New This Month

Pumpkin Cake with Brown Butter Icing


When the holidays roll around and pumpkin pie feels a bit old and stale, try making this cake instead.

  • Servings: 10

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 1998


  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup homemade or canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup warm (110 degrees) milk
  • Brown Butter Icing
  • Caramelized Walnut Halves


  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-2-inch round cake pan. Line pan with parchment, and butter the parchment. Coat pan with flour, and tap out any excess.

  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, salt, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.

  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat sugar and butter together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, and beat until combined. Add pumpkin puree and milk; beat until combined. Add reserved flour mixture; beat on low speed until just combined.

  4. Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool. Let cake rest 20 minutes.

  5. Unmold cake. Using an offset spatula, spread icing over top of cake, and decorate with caramelized walnut halves.

Cook's Notes

The consistency of the icing should be thin enough to spread but not runny.

Reviews Add a comment

  • ALR4398025DW
    21 NOV, 2016
    Made this yesterday (Thanksgiving trial run). Delicious & pretty easy! Baked at 350 for 45 minutes. Added a dash of ground cloves & ginger as well. I'm not in love with the Brown Buttercream - turned out a little cloying & greasy. I will remake with cream cheese frosting. I used Pecans for candied nuts. Watch out for the hot sugar/caramel - I got a drop on my finger and now have a nasty blister :( But, the nuts are a great complement for crunch! Might break up & spread around the whole top.
  • Sewing Mary
    5 SEP, 2013
    This cake was a nice and easy cake to make. Very palatable and unassuming. Warm pumpkin flavor. Not overly sweet. I love lots of rollercoaster flavors in food. I wanted something a bit more "spicy" than this. Next time, I think I will double the spices and add cloves. I didn't make the brown icing yet, will do today.
  • Sarrebearr13
    29 DEC, 2012
    Fantastic. My husband hate s cake but looks pumpkin pie, wonderful he enjoyed all the flavors
  • CleverIngenuity
    19 OCT, 2012
    Tried this today and it was so fantastic, I can't wait to make it for Thanksgiving. I used less sugar. I didn't brown the butter, just melted it, and then I added a little cinnamon to the icing. My husband is getting a second slice as I write.
  • Valerie Armijo
    18 OCT, 2012
  • MomLinda
    14 NOV, 2010
    A super easy, moist and flavorful cake. I did do one thing different, instead of the brown butter icing, I simply dusted mine with powdered sugar. It allowed the wonderful flavor of the cake to speak for itself. I will make a couple to serve for dessert on Thanksgiving.
  • robin1250
    9 NOV, 2010
    Wonderful, moist cake. The batter looked curdled as I was mixing it but I kept going and it turned out fine. I'd never made brown butter icing and doubled the recipe to cover the sides and top of the cake. The icing quickly developed an odd consistency (like soft clay) and the butter and sugar started to separate but I was able to pat it into place with my fingers around the sides and after a while in the fridge it was all good. Perfect taste combination. I'll definitely make this again.
  • MarlaPearce
    5 OCT, 2010
    Delicious and super easy! It was gone in minutes and the recipe wanted by all!
    27 SEP, 2010
    Delicious and easy! The cake is super moist and flavorful
  • MS10988074
    2 MAY, 2010
    I have made this a few times and it is absolutely delicious. You will be pleased!!!