Brown Butter Pumpkin Spice Cake with Mocha Buttercream

Brown Butter Pumpkin Spice Cake with Mocha Buttercream


  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons, cake flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 can (14 ounces) pumpkin
  • 1 1/3 cups brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2-3 tablespoons espresso powder
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 2-4 tablespoons milk or cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla


Preheat the oven to 350.  Spray the bottoms only of three 8-inch cake pans with non-stick spray.

In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Cook the butter, swirling occasionally, until nutty brown solids form on the bottom of the pan; remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla.  Whisk the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, then whisk in the browned butter until smooth.

Divide the batter between the pans.  Bake until the centers of the cakes spring back, and a toothpick comes out clean, about 22-26 minutes.  Cool in the pans, on a wire rack, covered loosely with a clean kitchen towel.



In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter and espresso powder for several minutes.  With the mixer on low, add the powdered sugar and meringue powder until combined.  Add the milk and vanilla and increase the speed to medium high; whip for 4-5 minutes until very light and fluffy.

Frost the cooled cakes with the buttercream.


Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen