Category: beurre noisette

Brown butter donuts? Vanilla bean glaze? YES.

WARNING: These donuts are CRAZY.

I wasn’t even going to post them. Not really. I made them for Jay’s partner who helped him out moving some stuff, and because they were so insane I decided I had to make them again & post them for you. Seriously.

I also upped the ante a bit.

Brown butter donuts with a thick vanilla bean glaze!

See… the first time I made them I made a regular vanilla bean glaze. Half a bean scraped into some milk & confectioner’s sugar. Bam. It was delicious. Jay’s partner loved ’em, we loved ’em.

But I knew that it could be BETTER.

Brown butter donuts with vanilla bean glaze. They're baked, so they're good for you. Right?

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Happy Thanksgiving… here are some Cream Soda Toffee cupcakes with brown butter frosting, just like the pilgrims made.

I mentioned last year that Thanksgiving is a holiday that sorta glorifies the struggle of the Pilgrims and the slaughter of the Indians they used and abused, but again, despite that… you gotta kinda love Thanksgiving. The parade, the endless food, the shopping, etc. Who cares about having a social conscience when it comes to Black Friday sales, am I right? No? Okay then. At least this year on Thanksgiving when the turkey gets pardoned by the President, everyone will know which one is really the turkey and which one is the President. The past 8 years it was sorta hard to tell.

Like I said in the title, this post contains the recipe for those cupcakes right above this; cream soda toffee cupcakes with brown butter frosting to be exact. It also contains a video of Adam Sandler’s Thanksgiving song (below), but I know you wanna see the cupcakes more than that. I topped them with some vintage plastic turkey toppers. The cupcakes, not the video.

So this year I was looking for a unique cupcake recipe to make for Thanksgiving, and as I said in my previous cupcake post about Snickerdoodle cupcakes, I was searching the web like a fiend. I happened upon this recipe at the Better Homes & Gardens website and I knew this was it. Doesn’t this sound like an amazing cupcake? Well it does and it is. I made a (caramelized) brown butter frosting once before, so I knew this would be good. It was. The frosting is killer. Killer I say. Killer, like us white men killed the Injun’ folk and took their land.

Undecorated and still adorable!! Spy the confectioner’s sugar on the table…? Haha.

Let me also just say that I love toffee. I’m the person who always gets the Heath bar topping on my ice cream. When I was a kid I’d always buy Heath bars and eat them whole, but now, being slightly older I have a bit more faux parts in my teeth (a few fillings + a crown), so it’s difficult to chew those huge pieces of toffee without being paranoid I’d dislodge one of my fillings. And of course, why do I have those fillings and that crown? Because of Heath bars. A vicious cycle isn’t it.

Is that why the pilgrims had bad teeth? Because of toffee cupcakes? I’d like to think so.



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. molasses
  • 1-½ tsp. vanilla
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup cream soda (not diet)
  • ¾ cup toffee pieces


1. Preheat oven to 350° degrees F. Line eighteen 2-½-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups; set aside. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and ¼ teaspoon salt; set aside.

2. In large bowl beat butter with electric mixer on medium to high 30 seconds. Add sugars; beat until well combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time, on low until combined. Beat in molasses and vanilla.

3. Alternately add flour mixture, buttermilk, and cream soda to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition until combined. Stir in ½ cup of the toffee. Fill cups ¾ full. Bake about 18 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool in pans on racks 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool. Frost; top with remaining toffee. Makes 18 cupcakes.



  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 cups powdered or confectioner’s sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • dash of salt


  1. For brown butter, in saucepan heat ¼ cup butter over medium-low heat until lightly browned, about 8 minutes; cool.
  2. In bowl beat the other ¼ cup softened butter with mixer on medium 30 seconds. Add cooled brown butter; beat until combined.
  3. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, ground nutmeg, and dash salt. Beat in 1 to 2 tablespoons buttermilk until spreadable. Use immediately. If frosting begins to set up, stir in a small amount of boiling water.

