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Luscious Brown Butter Walnut Cake with Maple Glaze

Luscious Brown Butter Walnut Cake with Maple Glaze from Out of the Box Baking.com

If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know how much I love brown butter. I use it in some of my frostings and I make a mean brown butter pecan cookie. (Yum!)

Today I stared at this giant bag of walnuts and knew they had to be used in a cake. But, what kind? I had a yellow cake mix. (Hey, I’ve got a cupboard full of cake mixes!) And I had butter. So the idea came to me: use brown butter in a bundt cake and add walnuts. Lots and lots of toasted walnuts.

What is brown butter?

Luscious Brown Butter Walnut Cake with Maple Glaze from Out of the Box Baking.com

For those who might have missed my earlier posts, browned butter is rich with flavor. It adds a nutty depth to your baked goods. It’s easy to make, too, though you do have to watch it carefully while it’s bubbling on the stove!

We’ll go over the details later on. But trust me when I say it was the perfect addition to this easy cake.

What makes this walnut cake perfect?

This rich yellow cake, loaded with browned butter, toasted walnuts, and vanilla extract will make you swoon. The addition of sour cream makes it sturdy and moist and the milk adds a luscious texture. The brown butter maple glaze on top? Well, that’s just the icing on the cake! (Literally!)

Here’s what you’ll need to make this tasty cake, which is perfect for sharing with friends and family:

Brown Butter Walnut Cake Ingredients

FOR THE CAKE

  • yellow cake mix
  • butter
  • eggs
  • sour cream
  • milk
  • vanilla extract
  • chopped walnuts

FOR THE GLAZE

  • butter
  • powdered sugar
  • maple extract
  • Caramel sauce (optional)
  • milk (optional, to bring the glaze together, if necessary)

Wondering how to make this cake? It’s easy to pull together but requires a bit of focus!

How to Make this Luscious Cake

Let’s start with the browned butter:

First, place two sticks of butter into a saucepan on the stove. Turn on medium-low heat. Allow the butter to simmer. It will rise, foam, and then begin to fall. Watch it carefully. Stir frequently. When you see the color change to golden, it’s ready. (Trust me, you’ll notice the delicious nutty scent!)

Pour the butter (and all of the browned bits) into a bowl and refrigerate while you’re prepping the walnuts.

Chop the nuts and place them into a large skillet. (Note: Next time I will chop the nuts more, making them finer.) Turn on medium heat and toast the nuts for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until they heat up and begin to take on a nutty aroma.

Put them into a separate bowl and set aside.

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. As soon as your butter and walnuts have cooled you can start putting the cake together. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

Put cake mix into a medium bowl.

Luscious Brown Butter Walnut Cake with Maple Glaze from Out of the Box Baking.com

Add the butter and stir.

Now add the eggs. Work them in one at a time so you don’t split your batter. Stir until fully incorporated.

Luscious Brown Butter Walnut Cake with Maple Glaze from Out of the Box Baking.com

Add your vanilla extract and sour cream. Fold together until the sour cream is incorporated.

Add half of your milk. Stir until it’s fully mixed. Add the rest of the milk and stir until incorporated.

Luscious Brown Butter Walnut Cake with Maple Glaze from Out of the Box Baking.com

Now it’s time to stir in those luscious walnuts! Add all but a couple of tablespoons, which you will use as decoration on top. Make sure they are evenly distributed in the batter.

Prepared a bundt pan by coating it in baking spray or butter (or oil). Make sure the whole surface is covered.

Put the batter into the pan and place on middle rack in the preheated oven.

Luscious Brown Butter Walnut Cake with Maple Glaze from Out of the Box Baking.com

Bake for 40 minutes or until the cake springs back to the touch. I inserted a cake tester to make sure the inside was fully baked. (It was!) Place on wire rack to cool.

Luscious Brown Butter Walnut Cake with Maple Glaze from Out of the Box Baking.com

Prepare Your Toppings

Make sure walnuts are chopped and ready to go.

To make glaze: In a heavy saucepan, brown one stick of butter. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar. (Adjust the amount of sugar until it reaches a glaze consistency.) Add one teaspoon of maple extract. (If you don’t have maple extract, put a squirt of pancake syrup in the glaze!)

If your glaze isn’t the right consistency, trying adding a dash of milk or heavy cream.

Bring it all Together!

Turn the cake out of the pan onto the wire rack.

While the cake is still warm, spread on the the glaze. Sprinkle toasted walnuts on top and drizzle on some caramel.

If You Love Nutty Flavors…

Here are a few other recipes to try!

