This gluten free brown butter cookie cake is loaded with M&M’s and chocolate chunks that your Valentine is sure to love!
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If I knew how tasty brown butter was, I would have tried it so much sooner in all my cookies. I can’t believe how much of a difference browning your butter makes in the overall flavor of this cookie cake.
This cookie cake uses my perfect gluten free chocolate chip cookies recipe with M&M’s added and brown butter replacing the butter. They’re a family favorite for a reason–they’re big and thick and so yummy!!
Cookie Cake Ingredients
- Kim’s Gluten Free Flour Blend — you can use any gf blend you’d like, but I haven’t tested them with anything but my own.
- Baking soda — this is the only leavener aside from the eggs. It makes for a more dense cookie cake.
- Kosher salt — helps balance the flavors.
- Brown butter — gives a nice nutty, rich flavor to the cookies.
- Brown sugar — my recipe has lots of brown sugar and no granulated sugar.
- Eggs — hold everything together.
- Vanilla extract — boosts flavor.
- Dark rum — this is totally optional, but it adds a little extra flavor to the cookies and pairs really well with the brown butter.
- M&M’s and chocolate chips/chunks — I’ve made these with a bag of Valentine M&M’s, but you can use whatever M&M’s you’d like, or even go traditional with just chocolate chips or chunks.
- Vanilla buttercream — This is optional, but I like to decorate with a little buttercream. I used my go-to American buttercream here, but use any buttercream you’d like.
- Sprinkles — sprinkles are also optional, but they make for a festive cookie cake!
Using Brown Butter as a Replacement for Softened Butter
It’s really easy to make brown butter and it can be substituted in pretty much any recipe you have for cookies or even cakes. However, there are a few things to consider when doing so.
First, when browning the butter you don’t want to go past the point of no return. What I mean is you don’t want to burn the butter. You just want to brown it and create that rich, nutty flavor that’s so enticing. If you burn it, you’ll have to start over completely. Swirl the pan and continuously watch it throughout to ensure it doesn’t get too brown (burnt).
Another thing to think about is if you’re substituting brown butter in a recipe that calls for regular softened butter, you’ll need to adjust the amount. The volume of the butter is reduced because much of the water content is cooked off. One cup of browned butter is reduced to 3/4 cup.
When making this cookie cake, the original recipe calls for 1 cup of butter. So I needed to bump up that amount to 1 1/2 cups of butter to make it to a full cup when all was said and done!
Making Brown Butter
Place the butter in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium heat, swirling the pan gently as it begins to bubble. When it begins to foam, continue swirling and watching for it to turn from a light yellow to a deep golden color.
Remove it from the heat and pour it into a heat-safe bowl. Allow it to cool to room temperature, or refrigerate it to cool it down much quicker. Use it any recipe when you want a nutty, richer flavor.
Cookie Cake FAQs
You don’t have to brown the butter, although it really does make it taste soooo good! If you don’t want to brown the butter, use only 1 cup (226 g) of softened butter instead of 1 1/3 cups (301 g).
Absolutely! They are FABULOUS as cookies!! Scoop large scoops (using a 1/4 cup cookie scoop) onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spaced 2 inches apart. Flatten slightly. Bake at 325 degrees F for 20 minutes and no longer. Remove them from the oven and leave on the baking sheet for 3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
You can always use a regular round pan, such as a pizza pan. You can also use cast iron skillets or rectangular pans (9 by 13-inch, for instance) or a half sheet pan and make them into bars.
Make this gluten free brown butter cookie cake for your Valentine this year to show how much you love them! 😍💖🍪
Gluten Free Brown Butter Cookie Cake
- 1⅓ cups (2 sticks plus 5⅓ tbsp or 301 g) butter
- 2 cups (454 g) tightly packed light brown sugar
- 4 cups (560 g) Kim's gluten free flour blend (or any gf flour blend of your choice)
- 1½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp dark rum, optional
- 1 10 ounce bag (283.5 g) Valentine's M&M's
- 1 cup (8 oz or 226 g) chopped semi-sweet or milk chocolate or chocolate chips
- ½ recipe American buttercream
- sprinkles, if desired
- Brown butter first by placing butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat and swirling until completely melted. Once it begins to boil, keep swirling the pot until foaming subsides and butter is deep golden brown. Watch it closely so it doesn't burn.
- Pour the butter into a small heat-safe bowl and place in the refrigerator to cool.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour two 12-inch heart-shaped pans, two rectangular (9 by 13-inch) pans, two 12-inch cast iron skillets, or one large (half sheet) pan and set aside.
- Cream brown butter and brown sugar on low speed in mixer bowl (stand or handheld) until combined. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for about 4-5 minutes, until very fluffy and light in color. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl.
- On low speed, add eggs, vanilla, and rum (if using) and mix to combine. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl and blend for about 1 minute on medium speed.
- In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. With mixer on low speed, slowly add flour mixture to butter and egg mixture until combined.
- Remove bowl from mixer and stir in M&M's and chocolate chips or chunks by hand.
- Press dough into two 12-inch heart-shaped buttered and floured pans.
- Bake at 325 for 15 minutes and no longer. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack to cool.
- Make buttercream as per recipe instructions. Pipe onto cookie cake as desired and top with sprinkles, if desired.