Browned Butter Coffee Cake

It’s been a wonderful start to fall! I hope yours has been equally magical.

I’m finally settled into my new place in Nor Cal. Hooray! I’ve started an amazing job working crazy hours in a bakery. I’ve been exploring my new city, and I’m LOVING being back in California.

…I can’t stress that enough. I’ve lived all over the world, and nowhere makes me feel more at home than this state and the wonderful people here.

Brown Butter Coffee Cake

Also, I’ve made fast friends with my roommate’s cat, Cliff…he’s pretty adorable and very snugly, so he’ll be making the occasional appearance on here. I hope you’re cool with cats. Either way, you’d be cool with Cliff, promise.

In addition to cat, fall has been filled with late night croissants, the glorious return of my yellow bouillabaisse pot out of the depths of packed boxes, a beautiful new kitchen, and browned butter. Butter. Browned. Until it’s nutty and turns into dreams.

Best Coffee Cake recipe

I had a craving for butter coffee cake recently, and decided it would be silly to

follow the original recipe’s instructions that exclude the part where you should brown that butter. So I have a lovely browned butter coffee cake for you today. It has a tender and moist crumb with the expected warmth from cinnamon and brown sugar and added richness from the browned butter. And there’s extra topping to go around. This is the perfect breakfast treat or teatime accompaniment. Pinkies up!

Coffee Cake

Here’s what I did

Browned Butter Coffee Cake

Begin by browning the butter so that it can cool. Melt in a skillet or small saucepan over medium-high:

  • 1 stick (8 Tbs.) unsalted butter

Occasionally scrape the bottom of the pan with a spatula, and cook until the bubbles turn brown – just past a golden brown color. Remove from heat to cool completely.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8×8” square baking dish, tapping out the excess flour.

Whisk together in a medium bowl:

  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 c. + 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt

Using a pastry cutter (or two knives working against each other in opposite directions), cut into flour mixture:

  • The cooled browned butter
  • ½ stick (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter, cold, cubed

Set aside 1 heaping cup of the mixture.

Add to the remaining mixture:

  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda

Stir in until the mixture is smooth:

  • ¾ c. milk (preferably whole milk)
  • 1 large egg (at room temperature)
  • 2 tsp. bourbon (or vanilla extract)

Pour the batter into your greased baking dish.

To the reserved flour mixture, incorporate:

  • 2/3 c. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger

Press the mixture together with your fingers to form what will be large crumb for your topping. Evenly sprinkle the crumbs over the batter.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, until the top is browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the coffee cake to cool for 10 minutes, and then slice into large squares and enjoy!

And for more fun recipes, check out Fiesta Friday!

French phrase for the day:

J’ai oublié combien j’aime les chats.
I forgot how much I love cats.


20 thoughts on “Browned Butter Coffee Cake

  1. Pingback: The Impossible Chocoflan | Fiesta Friday #38 | The Novice Gardener

  2. wow, I think that is the best looking coffee cake I have ever seen, did you let the brown butter cool back to a solid or still liquid and cool to touch?

    • Wow, thank you, Lily! Great question, I let the butter cool to a room temp liquid. That worked ok for me, but it would probably be even better if you chill the brown butter until it’s hard and then dice it up and cut it in. If you’re going that route, I would do all the butter like that! Enjoy!

  3. Yum! You know the expression, “Food is memory”? Well that applies for me and your coffee cake! I have many fond memories of a cake very similar to this that my mom and grandma have made through that years. It makes me feel really happy! :-) So thanks for bringing your happy coffee cake to FF! And, PS…..I love cats! :D

Penny for your thoughts

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