Brown Butter Frosting

Brown butter frosting made with cream cheese has a nutty and rich flavor with a touch of tanginess. The perfect frosting for fall!
brown butter frosting on a cupcake

Brown butter cream cheese frosting has a fragrant and nutty flavor that is also sweet and creamy

Brown butter frosting made with cream cheese has a nutty and rich flavor with a touch of tanginess. The perfect frosting for fall!

I love pairing this frosting with my applesauce spice cake or my carrot cake! So good!

brown butter frosting on a cupcake

I’ve been on a huge brown butter kick lately! I make it in huge batches so that I can use it in everything! I just love the depth of flavor that brown butter adds to recipes. From frosting to cakes, brown butter is the bomb!

brown butter in clear jar

After I brown my butter, I let it sit at room temperature overnight so that it solidifies again. This is because my recipes typically call for softened butter. Brown butter never gets REALLY firm so it works out well for recipes. 

solid brown butter

Make sure you stir the brown butter up so that you get all those little brown bits worked into the recipe. That is where all the flavor is!

Tips for making brown butter frosting

  • Brown your butter ahead of time and let it solidify overnight at room temperature or put it in a shallow dish and into the fridge for about 15 minutes or until it starts to firm up. 
  • Use a hand mixer or whisk to cream the brown butter and the regular butter together first, then add in the softened cream cheese to prevent your frosting from breaking. 
  • Add in your powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and then stop mixing as soon as it’s all incorporated. Add more sugar for a stiffer buttercream. 

brown butter frosting in a clear bowl

Can you use brown butter in place of butter for all frosting recipes?

It just depends. I have replaced some or all of the butter in a recipe with brown butter and had success. I have found that brown butter is a tad softer than regular softened butter. Play around with the ratios and see what works for you.

I loved putting brown butter in my easy buttercream frosting

Try pairing this frosting with

Applesauce Spice Cake
Carrot Cake
Pumpkin Spice Cake

Cake Batter and Frosting Calculator

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Cups of Batter Needed

8 cups

Cups of Frosting Needed

5 cups

Note: measurements are estimated based off the vanilla cake recipe using standard US cake pans and sizes. Measurements used are for 2" tall cake pans only. Your results may vary. Do not overfill cake pans above manufacturer's recommended guidelines.

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brown butter frosting on a cupcake

Brown Butter Frosting

Brown butter frosting made with cream cheese has a nutty and rich flavor with a touch of tanginess. The perfect frosting for fall!
5 from 22 votes
Print Rate Never Miss A Cake
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins
Serves: 6 cups
Calories: 772kcal


Brown Butter Buttercream

  • 8 oz (227 g) browned butter room temperature
  • 8 oz (227 g) unsalted butter room temperature
  • 8 oz (227 g) cream cheese room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 20 oz (567 g) powdered sugar add more for a stiffer buttercream


  • Handheld or stand mixer
  • Whisk Attachment


Brown Butter Buttercream Instructions

  • Place softened butter in the bowl of your stand mixer with the whisk attachment and mix until smooth.
  • Add in your cream cheese and mix until smooth
  • Add in your browned butter and mix until smooth and creamy
  • Add in your powdered sugar one cup at a time while mixing on low until all the powdered sugar is added. Do not over-mix.
  • Add in your salt and vanilla until combined.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 772kcal (39%) | Carbohydrates: 96g (32%) | Protein: 3g (6%) | Fat: 44g (68%) | Saturated Fat: 27g (135%) | Cholesterol: 123mg (41%) | Sodium: 224mg (9%) | Potassium: 61mg (2%) | Sugar: 94g (104%) | Vitamin A: 1452IU (29%) | Calcium: 46mg (5%) | Iron: 1mg (6%)
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28 comments on “Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. 5 stars
    Browned butter is one of my favorite flavors ever, I was blown away with how delicious this buttercream is!

  2. Hi, just love watching your channel and trying out the recipes. Just made the applesauce cake and it was heavenly. I’d like to make the burnt butter Buttercream but without the cream cheese, can I do that? Should I just omit the cream cheese? Plus how much of this buttercream should I make for a 14” three layer cake, to fill and cover, plus would this be ok under fondant?
    Look forward to your reply

  3. Hello! I haven’t baked the cake yet but wanted to congratulate you and your family on the birth of your son! Hope you’re not too sleep deprived.

  4. 5 stars
    I love brown butter! When I was pregnant I’d make it all the time and as soon as it was cool enough to eat I’d dip dinner rolls in and scrape as much of those browned particles as I could! I’m making your recipes now and my kitchen smells heavenly. ? i can’t wait to try it

  5. Hi, could you clarify the information on the nutritional value label? It indicates the values for 1 gr of buttercream, is this correct? Or does it refer to the 6 portions the recipe is intended for? Thank you!

  6. Hi Liz! First congratulations and hope u will be able to keep on doing more videos with 2 kids ?!!!
    I love brown butter, but I was wondering if I can use this recipe under fondant??? Love from Switzerland!

  7. Hi Liz, would this buttercream pair well with the banana cake? Thanks

  8. 5 stars
    Hi Liz, I am making the banana cake, do you think this buttercream will pair nicely with it. Thanks

  9. Hi Liz, I’m absolutely addicted to your website! I’ll have to say thank you for saving all my worries! Question, Can you make this Icing ahead of time and refrigerate it?

  10. 5 stars
    How long can this stay at room temp?

  11. 5 stars
    I made the frosting and it was awesome! Thanks for sharing

  12. Hello Liz,

    Will this recipe yield enough frosting for 24 cupcakes?

  13. 5 stars
    I was introduced to brown butter when looking for a different recipe for baking chocolate chip cookies, which by the way taste so much better than regular butter. So moving forward to yesterday, my youngest daughter’s 22nd birthday, I wanted to bake her a cake. I came across your recipe for the frosting and decided to incorporate the brown butter in the cake batter as well. My daughter was so happy. She said everthing was absolutely delicious. The recipe for the frosting is so simple and easy to make. I just to had to make sure that I used enough confectioners sugar to acheive the desired constistency I needed to frost the cake.

    Thank you and congradulations on you new bundle of love!!!

  14. Looks delish. I need to find a recipe that makes the brown butter step first though before I make this frosting. I’m wondering what the brand and size is the stand mixer you are using. Maybe it isn’t as super heavy as the KitchenAid stand mixer I have now. Anyway, once I make the frosting, I will rate. Thanks so much.

  15. So glad you shared the mixer info! I’ve wanted one like this forever! Good to know what brand it is. Thank you!

  16. 5 stars
    Use this on my carrot cakes and my cinnamon rolls. Delicious!

  17. 5 stars
    Finally tried browned butter icing. It adds such a lovely caramel taste to the icing. Perfect for my spice apple cake

  18. 5 stars
    Haven’t tried this yet, but it looks great! I love brown butter. Do you think it would work to substitute the cream cheese for vegetable shortening? I like making my frosting with a combo of butter and a little shortening for stability, so I was wondering if you think this would work!

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