What better way to celebrate 10 months of my little pumpkin than pumpkin cake?
Behold, month #10 in my project baby cake series: Brown Butter Pumpkin Cake with Brown Sugar Buttercream because October calls for pumpkin everything.
Also, Brown Sugar Swiss Meringue buttercream has been on my to-do list for years.
And of course the season was a reason;)
This pairing seemed a perfect match for chilly autumn nights and a comforting, kid-friendly treat for little ones like mine, not to mention an excellent stand in for Pumpkin Pie come Thanksgiving if you’re more of a cake-for-dessert gal like me:)
The Brown Butter Pumpkin Cake recipe was a deliciously simple version I adapted from Fine Cooking featuring nutty browned butter, fall spices and organic pumpkin puree. I filled it with vanilla cream cheese frosting and frosted it in brown sugar Swiss Meringue buttercream for the loveliest, earth-toned canvas for my harvest-inspired styling with orange rose hips, broom grass and tiny pears. You could use the brown sugar buttercream recipe for a filling, too, in lieu of cream cheese frosting for an even simpler cake which I’m sharing below, and finish with a drizzle of salted caramel if you’re feeling fancy.
Here’s my Salted Caramel sauce recipe.
Like almost all of my baby cakes, I did this one in my 4” round cake pans because it’s the perfect size for our little lady.
BROWN BUTTER PUMPKIN CAKE RECIPE
adapted from Fine Cooking
yields three 4” round cakes
3 oz unsalted butter, plus more for pans
1 C. organic, all purpose flour, plus more for pans
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 C. organic organic sugar
1/3 C firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
3 Tbsp. buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter and flour three 4” round cake pans.
Melt butter in a heavy-duty, 1-quart saucepan over medium heat. Cook, swirling pan occasionally until the butter turns a nutty golden-brown color, about four minutes. Once golden brown flecks appear, remove butter from heat and pour into a small bowl. Let butter stand until cool about 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk flour, baking soda and spices.
In an electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat puree on low with both sugars until combined. Next add egg and buttermilk and mix until combined. Remove from electric mixer and add dry ingredients by hand until fully blended and pour evenly between prepared pans.
Bake cakes about 20-25 minutes until tester inserted in middle comes out clean. Once baked, let cakes cool in pans completely before frosting.
BROWN SUGAR SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM RECIPE
5 egg whites
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 lb organic unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla
In a medium, heat-safe metal bowl, combine egg whites and sugar over a pot of simmering water.
Heat sugar and egg white mixture until sugar is completely dissolved and mixture reaches 160 degrees F on a candy thermometer, and then remove bowl from heat.
To remove any bits of cooked egg white, pour mixture through a fine mesh sieve into the bowl of an electric mixer.
Once cooled, using the whisk attachment of your electric mixer or electric beaters, beat the meringue mixture until you have stiff, shiny peaks.
Next, add butter, a few tablespoons at a time until completely incorporated and smooth.
Finally, switch to a paddle attachment and beat buttercream for a minute on medium speed to work out air bubbles for the smoothest consistency.
Scoop frosting into a piping bag, no tip needed, and snip the tip off the base with scissors for a ~1/4” diameter piping hole.
Once cakes have cooled use a leveler to slice tops of your cakes for even layers.
I use a Wilton leveler on the #1 setting to get two layers out of each cake for a total of six cake layers (and two 4” cakes).
To assemble your first cake, using a turntable, pipe a dab of frosting on a 6” cake board and top with one cake layer.
Pipe around the perimeter of the cake with buttercream, then fill the center with either more buttercream or cream cheese frosting.
Top with two more layers and repeat as a 2nd cake with remaining 3 cake layers.
Once cakes are fully frosted, smooth outside edges with a plain edge scraper for a semi-naked finish.
Chill in fridge until buttercream is firm, about 30 minutes.
Optional - finish with a drizzle of salted caramel.
Use 1 wilton floral spike with or without water (as these materials don’t need to stay hydrated) and insert
2 Rose hip stems ~3#-4”
3 cuttings Broom corn with leaves
1 tiny bosc pear or small apple
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Baby Cake #8 - Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe