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Brown Butter Frosting is rich, creamy and a versatile frosting to use on cakes, cupcakes, cookies and more! Brown butter has a toasty, caramel flavor that is unmatched, bringing anything you put it on to the next level. My recipe for Apple Oatmeal Cookies uses this brown butter frosting recipe as icing on top of the cookies. It’s perfection and brings all the Fall vibes.
What is Brown Butter?
Brown butter is just regular butter (salted or unsalted) that has been cooked a little bit past melting point and long enough to toast the milk solids found in butter. This creates a heavenly nutty flavor that regular melted butter doesn’t have. Brown butter is used in baking like in frosting (obviously 😉), cookies (like my brown butter chocolate chip cookies), pie crusts and even savory dishes like sauces…or as-is poured over roasted cauliflower. In my opinion, brown butter always enhances the flavor of whatever you’re using it in. It’s so good!
How to Brown Butter
I know for many of my readers, browning butter is not a new technique. I thought I would run through how to do it in case it helps someone.
First things first, add your butter to a saucepan. (It’ll be easier to watch for the milk solids to brown if you’re using a light colored saucepan.)
Browning butter is simple and doesn’t take long, but does require your constant attention. Like, don’t take your eyes off of it, kind of attention. You can quickly go from brown to burnt butter and then have to start over. 🙁 Frequent swirling of the pan or stirring will help you know when it’s ready.
Next, heat over medium heat, stirring frequently. You’ll begin to see the butter pop, sizzle and sputter as it melts and heats up. You’ll then start to see little bits floating in the butter…that’s the milk solids beginning to brown.
At the point that you see the brown bits, you’ll also smell the delicious nutty flavor. Remove from the heat, and pour into a heat-safe bowl to stop the cooking process and cool. Use as desired or instructed by the recipe you’re using.
How to Make Brown Butter Frosting
For full recipe details, including ingredients needed and measurements, see the printable recipe card down below. Here is step by step what you can expect when making this frosting:
Brown the Butter
Place butter into small saucepan. With heat on medium, melt and brown the butter. Once the butter is a medium brown/amber color remove from heat and pour into a small bowl.
Make the Frosting
Stir in powdered sugar and enough milk to get a spreadable consistency.
Time to Frost!
Use to frost your cake, cupcakes or cookies!
Storing Brown Butter Frosting
Allow frosting to completely cool. Transfer frosting to an airtight container with a good fitting lid. Brown Butter Frosting will be good in the fridge for up to 5 days. If you want to make this ahead of when you need to use it, store in the fridge and use as needed.
To Freeze: If you want to freeze and store it longer, you can! Divide cooled frosting into an ice cube tray (optional) or airtight, freezer safe container. Frozen frosting will be good in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Frequently Asked Questions About Brown Butter Frosting
As the frosting cools it might develop a hardened, flaky top. This is totally normal for frostings made in a saucepan. However, if you’re looking for a smoother texture, simply allow the browned butter to cool then with a hand or stand mixer, mix it with the other ingredients.
This recipe makes about 3/4 cup of frosting or enough to frost about 12 cookies.
Yes! A hack that I have found is after the frosting is completely cooled, divide the frosting up into an ice cube tray and freeze. Then once the cubes are frozen, pop them out and put them in a freezer safe resealable bag. Defrost when ready to use.
Frosting is usually good up to 5 days in the fridge.
More Frosting Recipes to Try!
- Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- Whipped Chocolate Ganache Frosting
- Vegan Chocolate Frosting
- Cream Cheese Frosting
- Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting
- Easy Chocolate Frosting Recipe
I love this frosting on many desserts, and hope you find your favorite to add it to as well! Have a great day, friends! 🙂
If you make this recipe, I would really appreciate it if you would give it a star review! If you have a picture of your finished dish, post it on Instagram using the hashtag #laurenslatest and tagging me @laurens_latest.
Brown Butter Frosting
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 cup confectioners sugar powdered sugar
- 1/2 tbsp milk approximately
- Place 1/4 cup butter into small saucepan. With heat on medium, melt and brown the butter. Once the butter is a medium brown/amber color remove from heat and pour into a small bowl.
- Stir in powdered sugar and enough milk to get a spreadable consistency.
- Use to frost your cake, cupcakes or cookies!