Indonesian Spice Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

Taking inspiration from the influence of the Dutch on Indonesian cuisine, this moist spice cake is too good to have only for special occasions. We combine the creamy and nutty flavor of brown butter with warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves for an indulgent treat.

Ingredients

Batter

  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons Nielsen-Massey Indonesian Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 large eggs

Frosting

  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Indonesian Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons milk

Directions

Cake

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line bottom of three 9-inch round cake pans with waxed or parchment paper. Spray the pans with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

In a small bowl, combine sour cream, vanilla and milk; set aside.

Place sugar and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium speed until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add half of the dry ingredients, and mix until smooth. Scrape down the sides of bowl, add half of the sour cream mixture, and mix until perfectly smooth. Repeat with the remaining dry ingredients, followed by the remaining sour cream mixture. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans.

Bake cakes until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer pans to racks and let cool for about 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto racks and cool completely. The cakes can be made one day ahead – store in airtight containers at room temperature.

Frosting

While the cake is baking, melt butter in 1-quart saucepan over medium heat. Continue cooking, stirring constantly and watching closely, 5-6 minutes or until butter just starts to turn golden. Butter will get foamy and bubble. It will smell nutty when ready. Remove from heat and allow to cool at room temperature.

When butter has cooled completely, combine with powdered sugar and vanilla extract in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat at medium speed, gradually add milk, mixing until the frosting has a slightly softer consistency than typical frosting.

Assembly

When cake is completely cooled, place one cake layer on platter. Spread a very thin layer of frosting over the first layer. Top with second cake layer. Spread another thin layer of frosting over the second layer. Top with third cake layer and spread with remaining frosting.

Batter

  • 219 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 180 grams sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons Nielsen-Massey Indonesian Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 95 ml milk
  • 300 grams sugar
  • 170 grams (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 large eggs

Frosting

  • 57 grams (½ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 240 grams powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Indonesian Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons milk

Directions

Cake

Preheat oven to 177°C. Line bottom of three 22-centimeter round cake pans with waxed or parchment paper. Spray the pans with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

In a small bowl, combine sour cream, vanilla and milk; set aside.

Place sugar and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium speed until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add half of the dry ingredients, and mix until smooth. Scrape down the sides of bowl, add half of the sour cream mixture, and mix until perfectly smooth. Repeat with the remaining dry ingredients, followed by the remaining sour cream mixture. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans.

Bake cakes until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer pans to racks and let cool for about 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto racks and cool completely. The cakes can be made one day ahead – store in airtight containers at room temperature.

Frosting

While the cake is baking, melt butter in 1-quart saucepan over medium heat. Continue cooking, stirring constantly and watching closely, 5-6 minutes or until butter just starts to turn golden. Butter will get foamy and bubble. It will smell nutty when ready. Remove from heat and allow to cool at room temperature.

When butter has cooled completely, combine with powdered sugar and vanilla extract in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat at medium speed, gradually add milk, mixing until the frosting has a slightly softer consistency than typical frosting.

Assembly

When cake is completely cooled, place one cake layer on platter. Spread a very thin layer of frosting over the first layer. Top with second cake layer. Spread another thin layer of frosting over the second layer. Top with third cake layer and spread with remaining frosting.

  • 20 minprep

  • 20 mincook

  • 12servings