Brown Butter Buttercream

Brown Butter Buttercream elevates any cake that is graced with it. Take your dessert from ordinary to EXTRAORDINARY with the mild nuttiness of browned butter!

This buttercream is perfect on just about any cake or cupcake but I especially like it on my Banana Cake or Carrot Cake. The nuttiness of the browned butter blends perfectly with the sweet fruit in the cakes!

Browned butter is a simple way to elevate the flavor of any dish. Use it on pasta, potatoes, in your enriched bread dough, waffle or pancake batter, or to saute vegetables.

What IS Browned Butter anyway?!

When you brown butter, a couple of very simple things happen. First, the butter melts and the water begins to evaporate. Higher quality butter has less water in it and you will have a higher yield of browned butter because less evaporation will happen.

Once the water evaporates from the butter, the milk solids will separate from the fat. The milk solids will look like small specks or flecks in the bottom of the pan. These milk solids can burn very quickly so keep the pan moving (swirling) to avoid burning.

Once you start to smell a nutty fragrance, your butter is almost ready. It is important to stay with your browning butter and don’t get distracted! It will go from just starting to brown to burned in seconds!

The smell of the butter as the milk solids brown is heavenly and brings everyone in my house to the kitchen to find out what I am making!

You can choose how far to take the browning process but you should stop with the flecks are brown and the liquid is an amber color.

What to do with Browned Butter

When the milk solids are brown and the liquid fat is amber, remove the pan from the heat and IMMEDIATELY pour into a heat proof dish.

If you leave the butter in the pan, it will continue to brown and potentially burn. Pour into a a glass, heatproof bowl and allow to cool. To make this buttercream, refrigerate the browned butter until it is solid and then bring to room temperature.

There are numerous uses for Browned Butter! It is amazing in both sweet and savory dishes. My favorite way to use it is to toss some precooked pasta in melted browned butter. You don’t need any other flavoring!

I also adore this Brown Butter Buttercream! The Brown Butter adds an unexpected nutty flavor and the cream cheese cuts the sweetness a bit and adds some tang.

This is the ONLY American Buttercream that I will eat!




Flakes of browned milk solids ad so much flavor to buttercream!

Brown Butter Buttercream

Recipe by Tanya Ott


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 282 grams (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter for browning

  • 113 grams (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature (not browned)

  • 140 grams cream cheese, at room temperature

  • 750 grams (About 6 cups) powdered sugar, sifted

  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 3 tablespoons milk or heavy cream

  • Pinch of salt


  • Prepare the browned butter as shown in this post.  Watch a full video tutorial HERE. Cool the butter until has solidified and then bring to room temperature.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the browned butter, plain butter, cream cheese, and half the icing sugar. Mix on low speed until combined then turn up to medium speed.  Mix for 2 minutes.
  • Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the remaining icing sugar, vanilla, milk or heavy cream and salt.  Mix on low until sugar is blended in then turn up to high for 2 minutes. Add more icing sugar or milk to reach your desired consistency.

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  1. Pingback: Banana Cupcakes with Brown Butter Frosting – global bakes

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