The Holiday Table – Almond Brown Butter Cake


One of my most cherished cake recipes, brown butter cake, is decadent and really delicious. In France, brown butter is known as beurre noisette. The  literal translation is nutty butter. If you’ve never had or made brown butter, fret not. The little bit of work is well worth the nutty, caramel-like flavor it imparts to this delectable cake.

Yes, it takes 1 pound of butter to make the brown butter but you won’t be disappointed.  This cake is absolutely good alone but is also excellent with fresh, ripe pears or a bit of creme fraiche. I had some egg whites left over from making ice cream a while back and thought it was the perfect excuse to make this cake –  as if one needs one.

To make brown butter: place 1 pound of butter into a heavy bottom pan. Allow to melt over low heat. As the foam starts to rise, skim it off and discard. Slowly, after about 15 minutes the butter will begin to brown. You will smell its wonderful aroma. Skim off all the foam and then pour into a glass container through a fine sieve. There will be brown bits which you do not want. Your yield will be right for the cake.

Almond Brown Butter Cake

12 oz. brown butter, cooled
10 oz. powdered sugar
9 oz. ground almonds
4.5 oz. flour
10. 5 ounces egg whites (about 8 eggs, depending on the size of the egg)

Combine the sugar, almonds and flour in a bowl of an electric mixer and mix well. With the beaters running add the egg whites and whip them until smooth. Slowly add the cooled brown butter. The batter will puff up. Pour into a greased, 9-inch spring form pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 55 minutes, a cake tester will come out clean.

The cake has an incredible crust and a hearty, nutty and caramel-like flavor.

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