browned butter cupcakes with chocolate buttercream

December 17, 2010

After days when it feels like the whole world has caved in under snow, it’s best to make some cupcakes. Trust me on this one.

When we had the worst snow storm in twenty years, I made soup. Duh. Actually, I made some of our favourite cookies too, but that’s another story.

But the next day, when we still couldn’t drive anywhere because they didn’t plow our street til dusk, I hunkered down and I baked my little heart out.

The snow had passed and there was bright sunshine outside, along with below zero fahrenheit temperatures. If that’s not time for chocolate buttercream and light, fluffy vanilla-y cupcakes, I don’t know what is.

I have Sheena to thank for these beauties. Sheena writes a blog called the little red house, full of love, sweetness, great photos and great food. If you’re not reading it, you should be.

These cupcakes just called my name the moment I saw them. As soon as they came out of then oven I could smell the browned butter and vanilla. Such a simple, lovely base, ready to be smothered with rich, buttery, chocolate frosting. I’d say you should probably make some today.

Browned Butter Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream

from The Little Red House


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup  milk
  • 3/4 cup  browned butter*
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-1/2 cups  all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/4 tsp baking powder

*To brown butter:

  1. Heat pan on medium heat.
  2. Cut butter in to pieces and melt in pan. Stir continuously. Butter will foam up. After foam subsides, small brown flecks will start to appear in bottom of pan.
  3. Continue stirring, until butter has reached a nice brown color, and nutty aroma. Turn heat all the way down.


  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Prepare cupcake pans with liners.
  3. Beat sugar and eggs together until slightly thickened, about a minute.
  4. Add  milk, browned butter, and vanilla, stirring just until combined.
  5. Add flour and baking powder, beating until well mixed–about a minute. Don’t over mix.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes, until tops are springy to the touch or a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean.
  7. Remove from cupcake pan and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Buttercream


  • 5oz good quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
  • 8 tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp baking cocoa
  • 4-8 tbsp milk


  1. Melt chocolate in a double boiler and allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. Beat in butter until creamy.
  3. Add powdered sugar and baking cocoa.
  4. Slowly beat in milk 1 tbsp at a time until you reach desired consistency.
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