Gluten-Free Brown Butter & Bourbon Cupcakes Recipe

  • A fluffy brown butter cake brings me right back to my childhood. There’s something special about the smell of it baking and enjoying bite after bite of a buttery spice cake. To bring my childhood to the here and now, I created a homemade bourbon frosting to pair with the cake. That’s right, we’re baking with booze! These cupcakes are perfect for the Kentucky Derby, and all bets are on you earning a coveted “Best Dessert” award at any celebration.


    I started these bourbon cupcakes by adding a flavorful browned butter and my favorite combination—cinnamon and sugar—to a basic gluten-free cake mix. Don’t worry, browning butter is easier than it sounds. There’s a first for everything, and this recipe was my first frosting from scratch. It’s almost too delicious, and I found that the best part about making a bourbon frosting is the taste testing. Which can lead to a party before the baking is finished.

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    Gluten Free Brown Butter And Bourbon Cupcake Recipe

    I started these cupcakes by adding a flavorful browned butter and my favorite combo---cinnamon and sugar---to a basic gluten-free cake mix.

    Prep Time:
    Cook time:
    Servings: 12 cupcakes


    • butter: ½ cup, browned + 1 cup, softened
    • cinnamon sugar: 1 teaspoon
    • eggs: 3
    • gluten-free vanilla cake mix: 1 box
    • vanilla extract: 2 teaspoons
    • water: ⅔ cup
    • bourbon: 3 tablespoons
    • sugar: 5 cups, powdered
    • almond milk: ⅓ cup


    Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    Step 2: Then, place ½ cup of butter into a skillet on medium heat for browning.

    melting butter in skillet

    Step 3: Let the butter melt for 5 to 7 minutes or until it changes color. It will bubble and collect at the bottom of the skillet before turning a golden brown.

    Step 4: Quickly remove the butter from heat to avoid burning and place aside to cool.

    browned butter in skillet with spoon

    Step 5: Next, combine cake mix, water, cinnamon sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Once the browned butter is at room temperature, mix it into the cake batter.

    white cake batter in mixer

    Step 6: Pour the cake batter into paper baking cups, filling each cup ⅔ of the way.

    cupcake pan filled with white cake batter

    Step 7: Bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes.

    Step 8: While the cupcakes bake, you can prepare the bourbon buttercream frosting in a large mixing bowl.

    Step 9: Blend 1 cup of softened butter and slowly add in powdered sugar, then almond milk, and finally bourbon. 

    bourbon cake frosting

    Step 10: Then, cover the bowl of frosting with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to set.

    Step 11: Remove cupcakes from the oven and let cool.

    baked cupcakes

    Step 12: Ice cupcakes with bourbon frosting and enjoy.

    frosted cupcake with gold sprinkles

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