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+ servings

Triple "Browned" Cake

A brown butter and brown sugar layer cake frosted with brown sugar meringue buttercream.


For the cake:

  • 3 ¾ cups cake flour
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ¼ cups packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 ¾ cups buttermilk
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla

Brown Sugar Meringue Buttercream:

  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 ¼ cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 cups unsalted butter , at room temperature and cut into cubes


To make the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line three 9-inch round cake pans with parchment and grease with butter and flour.
  • In a saucepan over medium low heat, melt the butter completely. Then let it continue to cook until it turns golden brown in color. Don't stir, but swirl the pan periodically to ensure it browns easily. Keep your eyes on it, you don't want it to burn. When sufficiently browned, put in the fridge to solidify. This will take about 20-30 minutes. You want the butter to still be soft, but not liquid.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the brown sugar, brown butter, and 1 cup of the buttermilk. Mix on medium speed until smooth.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and the remaining ¾ cup buttermilk. Add to the mixer in three additions, mixing after each until just combined. Then turn the mixer up to medium high and beat for a few minutes until smooth.
  • Divide evenly between the three prepared cake pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35-45 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, before inverting onto a cake pan to cool completely before icing.

To make the buttercream:

  • In a medium saucepan, combine the water and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once it reaches a boil, stop stirring and add a candy thermometer. Continue to cook the sugar until it reaches 238°F, or the soft ball stage.
  • Meanwhile, beat the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Once the sugar is ready, slowly add it to the egg whites while the mixer is one medium speed. Be careful to pour the sugar in a small steady stream without letting it hit the side of the bowl or the beaters.
  • Once the sugar is all incorporated, increase the speed to medium high and beat the mixture until cooled to room temperature. Add the butter a few tablespoons at a time while the mixer is still on medium high. Once all the butter is added, continue to beat until smooth. Note, if your butter is too soft or to hard, the icing may separate. Continue beating on medium high and it should come together though it may take several minutes.
Adapted from Sky High Cakes.


Sodium: 366mg, Calcium: 139mg, Vitamin A: 1575IU, Sugar: 64g, Fiber: 1g, Potassium: 265mg, Cholesterol: 194mg, Calories: 848kcal, Saturated Fat: 30g, Fat: 50g, Protein: 10g, Carbohydrates: 93g, Iron: 1mg
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