Brown Butter Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Swirl is a delicious cake that's perfect with coffee, tea, ice cream, or anything that you want! The brown butter adds such a rich flavor and that brown sugar cinnamon swirl in the middle is out of this world!
I'm not sure what it is about brown butter that makes everything taste so good, but I swear it's magical. There's something about that nutty, caramelized flavor that just elevates the flavor of every dish - savory or sweet. This Brown Butter Coffee Cake is of no exception. It's a soft cake full of vanilla flavor with a cinnamon brown sugar swirl and a brown butter crumb topping. Oh, and a delicious glaze to balance it all out.
The cake comes together in three parts - the cake itself, the crumb topping, and the swirly cinnamon layer. It's actually quite fun to assemble. Let's talk about it!
Cinnamon is the spice that gives this recipe it's lovely flavor and ties everything together. It's warm and pairs so well with brown butter and the vanilla taste of the cake.
Brown Sugar is one of the most important ingredients in this recipe! The brown sugar provides a deep toffee-life flavor that adds depth and richness to this recipe.
Brown Butter is the star of the show. It's what give this Brown Butter Coffee Cake it's beautiful caramel-like flavor. The brown butter also provides a beautifully rich color to the cake. I also used brown butter on the crumb topping so that you can get a nice big bite of brown butter when you munch into this cake!
Sour Cream is added to this recipe to tenderize the cake and keep it super fluffy. The sour cream acts as a tenderizer for flour and yields a softer crumb when added. Sour cream also adds fat which carries flavor! Don't sleep on sour cream!
Making brown butter is a simple process. You simply heat a pan over medium low heat. Add a stick of butter and allow it melt. Once it's melted, continue to cook over medium low heat and stir occasionally. Butter should begin to bubble. Slowly but surely, maybe about 3-5 minutes, the butter will begin to present little specs of brown. Once this begins to happen, turn off the heat and allow it to continue to brown. Then place in a container and allow it to cool.
Once it cools, make this Brown Butter Coffee Cake 🙂
I used this Minerva Dairy butter to make the Brown Butter Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Swirl! Minerva Dairy has been making butter for over 125 years and they've perfected the formula. To say that this butter is GOOD, is an understatement of the century. You're probably thinking to yourself - "it's butter, all butter is good".
Well, that's simply not the case. Not all butter is created equally. Depending on the type of milk you use and the process that you use to make the butter, taste can vary quite a bit. With Minerva Dairy butters, the butter is made in small batches using pasture raised cows. Because the cows aren't caged and force fed and are treated humanely, they're healthier and produce milk that's higher in nutrients.
So, when you make butter with high quality milk that's then slowly churned in small batches to make a creamier butter... I mean what more can I say? This butter is amazing. When you pair Minerva's butter with this Brown Butter Coffee Cake - it's match made in heaven.
I first found this butter at Whole Foods back in 2019 right around the holidays. I remember using the Minerva's butter to make my holiday spread and my family kept asking what my secret ingredient was. Well, I kept it a secret then, but I am now here to tell you... the secret ingredient was Minerva's delicious butter. You've got to try it out, the difference is unreal. I truly feel that THIS is what butter should taste like.
However, I want to caution you - once you try this butter, you won't be able to go back to any other brand so use wisely! 🙂
This Brown Butter Coffee Cake is made in three parts. I start with the crumb topping because it's important that the crumb topping has time to set in the freezer prior to baking. When I say time, I mean like 10-15 minutes. Nothing insane. By the time the cake is ready to pop in the oven, it's been about 10-15 minutes so it works perfectly.
Anyway, begin by browning the butter. Then make the crumb topping by combining brown sugar, flour, pinch of salt, and the brown butter. Mix it together in a bowl and add to the freezer.
Then make the filling. Combine cinnamon, sugar, and flour. Mix together and set aside.
Then get started on the cake batter. Use the remaining brown butter and add brown sugar and sugar. Cream together and add the remaining wet ingredients - vanilla extract, eggs, sour cream etc. In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Add half of dry ingredients to wet ingredients - mix together. Then add the remainder of the dry ingredients and mix until fully incorporated.
Here's the fun part. I used a 9 inch spring form pan for this recipe, but feel free to use a normal cake pan. I also used 9 inch parchment rounds to ensure that the cake doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. Again, this isn't mandatory but just something that I like to do to ensure I get the best bake possible.
Spray the sides of the pan with oil and the add flour to ensure that the cake doesn't stick. Add half of the cake batter to the bottom of the pan, then add all of the filling to the middle. Add the remainder of the cake batter on top, using a spoon or spatula to ensure that all of the filling is covered. Then grab the crumb topping out of the fridge and add it to the top of the batter.
Bake for 1 hour and 10-20 minutes and you're all done! Let the cake cool for about 20 minutes, then pop off the springform pan. Cut into this cake and enjoy with a delicious cup of coffee of tea. Or by itself. Or with ice cream. It's freaking amazing either way 🙂
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