This dessert might even be worth more than the name suggests! Million Dollar Butter Cake is rich and tender and, oh yes, incredibly, wonderfully, magically buttery! Infused all over with a nutty brown butter glaze (and all over really does mean all over since it gets soaked deep into the cake), Million Dollar Butter Cake is an enriching and fantastic dessert experience! It certainly knows how to butter you up!


For the cake:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons shortening or oil
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the brown butter glaze:

  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar, optional, to taste, for topping


Step 1 –In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 cup of the butter.

Step 2 –Cook the butter, stirring it gently and constantly, until it becomes amber-brown and starts to smell nutty, about 2-3 minutes.

Step 3 –Transfer the butter to the refrigerator until it solidifies again, about 1-2 hours.

Step 4 –Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Step 5 –Liberally coat a fluted tube pan with nonstick spray.

Step 6 –In a mixing bowl, add the browned butter and the shortening and beat with an electric mixer on high speed for 2 minutes.

Step 7 –Slowly add in 2 cups of the granulated sugar and beat on high speed until the mixture becomes very pale yellow and fluffy, about 7 minutes.

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Step 8 –Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and combine well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Step 9 –With the mixer at the lowest speed, slowly add the flour into the batter in two separate increments.

Step 10 –Add the salt, the baking powder, and the baking soda to the batter mixture and mix until just combined, being careful not to overmix.

Step 11 –Add the buttermilk and 1 tablespoon of the vanilla to the batter mixture and mix, scraping down the sides of the bowl periodically, until just combined.

Step 12 –Add the batter to the prepared tube pan.

Step 13 –Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean but still moist, about 45-55 minutes.

Step 14 –Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes.

Step 15 –Invert the cake onto a serving plate.

Step 16 –In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the remaining butter and cook until browned, about 3-4 minutes.

Step 17 –Turn off the stovetop heat.

Step 18 –Add in the remaining granulated sugar, the water, and the remaining vanilla and whisk until smooth.

Step 19 –Poke the still warm cake with a toothpick or a skewer in several places all over the surface.

Step 20 –Pour the brown butter glaze over the cake, allowing it to seep into the holes.

Step 21 –Serve dusted with the powdered sugar.