Crazy for Crust

Brown Butter Pumpkin Bundt Cake

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I kind of really wish this would have been my birthday cake yesterday. It wasn’t, but I’m still dreaming about it. It’s a Brown Butter Pumpkin Bundt Cake!

All those brown flecks in the frosting are from the brown butter. It’s in the frosting and it’s in the pumpkin bundt cake. #winning.


Easy Brown Butter Pumpkin Bundt - this cake is the BEST pumpkin recipe you'll make this fall! There's brown butter in every bite.

I turned 38 yesterday. It’s a big birthday week. First, Crazy for Crust turns 5, and then I turn old.

I’m kidding, actually. I don’t mind being 38. Well, except for the skin. And the eyelashes. And the metabolism. Yeah, I kind of wish those were all still 30. Oh, and the dark brown hair. I miss that too.

But really? My life is good. I have a wonderful husband and daughter, great parents and in-laws, and friends I can count on. I have a job I love and a house to live in.

I also own lots of spanx, but whatever.

Easy Brown Butter Pumpkin Bundt Cake Recipe - we couldn't stop eating this cake!

For the next two years, I’m assuming people will constantly ask me if I’m dreading turning 40. Honestly? I’m not  dreading it (except for the whole can’t-eat-what-I-want-anymore thing). Dare I say I’m looking forward to it?

Look, my husband is a lot older than me, we all know that. I think I’ve been chasing his age for so long I’m just tired of being in my 30s. Also, everyone always says that once you get into your 40s you gain wisdom (and reading glasses). Like, you learn to not sweat the small stuff and pretty much just say “&$!@ it, it’s my life, I’ll do what I want.”

I’m kind of looking forward to that. I mean, I’ve gained confidence over the past decade, for sure. I’m more comfortable in my skin now than I used to be. I’m also happier (and blonder), but I’m looking forward to all that 40 year old wisdom.

So, 38? Bring it on. I got this.

Also? I got this:

Brown Butter Pumpkin Bundt Cake starts with a cake mix and uses the delicious flavor of brown butter to amp up the flavor!

Easy Brown Butter Pumpkin Bundt Cake Recipe

This is actually a remake of an old recipe on this blog. I’m not linking to it because, um, horrible photos and writing. But, since it is pretty much the best pumpkin cake everrrr, I needed to resurface it. Also? I made some changes and added more brown butter.

More brown butter is gooooood.

What is brown butter?

Have you ever browned butter before? It’s really very easy (tutorial on browning butter here, with photos) and it’s good in so many dishes, savory to sweet. Basically, brown butter is cooked butter. You heat it over low heat for several minutes until it melts then turns brown. The browning gives it a nutty, rich flavor and aroma. It deepens the flavor of the butter and anything you put it on or in.

Pumpkin + Brown Butter? EPIC.

This recipe is guaranteed to work because it starts with a cake mix. Hey, don’t knock my mixes! 🙂 It’s so doctored you don’t even know it’s a mix, but it turns out perfect every time. Pumpkin, spices, and brown butter make the cake batter wonderful and thick and it bakes up to a perfectly rich and moist cake that screams fall.

Then you make a brown butter frosting. And die happy.

This easy Brown Butter Pumpkin Bundt Cake recipe is the BEST pumpkin cake you'll ever eat. Brown butter goes in the cake and the frosting!

Seriously, people, get me a fork.

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Servings: 12 servings

Brown Butter Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 15 mins
This Brown Butter Pumpkin Bundt Cake is FULL of the best flavors! A soft, moist, and EASY pumpkin cake is filled with brown butter and topped with a brown butter frosting!


  • 11 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 15 oz can of pumpkin puree — not pumpkin pie mix
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground  ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3-5 tablespoons heavy whipping cream — or milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 12-cup bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray (the kind with flour in it).
  2. Place the butter in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat. Melt, then stir often, cooking until the butter browns. This will take 5-7 minutes or so. Stir often. The butter will foam, then reduce. Once it starts to turn brown it burns quickly so be sure and watch it. Remove from heat.
  3. Measure out 1/3 cup of the browned butter. Reserve the rest for the glaze. Place the 1/3 cup brown butter with the cake mix, pumpkin puree, eggs, granulated sugar, and cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice in a large bowl. Mix with a hand mixer until smooth. The batter is thick.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 35-38 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before removing from pan and glazing.
  5. To make the glaze: Place reserved brown butter in a bowl. If it has solidified, heat it in the microwave for a few seconds until it becomes liquid again. Whisk in powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add heavy whipping cream 1 tablespoon at a time until you get the desired consistency. (I used 4 tablespoons.) Drizzle over cake.
  6. Store loosely covered on the counter or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cake

