Cinnamon Brown Butter Frosting (WFMW)

My husband has a “Theory of October”… Basically, he has decided that October is the best month of the year (pumpkins, apple cider, hoodies, crisp cool air, and my birthday… well, my birthday isn’t actually on his list, but it should be!)… And, he would challenge you to find a month that is better than October.

I am a fall person, so I have to agree.  For me, though, October means fall flavors… It’s the unofficial start of the holiday season, especially for a food blogger! Thanksgiving and Christmas are around the corner, and I’m already starting to cook and bake with my favorite holiday flavors! At the top of my list are pumpkin, cinnamon, cardamom, and cranberry… And of course, brown butter!

I couldn’t even wait for October to start my fall baking, though… I was already whipping out the brown butter over the weekend for some pumpkin spice cupcakes.  So, it seemed only fair that I share a quick tutorial on making brown butter.

There is some debate over whether to call this “brown” or “browned” butter… After taking a survey on Twitter, I am even more confused than when I started.  To end the debate, the brilliant, and always stylish, Linda of Salty Seattle suggested calling it “beurre noisette” which just proves how much more sophisticated she is than I am… I love her for that! I’m going with “brown”… And, you can call it what you like.

works for me wednesday at we are that family

Brown Butter

Brown butter really couldn’t be easier… But, before we get started, let’s talk about the butter.  If the butter is going to be the star of the show (which it is), you want to pick a good quality butter.  I am a fan of Kerrygold Sweet Cream Irish Butter, which is actually readily available in markets around here…  I can only find the salted variety, but I’m OK with that (I just cut back on the salt in my recipes).

Now that we have had “the talk” about the butter, let’s get to it.  Cut the butter up into chunks (for no reason other than it melts faster), and toss it into a sauce pan. Heat over low heat (maybe medium-low, but no higher than that… we don’t want burned butter) until the butter is melted.  Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter reaches a nice amber/brown color… That’s it!

Once you have brown butter, you have to do something wtih it, right? I used mine to make a quick frosting for some pumpkin cupcakes (which I will post tomorrow)…  With an undeniable “fall” taste from the cinnamon (other spices would be amazing, too… like caradamom), this recipe is my contribution to the “best month ever” which will be here in a few short days!

Cinnamon Brown Butter Frosting

(Makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes or a 2 layer 9-inch round cake)

  • 8 ounces (1 cup) brown butter
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon of half and half

Pour the brown butter into the mixing bowl of a stand mixer.  Add the cinnamon, vanilla, and confectioners sugar.  Beat with the paddle attachment until a crumbly mixture forms.

Gradually add the half and half, beating at medium speed, until the frosting holds together and has a spreadable consistency.

A Few More Recipes Using Brown Butter…

Need a few more ideas for what to do with brown butter? Here are a few of my favorites from other blogs…

37 Responses to Cinnamon Brown Butter Frosting (WFMW)

  1. I agree – October IS the best month (hence why the hubs and I picked the last one to get married in – Spiked Mulled Cider, apple and pumpkin as our wedding cake flavors, foliage for our photos – good stuff!).

    One question – do you cool/chill the brown butter for the frosting?

    • Shea M – Yes, I am wishing I had gotten married in October, too! I picked June, mainly because I was ready to get on with things and didn’t want to wait a few more months :)

      As for your question… I did let the brown butter cool in the pan for a few minutes (maybe 5-10) before making the frosting, but I didn’t chill it in the fridge.

  2. I agree that October is the best month. And it’s my birthday too! And what better month to make this delicious frosting. It looks amazing Jen.

  3. A – Everything sounds better in French. N’est–ce pas?
    B – Did you see the Twittering about brown butter recipes? Think it was Fine Cooking. Maybe yesterday?
    C – What size tip do you use when you pipe your frosting?

  4. Wendi –

    A – Yes, I agree… Unfortunately, I speak absolutely no French. I need to learn. Italian, too.

    B – I am not sure how I missed the brown butter tweets! I had a whole brown butter string of my own going on and got quite a few good recommendations for recipes.

    C – This time around, I used my Ateco 804 tip.

  5. Jen, I’m SURE your husband has your birthday on that list, and while I’m at it, happy early birthday! In the past I haven’t been the biggest fall person but this year I’m completely getting caught up in the excitement and can’t wait to get started on my fall recipes! those cupcakes you have in your first photo look absolutely scrumptious.

  6. What a cool way to kick off October, one of the best months of the year. I had no idea it was so easy to make and use brown butter for cupcakes and treats. Did you cool the b. butter before making the buttercream?

  7. This looks delicious…I might use this as a filling for cakes.
    Love the photos of the different stages of brown butter. No fail.
    Good one, Jen!

  8. I couldn’t wait to try this frosting when I saw you mention it; I knew I needed to make some zucchini bread (well, had just been given a MONSTER zucchini and I equate the two to each other!) because this sounded like it would be a great culinary matchup.

    I typically frost my bread when I do it at all with a cream cheese frosting so decided to combine both ideas and ended up with Cinnamon Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting and must say…Yum. May sound like overkill but it is not. So…thanks for the inspiration. Could I send you a slice?

  9. Thank you for explaining how to make brown butter. I keep seeing it in different recipes and I never understood how to make it. It kept coming out burnt. I’ll try it your way and hopefully will be successful.

  10. Hi, please help. So i made this frosting; I ended up adding the 1/2 and 1/2 with the rest of the ingredients instead of gradually and now I have a mixture that doesn’t appear to look like a frosting, it looks more like a wet sugar consistance but some what smooth. Is it ruined or could i do something to make it better? Made the cupcakes which are amazing, just wish I had this yummy frosting to put on it. Please help, thanks.

    • Carrie – I would continue to beat the frosting on a medium-high speed to see if it comes together. If it seems extremely wet, I’d add some additional powdered sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time to see if it comes together. Conversely, if the mixture is crumbly, add about a tablespoon of half and half (or milk) at a time until it becomes spreadable and smooth.

  11. […] My Kitchen Addiction – Although the majority of these posts fall under the desserts/baking category, this blogger also writes about other dishes such as appetizers, main dishes, side dishes, soups, and even beverages. Recommended posts: ”Pie Dough + Spiced Apple Hand Pies (WFMW)” and “Cinnamon Brown Butter Frosting (WFMW).” […]