Pumpkin Olive Oil Cake with Brown Butter Glaze

Now that it’s officially fall, I’m allll over the pumpkin. Pumpkin lattes. Pumpkin bagels. Pumpkin cream cheese. Pumpkin bread. Pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin Olive Oil cake with brown butter glaze.

Pumpkin. Pumpkin. Pumpkin!

Up until this point, I’ve been standing strong, and not caving in to the copious amounts of pumpkin that have been teasing me for the last month. It was just too soon, I mean fall only officially begun a few days ago! Plus, I’m a summer girl at heart. I love the heat. Lying on a raft in the middle of a pool is my happy place. Iced coffee and tea are jump-starts to my days. Summer produce makes me weak in the knees. When the pumpkin is introduced, it means that all of those things I love are officially gone until next spring, which seems so, so far away.

Pumpkin Olive Oil Cake with Brown Butter Glaze

But now that the last of the tomatoes have been picked from our backyard, the leaves have turned and the morning air has become brisk, I’m gradually warming up to the idea of fall. I’m ready for football and tailgates. Cute booties and comfy sweaters. Slow-cooked stews and baked pastas. And of course, the quintessential and aforementioned fall ingredient – pumpkin.

While I love to get creative with pumpkin, I like to start the season out pretty classically. Typically that involves a pumpkin muffin of some sort, but this year I decided to start my inaugural pumpkin baking with cake! Pumpkin Olive Cake with Brown Butter Glaze, to be specific…

The swap out of olive oil for butter or oil and the addition of pumpkin make this cake irresistibly moist, in the best way possible. Cornmeal gives the cake a wonderful texture, and hints of cinnamon and cardamom add a subtle hint of warmth – something my soul needs in these increasingly cooler days.

Pumpkin Olive Oil Cake with Brown Butter Glaze

While the cake is superb on its own, a smothering of brown butter glaze (made with just three ingredients!) takes this from an every day cake to something that’s dinner party worthy.

But, be sure to sneak a piece for yourself, because once you place it on the countertop for all to see, it will disappear almost instantaneously….

Pumpkin Olive Oil Cake with Brown Butter Glaze

Pumpkin Olive Oil Cake with Brown Butter Glaze
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
An olive oil based pumpkin cake, laced with cornmeal is smothered in a sweet and nutty brown butter glaze. SO tender and moist!
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ⅛ cup milk
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
For the glaze:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Liberally butter or grease an 8-inch round cake pan.
  2. In a bowl, sift together, flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and coriander. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, beat sugar and eggs together until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add pumpkin puree and milk, beat until combined. With the mixer on VERY slowly drizzle (and I mean drizzle) in olive oil.
  4. Add half of flour mixture to the pumpkin and olive oil mixture. Beat just until combined. Add the other half, repeat.
  5. Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake 25-30 minutes or until you stick a wooden skewer in the middle of the cake and it comes out mostly clean and just a few crumbs attached. Let cool completely.
For the glaze:
  1. Heat a small sauté pan over a medium-high heat. Add butter, let butter melt and once it starts to become brown, swirl the pan until it’s a dark chestnut brown and smells nutty. Immediately remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  2. Add cooled brown butter to powdered sugar, and whisk to combine. If necceesary, add milk one tablespoon at a time until the glaze is pourable.
  3. Once cake has cooled, pour glaze over.
This recipe is HEAVILY adapted from this Giada recipe
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 sliced



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