Brown Butter Pecan Cupcakes with Fluffy Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Brown Butter Pecan Cupcakes with Fluffy Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Velvety brown butter pecan cupcakes are topped with an easy, & fluffy chocolate cream cheese frosting, toasted nuts and finished with a drizzle of chocolate.
Course Dessert
Keyword Carmel, Chocolate, Cupcakes, Nuts
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Assembly Time 15 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 18 cupcakes


Brown Butter Nut Cupcakes

  • 1 cup Pecans or walnuts
  • 1 stick Butter divided in half
  • 1.5 cups All Purpose Flour 181g
  • 1/2 Tbs. Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 Tbs. Cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup Granulated Sugar 149g
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 cup Milk

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 stick room temperature
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 TBS cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extra
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips melted and slightly cooled (reserve 1/4 cup for drizzling finished cupcakes)
  • 1/4 tsp salt


For the cupcakes:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with liners, set aside. Roughly chop nuts, spread on baking sheet and bake until toasted about 8-10 minutes, stirring halfway through and checking occasionally so they do not burn. Set aside to cool.
  • To brown butter begin by placing 4 TBS butter in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. The butter will start to bubble up and foam. Continue cooking, stirring frequently until the butter has a nutty fragrance and is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool..
  • In a medium bowl, measure flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and whisk together until combined. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, or hand mixer, combine remaining 4 TBS of room temperature butter with the granulated sugar and cream until combined. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour in the brown butter and continue to mix until combined. Increase the speed and allow it to mix for 2-3 minutes,until fluffy and light brown.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  • Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the milk, mix just until combined. 
  • Fold in 3/4 cup toasted nuts.  Reserve other 1/4 for garnish.
  • Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Rotate halfway through for even baking. Once done, remove and cool completely before frosting.

For the Frosting:

  • Beat cream cheese and butter on medium speed in bowl of electric mixer or stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Turn mixer to low and gradually add in powdered sugar and cocoa powder.
  • Mix in vanilla, 1/3 cup of melted chocolate, and salt.
  • Turn mixer up to medium/high speed and whip until smooth and fluffy.

To Assemble Cupcakes:

  • Frost cupcakes using star tip or spread on with small knife.
  • Garnish with toasted nuts and drizzle with remaining melted chocolate.
  • Serve and enjoy!


If you want to step these cupcakes up one more notch, I sometimes fill them with my homemade salted caramel before frosting. You can find the recipe here: Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce
Follow this tutorial on How to Make Brown Butter.
The Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting should be refrigerated if not serving immediately.
You can soften the cream cheese by placing in a small bowl in the microwave for 8 second intervals until softened.