Cakes/ Holiday

Browned Butter Pumpkin Spice Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting

Browned Butter Pumpkin Spice Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream

Since Thanksgiving is coming up soon, I wanted to kick off the recipes this week with one of the best parts of a holiday meal – dessert. Pie is ok, but I’m more of a cake person. So, every Thanksgiving we have both pie and cake.

When the cake is for a special dinner, not just any ol’ ordinary cake will do. This Browned Butter Pumpkin Spice Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting is anything but ordinary. This cake has four layers of moist, pumpkin spice cake, and four layers of sweet and salty caramel buttercream. All of that is topped off some crunchy chopped pecans and a drizzle of salted caramel sauce.

This cake also works really well as a make-ahead dessert. Just let the layers come to room temperature, slice in half (if baking in 2 pans), and wrap well in plastic wrap. The layers can be frozen for a few days before use. When you’re ready to frost the cake, simply unwrap, frost, and then let the cake sit until you’re ready to serve.

Browned Butter Pumpkin Spice Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting


  • 1/2 c . butter
  • 1 2/3 c . all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp . baking soda
  • 2 tsp . pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp . Kosher salt
  • 1 c . granulated sugar
  • 2/3 c . brown sugar packed
  • 1 ¼ c . pumpkin puree
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp . vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c . milk
  • 1/4 c . nonfat Greek yogurt
  • Salted Caramel Buttercream
  • 1/2 c . chopped pecans
  • 1/4 c . salted caramel sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour (or use a nonstick spray with flour) to grease 2 (or 4) 9-inch round cake pans.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat.
  3. Cook, whisking occasionally, until the butter turns a golden-brown and begins to smell nutty, about 4 minutes. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, mix pumpkin puree, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until combined.
  6. Stir in eggs, vanilla, milk, and Greek yogurt until well-combined.
  7. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined.
  8. Add browned butter, and stir until just combined.
  9. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.
  10. Bake for about 25-30 minutes for two pans and about 15-20 minutes for 4 pans. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  11. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes.
  12. Remove cake to wire rack to finish cooling.
  13. Once the layers have reached room temperature, they can be wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for later use.

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  • Reply
    Greedy Guts
    November 22, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    I made this for Friendsgiving yesterday and everyone loved it. I have a solid group of greedy friends, so they know what they’re talking about. It was pretty epic.

    • Reply
      November 22, 2015 at 7:29 pm

      I’m so glad that everyone enjoyed it! Thanks for taking the time to come back and leave a comment! =)

  • Reply
    Leila Neri-Leebody
    November 20, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    I’m very excited to try this recipe. I am allergic to wheat and am going to try your recipe with cloud 9’s cup-for-cup gluten free mix. I’m hoping it turns out.

    • Reply
      November 21, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      I hope it works out! I would love for you to come back and leave a comment about how it turned out. I know there are lots of people who eat wheat-free, so I’m sure it would help someone else out! Thanks!! =)

      • Reply
        November 23, 2013 at 8:24 am

        I would be curious to know how a gluten free version would turn out as well!

  • Reply
    November 16, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    Wow, what a fantastic dessert! Thanks for linking up with What’s Cookin’ Wednesday!

    • Reply
      November 18, 2013 at 12:25 pm

      Thanks so much, Karly!! =)

  • Reply
    November 13, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    I hope I can make this cake look as good as your pictures! It sounds so delicious! Visiting from Marvelous Mondays and pinning this!

  • Reply
    Dani @ See Hubby Cook
    November 13, 2013 at 8:15 am

    This looks AH-MAZING! Convert me from pie to cake for Thanksgiving why don’t cha ;-)

  • Reply
    Lori @ A Bright and Beautiful Life
    November 12, 2013 at 12:43 am

    Oh man… I feel like I’ve died and gone to cake heaven. This looks delicious.

  • Reply
    Krista @ Joyful Healthy Eats
    November 11, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    Ok, seriously love everything about this Cake Kate! From the buttercream frosting, to the pumpkin cake, to the salted caramel topping! YUM!

  • Reply
    November 10, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    This looks SOOOOOOOOOOOO good and I’m a sucker for desserts! Sharing on FB and pinned to my MM board.

