Pumpkin Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

pumpkin cake text

My girls and I hosted a tea party for a few friends and family recently.  Given the fall season, we decided to serve pumpkin and maple inspired treats to go along with the tea, which, of course, turned into a fall-flavored baking frenzy.

Orange scones with cranberry relish, pumpkin butter hand pies, and apple spice cupcakes with maple frosting all made an appearance at the table.  Although everything turned out really well, there were two clear favorites at the party: my maple walnut bars (which I’ll be sharing with you soon!) and this cake.

This moist, pumpkin cake topped with brown butter frosting is definitely a must-have for your Thanksgiving table.  You could get away with serving this for dessert or breakfast, it’s that good. The recipe is easily adaptable to fit a gluten free or vegan diet, so you can be sure everyone at the table will be reaching for a slice of this.

With pumpkin and brown butter, who wouldn’t?

Pumpkin Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

{gluten free friendly, vegan friendly}

Serves 8-10


  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup oil (coconut or other)
  • 1/4 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1-1/4 cup flour*
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans, optional


Preheat the oven to 375°, and grease a bundt pan.

In the bowl of your mixer, mix the pumpkin puree, sugar, oil, milk, maple syrup and spices on medium speed until combined.

Turn the mixer down to low, and add in the flour and baking powder.  Mix until combined.

Pour the cake batter into the greased bundt pan, and bake at 375° until a tester comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes.

After removing the cake from the oven, run a knife along the edges of the pan, and let the cake cool in the pan for about 30 minutes.  Turn the cake over onto a cooling rack, and let cool completely before frosting.

Once the cake has cooled, make the frosting.  In a small saucepan, over low heat, melt the stick of butter.  Once the butter has melted, whisk constantly until the butter turns medium brown in color, and small flecks appear at the bottom of the pan.  The butter should smell nutty, not burned.

Place the powdered sugar in a large bowl, and gradually whisk in the brown butter.  Whisk in the evaporated milk until combined.  Add more powdered sugar or milk (if necessary) to reach a thick, pourable glaze.

Pour the frosting over the cooled cake.  Top with the chopped pecans, if using, and let sit for at least an hour before enjoying!

*For a gluten free version of this cake, simply substitute all purpose gluten free flour.  I used Pamela’s baking mix.

Note: for a vegan version of this cake, replace the butter and milk with your favorite non-dairy substitutes.

Original recipe by La Casa de Sweets

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Comments (2)

  • Aw, that tea party sounds so cosy. I wanna do that too 🙂 Those things sound so delicious.
    I can totally imagine why this one was one of the favorites. Looks so good!

  • Wow this pumpkin cake looks delicious! Especially loving all that brown butter frosting dripping down the sides.. wish I had a slice to devour right now!

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