There’s a bakery in my neighborhood that makes vanilla cupcakes with a browned butter frosting. I tried them several years ago and loved the rich flavor. Then when I discovered the salty caramel cupcake from Sprinkles, I wanted to make something similar at home. I decided to use this recipe as a guide for the cake, but I browned the butter before making the batter, and skipped the caramel filling. For the frosting, I made up a recipe using browned butter and cream cheese and it came out so good I wanted to eat it straight out of the mixing bowl. The cake was moist and fluffy, with a deep browned butter flavor, and the frosting was luscious, salty, and sweet. What a great combination!
Browned Butter Frosting:
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
4 tablespoons butter (1/2 a stick)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Brown the butter over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it is a light brown color with a nutty aroma. Remove from heat immediately so it does not continue cooking or burn, and transfer to a small bowl. Let the butter cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, use a hand mixer or stand mixer to cream together the cream cheese and butter. Add the brown sugar and salt, then the confectioners’ sugar in batches until fully incorporated. Mix until creamy and smooth.