Friday, May 24, 2013

A Birthday Cake with Cinnamon Brown Butter Frosting

As I've mentioned, spring got a really late start around these parts (we are catching up in a hurry, though. I'll post some photos soon!) We celebrated one of my sister's birthday on May 5th and there was nary a leaf in site. The grass was still brown and sad. We had measurable snow only days before.

Anywho, I was determined to make a nice spring cake for our celebration. This party was somewhat hastily thrown together, though.  I made this "topper" by cutting pictures of flowers from magazines and gluing them to cardstock. I attached them to wooden skewers and stuck them in the cake to make a bouquet. Yes, jokes were made about lighting the flowers on fire. No, the flowers did not catch fire when we lit the candles (as I knew they would not. Take that, Ye Who Doubted Me)

The cake was a banana cake with cinnamon brown butter frosting. It is sprinkled liberally with toffee pieces (Skor, I think?). The banana cake recipe was okay but not great. You can use any banana bread or cake recipe that you like. The frosting was the real star here, though. The brown butter and cinnamon is a delicious combination

Cinnamon Brown Butter Frosting

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (no need to soften)
1/2 stick brown butter (directions below)
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract

  1.  Brown the butter by melting in a pot or skillet. When the butter starts to have little brown flecks in it and a nutty smell, take it off the heat and pour it the bowl of a stand mixer or medium mixing bowl.
  2. Add butter to the mixing bowl and beat the two butters together  - slowly at first then faster as the cold butter starts to melt. Beat until the butter is very fluffy. You can't really overbeat it. You could go read a few pages of your book or spend the time cleaning up the kitchen a little. Don't go overboard, though - five minutes should definitely be enough time.
  3. Add about half the powdered sugar and mix on low until well combined.
  4. Now you can add the salt, cinnamon, vanilla extract and the other half of the powdered sugar. Start mixing on low (to prevent the dreaded Powdered Sugar Cloud of Mess) then turn mixer to medium to finish the frosting. It should be pretty fluffy.

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