I once read somewhere that failure is life’s greatest teacher. And as a self-proclaimed perfectionist, just saying those words out loud make my skin crawl. I mean, aren’t we taught to AVOID failure at all costs?!
But that was before pop queen Ariana Grande put things into perspective for me with her new single “thank u, next”. Instead of taking the usual sad or bitter route when it comes to talking about past relationships, Grande declares that she is actually so f*cking grateful for them. She celebrates her ex’s for what they have taught her and for shaping her into the woman she is today. She is thankful for these “failures” and even shows her fearlessness in welcoming the next one. Pretty profound for a pop princess – huh?
So if you haven’t heard it – do yourself a favor and listen HERE.
And then take a second and think about the failures in your own life. The times you were upset or ashamed or heartbroken – and try to think about what you learned from them. I know in the moment, those experiences probably SUCKED and actually…they might still suck to think about. But when you take a longer look at them, did they teach you something about yourself or the world we live in? Did they actually make you stronger?
If not – you can totally just ignore me and Ariana Grande and just make this cake. Because I guarantee this is something you and anyone else you let taste it will be thankful for. The Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting is INSANE. Like the kind of thing you could just eat off a spoon it’s so good. And when it’s paired with the pumpkin cake it’s pretty much pure fall heaven.
PUMPKIN CAKE WITH BROWNED BUTTER FROSTING
FOR THE PUMPKIN CAKE
- 2 cups pumpkin pureé (530 g)
- 1 2/3 cup sugar (335 g)
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil (223 g)
- 2 cups flour (256 g)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
FOR THE BROWNED BUTTER CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, browned and brought back to room temperature (113 g)
- 6 oz cream cheese, cold (170 g)
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar (700 g)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pink food coloring (optional)
- Sprinkles (optional)
FOR THE PUMPKIN CAKE
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare three 8" cake pans (or four 6" pans) with parchment.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk oil, pumpkin pureé, eggs, and sugar until combined.
- Add dry ingredients to wet mixture and mix until just combined. Do not over mix.
- Divide the batter evenly between the three pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes.
- Remove the cakes from the pans and set them on a wire rack to cool.
FOR THE FROSTING
- Prepare a small tupperware container with parchment.
- In a medium saucepan, cook butter over medium heat. Allow butt to sit until butter starts to give off a nutty aroma and butter begins to foam.
- Pour butter (making sure to include all the brown bits at the bottom of the pot) into tupperware container. Place in the fridge until the butter hardens again.
- Set the cream cheese and browned butter out to come to room temperature.
- Once they are at room temperature, combine the butter and cream cheese in a stand mixer fitter with a whisk attachment. Mix on high speed until light and fluffy (about 4 minutes)
- Add vanilla extract and cinnamon and beat until combined.
- On a low speed, add powdered sugar gradually. Once the powdered sugar is fully combined, increase the speed to high for 2-3 minutes.
- Set aside 3/4 cup of icing if you want to do the top decorations.
- Color 3/4 cup icing with pink food coloring and then use a small star tip to create topping.
- Add sprinkles if desired.