So you know how it says it makes 18? LIES. I got over 2 dozen. And then didn’t have enough frosting to frost them all. Why does this happen to me? I have no idea. I wasn’t even drunk while I was baking them.

Anyway these are amazing, and the flavor is really good for fall/Thanksgiving. Serve these after stuffing your family full of bird, stuffing, and sides (or tofurkey if you’re into that kind of kinky thing). Then sit there eating yours, silently hoping that  they make a new Lady Gaga balloon for the parade next year, complete with spewing blood like her MTV Video Music  Awards performance. That’d go great with Clifford the Big Red Dog and Charlie Brown, wouldn’t it?

Happy Thanksgiving dudes & dudettes. OH! And don’t forget to bookmark my newest blog venture, Cooking the Books. It rocks, and if you like to read and like to cook, you’ll enjoy it. I encourage you to read (and cook) along with us.

Daring Baker’s Challenge: Caramel Cake with caramelized butter frosting.

This month’s DB challenge has a special place in my heart. I adore caramel.  And it is indeed pronounced car-a-mel. Not ‘carmel.’ People please, note the ‘a’ in there. Its just plain based on the rules of the English language. Car-a-mel. If you say ‘carmel’ just go away. No I’m kidding- don’t go away. I’m sorry. Just say it the right way. Anyway… I love caramel. I don’t eat candy as a rule but if its caramel -all bets are off. My favorite is Cadbury’s Caramello bar… yum. Or Ghirardelli’s milk chocolate caramel bar. But that caramel rule also includes the delicious Caramacs (you haven’t lived until you’ve had someone in Hawaii send you these) and Newman’s Own organic caramel cups, and on the lower end of the monetary spectrum Milk Duds, Sugar Daddy, Junior Caramels and any variation thereof. No, I do NOT like Werthers, thankyouverymuch, it tastes like fake caramel. I prefer caramel to chocolate by a landslide, but chocolate covered caramel is heaven. I actually pick out the caramels from boxes of Valentine’s Day candy and leave the rest. And those who went to high school with me will clearly remember me spending my lunch money on miniature boxes of a caramel candy called Pom-Poms (which are now discontinued– so sad!) and stuffing those entire boxes in my mouth at once. Yeah, the dentist loves me, and yeah,  despite all that, I somehow managed to weigh 125 pounds at 5 feet 9 inches tall throughout high school. So, this Daring Baker’s challenge made me very very happy.

The host this month is Shuna Fish Lydon and the co-hosts are Alex ( and Jenny ( The Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting is courtesy of Shuna (, as published on Bay Area Bites ( And since none of us know jack about alternative baking, we’ve once again turned to Natalie of Gluten-a-Go-Go ( to assist us. Now lets get down to business!

This cake is a perfect fall cake. Its easy enough to make for Thanksgiving (well, next year) even if you’re making a full dinner, yet its elegant and delicious enough to convince people you spent either a lot of time on it or a lot of money. I bet it’d be AMAZING as cupcakes and I totally plan on remaking it as such. I would’ve done it this time but I never ever make cakes, so I thought I’d stick to the cake idea. But this would be SO good as cupcakes!

I used a bundt-type pan, but alternately you could use a tall (or deep) round pan, or two layer cake pans and make it a layer cake. After frosting it I used some leftover caramel syrup to drizzle on the top of the cake. 😀 I have tons of syrup left, too, so I may make those cupcakes soon. The caramelized butter frosting was so unique and amazing, there are no words. When I went to PA this summer, me and Jay ate brown butter pretzels from a pretzel factory, and we fell in love with it… and this frosting is made with the same brown-butter technique. A-mah-zing. Seriously. If you don’t want to make this cake, at least try the frosting.

Here’s the order I recommend making it in: syrup, frosting, cake. You can do the syrup and frosting the night before, then make the cake the next day and frost it if you wish. I made it all in one night and it didn’t take long at all, I think it was almost 2.5 hours start to finish. And thats even accounting for the time it took to wash the mixer bowl between making the cake and frosting. For full recipe and another photo click the link below to continue reading!

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