Brown Butter Pumpkin Bread with Cinnamon Cashew Butter / by Chelsea Zwieg

This post is brought you by the word butter. Brown Butter. Cashew Butter. Butters that can change you're life. Or, at the very least, your cooking. 

Brown butter is magic. If you've never baked with it before, get ready. All it is is butter that is melted on the stove and then cooked at a low, low temperature until it turns a dark amber color and fills your kitchen with a toasty, hazelnut smell that you'll want to stay forever. Baked goods that use brown butter have a richer, nuttier flavor than those with plain butter and believe me, you'll never want to go back. 

On top of the brown butter, I used brown sugar instead of white on this bread and it is caramely, nutty, toasty, pumpkiny, out of this world goodness. 


Cashew butter is a different kind of magic. I am not a peanut butter fan but I've been obsessed lately with all other kinds of nut butters. Not so obsessed with the phrase 'nut butter', but what can you do? The only problem is, those little sneaks who thought to grind up a nut other than peanuts also thought to charge $10 a jar. It turns out, all you have to do is toss nuts in a food processor and grind them until your food processor passes out from exhaustion. That's nut butter. I'm so in love. 

I've been on the road the last week or so, driving to, all around and back from Wisconsin and all that cold weather, changing leaves and apple cider from Colectivo has gone straight to my head and put me in full fall mode (as if I wasn't already). I wrapped up the leftovers of this bread and brought it with me on the trip. Not only did it make an excellent car ride companion (along with endless episodes of This American Life and Adventures in Odyssey, heyo!), but it didn't dry out the whole week. A miracle which can only be accredited to the brown sugar.

So take my advice: work some butter magic into your life. The cashew butter is perfect on the bread but it can be spread on anything, stirred into oatmeal or blended in a smoothie. And once you brown butter, you'll be whipping up brown butter cookies, cakes and muffins like it's going out of style. But really, it never will.

Brown Butter Pumpkin Bread 

Adapted from Betty Crocker 

Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients |

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 can pumpkin (15 oz.) 
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt 
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves


  • Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8x4 inch loaf pan and set aside
  • In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat until brown, stirring constantly. A great tutorial for browning butter can be found here. Allow butter to cool completely
  • Whisk butter, sugar, vanilla, pumpkin and eggs until combined. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves
  • Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture and stir until just combined. Pour batter into pan
  • Bake 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes, remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack

Cinnamon Cashew Butter 

Makes about 1 cup

Ingredients |

  • 1 1/2 cups cashews
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Instructions |

  • Place cashews in food processor. Grind on high for 30 seconds. Scrape the sides and grind for another 30 seconds. Scrape sides again
  • Run on high in 1 minute increments, scraping the sides in between. After about 2 or 3 cycles the nuts will begin to clump together and then will form smooth spread. Be patient! 
  • Once it is a smooth, spreadable consistency, add the cinnamon and vanilla. Run on high 1 more minute. Store in a sealed container