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Brown Sugar Pound Cakes with Brown Butter Icing | www.tasteandtellblog.com

I need some baking advice, and I hope there is someone out there that can help me!! I have an issue with cupcakes sinking in the middle. This happen a lot when I make cupcakes from scratch. Last time it happened, I followed some high altitude instructions, and it seemed to work. This time – not so much. Each of my cupcakes sunk, some quite a bit. I keep thinking that maybe I am over-beating the batter, but I was careful not to overbeat these, and they still sunk. Someone please help!!

Besides the sinking, though, these cupcakes tasted wonderful. I’m a sucker for anything with brown butter, anyway, but when I saw that the icing for these was a brown butter icing, I knew I had to make them. Plus the fact that I always have all the ingredients on hand for these is a bonus. These would have really got close to a 5 star rating if they wouldn’t have sunk in the middles!!

Recipe rating: 4 out of 5

Brown Sugar Pound Cakes
from Martha Stewart Cupcakes

Makes 28 – 30

3 cups sifted all- purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup buttermilk
Brown-Butter Icing (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 325F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and brown sugar until pale fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and beating until combined after each.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored up to 3 days at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

To finish, place cupcakes on a wire rack set over a baking sheet; spoon icing over cupcakes and let set. Cupcakes are best eaten the day they are glazed; keep at room temperature until ready to serve.

Brown-Butter Icing
from Martha Stewart Cupcakes

Makes 1 cup

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk, plus more if needed

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, swirling pan occasionally, until nut-brown in color, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and pour butter into a bowl, leaving any burned sediment behind.

Add confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons milk to brown butter; stir until smooth. If necessary, add more milk (up to 2 tablespoons) a little at a time, just until icing is spreadable. Use immediately.

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22 Responses to Cookbook of the Month Recipe – Brown Sugar Pound Cakes with Brown-Butter Icing

  1. kristina says:

    These sound delicious. But unfortunately I don't have the answer to your sinking in the middle dilemma. Will check back on the comments later to see if anyone else has any suggestions… K x

  2. ♥Rosie♥ says:

    Hi Debs, I will try to help….

    Over creaming of a mixture and if the eggs curdle when added… if this happens and they mixture does curdle add a spoonful of flour.

    Do not open an oven door to check the baked good until at least ¾ of the cooking time has elapsed or your cake will collapse and sink the middle. Open and close the oven door gently as yet again this can also contribute for the cake to sink in the middle.

    Also under baked cakes if brought out of the oven and not fully baked through will collapse and sink the middle.

    I am sure between us all we'll get the bottom of things.

    I always say its in the taste that counts ;0)

  3. Gwen says:

    If you're being really really careful not to over beat – you may actually be under beating. For the longest time I couldn't figure out why my biscuits stayed so flat and it turned out that I needed just a little gluten developed so that the biscuit had the strength to hold the air bubbles that were created by the baking powder. Other common culprits are oven temperature, opening the oven door too soon, issues with the amounts of baking powder/soda, and the high altitude things you've tried already.

    Speaking of brown sugar pound cakes – I can highly recommend this one, been making it for some 30 years now http://www.chsugar.com/recipes/recipedisplay.asp?RecipeId=Yo623200554612

  4. Megan{Feasting on Art} says:

    I love brown butter anything and as an icing it sounds especially delicious!!

  5. bridezillabakes says:

    I can't help on the sinking, but they look SO good I might just have to try them for myself and let you know what I come up with. I have a sort of irrational fear of browning butter, though. Is there an over-browning risk?

  6. Steph says:

    I've always heard that if you are over-filling your cupcake pan with too much batter they try to rise, but when there is no where for the batter to go, it sinks. I have found if I only fill the batter 1/2 full, they rise perfectly to the top. They look delicious Deborah!!!

  7. eatme_delicious says:

    Mmmm those cupcakes look delicious, especially the dripping icing yum. Wish I could help with the sinking cupcakes. 🙁 Maybe check out the blog use real butter – she does lots of high altitude baking.

  8. PheMom says:

    Those little cakes look yummy!

    My cupcakes sink every time I overfill or under bake as well. I am terrible about overfilling! Good luck!

  9. Katie says:

    Your cakes look wonderful. Shame some of them sunk a bit but I'm sure they were still delicious

  10. Ryley says:

    What about freshness of ingredients?
    Is you baking soda/powder fresh??
    Couple more things just from googling around. If your oven is not hot enough they may sink. Maybe you should buy a thermometer to make sure your oven temperature is right.. you also have to make sure its preheated enough. I'm a horrible preheater!

  11. Emily says:

    I'm all about brown sugar and browned butter, so I know I would like these.

  12. Stacy says:

    I've never had brown butter icing but can't wait to give it a try! They look wonderful!!!

    PS.)Thanks to you and all of your wonderful posts I ran right out and purchased the Martha Cupcakes book this weekend. Can't wait to try them all!!! Yum!


  13. The Purple Foodie says:

    The gorgeous icing dripping off the cake totally distracted me from the sunken cupcake! I love a good cake with brown butter and this recipe sounds lovely.

  14. Jean Bugs says:

    Ooh, these look delicious! I have trouble with my cupcakes sinking, too. (I have an oven thermometer so I know the temp is correct.)I think my problem is overfilling. I always think "just a little more" and then that puts then over the edge. I don't know. But these do look yummy!!!

  15. Grace says:

    i don't have an answer for you, but i have to say–i love a sunken mini-cake simply because an icing or glaze has a wonderful place to pool up. 🙂

  16. Katrina says:

    That happens to my cupcakes, too and it really annoys me when I know good cupcakes are made without this happening. I like Rosie's answers. I did hear that it could be from underbaking and then the cupcake going from one extreme heat to cooling too quickly. ??
    They do sound good though!

  17. Mrs. L says:

    I so need to crack open that MS Cupcake book and start baking! This sounds like one of the recipes I'll try.

  18. Ingrid says:

    Wish I could help but the last batch of cuppycakes (Martha's snickedoodle ones)I made shrunk! Very sad. If you find out what it is hope you post the info. Meanwhile thankfully thankfully it didn't effect the taste. Mine? Yuck!

  19. Ingrid says:

    I should probablyproof read my comment before publishing! 🙁

  20. kamailesfood says:

    These sound delicious. I love brown sugar.

    Some cupcake recipes I've tried sink more readily than others it seems. I haven't figured that one out. Seems like there's a lot of good tips in the comments though.

  21. Kim says:

    I'm with you–anything with brown butter is so yummy! I'll have to try these!

  22. EverydayMama says:

    It may have sunk, but it still looks delicious, I'm definitely going to give them a try!

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