Pumpkin Spice Cake with Browned Butter Meringue

Jump to Recipe
Browned Butter Pumpkin Cake decorated on a cake stand.

Hello friends! Coming at you hot with a brand spanking new recipe for Pumpkin Spice Cake with a BROWNED BUTTER Swiss Meringue Buttercream! I’ve actually been sitting on this recipe since September when I first made it. And since September, I’ve probably made this three times! It’s a total crowd favorite for fall recipes. Much thanks to my favorite doctor that I work with, who requested a pumpkin cake for her birthday!

Arial shot of the Browned Butter Pumpkin Cake on it's cake stand.

Pumpkin Spice Cake

I know that people are pretty divided on the issue of pumpkin spice. Some love it (in any form), and others hate it. Now, I’ve always been on team pumpkin spice. Call me a basic white girl, but it’s true. But I fully believe that people who hate pumpkin spice are people who’ve just had bad pumpkin spice items. What I love the most about this fall flavor is that it’s full of warm flavors. The different spices combined together are just delicious to me. To be honest, I don’t think pumpkin adds anything in terms of flavor, but what it does add is MOISTURE (sorry in advance if you hate the worst moist). The pumpkin makes this cake so moist and tender, which is great for preventing a dry, crumbly cake. Blegh, no thanks.

Close up view of the Browned Butter Pumpkin Cake on a cake stand, with fall florals in the background.

Browned Butter Meringue

This browned butter swiss meringue frosting is a great compliment to the pumpkin spice cake layers. I’ve raved about why I love browned butter and why it’s so great here and here, so I won’t talk your ear off about it. Just know that it’s nutty, delicious, and all around fantastic. I also recognize that browned butter is ~very trendy~ right now in the baking community, but trust me, it’s worth the extra effort. Now combine browned butter with my favorite meringue buttercream recipe and you have a BOMB cake frosting. PS- Yolanda from How To Cake It’s italian meringue buttercream recipe is the base for my meringue buttercream frostings every time. It’s just unbeatable!

I hope you guys enjoy this recipe! I personally think it would be the perfect addition to any Thanksgiving dessert table! Connect with me in the comments below or on my Instagram, @KayleaBakes, if you make it! I’d love to see your creations.

Pinterest graphic of the browned butter pumpkin spice cake.

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Browned Butter Meringue

Recipe by KayleaCourse: DessertDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time




  • Browned Butter*
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter

  • Pumpkin Spice Cake
  • 2.5 cups all purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

  • 1 15oz can of canned pumpkin**

  • 1/2 cup vegetable (or other neutral flavored) oil

  • 3 eggs, room temperature

  • 2.5 cups white sugar

  • 1/4 cup plain nonfat greek yogurt

  • Browned Butter Meringue Frosting
  • 1 3/4 cups white sugar

  • 8 egg whites, room temperature

  • 2 cups browned butter, unsalted (4 sticks)

  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla


  • Browned Butter
  • Place the 4 sticks of unsalted butter in a saucepot and turn heat to high.
  • Allow butter to melt, then boil. Keep the heat on, stirring occasionally, until the butter turns a golden brown color and has a nutty aroma (You will see brown butter solids, or “flecks” at the bottom of the pot).
  • Pour the browned butter into a heat-proof container and let it firm in the fridge or on the countertop.
  • Pumpkin Spice Cake
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease 3 8″ cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Sift together the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  • Add the wet ingredients to a different bowl and mix together until combined.
  • In thirds, add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well, ensuring that there are no lumps.
  • Divide the batter evenly among the 3 cake pans and place in the oven.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, rotating the pans once halfway through.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Trim off the rounded tops to flatten the cakes.
  • Browned Butter Meringue Frosting
  • Fill a saucepan 1/3 full of water set to boil.
  • While the water is boiling, crack and separate out 8 eggs whites (room temperature) into a kitchenaid bowl.
  • Add the white sugar to the kitchenaid bowl and set the bowl onto of the boiling water pot to create a double boiler.
  • Using a whisk, whisk the egg-sugar mixture constantly until it turns a clear color and when you dip your finger in it, you no longer feel any sugar granules.***
  • Add the mixing bowl to your stand mixer and with the whisk attachement, turn onto high (I use power 8) and whisk until the mixture is white and glossy and the bowl is cool to the touch.
  • Add the browned butter 1-2 tablespoons at a time, ensuring that it is incorporated before adding the next. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
  • Once fully incorporated, add the salt, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice.
  • Assembly
  • Frost the cakes with the meringue buttercream and decorate to your liking.
  • Cut and serve!


  • *The browned butter is best made in advance to allow the butter to come back to room temperature and solidify. It is stable at room temperature and can sit on the countertop.
  • **Make sure to buy the can where the only ingredient is pumpkin, NOT the pumpkin pie filling can.
  • ***Make sure to whisk constantly so that the egg whites don’t curdle!


One Comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.