Brown Butter and Cardamom Cake

Tired of pumpkin pie? And craving a new fall dessert? I've got just the cake for you!

Somehow it is no longer March and it is now, in fact, October. I don't know about you but I feel like we are basically barreling full speed ahead towards the holidays AND IT MAKES ME FEEL VERY WEIRD. The holidays are certainly going to look and feel very very different this year because of COVID-19. As do most things. But I'll still likely find myself in the kitchen, as it's one of my most favorite places to be.



Whether zoom dinners are in order , outdoor socially-distanced gatherings are your goal, or you plan on dropping off dinner to loved ones, there's still space for some damn good food. And that's where this brown butter cardamom cake comes in handy. The squash and brown butter purée lend to a lovely texture and depth, the cardamom adds a balancing floral note, and the dark brown sugar lends for a rich and slightly chewy texture. It's more in the category of a snacking cake, which it basically my favorite category of cake.



One quick of note: I made my own butternut squash purée for this cake, but feel free to use store bought. When in doubt, WWID (what would Ina do)

Brown Butter And Cardamom Cake~


-2.5 cups flour

-approximately 1 cup butternut squash purée (roasted or store bought)

- ½ cup butter, for browning

-1/2 cup butter, softened

-3 eggs

-3/4 cup dark brown sugar

-3/4 cup granulated sugar

-1/2 cups half and half

-3/4 tsp cardamom powder

-2 tsp baking powder

-1/2 tsp baking soda

-1/2 tsp salt

-1/2 tsp ginger

-1/4 tsp allspice


-2 cups powdered sugar

-3-4 tbsp half and half or milk

-1/8 tsp cardamom


Preheat oven to 350° F. Coat a loaf pan with 1-2 tbsp of butter and line with parchment paper. If you are roasting your own squash, carefully half cut in half and place flesh side down on a sheet tray. Bake for 60 minutes or until fork tender. Let cool, scoop out seeds, and add 1 cup of the flesh to a blender. If you are using canned squash, skip this step and just add to blender. In a small pot over medium-low heat, add 1/2 cup of the butter and cook until milk solids are slightly golden brown in color, about 5-8 minutes, swirling as needed. Add to your blender with the squash and purée until smooth. Scoop into a bowl or container and let cool fully. In a medium sized bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cardamom and allspice and whisk until smooth. In a separate bowl, cream butter with a hand mixer or stand mixer until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed with a spatula. Add your brown sugar and granulated sugar and mix on medium-low speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add your eggs one at a time to the butter/sugar mixture, mixing again on medium-low speed. (If your mixture appears separated, don’t panic! It will come together when you add your flour.) Add your squash/butter mixture to your butter and egg mixture and again mix until smooth. Add half of the dry ingredients to your wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. Stop and scrape down the sides of your bowl. Add the half and half to the bowl and mix, then add the remaining dry ingredients. Mix until just combined, scraping down the sides and the bottom of your bowl. Pour your batter into the loaf pan and smooth the top with a spoon or a knife. Place in the middle rack of the oven and cook for about 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Once done, let cool in pan for 5 minutes and then gently remove and place on a wire rack or plate. Let cool for a remaining 15-20 minutes. In another medium sized bowl, add the powdered sugar and cardamom and the half and half or milk. Mix with a whisk until smooth and no lumps remain. Top the cooled cake with the glaze, slice and enjoy!

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