  • Butter Pecan Cupcakes: It doesn’t seem right to label these amazing mounds of deliciousness “butter pecan cupcakes” because they are (truly) so much more. They’re the stuff dreams are made of. 
  • Brown Butter Pecan Cookies: You love brown butter. You love pecans. You’re thinking about merging the two into a cookie but don’t know where to start. Check out this recipe!
  • Try my Easy Bananas Foster Cinnamon Rolls. They’re loaded with pecans and oh, so delicious!
  • Caramel Banana Cake: Warm, buttery, caramelly, sweet. . .and loaded with rich banana flavor. This Caramel Banana Cake is absolutely perfect all year ’round!
  • Chunky Oatmeal Craisin Cookies: These cookies are a cross between a traditional old-fashioned oatmeal cookie and a chunky, heavier bite of muffin. They’re simply divine!
  • Check out this Chocolate Walnut Pie Recipe over at Southern Home Express! It looks yummy!

That’s it for now! Let me know what you think about this yummy Brown Butter Walnut Cake with Maple Glaze!


About the Author

Janice Thompson is an author, baker, and all-around mischief maker! She has overcome a host of baking catastrophes, including a toppled wedding cake, to learn more about the baking process. Janice has published over 150 books for the Christian market but particularly enjoys writing recipes and baking devotions. To learn more about Janice or to drop her a note, visit her About the Author page.

Luscious Brown Butter Walnut Cake with Maple Glaze

Luscious Brown Butter Walnut Cake with Maple Glaze

Yield: 18
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

This rich yellow cake, loaded with browned butter, toasted walnuts, and vanilla extract will make you swoon. The addition of sour cream makes it sturdy and moist and the milk adds a luscious texture. The brown butter maple glaze on top? Well, that's just the icing on the cake! (Literally!)

Ingredients

  • Brown Butter Walnut Cake Ingredients
  • FOR THE CAKE:
  • 1 yellow cake mix
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted chopped walnuts (reserve a handful to sprinkle on top)
  • FOR THE GLAZE
  • butter
  • powdered sugar
  • maple extract
  • Caramel sauce (optional)
  • dash milk or cream (optional, to thin glaze)

Instructions

    Wondering how to make this cake? It's easy to pull together but requires a bit of focus!
    Let's start with the browned butter:
    First, place two sticks of butter into a saucepan on the stove. Turn on medium-low heat. Allow the butter to simmer. It will rise, foam, and then begin to fall. Watch it carefully. Stir frequently. When you see the color change to golden, it's ready. (Trust me, you'll notice the delicious nutty scent!)
    Pour the butter (and all of the browned bits) into a bowl and refrigerate while you're prepping the walnuts.
    Chop the nuts and place them into a large skillet. Turn on medium heat and toast the nuts for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until they heat up and begin to take on a nutty aroma.
    Put them into a separate bowl and set aside.
    Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. As soon as your butter and walnuts have cooled you can start putting the cake together. Here's what you'll need to do:
    Put cake mix into a medium bowl.
    Add the butter and stir.
    Now add the eggs. Work them in one at a time so you don't split your batter. Stir until fully incorporated.
    Add your vanilla extract and sour cream. Fold together until the sour cream is incorporated.
    Add half of your milk. Stir until it's fully mixed. Add the rest of the milk and stir until incorporated.
    Now it's time to stir in those luscious walnuts! Add all but a couple of tablespoons, which you will use as decoration on top. Make sure they are evenly distributed in the batter.
    Prepared a bundt pan by coating it in baking spray or butter (or oil). Make sure the whole surface is covered.
    Put the batter into the pan and place on middle rack in the preheated oven.
    Bake for 40 minutes or until the cake springs back to the touch. \
    While cake is baking, make your maple glaze.
    Brown on stick of butter. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar. (Adjust the amount of sugar until it reaches a glaze consistency.) Add one teaspoon of maple extract. (If you don't have maple extract, put a squirt of pancake syrup in the glaze!) If you need to thin out the glaze add a dash of milk or cream.
    When the cake is fully baked, let it cool on a wire rack. While the cake is still warm, add the glaze. Sprinkle more chopped toasted walnuts on top.

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Tuesday 24th of January 2023

[…] Brown Butter Walnut Cake: This rich yellow cake, loaded with browned butter, toasted walnuts, and vanilla extract will make you swoon.  […]

Theresa

Saturday 21st of January 2023

This was a wonderful, taste and easy recipe, thank you. Only the glaze did not work out and I am wondering if you forgot to add milk as an ingredient to the glaze? Followed the glaze directions above, the powered sugar and maple syrup separated into a soft candy from the butter. I added milk and it was as I expected a glaze.

booksbyjanice

Saturday 21st of January 2023

Hey, Theresa! Thanks for getting in touch. I've only made this cake once (before posting) and I don't see any milk in the photo or in the directions, so I don't think I used any. I wonder why yours separated? I might have to try it again to see if mine does the same this time. I might add an addendum to the recipe to stir in a bit of milk or cream to help the glaze come together. How much did you use, do you know? (Thanks for letting me know, by the way!)

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