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Jun 20, 2024

Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cake

Brown butter snickerdoodle cake.. a cinnamon swirled cake made with browned butter in the batter and topped with a cinnamon and vanilla buttercream. 

Three slices of Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cake on small white plates.

This cake incorporates the flavors of the snickerdoodle cookie into a tasty single layer cake. You only need a 9-inch by 9-inch square cake pan, and the only time you need a mixer is to beat the buttercream frosting. 

You actually mix the cake by hand. 

The cinnamon swirl in the cake is pretty magical too. You sprinkle it over half of the batter in the pan, top it with the rest of the batter, and bake the cake. You would think that you would end up with a line of the cinnamon mixture between two layers of cake. Instead, the cinnamon layer swirls throughout the cake magically on its own while the cake bakes! 

Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cake slices on small plates.

What is Browned Butter?

In a nutshell, browned butter, or beurre noisette, is butter that is cooked until the water in the butter evaporates and brown bits start to form at the bottom of the pan. While it is cooking, it sizzles and foams as the water evaporates. 

It adds a nutty caramelized flavor to sauces and baked goods. It's also used as a sauce on its own sometimes. 

Be sure to watch it closely when you are making it and use a light colored pan so you can see when it begins to brown. The window for taking it off the heat and pouring it into a bowl is very short once the brown bits begin to appear at the bottom of the pan. You can burn it pretty easily. 

I've actually used it in snickerdoodle cookies, along with vanilla cake and chocolate chip cookies with delicious results. 

Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cake slices on a cutting board.

Recipe Tips:

This recipe calls for buttermilk in both the cake batter and in the buttercream frosting. You can substitute powdered buttermilk in the cake by adding the powder to the flour mixture and the equivalent measure of water to the liquid ingredients. If you do this, you can use either plain yogurt or sour cream in the frosting instead of the buttermilk. 

Be sure to sift the confectioner's sugar before beating it into the butter to prevent any lumps. 

The frosting recipe also calls for white vinegar. Rest assured, you won't taste it. It's there to mellow the sweetness in the buttercream. 

After baking, it's really hard not to pick at and taste the edges of the cake with your fingers for all of the cinnamon-y goodness with your fingers, just to "neaten things up." 

Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cake just baked in the pan with parchment paper.

From the frosting to the filling, this cake is loaded with cinnamon flavor. I found myself taking off small slices from the side of the cake every time I walked by. It was pretty irresistable. 

The cake also stays super moist and fresh for several days, probably because of the buttermilk, sour cream, and grapeseed oil. 

After frosting and serving, just store the rest of the cake at room temperature in the pan under foil or plastic wrap. I like to press some plastic wrap against the exposed edges of the cut cake as well to keep the cake moist. 

Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cake on a plate with a fork in front.

This cake is a cinnamon lover's dream!

The Cake Slice Bakers Logo

Each month The Cake Slice Bakers are offered a selection of cakes from the current book we are baking through. This year it is The Cake Book: Beautiful Sweet Treats for Every Craving by Rebecca Firth (the book is amazing and totally worth adding to your cookbook library). We each choose one cake to bake, and then on the 20th - never before - we all post about our cake on our blogs. There are a few rules that we follow, but the most important ones are to have fun and enjoy baking & eating cakes!

Follow our Facebook and Instagram pages where you can find all of our cakes, as well as inspiration for many other cakes. You can also click on the links below to take you to each of our cakes. If you have a blog and are interested in joining The Cake Slice Bakers and baking along with us, please send an email to thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com for more details.

The Cake Slice Bakers also have a Facebook group called The Cake Slice Bakers and Friends. This group is perfect for those who do not have a blog but want to join in the fun and bake through this book.

The cover of The Cake Book Cookbook

Check out this year's cake book - The Cake Book: Beautiful Sweet Treats for Every Craving - for June 2024 we all chose ~

Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cake with Cinnamon Spice Frosting

Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cake slices on plates.

Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cake

Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cake
Yield: 16 slices
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Brown butter snickerdoodle cake.. a cinnamon swirled cake made with browned butter in the batter and topped with cinnamon and vanilla buttercream.


For the Cinnamon Swirl
  • 110 grams (1/2 cup) light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
For the Cake
  • 113 grams (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 300 grams (1 1/2 cups) granulated sugar
  • 56 grams (1/4 cup) sunflower or grapeseed oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 240 grams (1 cup) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 120 grams (1/2 cup) sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 grams (1 teaspoon) sea salt
  • 360 grams (2 2/3 cups) all purpose flour
For the Cinnamon Spice Frosting
  • 170 grams (12 tablespoons / 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 12 pieces
  • 450 grams (3 3/4 cups) confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract


To Prepare the Cinnamon Filling
  1. Stir together the brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
To Make the Cake
  1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees F and oil a 9 inch by 9 inch cake pan. Line it with parchment paper so that some of the paper falls over the sides of the pan.
  2. Melt the butter over low in a small light-colored or stainless steel saucepan. Once it's melted, turn the heat up to medium, and cook the butter, stirring constantly, until browned bits begin to appear at the bottom of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the butter into a medium mixing bowl. Let cool until lukewarm.
  3. Whisk in the sugar and oil until smooth. Add the eggs and whisk for about 2 minutes until thickened. Add the buttermilk, sour cream, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk for 2 to 3 minutes. With a rubber spatula, fold in the flour until just combined.
  4. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle all of the cinnamon filling evenly over the top. Pour the rest of the batter over the cinnamon filling and smooth the top.
  5. Bake the cake for 45 minutes on the center rack. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan on a rack, and then lift the cake out of the pan with the parchment and cool completely on a wire rack.
To Prepare the Cinnamon Buttercream
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until smooth. Add the buttermilk, cinnamon, vinegar, and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.
  2. Spread over the top of the cooled cake.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

21 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

11 g

Carbs (grams)

73 g

Fiber (grams)

1 g

Net carbs

44 g

Sugar (grams)

27 g

Protein (grams)

4 g

Cholesterol (grams)

68 mg
cake, snickerdoodles, browned butter
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  1. Replies
    1. This one will be one of my "go to" cakes for sure. What's not to like, right?

  2. Your frosting looks divine! We liked this one a lot, too!

    1. Definitely one of the better ones. Plus, it stays moist for days!

  3. That looks heavenly! I wish I had a piece to go with my coffee.


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