Browned Butter Frosting

A delicious browned butter frosting with a toasty, nutty flavor that’s perfect for cupcakes, cakes and cookies!

Browned Butter Frosting | My Favorite Frosting for cakes & cupcakes!

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Now that we covered all things savory with yesterday’s BBQ Bowl, how about we go back to some sugar, shall we? My third book – Frostings – is truly one of my favorites. I was the child (and maybe still adult) that eats the cake part first so I can save the frosting for last. I love Frosting! You too? Good, you’ve come to the RIGHT place!

You can pick up a copy of my book here, but I’m also sharing a sample recipe with you all today – one of my faves – Browned Butter Frosting!

Frostings Cookbook by Courtney Whitmore

Try Browned Butter Frosting on Cakes or Cupcakes!

I love to use this browned butter frosting on cakes and cupcakes all year long. My favorite is using it on a ginger or spice cake because the frosting has a slightly nutty taste – in the most delicious way possible.

If you search browned butter on Pinterest or Google, you’ll find hundreds of amazing recipes using browned butter for sweet and savory dishes. It’s a whole new world, I’m telling you! Give it a try.

Why is it called Browned Butter?

Well, I’ll tell you! When you place butter in a small saucepan over medium heat to cook, the butter eventually turns slightly brown (small brown specks will appear on bottom of saucepan). This is how it gets the name “browned butter” and it’s what gives this frosting it’s delicious nutty flavor, perfect for fall baked goods!

Browning the butter before beating in the powdered sugar takes this buttercream frosting to the next level. It adds such a richness in flavor! It reminds me a bit of caramel frosting, so if you love caramel, you will love this browned butter buttercream frosting.

Browned Butter Frosting

Want more deliciously sweet recipes? Check these out too!

Browned Butter Frosting

Browned Butter Frosting

Reprinted from Frostings by Courtney Whitmore


  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or milk


  • Place butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until butter turns slightly brown (small brown specks will appear on bottom of saucepan). Stir continuously. Be careful not to overcook (if you see black specks, you have overcooked). Remove from heat, cover, and allow to cool until solidified (you can place in refrigerator for 20-25 minutes to speed up this process). 
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter for 2 minutes on medium speed. Adjust speed to low and add powdered sugar to butter 1 cup at a time until well incorporated. Add vanilla extract, and heavy cream (or milk). Beat on medium for 3 minutes. Add more powdered sugar to thicken frosting or milk/cream to loosen frosting. 


Browned butter has a strong, nutty flavor that many people love! Try it on a ginger or spice cake! 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Thanks to my Frostings book photographer Kyle Dreier for the gorgeous shots! We consumed quite a lot of frosting during the shooting of this book!

Here are a few other sweet recipes you might enjoy!

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Courtney’s Latest book

Get Your Copy!

In The Southern Entertainer’s Cookbook, Courtney Whitmore shares her party go-tos, over 75 delicious crowd-pleasing recipes. Featured as a must-have cookbook in Southern Living Magazine.

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