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On a wooden board over a metal rack, glaze poured on top of loaf cake

Glazed Brown Butter Coffee Cake

  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 65 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Breakfast / Brunch
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


A fantastic coffee cake recipe, it comes together fairly quickly, is dense and delicious and has a crunchy topping and glaze. Besides, it contains the magic words brown butter, so it really is a cake you should make now and keep on making whenever you need a hug.



For the streusel

  • 3/4  cup  (150g) light brown sugar
  • 1/3  cup  (45g) all-purpose flour
  • 1  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 4  tablespoons  (60g) unsalted butter, melted

For the coffee cake

  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter (at room tº)
  • 2  cups  (280g) all-purpose flour
  • 1  teaspoon  baking powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  cup  (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2  cup  (100g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4  cup  whole milk (at room tº)
  • 2  large eggs (at room tº)
  • 8  ounces  (225g) sour cream, at room tº

For the glaze

  • 1/2  cup  (65g) powdered sugar
  • 1  tablespoon  milk or lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF / 180ºC.
  2. Butter or spray a 9x4-inch loaf pan or a 9-inch square pan.
  3. Line with parchment paper if wanted.

For the streusel

  1. In a small bowl mix all ingredients together until the mixture resembles wet sand. Reserve.

For the cake

  1. Melt butter in a saucepan with high sides, at medium heat, until it begins to foam.
  2. Bubbles will appear and a chirping noise will begin. Let it boil away until the bubbles and noise subside and the surface covers with foam.
  3. Lower the heat and watch carefully, twirling the pan a few times until a nutty smell appears and, beneath the foam, the butter is amber colored. Be careful not to burn it!.
  4. You have brown butter now. Transfer it to a medium bowl and let cool slightly.
  5. Add the milk (first to lower the temperature), the eggs, and sour cream to the warm butter and mix lightly.
  6. In a large bowl sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add both sugars and mix to combine.
  7. Make a well in the center and add the wet ingredients.
  8. Mix with a spatula until combined, like you would a muffin mix, but careful not to overmix.
  9. Spoon half of this batter in the prepared pan.
  10. Sprinkle with half the streusel mixture.
  11. Cover with the other half of the batter and end with the remaining streusel.
  12. Bake for 40-45 minutes, depending on the pan you use until a tester comes out clean.
  13. The loaf pan might take a bit more.
  14. Let cool for 10 on a wire rack and carefully unmold. Some sugar might be stuck to the sides.

For the glaze

  1. Mix sugar and liquid until creamy and lump free.
  2. Drizzle over the cake.
  3. Keep wrapped at room tº for a few days.


  • Pans: this cake was both great as a loaf and as a small sheet cake.
  • Sugars: both white and brown sugars are used, giving it sweetness as well as a caramel undertone that is fantastic with the brown butter.
  • Sour cream: it adds a lot of moisture to this cake and an unmistakable dense crumb that is so particular with coffee cakes. 
  • Ingredients: use the best quality you can afford. This cake relies on simple ones, such as butter, for flavor, so the best ones will render the best results.
  • Serving: a glazed coffee cake is always my first choice, but this one can be served plain.
  • Storing: it keeps well for a few days at room temperature and it can be frozen for a month, well wrapped.
  • Flavorings: feel free to add other flavorings that complement the cinnamon, such as orange zest. Or try a new one, like ground cardamom. 

Keywords: brown butter coffee cake