Burnt Butter Crumble Cake

Burnt butter doesn’t sound particularly appealing, does it?  But this simple cake uses it to impart an almost nutty flavour to what is really just a basic sponge.  The weighed butter is melted on a medium heat until the solids start to catch and “burn”, you just have to hold your nerve.  Remember though that once you turn off the hob the residual heat in the pan will keep cooking the butter, therefore it needs to be taken off the heat just before the butter is brown enough.

Butter- nearly burnt
Butter- nearly burnt

This is then put into the freezer to cool for a while.  Meanwhile I made the crumble portion, which I also stuck into the freezer.

Burnt Butter Crumble Cake



110g butter

150g plain flour

75g caster sugar

½ teaspoon baking soda

Pinch of salt


175g butter

300g plain flour

200g caster sugar

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 ½ baking powder

Scant ½ teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

2 eggs

110ml of sour cream (or plain yoghurt)


Combine the crumb ingredients in your mixer and pulse until they look like breadcrumbs. Freeze until required.

In a small saucepan cook the butter (cake ingredients) over a medium heat until the solids start to turn brown.  Transfer to a freezer proof bowl and put into the freezer for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180oC,  and line a 23cm loose ring tin.

Mix the flour, salt, sugar, baking soda and baking powder.  Scrape in the butter and mix well.  Add in the sour cream, eggs and vanilla essence and mix well again.

Transfer into the prepared tin and add the crumb to the top using a spoon, leaving it in clumps.

Cook for 50 minutes or until golden brown on top and a skewer comes out clean from the centre of the cake.

Leave to cool in the tin, serve with a dollop of softly whipped cream.

Burnt Butter Crumb Cake
Burnt Butter Crumb Cake

I subscribe to far too many online cookery newsletters, and this cake is based on one I found in Food & Wine, another good one is Bon Appetit, both are American publications as it happens (I also follow some French and UK ones too for balance!), but find it takes my a few goes at making them to get them right, probably as I’m converting the units of measurement badly!

Burnt Butter Crumb Cake
Burnt Butter Crumb Cake
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