Nutrition Information

Amount per serving (1 slice) — Calories: 401, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 94mg, Sodium: 390mg, Potassium: 119mg, Carbohydrates: 64g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 45g, Protein: 4g, Vitamin A: 119.6%, Vitamin C: 1.8%, Calcium: 11.8%, Iron: 9.5%

Sweets from friends:
Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Caramel Drizzle by Chef in Training
Butterscotch Pumpkin Bundt by Nutmeg Nanny
Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Cake by A Dash of Sanity

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  1. My parents are 15 years apart. I joke that my mom tries to act older and my dad younger. They meet somewhere in the middle!
    I’m all of 36, but I’m not eager to get to 40. I’m trying to slow down time here! It’s that metabolism thing. I want it to work for me, not against. Plus, gravity is starting to take over and my body can’t fight it anymore. Aaaaah.
    Love this glaze to the moon and back. It’s the best! Brown butter and pumpkin are a dream together!

  2. Nothing wrong with a cake mix! This looks phenomenal! Happy Birthday and blog birthday! I read your love story too – so sweet. <3 

  3. Mmm now I’ll be dreaming of this cake, too! Happy birthday and bloggiversary, Dorothy! 

  4. Happy Birthday!

    Thanks for posting a true pumpkin cake recipe.  Pumpkin “dessert” can be a little too all-inclusive these days.  This cake looks perfect for Thanksgiving! (Since I don’t do pie and all)

  5. Must be delicious! This bundt cake looks really really good!

  6. This = major yummness!!!!!!!!

  7. Happy birthday! I am joining you in the 38 club in just a few weeks… we can celebrate together with this awesome brown butter pumpkin bundt!

  8. Happy Birthday!!!  I too am 38, not dreading 40, but coming to terms with the normal of eating things in a lot more moderation than ever before.  On to this cake, I must make it, freeze a little and bring the rest to work, gone are the days of keeping it all to myself.

  9. This bundt looks out of this world! Love 🙂

  10. Can I use Pumpkin Pie Spice instead of the cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ginger? If so, how much would I use?

  11. Oh I am loving your birthday attitude!!! And I am loving this cake! Thank goodness it is pumpkin season! Happy Birthday!

  12. Happy birthday!! Love all of the brown butter you packed into this cake!

  13. This cake looks delicious.  Coworkers are huge pumpkin fans.  This definitely goes on the list to make!  My sister-in-law had told me when you turn 40, your body goes to @#!%.  I was able to still kind of eat what I want with minimal exercise without too many consequences.  Now 50 is another story…….  Big changes – ugh.

  14. Oh my gosh, what a beauty, Dorothy! Love that glaze and soft pumpkin cake crumbs! Mmmm

  15. Well Happy Bday to you, too! And your blog. What a week! I hope you’re going out and celebrating! 🙂

    This cake. Wow, the texture of it. I can just see from the side of the slice that it is so moist and tender. I would eat the whole thing! ha! Because brown butter and pumpkin and frosting, I am so there!!

  16. WOW! This is by far the best pumpkin cake I’ve seen in a long time! Hey, I’m 31 and I can’t eat whatever I want, so I’m doomed! 🙂

  17. LOVE LOVE LOVE the photography for this version. It looks SO GOOD, moist, and absolute perfection. And that glaze! GIIIIIIIIRL, you’re speaking my love language! 

  18. Happy Birthday to you and happy birthday to me, I guess we share the same  special day.  Though I’m a bit older and can say, “&$!@ it, it’s my life, I’ll do what I want.”  Though I don’t feel any older than I did at 25!

    Thanks for the great blog, I have just recently found you and I come back often.  Keep up the superb work😊

  19. Love your attitude about facing 40. There totally is that thing where you just stop worrying about what other people think and letting things go that really aren’t important. It gets even more that way after 50. 

    This cake looks DELISH!!!!

  20. My forties were my best decade ever, for a lot of reasons.  You will love it!  The only down side is that I thought, “my life is about half over now (if all goes well); there is still so much I want to do”.  It made me savor everything more. And speaking of savory get, this cake is a must-try.  Some of the best cakes I have ever had have been fixed-up cake mixes.

  21. Happy b-day!

    What did you do on your special day? like what did you eat, esp for dessert???!

  22. Happy Happy Birthday!! I know, I know it is a little late but I am hoping you had a beautiful day! 38 is a great age and the 40’s aren’t bad either!

    This Brown Butter Pumpkin Cake and Frosting sound AWESOME!!! Thank you again for another terrific pumpkin recipe! I’m a happy camper!!

  23. Your writing in this post is so open and relatable.  Really enjoyed it.  Yummy sounding recipe too.

  24. First things first – Happy Birthday!! When it comes to ANYTHING pumpkin, I’m in! Just one point of clarification, is the yellow cake mix with or without “pudding in the mix”?

