Pumpkin-Brown Butter Cupcakes

This morning when our oldest daughter got up she asked if she could go to a friend’s house to make cupcakes with her (the friend’s husband was on the same paintballing campout that our son was on), so she went today and made THE MOST AMAZING cupcakes!   They are rich and moist and amazing!  Don’t be afraid of the sage in these, you don’t taste it as sage, just as a wonderful warmth in the overall flavor.   This recipe is from the Martha Stewart Cupcakes cookbook, but Bekah SLIGHTLY altered the recipe (it was an accident, but I am changing it in my book, because I think it was perfect).   I’ll be posting the alteration, not the original recipe.

Pumpkin-Brown Butter Cupcakes with Brown-Butter Icing

  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups unbleached flour
  • 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves, cut into chiffonade
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line muffin pan with paper liners or oil and flour each cup.   In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat.  Add the sage and continue to cook, swirling occasionally, until butter turns golden brown.  Skim foam from top, and remove from heat.  Pour into a b owl to stop the cooking, leaving any burned sediment behind; let cool.

2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.  In another bowl,  whisk together the pumpkin, both sugars, eggs and brown-butter mixture.  Add flour mixture, and whisk until just combined.

3.  Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full.  Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes.  Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.  Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

4.  To finish, dip top of each cupcake in icing, then turn over quickly and let set.  Cupcakes are best eaten the day they are glazed; keep at room temperature until ready to serve.

Brown-Butter Icing

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. milk, plus more if needed

1. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, swirling pan occasionally, until nut-brown in color, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and pour butter into a bowl, leaving any burned sediment behind.

2. Add confectioners sugar, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons milk to brown butter; stir until smooth.  If necessary, add more milk (up to 2 tablespoons) a little at a time, just until icing is spreadable.  Use immediately.

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