Spice Layer Cake with Browned Butter Frosting & Salted Pecans Recipe

October 30, 2015 2

Spice Layer Cake with Browned Butter Frosting & Salted Pecans Recipe

The toasty, nutty flavor of browned butter makes a truly delectable frosting. You will be tempted to lick the beaters after you whip it up-believe me!


  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings



  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 Tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cups) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed dark or light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs


  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • Coarse sea salt or kosher salt (about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon)


  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 box (16 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract



  1. Preheat oven to 350 ºF. Butter and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.
  2. Whisk flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, cloves and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Stir yogurt, milk and vanilla in 2-cup liquid measuring cup or bowl until smooth and set aside.
  4. Beat butter in a large bowl with electric mixer until creamy, about 1 minute. Add brown sugar and granulated sugar and beat until fluffy. About 4 minutes.
  5. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
  6. Alternately beat in flour mixture and yogurt mixture on low speed just until blended.
  7. Pour evenly into the prepared pans, smoothing tops.
  8. Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until a pick inserted in centers comes out clean.
  9. Remove pans to a wire cooling rack to cool 10 minutes, then remove from pans and let cool completely.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 ºF. Put butter on a rimmed baking sheet and melt in the oven while it is preheating.
  2. Add pecans to pan and toss until they are coated with melted butter.
  3. Bake 5 minutes or until toasted. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with salt; toss and set aside.


  1. Put butter in a large saucepan and melt over medium heat, stirring.
  2. Let cook, stirring, until it turns golden brown. (Mixture will bubble up and you will have to peek underneath the foam to see if the mixture on the bottom has turned golden). This should take about 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. Pour into the bowl of an electric mixer and chill until firm.
  4. Beat chilled browned butter until pale fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in sugar in 2 additions, then beat in milk and vanilla until blended. Beat a minute or 2 longer until fluffy.


  1. Place 1 cake layer on a cake pedestal or serving plate. Spread about 3/4 cup frosting on top. Top with the other cake layer, then frost with remaining frosting.
  2. Arrange salted pecans on top of cake.

Comments (2)

  1. Oh I’m so glad to hear that Amy! Happy Thanksgiving to you!

    - Terry Grieco Kenny
  2. I made this cake for the office Thanksgiving potluck. It was a huge hit and disappeared in a matter of minutes. I will be making it for Thanksgiving at home this year!

    - Amy Laskin

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