    • Reply
      November 11, 2013 at 12:17 am

      Thanks so much, Paula!! And thanks for the shares! =)

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    November 9, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    New follower from Saturday night Fever…..This looks divine! The salted caramel sounds delicious and I might just have to try my hand at making this cake. I, too, am more of a cake person than pie. :)

    • Reply
      November 10, 2013 at 8:10 am

      Thanks!! Well then you are a girl after my own heart! =) Thanks so much for coming by and for following! Glad to have you here!!

  • Reply
    Gloria // Simply Gloria
    November 9, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    I love this idea to add to the sweet treats after the big meal. I do a dessert table every year with my guests…and they’d go crazy with this cake. Definitely pinning and bookmarking! (=

  • Reply
    November 9, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Scrumptious looking cake !!
    I’d looooooooooove a slice :)

    • Reply
      November 11, 2013 at 12:18 am

      Thanks so much!! =)

  • Reply
    November 9, 2013 at 10:32 am

    This cake looks so yummy! The picture of it is gorgeous, btw! I can’t wait to explore your other yummy recipes.

    • Reply
      November 9, 2013 at 1:31 pm

      Thanks so much!! =)

  • Reply
    November 9, 2013 at 9:15 am

    You know, Kate, I LOVE your blog name. I totally heart eating too, which is the whole reason I know how to cook, haha. This cake looks yummy and I’m pinning now. Thanks for sharing. Found you from Your Homebased Mom’s linky.

    • Reply
      November 9, 2013 at 1:33 pm

      Thanks!! Eating what you make is the best part! =) Thanks so much, and thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply
    Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor
    November 9, 2013 at 8:10 am

    Wow, Kate, this cake looks amazing! Not only does it look gorgeous but it sounds incredible. The pumpkin, browned butter and salted caramel flavors make my mouth water.

  • Reply
    Heather @ French Press
    November 8, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    what a gorgeous cake Kate! just perfect for Thanksgving

    • Reply
      November 9, 2013 at 1:33 pm

      Thanks so much, Heather!! That’s so nice! =)

  • Reply
    Trish - Mom On Timeout
    November 8, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Geez Kate! This cake looks marvelous! All those layers and that frosting – WOW!

  • Reply
    November 6, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    it looks amazing!

  • Reply
    Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate
    November 5, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    I love cakes like this that are layered but not frosted around the sides. I usually do not have the patience to ice and decorate cakes so this is a great alternative!

  • Reply
    Barb Scheffler
    November 5, 2013 at 10:09 am

    Do you pull out the mixer for this or just use a wisk? Can you dulce le leche for the caramel?

    • Reply
      November 5, 2013 at 10:49 am

      For the cake, you can use a whisk, but you’ll need an electric mixer for the frosting. I haven’t tried it with dulce de leche, but I think that the texture and flavors should work well as a substitute. My only note would be that the extra salt in the salted caramel helps to break up all of the sweetness, so you may find that you need to add a little extra salt to the frosting. If you try it, I’d be interested to hear how it works out.

  • Reply
    November 4, 2013 at 9:42 am

    As a loyal subscriber, I think your recipes and photos are wonderful. Salted caramel is very popular right now, and I think it is perfectly suited for this cake! I can tell you put a lot of thought and hard work into developing this recipe, and I think you should keep on doing what you are doing so well.

    • Reply
      November 4, 2013 at 10:10 am

      Thank you for your kind words!! It means so much to me, and I really, really appreciate you taking the time to leave such a nice comment! So, thank you for that!!

  • Reply
    Megan - The Emotional Baker
    November 4, 2013 at 5:26 am

    This cake is absolutely gorgeous! I’ve never had cake on Thanksgiving, but I’ll have to change that.

    • Reply
      November 4, 2013 at 9:45 am

      Thanks so much!! =)

  • Reply
    Marie Shanahan
    November 4, 2013 at 4:50 am

    I love this site. :) Thanks so much for sharing your recipes!

    • Reply
      November 4, 2013 at 9:22 am

      Thanks so much!! I appreciate you checking them out! =)

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