Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice.

The brown sugar is of the dark brown, aka demerara, variety because I’ve decided it’s the best dang sugar on the planet. The spice is cinnamon because, let’s face it, it’s the rock star of all spices. The everything nice part refers to brown butter because a smidgen of brown butter makes everything nicer.

That’s what little girls are supposed to be made of, but instead it’s my cake. Let’s just be clear that this is 100% cake. No little girls were harmed in the baking of this cake.


A little off topic, but did I ever mention how much I hate ribbon roses? Well I do. They’re not nice, unlike brown butter. I spent hours of quality time with my piping bag practicing the technique and I only got these eight measly excuses for ribbon roses. I also spent those hours swearing very unlike a little girl. Ok, so they’re not half bad, but my perfectionist brain disagrees.

They say practice makes perfect, but what if I don’t want to have anything to do with these little monsters anymore? Let’s just settle for mediocre ribbon roses shall we? Ok deal.

Brown Sugar Brown Butter Cake

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup milk

Note: This recipe is for one 9 inch cake layer. I doubled the recipe to make two cakes.

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In a small sauce pan cook the butter on medium heat for about 6 – 8 minutes until the foam subsides, the butter turns brown and you smell that delicious caramel scent. Remove it from the heat then allow it to cool and harden slightly in a bowl in the refrigerator for 15 – 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and position a rack in the center. Butter and flour a 9 inch round cake pan and set it aside.

In a large bowl cream together the brown butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla then beat them in.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. Alternately add the dry ingredients and milk in thirds to the butter mixture, making sure not to over mix the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth out the top. Bake it for 25 – 30 minutes until it’s golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan at least 10 – 15 minutes before flipping it out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Banana Frosting

Source: My imagination.

1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 bananas, mashed
1/4 tsp salt
3 – 5 cup powdered sugar

In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream together the butter, mashed banana and salt. Gradually add the powdered sugar until you get your desired consistency.

Using a long serrated knife or a cake leveller slice your cake into either two or four layers depending on whether or not you decided to make a second 9 inch cake. Place the bottom layer of cake on a serving patter and evenly spread your Banana frosting on top. Repeat this step for each layer.

Vanilla Buttercream

Source: Adapted from Wilton’s Buttercream Icing.

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 – 4 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp milk

Note: This recipe is perfect for covering four layers of cake, two 9 inch cakes. If you want more icing for decorating you should double it like I did.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream together the shortening and butter until it’s smooth. Add the almond extract and beat it well. Add the powdered sugar gradually, scraping down the sides of the bowl when needed. When the icing is ready it will appear dry so mix in the milk and beat it until it’s light a fluffy.

Colour your icing as desired and, after frosting the cake, pipe your decorations onto your cake as creatively as you’d like. I used a small star tip for the shell boarder, a small round tip for the dots and medium petal and round tips for the roses. Enjoy!

25 thoughts on “Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice.

  1. Evan@swEEts

    I think your ribbon roses look great! and this cake sounds delicious.. I think highly of cinnamon as well I add it to my coffee every morning!

  2. Cookbook Queen

    So, you know that I’m a cake decorator, right? I’ve done cakes for years. Wanna know a secret? (Shhhh….lean in real close…) I can’t do roses.

    1. Lindsey

      Thanks Kristan! That means a lot to me coming from you. Fondant would be soooo much easier and you could have the control to make sure they’re perfect. Maybe next time.

  3. Sharlene (Wheels and Lollipops)

    I think your ribbons look great !! Much better than mine could ever look. Your photos are beautiful. I’m going to have to note this recipe for future use, without the banana because I have banana issues

  4. Anne's Kitchen

    Oh Lindsey, your roses ARE perfect, because they have that artisan home-made look, not that crappy store-bought fake perfection! I’ve never tried making a rose but I know I’d suck at it. And you were swearing whilst making them? Good girl! I have a tendency to swear at my food too, foul-mouthed as we are, it’s the perfectionism that shines through – and hey, the results speak for themselves, right?!

  5. Sara Angel

    Brown sugar brown butter? Um, hell yes. And your roses are adorable. Think you could do a tutorial? I would be very interested!

    1. Lindsey

      Basically what I did can be seen much better on the Wilton website through the link I provided. They’re provided step by step instructions, but unfortunately no video.

  6. Lynn Usary

    I love any thing Pretty and that rose is really pretty I would love to see the step by step photos on that one!!! This cake looks like a MUST make… But I want it pretty like yours!!!

    1. Lindsey

      Thanks! You can see the step by step instructions on the Wilton ribbon rose link I provided above. Good luck!

  7. Serina

    Hi….I need to make a banana filling to go inside of a chocolate cake. I’ve been looking for the best one…how did yours turn out? I don’t want it to make the inside of my cake soggy either and the banana with just the powdered sugar sounds like the best bet

    1. Lindsey

      Hi Serina! This banana filling worked out really well as a cake filling and a cookie filling. Just make sure to add enough powdered sugar because it tends to be a little gloopy otherwise. Good luck!


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