Brown Butter Spice Cake with Caramel Icing {Gluten Free}

Hello! How’s your week going so far? I spent 4 days in Miami to be in my friend Amber’s wedding. It was wonderful to be in 70 degree weather! I have been fighting off a cold too so it was great to breath in some warm, humid air instead of the freezing cold dry stuff we are dealing with in Minnesota. Sadly, it rained most of the time we were there but the rain held off the day of the wedding (which was outside) so what more could we ask for?

When we got home the temperature with windchill was somewhere around -20 I think. My car wouldn’t start at the airport, but thanks to Brandon, we were prepared with some sort of magical battery charging thing that made the car start right up. Cold weather always makes me want to stay inside to cook and bake. This Brown Butter Spice Cake with Caramel Icing is the result of a frigid cold day a week or so ago. Brown butter is super easy to make and it is so delicious! It adds a deeper, slightly nutty flavor that is hard to describe but once you taste it, you will know what I mean. If you have never browned butter before this link from Joy the Baker gives some helpful pictures and tips.  How to Brown Butter – Joy the Baker

Brown Butter Spice Cake with Caramel Icing

Spice cake has become a family favorite. Family often requests for my mom to make this for birthdays. She always tops spice cake with a caramel frosting. I loved the combination of spice cake with a sweet and slightly salty caramel frosting, but haven’t had it since following a gluten free diet.

Brown Butter Spice Cake with Caramel Icing

Instead of whipping up a cake from scratch…as if that is something I could even do…I turned to my favorite cake mix as a base. I used the white cake mix from Beyond the Grain Gluten Free. This recipe still follows the package directions with a few little changes. I add in ground cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. If you’re like me you have a pumpkin pie spice sitting in the cupboard begging to be used up. The recipe calls for softened butter but I use brown butter instead to elevate the flavor of the spice cake even more.

Brown Butter Spice Cake with Caramel Icing

This cake is topped with a caramel icing. It is sweet, slightly salty, and is good enough to eat by itself. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend tasting it until you ice the cake or you may have issues…

Brown Butter Spice Cake with Caramel Icing

Happy Baking and stay warm!



Brown Butter Spice Cake with Caramel Icing {Gluten Free}
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Spice Cake
  • 1 package Beyond the Grain GF White Cake Mix
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • ½ cup + 2 tbsp buttermilk
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Caramel Icing
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
Spice Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Brown the butter before mixing any other cake ingredients. Use a light colored pan or skillet to brown the butter. This helps to see as the color develops.
  3. Melt the butter over medium heat.
  4. Allow the butter to keep cooking until it turns slightly golden brown. Stir constantly while browning to make sure your butter does not burn. There is a link in this post to butter browning tips.
  5. Pour the butter into a heat-safe dish and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes while you prep the other ingredients.
  6. Add the white cake mix to a mixing bowl. Stir in the ground cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk to combine.
  7. To a separate bowl, add the cooled brown butter and eggs. Beat until completely combined.
  8. Add the butter and egg mixture to the dry ingredients along with the buttermilk. Mix until combined.
  9. Pour into a greased 8-9 inch round or square cake pan.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  11. Let cool completely before icing.
  12. I like to remove my cake from the pan and put on a plate or cake stand before icing.
Caramel Icing
  1. Add butter, milk, brown sugar, and sea salt to a small skillet.
  2. Heat on medium and stir constantly until butter is melted and all ingredients are completely combined.
  3. The caramel will start to foam and bubble when it comes together. Let bubble while stirring for about 1 minute and remove from heat. Add to a heat safe bowl and let stand for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add powdered sugar and mix using a hand mixer until it is smooth and combined.
  5. Let icing cool slightly before pouring on the cake.
  6. Pour on center of cake and use an offset spatula to smooth it the edges. The icing will look slightly thin but will set quickly.


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