Browned Butter & Azuki Tea Cake

As I hinted in my previous post (in which there’s a chance to win a Cakesnake), my kitchen really needed some sorting out. My bakeware cupboard was taken care of by the amazing Cakesnake but nothing other than a solid clean-out was going to help my pantry. I hate to admit it but I’m a grocery hoarder. I stockpile interesting foods in box, packet and canned form but fail spectacularly at using them before the Best Before date. This is mainly due to stuff getting hidden behind new purchases of course :(

Browned Butter & Azuki Cake

Anyway, I cleverly arranged my treasured food items in order of when they should be consumed in my line of sight so they should all hopefully finally get used. Amongst my nearly forgotten goodies included a can of cooked, sweetened azuki beans which I intended to find a traditional Japanese recipe for (such as oshiruko, a warming, soupy dessert). Given it was canned, I could have saved it for much later but as they say, there’s no time like the present.


I fancied a tea cake so my I paired my azuki up with some browned butter. It’s not unusual to use azuki in baking but it’s usual partner is green tea (matcha) and I wanted to try something else. Happily, this combination worked well; the cake had a lovely rich nuttiness thanks to the browned butter and the azuki lent its distinctive bean flavour without taking over the whole show.

Browned Butter & Azuki Cake

Topped with some browned butter frosting, all this cake needed was a good strong cup of tea and the rest of the afternoon off. Buttery decadence? Yes, but did I mention that azuki is highly nutritious? Surely that makes it OK? :)

Browned Butter & Azuki Cake with Browned Butter Frosting

One 210g can of cooked azuki beans (yude azuki)
1/3 cup milk
90g butter
2 eggs
50g of sugar
120g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder

1 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp browned butter (from above)
1 tbsp milk

To Make: Put butter into small saucepan and cook over low/medium heat until coloured. Take off heat once no longer yellow as it will brown further in pan. Set aside to cool. Reserve about 2 tbps for the icing.

Add milk and azuki in a bowl and combine. Add sugar, eggs and butter and mix through, then add flour and baking powder and stir well. Place cake mix in a greased, medium round cake tin (20cm) and bake in oven for 30-35 minutes or until skewer comes out clean when poked in the centre.

For the frosting, add the icing sugar, 2 tbsp of browned butter and milk into a bowl and combine well. Add more milk if a more runny icing is preferred. Slather frosting on cake and serve :)



  1. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    July 6, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    What a fab combo of flavours you have in this cake!! I love sweetened adzuki beans and browned butter by themselves but combining them is an even better idea! :)

    • Monica

      July 12, 2012 at 5:48 pm

      Thanks Lorraine :) I was fairly sure they’d work well together but you never know until you try. Luckily it did :)

  2. Winston

    July 7, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    Wow this cake is seriously coooooool… I’ve never come across a cake like this and I’m sure that if I made these for a party I would be getting lots of “ooohs” “ahhhhs” and “no wait, seriously?!”

    • Monica

      July 12, 2012 at 5:47 pm

      Thanks :) It does have a curiosity factor. My workmates were a little concerned but there was barely a slice left for me at the end of the day :)

  3. ChopinandMysaucepan

    July 13, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Dear Monica,

    Notwithstanding that it is delicious, I think the name of this cake is kickass cool! :)

    • Monica

      July 14, 2012 at 8:28 pm

      Why thank you! I think the mention of Azuki piques interest :)

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