’t resist a [...]


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