I think maybe I've found the easiest recipe from the Milk Bar cookbook in this brown butter cake! I mean, you don't have to make anything ahead! What?! Madness! No but seriously, this is definitely one of the easiest recipes I've made from the book thus far. From starting to eating, it's only about 1-1 1/2 hours or so. You can't beat that!
The BF was concerned he wouldn't like it, as some of the things I've made from the cookbook have been a little too sweet for him (for example, the corn cookies I would only make if you have a kitchen scale, because I made them one time just using the cups and teaspoons, and they tasted much sweeter). However, while it is still sweet, being a cake and all, it isn't too sweet. And what's really interesting is the use of the kosher salt. It gives you these nice little kicks of salt every now and then that cut the sweetness down. That may sound strange, but it totally isn't in practice.
Though Christina notes in the book that you can brown your butter in the microwave, I admit I just did it the old-fashioned way on the stove. And can you beat the smell of brown butter? My goodness, no! Why does it smell so amazing?
The cake comes out light while also slightly dense. She calls for using a quarter sheet pan to bake it in, but also noted that if you didn't mix things juuuuust right, then it could bake over the edges or something! I was like hot dang, I don't want that, and a 9x13 pan is basically the same size as a quarter sheet pan, so I just did that instead. And it turned out great! It baked in exactly 30 minutes, the minimum recommended time she has below. So I would say just go with the 9x13 so you don't have to worry, the edges are taller so it's less likely to go crazy in the oven for some reason.
Definitely recommend this one! It's easy and delicious. Like, seriously, is there an easier recipe in this cookbook? Doesn't seem like it!
Barely Brown Butter Cake
- 55 g (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 40 g (2 Tbsp) brown butter
- 250 g (1 1/4 cups) granulated sugar
- 60 g (1/4 cup packed) light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 110 g (1/2 cup) buttermilk
- 65 g (1/3 cup) grapeseed oil
- 2 g (1/2 tsp) vanilla extract
- 185 g (1 1/2 cups) cake flour
- 4 g (1 tsp) baking powder
- 4 g (1 tsp) kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Combine the butters and sugars in your stand mixer, and mix on medium-high for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs, mixing again for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down that bowl once again.
- Stream in the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla while the paddle is on low speed. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 5-6 minutes, until the mixture is white and homogenous.
- On low speed, add in the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix for 45-60 seconds, until the batter comes together and all dry ingredients have been incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl one last time and mix for another 45 seconds to make sure any lumps of flour are incorporated.
- Spray a 9x13 pan. Spread the cake batter evenly in the pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. At 30 minutes, gently poke the edge of the cake with your finger, it should bounce back slightly and the center shouldn't be jiggly. If it doesn't do that, leave it in for another 3-5 minutes.
- Cool the cake on a wire rack, or if you have to, in the fridge or freezer.
Recipe from Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook