Brown Butter Cushaw Mini Cakes with Brown Butter Buttercream

Prep 15 mins
Cook 25 mins
Add'l 20 mins
Total 1 hr

Brown Butter Cushaw Mini Cakes with Brown Butter Buttercream

There are some things in life that are just meant to be.

Milk and Oreos.

Lindsay HoHan and Jail.

Tequila and Limes.

Flip Flops and Pedicures.

Chocolate and PMS.

Carrie and Big.

Orange Juice and Champagne.

Other People’s Kids and Benadryl.

Me and Brown Butter.


It’s a Brown Butter palooza up in here today! For the last Cushaw post, I just had to pull out the big guns. First, I made the cakes into mini cakes. It is a proven fact that almost anything smaller is cuter. Then I topped those adorable square cakes with a big swirl of buttercream. And to really seal the deal, I added brown butter to both the cake and frosting. Are you swooning yet?  You should be.

I wish I had a scratch and sniff sticker for your screen. Wouldn’t that be awesome? I think whoever is in charge of the iPhone 5 needs to go ahead and get started on that technology. Scratch & Sniff Screens! It’s totally the way of the future.

I am going to say something that might be quite shocking. This very well might be my favorite cupcake/cake combination…ever. Seriously, ever. It took me 4 tries to get the cake recipe right, but it was so worth it in the end!

The Brown Butter Cushaw Mini Cakes were perfectly spongy while still staying moist. The cushaw flavor is light and adds to the overall flavor instead of being overpowering. And the Brown Butter Buttercream? Heaven. Pure heaven. If you are a brown butter fan — and really who isn’t?? — you must try this out immediately. I am not joking, do it. Now. πŸ˜€

Yield: 12 Mini Cakes (or 12 cupcakes)

Brown Butter Cushaw Mini Cakes with Brown Butter Buttercream

Group of Brown Butter Cushaw Mini Cakes with Brown Butter Buttercream

Brown Butter Cushaw Mini Cakes with Brown Butter Buttercream are sweet individual cakes, made with fresh cushaw squash! These spongy brown butter cakes can easily be made into cupcakes too, just FYI.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • pinch of cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup pureed cushaw
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar


For the Brown Butter Cushaw Mini Cakes: 

  1. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, swirling pan occasionally, until butter turns golden brown. Transfer to a bowl and let cool until no longer warm to the touch, about 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare mini cake pan by spraying with Baker’s Joy or rubbing with butter.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk all dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and pepper) until well combined. Set aside.
  4. In large bowl, whisk together browned butter, brown sugar, and egg. Add cushaw and vanilla extract, whisk until well combined.
  5. Slowly whisk in the flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk, until there are no lumps.
  6. Divide batter evenly among mini cake tins. Bake for 14-16 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let rest for 5 minutes and then transfer to a metal cooling rack. Once cool, frost with Brown Butter Buttercream.

For the Brown Butter Buttercream:

  1. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, swirling pan occasionally, until butter turns golden brown. Transfer to a bowl and let cool until the butter has come to room temperature and solidified again. To speed it up, you can pop it in the fridge…just watch it so it doesn’t get too cold and become hard (if it does, just let it sit on the counter till it becomes room temperature).
  2. Cream the browned butter in the bowl of an electric or stand mixer. Add the vanilla extract, cinnamon, and pinch of salt. Slowly add the powdered sugar and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl thoroughly after each addition. Pipe onto mini cakes using your favorite tip. Store in an airtight container until ready to serve.


Recipe Note: If you haven’t been able to find a cushaw yet, don’t fret! You can still try out this recipe! Just swap out the cushaw for canned pumpkin or pureed sweet potatoes and add an extra 2 tablespoons of buttermilk!

TNCB original

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 214Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 210mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 0gSugar: 30gProtein: 2g

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27 Responses
  1. Connie Lynn

    Jessica! OMG! I don’t know ya and I already love ya! CarrIe & Big (remember when he was moving to Calif. and he didn’t tell her and they danced to “Moon River” like his parents use to. And when she came back to his empty apart. he had left her the album? ~ oh that scene can still bring me to tears.
    Lindsay LoHan and Jail ~ I am still laughing out loud. Choco & p.m.s. ~ oh, yeah. And O.J. and Champayne. Any chance I get!
    Love your site. Can’t wait to try the Brown Butter Cookies and Brown Butter Icying!

  2. Lucie (Thursday Night Dinner)

    such a unique way to use a great fall vegestable (its a veggie right?) plus whats not to love about brown butter πŸ™‚ yumm

  3. DessertForTwo

    Other people’s kids + benedryl? YUP! hehe, sounds like you had a similar weekend to me πŸ˜‰

    These are sooo cute!

    I gotta give you props for testing the recipe with pumpkin just in case we can’t find cushaw. I know (all too well) what a pain that was. Blog hi-five! πŸ™‚

  4. Kita

    Other People’s Kids and Benadryl? Oh, Id go right for the Tylonal PM (Nyquil or whatever else I could get my hands on that may knock either one of us out faster). lol
    I would have never thought of a cushaw cake but it looks like you rocked this one.
    Oh and IPhone 5 ppl – I second the scratch and sniff screen.

  5. Madeline

    HA! I laughed out loud reading through the list of things that are meant to be. I couldn’t have made a better list myself. I’m loving these baby cakes! Do you cook them at the same amount time as you would if they were in muffin tins?

    1. Jessica

      You should be able to cook them the same amount of time. However depending on the muffin tin size, they might need to be cooked a few minutes longer. Just keep an eye on them! πŸ™‚

  6. kelly

    browned butter is probably the best thing. ever. i made this this morning with pumpkin. pumpkin and browned butter, enough said. πŸ™‚ i’ve been smelling it allll day and can’t wait to taste it tonight! thanks for the recipe!

  7. naomi

    Okay, we might be kindred baking spirits-i LOVE brown butter and rarely make cookies without browning the butter.

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this little baby cushaw cakes.

  8. JavelinWarrior

    This post is so fetish-worthy, I’ve been inspired to include it in my Friday Food Fetish blog. If you have any objections, please let me know

  9. Nutmeg Nanny

    These little cakes look amazing! I have not seen any cushaw in my area but I’m going to keep looking πŸ™‚

    Also, I’m totally on board with the benadryl comment….

  10. Joanne

    Have you ever had browned butter ice cream? It’s kind of hte best thing on earth…you need to get on that.

    Although this brown butter buttercream might give it a run for it’s money. I’ll let you know after I make (and eat) a whole batch.

  11. jaclyn

    these look delish! so glad i suggested brown butter buttercream…i bet they made these teeny tiny babycakes CRAZY GOOD. πŸ™‚

  12. cassie//bake your day

    This sounds wonderful…brown butter is the way to go. I bet the cushaw makes it so moist too. Great recipe!

  13. natalie (the sweets life)

    I’ve really enjoyed your Cushaw posts—hopefully some day I’ll come across one and can give some of these recipes a go πŸ™‚

  14. Cookbook Queen

    Can you believe that i live in Arkansas and have never heard of a Cushaw!! When i first read the title of your post I thought it said CASHEW….total duh moment πŸ˜‰

    These cakes look and sound amazing!! I’m going to have my eye out for Cushaw now!!

  15. Kelly

    Ahaha! Other people’s kids and Benadryl! Girl you crack me up!!

    Oh and I’ll take a half dozen of those cakes. x10…

  16. The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh

    These look like heaven on a plate. Brown butter frosting…HELLLLLO!?!?! Kinda makes you want to make a vat, jump in and bathe cat style. Am I alone in that thought? Don’t answer that.

  17. Choc Chip Uru

    These mini cakes are something I couldn’t say no to – in rain, sunshine, night, snow – anywhere and anytime πŸ™‚

  18. Kathryn

    These are the best – the cakes look perfect and light and I want all of that brown butter frosting in a big bowl in front of me right now.

  19. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga

    I love you:
    Lindsay HoHan and Jail.
    Tequila and Limes.
    OPK’s and Benadryl

    LOL at all of these. And love your recipe!

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I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
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