Browned Butter Pumpkin Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting

Published October 16, 2015. Updated March 11, 2020

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Browned Butter Pumpkin Cake – soft, perfectly spiced and deliciously decadent. A must try fall cake!

Browned Butter Pumpkin Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting

Pumpkin Cake with Browned Butter and Caramel!

This cake is set to impress! When you want to go all out two flavors that are sure to satisfy are nutty browned butter and rich salted caramel and they pair amazingly well together. Plus they are a simply divine when combined with the flavor of pumpkin!

This cake does require a few steps but in the end you’ll realize it was so worth it! The hardest part is the patience in waiting for the browned butter and caramel sauce to cool. At least you didn’t do it four times like I did lol.

I made the cake portion four times trying to figure out how to get a fluffy cake using browned butter, the key is in chilling the butter and letting it nearly set again so you can whip it with the sugar to get those air bubbles which will expand with the baking soda and baking powder, which will leave you with a taller and fluffier cake.

Browned Butter Pumpkin Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting | Cooking Classy

All the sciences of baking can be hard to get, but now I know if you want a fluffy cake that includes browned butter the best bet is to let it set again so it can whip up well.

This would be the perfect cake for a Halloween or Thanksgiving celebration, or if you are just looking for something amazing to bake this weekend I suggest trying out this cake! It will have you swooning and maybe even swaying. That’s right, dancing because you’re so in love with it!

Browned Butter Pumpkin Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting | Cooking Classy

How to Make Pumpkin Cake with Browned Butter

  1. Brown the butter, chill through.
  2. Prepare cake pans, preheat oven.
  3. Whisk dry ingredients.
  4. Whip butter and sugar.
  5. Blend in eggs.
  6. Mix in dry ingredients alternately with wet ingredients (pumpkin and buttermilk).
  7. Fold batter and divide among cake pans.
  8. Bake. Let cool.
  9. Prepare caramel sauce and frosting.
  10. Frost cake.
  11. Enjoy!

Browned Butter Pumpkin Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting | Cooking Classy

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Browned Butter Pumpkin Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting

A delicious pumpkin and autumn spice cake that's enhanced with the rich flavors of browned butter, and sweet and salty caramel. This cake is sure to impress!
Servings: 16
Prep40 minutes
Cook45 minutes
Ready in: 1 hour 25 minutes



Caramel sauce



  • For the cake: Add butter to a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Melt butter and allow to brown, whisking occasionally (for how to see link here). 
  • Pour into a 4 cup bowl and allow to cool in refrigerator until creamy and nearly set, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours. Alternately, chill fully overnight, then let rest at room temp until softened, about 20 - 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9-inch cake pans, line with a round of parchment, butter parchment and lightly dust pans with flour, shaking out excess. Wrap cake pans with cake strips if you have them.
  • In a medium mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves for 20 seconds.
  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together cooled browned butter with 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar until pale and fluffy. Mix in eggs one at a time adding in vanilla with last egg.
  • In a bowl or liquid measuring cup mix together pumpkin and buttermilk. With mixer set on low speed add in 1/3 of the flour mixture (to the butter mixture) and mix just until combined then add in 1/2 of the pumpkin mixture and mix just until combined. Repeat process once more with flour and pumpkin mixture then finish by mixing in last 1/3 of the flour mixture until nearly combined.
  •  Fold batter with a spatula to evenly incorporate. Divide batter amoung two prepared baking pans and spread batter into an even layer. Bake in preheated oven 25 - 30 minutes until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Meanwhile prepare and chill caramel sauce.
  • For the caramel sauce: Have all caramel ingredients ready. In a medium saucepan combine sugar, water and sea salt. Set over medium-high heat and whisk constantly until it begins to boil, then allow mixture to boil until it turns to a rich amber color, carefully swirling pan occasionally.
  • Immediately whisk in butter then remove from heat and whisk in cream (be careful, it will steam! A long handled whisk is recommend) and stir until smooth. Allow to cool several minutes then pour into a glass bowl or jar and chill caramel until completely cooled.
  • For the frosting: Whip butter until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar, 1/2 cup of the cooled caramel sauce, sea salt and vanilla. Mix until well combined and slightly fluffy. 
  • Chill until it becomes a more firm consistency if needed. Spread over cake and drizzle some of the remaining caramel sauce over cake just before serving. Sprinkle with pecans if desired.
Nutrition Facts
Browned Butter Pumpkin Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting
Amount Per Serving
Calories 559 Calories from Fat 252
% Daily Value*
Fat 28g43%
Saturated Fat 17g106%
Cholesterol 115mg38%
Sodium 326mg14%
Potassium 137mg4%
Carbohydrates 74g25%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 57g63%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 4760IU95%
Vitamin C 1.1mg1%
Calcium 49mg5%
Iron 1.5mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.