  25. Happy birthday! My birthday is next week, and I’m still trying to pick out which cakes I will make. Yes, I definitely said cakeS. I’m thinking a fig and pistachio cake from Hungry Rabbit NYC, a chocolate cake that my friend gave me a recipe for years ago, and maybe this cake for the office. It looks good, but not TOO sweet…Koreans are funny about their cakes.

  26. Happy belated birthday!!!

  27. Happy birthday!! And love your love story!! I am definitely going to make this – looks yummy. I usually always fail at bundt stuff but will give this a try.

    By the way – I totally don’t sympatize with you being 38! Try looking at 73 and not getting all depressed!! ha ha – just kidding, I love my age!! I can finally be myself and not be judged on my style of dressing (still hippy type!!!) my eating (love love love sweets) or my laid back style!

  28. Om nom nom! Happy Birthday, Dorothy. I hope that you had a great day. 🙂 I made a pumpkin ravioli dish the other day with brown butter and sage. SOOOO GOOD! I think this pumpkin cake would be a great way to finish a fall meal. Thank you. 🙂

  29. Pumpkin and brown butter?! Divine combo! Happy belated birthday!!

  30. I freaked out over turning thirty, but now I’ve come to accept it. I prefer being wise and mature and wearing comfy clothes all the time. Looking back, I have no idea how I rocked some of those heals. Now it’s PJs all day, every day! Yeah, cake helps…a lot. Love this bundt. Pinned.

  31. Happy birthday! Turning 30 sucked – big time! But 40 wasn’t bad. And it’s true… As I get older my give a cr@p gets less and less. I tend to have more diarrhea of the mouth – I say whatever I’m feeling! LOL The up-side is I stick up for myself a little more. As for the hair color, the sun bleaches my hair too much and I end up blondish. Actually it’s like the most uninspired brownish-blonde. So I go to my salon a few times a year and get it colored. It’s usually a dark shade of brown (almost black) with reddish overtones. 🙂
    The cake looks delicious! I have more blood work on Friday, so I’ll cheat a little this weekend. 🙂

  32. Dorothy, you are right about turning 40. The day I tured 40, my body started falling apart. And the eyes, dangit. But with it came the kind of confidence you are taking about. I started saying to myself, “I’m 40 years old! I can do whatever I want!” It was liberating! This cake looks so amazing. Luckily, I am liberated, so I can eat it 🙂

  33. Yummy! I LOVE pumpkin all the things!!!! 😀

  34. I browned butter before, but I was talking on the phone at the same time. Me and multitasking have never been the best of friends. I love how moist this cake looks. Very homey and delicious.

  35. Love your outlook on age! That’s exactly how I feel! I am loving this cake! That icing is so perfectly piped. 🙂

  36. Happy belated birthday and blog anniversary, Dorothy!  I’ve got you by a few a years….a few meaning quite a few. 🙂  I love pumpkin and brown butter together, and this would make such a great fall birthday cake!  Pinned. 🙂

  37. Wow that’s beautiful! And mouth watering! And hey, you’re not old! 😘

  38. Happy birthday! This cake would totally make an awesome birthday cake.  ALL that brown butter is making me drool. Beautiful!

  39. It’s funny….I feel like I was always comfortable with getting older until I actually started getting older. And then not so much! I love your perspective, though….and I love this cake, too! Hope you had a fabulous birthday, Dorothy!

  40. I love this doctored up cake mix! I enjoy pumpkin but not cloves. Usually, pumpkin pie spice mix or prepared pumpkin cake mix contains cloves. Its wonderful to have an option besides “from scratch”! Adding brown butter to the cake and frosting is a wonderful idea! All warm and toasty!

    (Happy Birthday to you and to the blog! May the year ahead be full of good health, smiles, and accomplishments! )

  41. And here I was thinking I was a HUGE genius to combine brown butter and pumpkin for an upcoming recipe.  Great minds, friend.  Great minds.

  42. YUM! pumpkin+browned butter…yes. also read your love story…so sweet. And Happy Birthday! It’s my birthday this weekend too! Cheers to fall birthdays!

  43. That glaze is KILLING me! I just want to dip my finger in it right now! Browned butter – check. Pumpkin -check. Cake – double check. I love it all! Happy Happy Birthday my friend!

  44. I made this cake last night and it’s sitting in my office right now, just waiting for a decent hour to dig in. It came out perfectly. My icing doesn’t look as decorative as yours, but it tastes freaking amazing. I hope my office mates like it as much as I do!

  45. The Best ever!!! Thank you so much for the delicious recipes!!!

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