Yesterday I was just browsing around Tastespotting and Foodgawker as usual when I stumbled upon a recipe for Nigella Lawson’s brown butter cupcakes. Being the sucker for brown butter that I am, I needed to make them.
Brown butter is my ultimate therapy. I love cutting up the butter, watching it melt and slowly transform into a deep amber color with bubbles escaping and the nutty aroma invading the kitchen. Brown butter just makes me happy. I’m definitely guilty of making brown butter and refrigerating it and using it in recipes that in no way call for brown butter. But I guess those are the things you do when you love something and are desperate to incorporate it into everything you eat.
And yes: brown butter is that good. Trust me!
I would bathe in the stuff if I could. Likely, that would end up in a very greasy person, but it would smell like heaven. Anyways, back to cupcakes.
When I saw this recipe I immediately starting putting the cupcakes together. Once I got the cupcakes in the oven, I began to work on the frosting. Then I had an epiphany.
Why no combine my ultimate two favorite flavors into one perfect cupcake? So I did. I browned more butter, stuck it in the refrigerator for a little while and let it come back to softened butter consistency. 1/2 cup of dulce de leche, some powdered sugar, and a bit of vanilla later and the browned butter dulce de leche frosting was born.
But that’s not all. Oh no. I whipped out my handy-dandy cupcake corer and filled each cupcake with even more dulce de leche. A swirl of frosting, a sprinkling of sea salt, and my perfect cupcake was born.
My dad despises anything that doesn’t have chocolate in them…but he loved these. My health-nut sister was licking the cupcake wrapper. My mom couldn’t stop raving about how amazing they were. I would consider them a success. Try them; I promise you’ll love them.
Browned Butter Dulce De Leche Cupcakes
For the cupcakes
For the frosting
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp. heavy cream or milk
- 1 tbsp. vanilla
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup dulce de leche
For the cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Put butter in a small saucepan on medium heat, stirring until it turns a dark golden color. Take the pan off the heat. Let the butter solidify again; I do this by placing it in the freezer for about 10 minutes. This allows it to solidify on top and when you stir it, it will be the consistency of softened butter.
- When the butter is solid, but still soft, put all the cake ingredients except the milk in a food processor (or mixer) and pulse to a smooth batter. Add the milk down the funnel, pulsing sparingly to form a soft, dropping mixture.
- Divide among the paper cups, and cook for 15-20 minutes. Makes 12.
For the frosting
- Brown butter the same way as you did before; allow it to come back to room temperature.
- Put dulce de leche and browned butter into mixer and cream together. Mix in vanilla, cream, and salt. Mix in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until desired consistency is reached.
- Using cupcake corer or a knife, scoop out the top, center of the cupcake when they're cool and fill with dulce de leche. Frost as desired and sprinkle a little sea salt on top (optional; I like to do this because it cuts the sweetness a bit).