Brown Butter Coffee Cake

Yield: 9 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook: 40 minutes

Brown Butter Coffee Cake features an ultra moist and flavorful brown butter sour cream cake with a sweet cinnamon brown sugar streusel throughout. My all time favorite coffee cake recipe!

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Oh so flavorful! You seriously won’t believe it. Perfect for that transition into cooler temperatures.
Texture: The cake itself is tender and moist, and that cinnamon streusel is layered inside and on top of the cake for the perfect amount of richness and a slight crunch.
Ease: Pretty simple and easy! Browning the butter is an extra step but it’s so worth it.
Pros: Absolutely delicious recipe that’ll likely become a staple part of your baking repertoire!
Cons: None.
Would I make this again? Oh YES.

This is one of those recipes that EVERYONE loves. When I thought up the recipe I expected it would be pretty good (otherwise I wouldn’t have created it!) – but it blew even my expectations out of the water.

Every single person who has sampled it has loved it.

Brown Butter Coffee Cake features an ultra moist and flavorful brown butter sour cream cake with a sweet cinnamon brown sugar streusel throughout. My all time favorite coffee cake recipe!

You won’t even believe how incredible this Brown Butter Coffee Cake smells while it’s baking.

Your neighbors will probably come knocking just to see just what that divine aroma is! I hope you’ll be ready to share 🙂

Browned butter sour cream coffee cake with cinnamon streusel - the best coffee cake ever!

If you’ve never browned butter before, what are you waiting for?! Here’s a helpful post on how to make brown butter.

The brown butter adds a slightly caramelized nutty flavor to this cake that when combined with the other flavor boosting ingredients (sour cream, cinnamon, and brown sugar) the result is simply heavenly.

Browned butter sour cream coffee cake with cinnamon streusel - the best coffee cake ever!

Pair it with a cup of coffee and you’re ready for a moment of pure bliss! I truly hope you give this recipe a try soon and let me know what you think!

Be sure to use a light colored metal baking pan for best results! Dark colored pans will brown the edges and make them dry. Glass or ceramic pans will work as well, but you’ll likely need to increase the baking time.

More Coffee Cake Recipes:

More Brown Butter Recipes:

Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.

How to make
Brown Butter Coffee Cake

Yield: 9 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Brown Butter Coffee Cake features an ultra moist and flavorful brown butter sour cream cake with a sweet cinnamon brown sugar streusel throughout. My all time favorite coffee cake recipe!

Ingredients

For the streusel

  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (48 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted

For the coffee cake

  • 1 1/2 sticks (170 grams) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups (254 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces (227 grams) sour cream, at room temperature

For the topping

  • 1/2 cup (63 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square metal pan with parchment paper or foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Make the streusel:

  1. In a small bowl, combine all of the streusel ingredients with a fork until the texture resembles wet sand.

Brown the butter:

  1. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter. Swirling the pan occasionally, continue to cook the butter. It should become foamy with audible cracking and popping noises. Once the crackling stops continue to swirl the pan until the butter develops a nutty aroma and brown bits start to form at the bottom. Once the bits are amber in color, about 2 to 3 minutes after the popping stops, remove from heat and pour into a medium mixing bowl and let cool slightly. 

Make the cake:

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugars.
  2. To the browned butter, add the milk, eggs, and sour cream. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients then pour in the wet ingredients. Gently stir until just combined. Don’t overmix.
  3. Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with half of the streusel. Spread the remaining batter over the streusel. Sprinkle with the remaining streusel.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes.

Make the topping:

  1. In a small bowl combine the sugar and milk until a thick yet pourable icing forms. Drizzle over the warm cake. Cut into squares and serve. Store leftovers, covered, at room temperature for up to 4 days.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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14 Responses to “Brown Butter Coffee Cake”

  1. #
    Alicia — August 17, 2018 at 4:14 am

    Hi Tessa, I would LOVE to make this cake for the weekend. But I don’t see any coffee in the recipe? I thought perhaps it’s a typo and has been missed off? x

    • #
      Tessa — August 17, 2018 at 7:27 am

      Coffee cake is meant to be served with coffee, it doesn’t always contain coffee as an ingredient! 🙂

  2. #
    Wendy — August 17, 2018 at 5:02 am

    Alicia – its a cake to have WITH coffee, it doesn’t have coffee in it.

  3. #
    Ana — August 17, 2018 at 8:39 am

    Hello, which ingredient can substitute the sour cream? It looks delicious, but I don’t know if I can find in the DR sour cream and I would like to bake it. Thank you!

  4. #
    NIlsa — August 17, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    This comment is for Ana. I am from DR, sour cream ( crema agria) is easy to find in big grocery stores like El Nacional, El Bravo o La sirena. They have local version of sour cream like Sosua brand , but I prefer for baking the American brand , the red and white color plastic container.

  5. #
    Tricia — August 18, 2018 at 10:21 am

    Will it work to to double the recipe in a 9×12 cake pan? I need to make this for a larger group than 9.

  6. #
    Christina Luna — August 18, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    I made this recipe last night for a crew of 140 people, it turned out BEYOND amazing and everyones response was, this is simply the best.
    Thank you for sharing your recipe, it will now become one of the favorites amongst everyone.

    This is for tricia, I quadrupled the recipe and used 2 9×12 pans and it turned out perfectly.

  7. #
    Lisa — August 20, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    Will this be oversweet? Is it possible to reduce them? Sugar?

  8. #
    Paula McCallister — August 20, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    I’d like to make this in a 9×13″ pan. I know how to double the recipe but how long do I bake it for?

  9. #
    Jessica — August 21, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    You were right….everyone loved this! I served it with quiche for a dinner. I was so happy to enjoy leftovers the next day!

  10. #
    Rachel — August 24, 2018 at 10:37 am

    It is amazing.My husband told me he never had to go to Panera’s again for their Pecan Rolls

  11. #
    Stephanie — September 29, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    Simply amazing! I wasn’t super confident on the browning butter portion, but the instructions were so detailed, it really helped me pull it off! I used Greek yogurt instead of sour cream because I didn’t have any. The taste and texture are amazing, exactly what I was looking for!

  12. #
    Bobby — November 22, 2018 at 4:59 am

    AMAZINGLY flavorful coffee cake! Stays astonishngly MOIST even days after making. This is my new “go to” recipe for coffee cake! Thank you!

  13. #
    Tina Harper — December 17, 2018 at 6:04 am

    I have made this recipe 3 times in the past month. Everyone loves it. It’s easy and delicious!!

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