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Brown Butter Cupcakes – If You’ve Ever Burnt Something, You Can Make Brown Butter

Brown butter cupcakes have a caramel-like taste and smell like a hot skillet of bubbling butter waiting for mom’s pancake batter to be poured on. If you’ve ever burnt dinner, you can burn butter and create unforgettable brown butter.

Brown butter cupcakes are basic, vanilla, butter-based cupcakes with the extra step of browning the butter.  It’s a small step, but one that changes the cupcake flavor so much that it will seem like a huge brown bear step (Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?  I see delicious cupcakes looking at me!).

Frost the brown butter cupcakes with your favorite frosting.  I think the cupcakes would be amazing with pumpkin pie frosting!  I topped mine with lucuma cream cheese frosting (luca-whaa?  Check out my post on lucama bars if you’ve never heard of lucuma).  The mellow sweetness of the lucuma frosting shined in its own right, but didn’t overpower the brown butter.

Brown Butter Cupcake Recipe

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5 from 1 vote

Brown Butter Cupcakes

Brown butter cupcakes have a caramel-like taste and smell like a hot skillet of bubbling butter waiting for mom's pancake batter to be poured on.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword brown butter cupcake recipe, brown butter cupcakes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 11 cupcakes
Calories 325kcal
Author Stef


Cupcake Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour not self-rising
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk

Lucuma Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • up to 1/2 cup lucuma powder


Cupcake Instructions

  • Melt butter over medium-heat in a small skillet or heavy-bottomed pot.
  • Continue to heat the butter, stirring periodically, until it turns brown (10-15 minutes). The butter will first boil with big bubbles (it's not done then). Then, the bubbles will get smaller and the whole thing will look more brown (that's when it's done).
  • Remove butter from heat and cool to room temperature.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In medium-sized bowl, whip egg whites until light and frothy.
  • Slowly mix sugar into the egg whites.
  • Mix cooled browned butter and vanilla into the wet mixture.
  • Alternately mix dry ingredients and milk into the wet mixture.
  • Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.
  • Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes or until cupcakes bounce back when lightly touched.

Lucuma Cream Cheese Frosting Instructions

  • Mix butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  • Mix in lucuma powder. You may prefer a less pronounced lucuma flavor, so mix powder in small increments and taste periodically.
  • Pipe or spread on cooled cupcakes.
  • Optionally top with sprinkles.


Nutrition Facts
Brown Butter Cupcakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 325 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 12g60%
Cholesterol 57mg19%
Sodium 185mg8%
Potassium 105mg3%
Carbohydrates 32g11%
Sugar 19g21%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 680IU14%
Calcium 55mg6%
Iron 0.3mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Have you tried this recipe?Click here to leave a comment and rating!



  • Thank you to Navitas for the free sample of lucuma powder that I used in this recipe.
  • Thank you to Incredible Stamping for the cupcake wrappers.  Incredible Stamping generously donated a bunch of wrappers to a food blogger bake sale for Share Our Strength and gave me a few to try out.  You’ll be seeing more of them!  Note that Incredible Stamping doesn’t sell the wrappers, but sells the beautiful papers that you’ll need to make them yourself.
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27 comments on “Brown Butter Cupcakes – If You’ve Ever Burnt Something, You Can Make Brown Butter”

  1. Torviewsays:

    delicious looking cupcakes and site

  2. Oh my…I do believe I would wrestle someone for one of these cupcakes. :) Awesome job.

  3. Looks yummy! A chef instructor at my school brought in some shortbread he made with brown butter – it was SOOOO good.

  4. I just made these cupcakes with a pumpkin cream cheese frosting. AMAZING! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  5. Stefsays:

    Thatsoneclassybitch – I can’t believe you made them so quickly! I’m so glad that you loved them!

  6. My DH doesn’t “do” pumpkin pie, so I was wondering which of your top 10 favorite frostings you might recommend with these. I was considering either the vanilla bean buttercream or the balsamic whipped cream…. Any thoughts? I love your site, by the way — you have made a cupcake baking enthusiast out of me. :)


  7. Anonymoussays:

    My mouth waters up looking at this recipe. I will try it for sure.


  8. I’ve been obsessed with burnt butter cupcakes ever since I made butterbeer cupcakes for the Harry Potter premiere. Then it was salted caramel cupcakes, and I wanted to do more, now I can. I can’t want to try your combination.

  9. Stefsays:

    Carmen – I’d go for the vanilla bean buttercream.

  10. kikisays:

    I made the cupcakes without frosting & they still tasted superb on their own. Most importantly Hubby luv them very much. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  11. Hollysays:

    Love the title! Something I can make ;) lol

  12. Nice combination! Actually that is a new combination for me so I will surely try this one. My hubby will be surprise with this since he loves seeing me making new things. LOL.

  13. I just love the frosting! It’s so still and has a great color! Thank you for sharing the recipe with us!

  14. These look absolutely delicious and I will definitely try this recipe soon.. however, I think I might have some difficulty looking for Lucuma powder in my part of the world… would you happen to know any substitute for it? Many thanks!

  15. Stefsays:

    Mnemosyne – If you can’t get lucama powder, you can always substitute a different kind of frosting.

  16. I made brown butter for the first time a few weeks back and my goodness would i like the chance to try it out again!! These look perffecctttt :) beautiful!

  17. Kelsays:

    You had me at brown butter. I LOVE anything with it!
    Gnocchi with brown butter, brown butter chocolate chips cookies, brown butter and rosemary over popcorn…


    These are getting bookmarked, to be paired with a sea salt caramel frosting!

    Thanks for sharing!

  18. mollysays:

    oh my goodness those cupcakes looked so good i couldn’t hold myself back! i tried them with your pumpkin pie frosting/filling and they were delicious! i made the mistake of leaving a few on the counter and they all disappeared by that evening!

  19. I love the flavor of these, but every time I made them the egg whites made the cake too dry. So I experimented a little. If anyone else has this issue I wanted to explain my solution. I added 1tablespoon of applesauce. It didn’t change the flavor but it made the consistency much better. Oh and I love your brown sugar icing on these! They’re a great compliment to eachother!

    PS. I love your website! Thanks for all your great recipes.

  20. MCsays:

    Just made these, absolutely divine! I don’t think I will make cupcakes the same way again!

  21. Annasays:

    I’ve made these twice now and both times they’ve been sunken in. They looked fine when frosted, but a little funky plain. The first time I thought it might be my oven since I had doubled the recipe and was using two pans (cakes and cupcakes tend to come out lopsided when I have more than one pan in the oven at a time, even if I rotate them). This time though, I made sure all the ingredients were at room temp and only used one cupcake pan. They weren’t as bad as the first time, but still sunken in. Any suggestions?

  22. Kathysays:

    On my list of yummy-sounding recipes to try. I will frost with a browned butter frosting I already use on cookies. (Browned butter blended with powdered sugar, a touch of vanilla and 1/2 and 1/2 to preferred consistency).

  23. aterraosays:

    I really like your recipes. There is a new platform where you can upload them and are seen with a design adapted to iPad. You can also link to your blog, get statistics… It is called

  24. You are so awesome! I do not think I’ve truly read through a single
    thing like that before. So nice to discover somebody with a few original thoughts on this topic.
    Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This web site is something that is required on the internet, someone with some originality!

  25. Christinesays:

    I’ve made this cake a dozen or so times it always sinks in middle what could be causing this?

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