Sunday, October 2, 2011

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cake

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cake

(Adapted from Fine Cooking)

Probably the best pumpkin cake that I have ever had. Ever.

Makes one 13x9 sheet cake or one double-
layered cake

6 oz. (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
9 oz. (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. table salt
1 ½ cups pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup buttermilk

4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon table salt
1 cup heavy whipping cream

1. Position a rack in the center of the
oven and heat the oven to 350°F.
2. Layer cake: Butter two 9-inch round
cake pans, line the bottoms with
parchment, butter the parchment, and
flour the pans). Sheet cake: Butter
and flour one 13x9 pan.
3. Melt the butter in a heavy-duty 1-
quart saucepan over medium heat.
Stir frequently, until the butter
turns a nutty golden-brown, about
4 minutes. You will see brown bits
appear at the bottom of the pan – this
is what will give you that golden-
nutty-caramel flavor. Be very careful
not to burn! Pour into a small bowl
and let stand until cool but not set,
about 15 minutes.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour,
cinnamon, ginger, cloves, baking

5. In a large bowl, whisk the pumpkin
purée with the granulated sugar,
brown sugar, eggs, and buttermilk
until very well blended.
6. With a rubber spatula, stir in the
flour mixture until just combined.
Gently whisk in the brown butter
until completely incorporated.
Divide the batter evenly between the
prepared pans. Batter will be very
thick – do not be alarmed.
7. Bake the cake(s) until a tester
inserted in the center comes out
clean, 25-28 minutes for 9-inch
round cakes or 28-32 minutes for
13x9 pan. Cool to room temperature.

1. When cake has cooled, place cream
cheese, sugar, vanilla, and salt in
bowl of standing mixer fitted with
whisk attachment. Whisk at medium-
high speed until light and fluffy, 1 to
2 minutes, scraping down bowl with
rubber spatula as needed.
2. Reduce speed to low and add heavy
cream in slow, steady stream; when
almost fully combined, increase
speed to medium-high and beat until
mixture holds stiff peaks, 2 to 2 1/
2 minutes more, scraping bowl as

- Cake can be made in advance,
wrapped in plastic wrap and foil
and then frozen. Thaw at room
temperature before frosting.
(Uncover when thawing).
- Make the frosting on the day you
plan to serve the cake. (Whipped
cream will lose its structure and the
frosting will get soupy otherwise).
- Refrigerate the cake (because of the

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Claire, this is amazing.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I'm quite sure that Claire has contributed more to the blog in one day than all of us have combined over the last two years. Surprising? Not really....just very exciting.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My Mother’s Mother’s Banana Nut Bread


1 ¾ cup flour

2 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp soda

¾ tsp salt

1/3 cup shortening

2/3 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (2-3)

1 cup nuts


Mix flour with baking powder, soda, and salt. Cream shortening and sugar until light. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Add bananas and mix. Add flour in 4 portions and beat until smooth each time. Bake in load pan (well greased.) 350 oven for 50 monutes.

Molasses Sugar Cookies


¾ cup shortening

1 cup sugar

¼ cup molasses

1 egg

2 tsp baking soda

2 cup flour

½ tsp cloves

½ tsp ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp salt


Melt shortening in a 3 or 4 quart saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat, let cool. Add sugar, molasses, and egg. Beat well. Mix together flour, soda, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, and salt. Add the first mixture. Mix well. Chill. Form in 1 inch balls, roll in granulated sugar and place on greased cookie sheets two inches apart. Bake in oven 375 for 8-10 minutes.

Grandmother William’s Labkuchan


(all fruits can be combined and can simply use a candied fruit mix)

1 quart molasses

1 qt. sour cream

½ pound citron

½ pound almonds

¼ pound orange

¼ pound lemon

2 tsp nutmeg

1 tablespoon cloves

1 tablespoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons soda

1 pound brown sugar

3 qt. flour


Batter must be very stiff. Chop candied fruit to smaller pieces. Chop the almonds but not too fine. Mix the nuts with the candied fruit and flour and soda. Mix with rest of the ingredients and let stand over night.

Springerly (more German cookies)


2 eggs

1 ½ cup sugar

1 tsp lemon rind

1 tsp anise seed

2 ½ cup flour

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt


Beat eggs until thick, add sugar gradually. Beat 10 min. Add flavorings and flour. Roll to ¼” thick. Stand until dry, emboss, let dry on board overnight. Bake 300 degrees for 25-30 min.

Jean’s Powdered Sugar Cookies


½ cup shortening

½ cup butter or margarine

1 ¾ cups powdered sugar

1 egg, unbeaten

1 tsp vanilla

¼ tsp almond extract

2 ½ cups flour

1 tsp soda

1 tsp cream of tartar

1 cup chopped pecans


Cream shortening and butter, gradually add powdered sugar, creaming well. Add egg and flavorings. Beat until fluffy. Mix flour with soda and cream of tartar, add and mix well. Stir in pecans. Drop small spoonful on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 400 for 8 to 10 minutes, or until creamy tan color. While hot, roll in powdered sugar. Makes 6 dozen cookies.

Grandma William’ Pfeffer Nissly (German Cookies)


3 eggs

1 ½ cup brown sugar

½ teaspoon cloves

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp allspice

pinch of pepper

1 even tsp soda

2 tsp cream of tartar

4 cups flour


Mix all ingredients. Should be very stiff. Put in a few chopped nuts. Drop a teaspoon of batter on buttered cookie sheet and bake in moderate oven. May add glaze of powdered sugar if desired once cookies are baked.