This cake has a classic buttery flavor that is perfect for highlighting your favorite frosting. In this case, browned butter glaze. The combo of this butter cake and browned butter glaze tastes a bit like shortbread cookies but with a beautiful tender texture similar to a pound cake.
This cake is made up of the most classic cake ingredients ever. Butter, milk, eggs, and flour. With a few extras, of course. I think this must be the cake that farmers' wives made often. All of these ingredients would be readily available in the best version possible. Whole milk, full fat butter, and fresh eggs into a cake...hello wonderful!
- Buttermilk. I use buttermilk in my old fashioned butter cake to crank up the richness and classic flavor. Make sure you take the buttermilk out before you start so it's at room temp.
- Butter. Butter takes a front stage in this recipe so use a high quality, unsalted version.
- Eggs. Use good quality eggs and, like the eggs, be sure they are at room temperature.
- Vanilla. Make sure you use pure vanilla extract and not imitation for the best flavor.
- Flour. I use an all-purpose flour most of the time but I've successfully used a gluten-free flour for this cake.
When you don't have buttermilk:
Stir together 1 cup of milk (as high of fat content milk as you have) with 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes to curdle & thicken. Use it as buttermilk in most baking recipes.
Why do you need room temperature ingredients?
Room temperature ingredients stick together better than cold ingredients. Also, using room temperature ingredients emulsify nicely allowing more air to get trapped in the batter which makes a fluffier batter.
instructions for butter cake recipe:
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat until the solids form in the bottom of the pan. Pour it through a sieve and fridge until cooled.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
- Heat oven to 350ºF and prepare the bundt pan by using cooking spray or grease with butter.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together (use a stand mixer or electric mixer to make it easiest).
- Stir in the eggs, one at a time.
- Alternate adding the flour mixture and milk. Add the vanilla.
- Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes, transfer it to a cooling rack.
- Remove the cake from the pan by placing a plate over the top of the cake and flip the cake over. Let cool completely.
- For the glaze: in a medium bowl, beat brown butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk until smooth. Pour the glaze over the cooled cake.
The old fashioned butter cake batter is thick, thick, thick. You know, all that thick milk and butter. So don't be concerned when your batter isn't the consistency you are used to. It'll work out.
I swear when I'm eating old fashioned butter cake with browned butter glaze I can hear the cows moo right outside. It tastes so much like what I think a farm cake would taste like. You know, the clean GOOD parts of the farm.
Brown Butter Bundt Cake
- 1 cup + 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ cup buttermilk room temperature
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
Brown Butter Glaze
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter browned
- 1-2 teaspoons milk
- ⅓ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Butter will get foamy and bubble. Cook until butter solids in the bottom of the pan begin to turn deep golden brown. Immediately remove from heat.
- Pour through a sieve into a bowl. Allow to cool and refrigerate until cold but still soft. Reserve 2 tablespoons of brown butter for the glaze.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a Bundt cake pan, dust with flour shaking off excess.
- In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk in 2 parts. Add vanilla.
- Pour batter into the pan.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle sections comes out clean.
- When the cake is done, transfer it to a cooling rack. Remove the cake from the pan. Place a plate over the top of the cake and flip the cake over. Let cool completely.
- For the glaze, in a medium bowl, beat brown butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk until smooth.
- Pour the glaze over the cooled cake