Sometimes it’s nice to bake an extra-special cake.. this is that cake! Browned butter adds a certain complexity that is hard to replicate, otherwise. When added to moist, vanilla cake you are on Cloud 9. The Italian buttercream is silky and smooth. It’s even topped with beautiful buttercream roses. Yum!
Brown Butter Cake with Italian Buttercream.
Brown Butter makes everything better, including this vanilla cake covered in Italian meringue buttercream and beautiful buttercream flowers.
For the Cake:
- 3 1/2 cups 407 grams cake flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups 355 ml milk, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 vanilla bean split and seeds scraped
- 1 cup 2 sticks or 226 grams unsalted butter, softened
- 1 3/4 cups 350 grams sugar
- 4 large eggs room temperature
For the Buttercream
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 4 egg whites about 1/2 cup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter, cubed and softened at room temperature
- 1 pinch of salt
For the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour two 8-inch cake pans. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, melt two sticks (1 cup) of butter, stirring constantly until it begins to foam. Continue to cook on medium-high and stir until the foam subsides and milk solids begin to form on the bottom of the pan. Keep a close eye on the pan and turn down the heat if things start to get too toasty. When the butter has deepened in color and smells wonderfully nutty, turn off the heat and pour the butter into a small freezer-safe bowl. Freeze for about 15 minutes or until the edges of the butter start to solidify.
- While the butter is chilling, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
- In a separate bowl stir together milk, vanilla extract and the vanilla seeds. Set both aside.
- Transfer the chilled brown butter to a bowl, being sure to scrape the bowl so all the toasty bits of flavor that tend to settle to the bottom are included, and beat. Add sugar and beat until combined.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add the dry ingredients and the vanilla/milk mixture in three alternating additions, scraping down the sides and the bottom of the bowl as necessary.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and carefully but firmly tap each pan on your counter top. This makes sure that there are as few air bubbles as possible as the cake bakes.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
For the Italian Buttercream
- Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
- In a medium saucepan add the sugar and water then place on low heat. Stir constantly until sugar melts and becomes clear. Fair to medium high heat stirring until temperature reads 235F. Drizzle the sugar into the mixer.
- Run mixer until merengue is body temperature.
- Add room temperature butter into running mixer one piece at a time.
- Beat until butter is combined and mixture has reacher a silky consistency.
- Use immediately.
- Pipe the buttercream onto the first layer.
- Add second layer then completely cover in Italian Buttercream. Smooth using an offset spatula. Place cake in refrigerator and allow to set. then give it a final smoothing.
I made some buttercream roses for the top. You can watch a video tutorial here.
I built them on parchment paper so they can be easily moved.
Use a pair of scissors to transfer the roses onto the cake.