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Orange Cake with Brown Butter Glaze

Orange Cake with Brown Butter Glaze

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 66 minutes
Servings: 16 Serves 16.
Brown butter lends a nutty flavor to the glaze for this Bundt® cake. Although brown butter is easy to prepare, watch carefully so it does not burn.


For the cake:

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup amaretto liqueur
  • 12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. finely chopped orange zest

For the glaze:

  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs. water
  • 1 Tbs. amaretto liqueur
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

  • Confectioners' sugar for dusting (optional)


Have all the ingredients at room temperature.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 350°F. Grease and flour a violet Bundt® pan; tap out excess flour.

To make the cake, over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the milk and amaretto; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk mixture and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat each addition just until incorporated, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the orange zest.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, spreading the batter so the sides are higher than the center. Bake until the center of the cake springs back when touched and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool upright in the pan for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the glaze: In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, water and amaretto; set aside.

In a small fry pan over medium heat, melt the butter, then cook until the solids separate and settle on the pan bottom, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook until the solids begin to brown, about 3 minutes; do not let them burn. Remove from the heat and let cool for 1 minute, then stir in the brown sugar mixture.

Tap the Bundt® pan gently on a work surface to loosen the cake. Set the rack over a sheet of waxed paper, invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan. Using a pastry brush, brush the warm cake with the glaze. Let the cake cool completely before serving. Dust with confectioners' sugar just before serving.
Serves 16.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.