Brown Butter Icing

Browning the butter gives this icing a nutty flavor. The consistency should be thin enough to spread but not runny.

  • Yield: Frosts 1 nine-inch cake

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 1998


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sifted confectioner's sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk


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

  2. Add sugar, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon milk; stir until smooth. If the icing is too thick, add the remaining tablespoon milk, a little at a time, until consistency is spreadable. Let cool 5 minutes. Use immediately.


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