Rating: 4 stars
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A humble snack dresses up for company. With its nutty flavor and tiny flecks of toasted milk solids, browned butter elevates a simple cream cheese frosting to saintly levels.

Source: Midwest Living


Credit: Carson Downing

Recipe Summary

30 mins
1 hr 35 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.

  • For cake: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

  • In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, melted butter, 1 tablespoon vanilla, the ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Beat with a mixer on medium until well blended, about 1 minute. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until smooth. Slowly add milk, beating until smooth.

  • Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few fudgy crumbs, 55 to 60 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Remove cake from pan.

  • For frosting: Place 6 tablespoons butter in a medium light-color saucepan. Cook over medium until butter melts, bubbles, turns chestnut brown and smells nutty, 5 to 7 minutes. Immediately pour browned butter into a medium bowl. Refrigerate until cool and softly set, about 20 minutes.

  • Add powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1/8 teaspoon sea salt to browned butter. Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high, beat with a mixer until combined. (It will look quite dry.) Add cream cheese and beat until smooth and fluffy, about 1 minute. Spread frosting over cooled cake.

Nutrition Facts

531 calories; fat 25g; cholesterol 117mg; saturated fat 15g; carbohydrates 76g; mono fat 7g; poly fat 1g; trans fatty acid 1g; insoluble fiber 2g; sugars 59g; protein 6g; vitamin a 788.4IU; thiamin 0.1mg; riboflavin 0.3mg; niacin equivalents 1.2mg; vitamin b6 0.1mg; folate 40.5mcg; vitamin b12 0.3mcg; sodium 304mg; potassium 292mg; calcium 112mg; iron 2.4mg.