Browned Butter is the Secret to Next-Level Cream Cheese Frosting


This chocolate carrot cake is extremely delicious — but it would be even better covered in browned butter cream cheese frosting. Joshua John Russell has outdone himself. You just need to plan ahead, because the browned butter needs to firm overnight.

Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 2 pounds unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 pound confectioners’ sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons Madagascar bourbon vanilla-bean paste


1. Make the browned butter the night before. In a sauté pan, melt half the butter over high heat, and cook until medium-brown flecks form. This will take 10 minutes or so.

2. Pour the browned butter into a bowl, cover and leave overnight at room temperature to cool and firm up.

3. The next day, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and free of lumps. You will need to scrape down the bowl a couple of times.

4. Add the browned butter and the remaining room-temperature butter, and mix until smooth.

5. Switch to the mixer's whisk attachment, and add the sugar, salt and vanilla-bean paste. Mix on low until incorporated.

6. Turn the mixer to high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.

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Browned Butter is the Secret to Next-Level Cream Cheese Frosting