Pumpkin Cake with Brown Butter Icing

(recipe from Martha Stewart [1])

For the cake:

  • 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 sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup warm (110 degrees) milk
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-2-inch round cake pan. Line pan with parchment, and butter the parchment. Coat pan with flour, and tap out any excess.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, salt, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat sugar and butter together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, and beat until combined. Add pumpkin puree and milk; beat until combined. Add reserved flour mixture; beat on low speed until just combined.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool. Let cake rest 20 minutes.
  5. Unmold cake. Using an offset spatula, spread icing over top of cake, and decorate with caramelized walnut halves.

For the Icing: [2]

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (I used salted!)
  • 1 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
  1. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat until nut-brown in color, about 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat, and pour butter into a bowl, leaving any burned sediment behind.
  2. Add sugar, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon milk; stir until smooth. If the icing is too thick, add the remaining tablespoon milk, a little at a time, until consistency is spreadable. Let cool 5 minutes. Use immediately

For the Caramelized Walnuts: [3]

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 10 well-shaped, large walnut halves
  1. In a small skillet, melt sugar over medium-high heat until medium golden, about 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat. Working quickly, drop walnut halves, one at a time, into the melted sugar. If the sugar hardens, return skillet to low heat, and stir several minutes. Using a fork, turn walnuts until they are evenly coated. Transfer walnuts to a wire rack to cool completely. Use to decorate cake.
Shutterbean notes:
-I made this cake a day in advance, wrapped it up in plastic wrap and it was still super fresh & moist the next day!
-I used salted butter for the icing! It tasted AWESOME.