Brown Butter Apple Cinnamon Cake

8 Servings
50 min

I was a student at university when I first discovered my love for apple cinnamon cakes. I was initially skeptical about having a cake with apples and cinnamon but I decided to try it anyway.

It was the best thing ever.

I soon found a recipe online and it has been the recipe I have used for years. I recently decided to take the recipe up a notch by using browned butter to give a depth of flavor to the cake.

How to make Brown Butter Apple Cinnamon Cake

This brown butter apple cinnamon cake recipe uses very basic baking ingredients and is extremely easy to put together. There are some pointers you will need to make sure your recipe is perfect every time.

  • Your butter will need to be browned before you start this recipe. You should give some time between browning the butter and making the cake to allow the browned butter solidify. I normally brown my butter a day ahead of baking, allow it cool down and then pop it into the fridge. On the day of baking, I simply put the browned butter out and allow it to come back to room temperature before using it for baking. For this recipe, I would recommend browning 1 cup (225 grams) of unsalted butter. That way, you have enough to make this recipe.
  • You will cream your browned butter and sugar to incorporate air into your batter. This will help with the rising of the cake. Because this recipe requires you to cream your butter and sugar, I would not recommend using oil or melted butter as a substitute.
  • Your brown sugar can either be dark or light brown sugar. Both will work fine. I prefer using dark brown sugar as it gives a deeper flavor to the cake.
  • Pure vanilla extract will be a good substitute for dark rum in this recipe

Can I use a different pan for this recipe?

This recipe can be made in a small (8 x 4 inch /1 lb /6 cup) loaf pan if you don't have a standard 9 by 5-inch pan. You can also bake this cake in an 8-inch square pan. Remember if you choose to use a different pan you will need to adjust the baking time. Domestic ovens vary a lot so keep an eye on your cake as it bakes. I would suggest checking your cake once it hits the 30-minute mark and you should continue checking until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Can I use normal butter for this apple cinnamon recipe?

Yes, you can. However, the flavor of the cake would change as the browned butter adds a nutty caramel flavor to the cake. If you need help with browning butter, you can check out this easy tutorial to guide you. Trust me, it is really easy to brown butter and it is so worth it in this recipe.

What apple is best for baking this recipe?

Granny Smith works perfectly! It holds its shape really well in baking and it has a sweet-tart flavor that works so well with this recipe. If you can't get a hold of Granny Smith apples, you can use Gala apples but I highly recommend going with Granny Smith apples.

If you have any more questions about this recipe, please let me know and I would be happy to help out.

Brown Butter Apple Cinnamon Cake
Recipe details
  • 8  Servings
  • Prep time: 20 Minutes Cook time: 30 Minutes Total time: 50 min
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Brown Butter Apple Cinnamon Cake Recipe
  • 1/2 cup (115 grams) browned unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 11/2 cup (190 grams) plain flour
  • 13/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 11/2 tsp dark rum
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) whole milk, room temperature
For the Brown Sugar Apples
  • 2 medium apples, washed, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) brown sugar
For the Cinnamon Sugar
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
Make the Cinnamon Cake
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with baking spray or cake releaser. Alternatively, you can line your pan with parchment paper.
In a bowl, sift together your flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, Cream your brown butter and sugar for 3 minutes. You should see the speckles from the browned butter and it should be light and fluffy once you are done.
Add your eggs one at a time, mixing until just combined. Your batter should be smooth when both eggs have been mixed.
Add your rum into your milk and stir.
Alternately, add your flour mixture and milk mixture into your batter. Start with 1/3 of flour, mix until combined, follow with ½ of your milk and mix until combined. Repeat this until all the flour and milk have been added in.
Make the Brown Sugar Apples
Mix together your chopped apples and brown sugar.
Make the Cinnamon Sugar
Mix together your sugar and cinnamon in another bowl.
Assemble your Cake Batter
Pour your batter into your pan. Add your brown sugar-apple mix on top. Use a skewer or the end of a fork to create a swirl in the batter.
Sprinkle your cinnamon sugar.
Bake in your preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Allow your cake to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes before removing from the pan and letting it cool down completely.
  • Barbara Whitaker Barbara Whitaker on Sep 23, 2020

    Do you really mean 180 f degrees?

  • Karent Karent on Sep 23, 2020

    Barbara - I'm pretty sure she means Celsius. That would be about 350° Farenheit :-)

    She uses grams in her measurements. A definite clue.

    Giving 1 star for that was a bit harsh.