Brown Butter Cupcakes with Whipped Brown Sugar Buttercream

by Jillian

Ultra fluffy brown butter cupcakes topped with the silkiest whipped brown sugar buttercream!

Brown Butter Cupcakes | A baJillian Recipes (title1)

This post has been sponsored by Plugrá® Butter. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Words cannot express how magical it was the first time I experimented with brown butter in a recipe. Not to sound overly dramatic, but it really was life-changing. Seriously, who knew butter could be made better by simply cooking it a little longer? Ever since I discovered the enchantment of brown butter, I’ve been absolutely obsessed with coming up with different ways to incorporate it into recipes.

However, I got to thinking…is it possible to make brown butter even better by using a better quality butter? Enter, Plugrá® Butter!

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I spotted it in the dairy aisle during one of my weekly trips to Safeway. Not only is Plugrá Butter made from real milk from American dairy farms, but it’s also slow-churned for a creamier flavor. Thus, the reason why it would be perfect to try in my Brown Butter Cupcakes with Whipped Brown Sugar Buttercream!

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If you can’t already tell by how gorgeous they turned out (so humble, I know), these cupcakes are the absolute epitome of a brown butter lover’s dreams. The cake itself is so perfectly moist and fluffy, and the brown butter infuses these cupcakes with the most heavenly butterscotch-like flavor.

Another important thing to note is that, as opposed to most butter which is 80% butterfat, Plugrá Butter is 82% butterfat. Why does this matter? Well, the higher the butterfat, the richer the flavor, which is especially important when you’re showcasing the flavor of brown butter.

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While I was at Safeway, I decided to take advantage of the sale price by picking up both the unsalted and salted versions of Plugrá Butter. I figured I could experiment with both by using the unsalted in the cake, and the salted in the buttercream. One of the things I love about Safeway is their handy dandy app which allows me to create a grocery list AND offers more savings on products that I often purchase. 

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If the brown butter cake still doesn’t have you convinced about making these cupcakes (what is wrong with you??), the whipped brown sugar buttercream surely will. I used this very buttercream on my Fresh Pear Cake a while back, and I’ve been dying to incorporate it into another recipe! It’s truly unlike any frosting you will ever try. It’s unbelievably light and creamy with the perfect balance of sweetness. Even those who don’t care for frosting (aka, fun killers) will go crazy over this buttercream.

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It’s made rather differently than most frostings. It begins by heating together flour and milk until it thickens into a paste. Once completely cooled, this paste gets vigorously whipped into a well-beaten mixture of butter and brown sugar until it transforms into a beautiful silky cloud of deliciousness.   

Fresh Pear Cake with Whipped Brown Sugar Buttercream | A baJillian Recipes

There’s truly nothing more perfect to top these brown butter cupcakes with than this supremely creamy and divinely maple-kissed whipped buttercream. They’re like the perfect couple. The warm sweetness of the buttercream complements the nutty notes and caramelized hints of the brown butter cupcakes making for the most euphoric experience with each and every bite…

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Brown Butter Cupcakes With Whipped Brown Sugar Buttercream

Ultra fluffy brown butter cupcakes topped with the silkiest whipped brown sugar buttercream!
Prep Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 Cupcakes


Brown Butter Cupcakes

  • 4 ounces Unsalted Plugrá® Butter
  • 1 ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Whipped Brown Sugar Buttercream

  • 7 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 ⅓ cup milk
  • 1 ¼ cup Salted Plugrá® Butter at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla


Make the Cupcakes:

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF, and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  • In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. As the butter melts, it’ll start to foam, then turn a clear golden color. Continue to stir the butter, scraping up any browned specks from the bottom of the pan as it starts to brown. It should have a nutty aroma.
  • Once browned and nutty, turn off the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar until well combined. Add the browned butter, sour cream, and egg, and continue stirring with a whisk. Batter will be thick so you’ll have to add some of the buttermilk to stir more easily. Add the rest of the buttermilk along with the vanilla and stir until combined.
  • Pour batter into cupcake liners, filling 2/3 of the way. Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with few crumbs attached. Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the Buttercream:

  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk flour and milk together, stirring constantly, until it thickens. It should look like thick pancake batter. Remove from heat and immediately pour milk mixture into a bowl to cool completely.*
  • After the milk mixture has come to room temperature, use a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a beater to cream the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla together on medium high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the completely cooled milk mixture, and beat it for about 5-7 minutes on high until it looks like whipped cream. The mixture may look curdled at first, but as you continue whipping it, it should come together. If you can still see streaks of butter, keep beating it until you can’t. (See picture above.)
  • Pipe or spread buttercream on top of cupcakes. Top with sprinkles, if desired.


*The milk mixture can be refrigerated to speed up the cooling process.
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Natalie March 14, 2019 - 5:25 AM

Looks so delicious! I love brown butter in desserts!

Jillian March 14, 2019 - 5:50 AM

It’s one of the most heavenly creations on the planet!


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