brown butter nutmeg cake

Some couples decide to have two anniversary dates–one for their wedding day, and another for the day they met. Do you celebrate both?


That’s what Ben and I do. More cake for us. Haha!


11 years ago tonight, I met him at a crowded bar. He actually came in with a tall guy that I thought was his boyfriend. So I avoided contact. But he noticed me too and circled the bar and later came up to me and asked me what time the drag show started. (It was a bar that had drag queen shows. Duh.)


After the bar, we ended up talking for a few more hours at an apartment that he shared with multiple roommates, and we agreed to meet for breakfast at a nearby Denny’s the very next day. About six months later, he moved in. We’ve been together ever since! I cannot believe 11 years have gone by since then! And even though our wedding date is in June, we always do something to celebrate the day (night) we met.


Lately I’ve been craving the flavor of nutmeg. I thought I’d make a brown butter buttercream with a little cream cheese, because I love the interplay between the nutmeg in the cake and the browned butter with the slight tang of the cream cheese in the frosting.


I decided not to frost the sides of the cake (a.k.a. naked cake) because the frosting is very rich. I found a recipe for nutmeg cake, but added even more nutmeg, which was the right choice because the brown butter buttercream is very strong. This would be great with a scoop of ice cream, but since I made a caramel sauce, I decided not to go overboard. Enjoy!


brown butter nutmeg cake


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 T freshly grated nutmeg (original recipe calls for 2 teaspoons)

1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 and 1/2 cup granulated sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup buttermilk


Prepare pans by greasing it with butter/dusting with flour, then lining the bottoms with parchment paper and greasing and flouring the paper.

The first five ingredients should be sifted together into a bowl, then stir a whisk in the bowl to really mix it.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy and light.

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing with a hand held beater until incorporated. Add the vanilla and do the same.

Alternating with the flour mix and the buttermilk, mix on medium until incorporated, being careful not to overmix.

Pour into prepared pans. I used three 6-inch round cake pans, but you can also use two 9-inch round cake pans.

Bake for about 25-35 minutes. Ovens vary, so start checking about 20 minutes into the baking. Do the toothpick test by poking a toothpick into the center of each cake, to see if it comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack.


brown butter buttercream


1 box (4 cups confectioners sugar)

1.5 cups (6 ounces) browned butter, cooled, solidified, and then brought to room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

1-2 Tablespoons heavy cream


Cream the brown butter and the sugar, adding the sugar one cup at a time, until incorporated. Add the vanilla and heavy cream and mix with a hand held beater until light and fluffy. If you want to frost the sides, multiply recipe by 1.5




1 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1/4 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 cup cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

pinch of salt


In a small saucepan with tall sides, heat the sugar, water, and lemon juice. Boil, undisturbed, until you see a medium amber color. Remove from heat and quickly add the cream, while stirring with a whisk rapidly, but being VERY CAREFUL to not scald your hand with the steam that arises. There will be a lot of bubbling and steaming from adding the whipping cream to the sugar, but whisking it is important to keep it from clumping up.


Using an offset spatula, add frosting as you would when crumb coating a layer cake. You’ll want to add a generous amount of buttercream between each cake layer. I usually stick the cake and the layers in the freezer briefly, to keep the frosting from bulging out on the sides. Using an offset spatula, you can “shave” off the sides, for that “rustic” or “naked” cake look. Drizzle with caramel (optional), and adorn and serve as desired.


27 responses to “brown butter nutmeg cake”

    • Haha! It is quite rich. We shared a slice this morning and haven’t had any desire for lunch yet, even though it’s almost 3pm! Thanks for the congrats. This anniversary still feels like the real one since we celebrated it more times than the wedding one.

      Liked by 1 person

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