Delicious Brown Butter Ginger Coffee Cake Recipe

Welcome to my café, coffee lovers! As a barista, I’m thrilled to share with you one of my all-time favorite coffee cake recipes: the Brown Butter, Ginger, and Sour Cream Coffee Cake. This sweet and savory treat is the perfect accompaniment for your morning or midday cup of joe. Trust me; you won’t be able to resist a slice.

What sets this coffee cake apart from others are the unique flavors that harmoniously blend together. The brown butter adds richness to the cake, while the crystallized ginger and ground ginger provide a hint of warmth and spice. The sour cream contributes moisture without thinning out the batter. And, let’s not forget about the dark brown sugar that takes this cake’s flavor profile up a notch.

This recipe may seem complicated at first glance, but don’t worry – I’ve got you covered with step-by-step instructions and some tips for achieving a perfect result. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or just starting in the kitchen, this coffee cake will surely impress your taste buds.

So get ready to indulge in a slice of Brown Butter, Ginger, and Sour Cream Coffee Cake with your favorite cup of coffee in hand. Trust me; it’s worth every calorie!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Brown Butter, Ginger and Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Brown Butter, Ginger and Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Are you ready to indulge in a mouthwatering coffee cake that will melt in your mouth and leave you begging for more? Look no further than this sumptuous Brown Butter, Ginger, and Sour Cream Coffee Cake recipe!

As a barista, I have learned that every great cup of coffee deserves an equally amazing pastry to complement it, and this coffee cake is the perfect match. The combination of the rich, nutty flavor of brown butter, the warm spice of ginger, and the tangy creaminess of sour cream creates a heavenly balance of flavors.

One of the best things about this recipe is its versatility. It can be enjoyed at any time of day – with your morning latte or as an after-dinner treat. This delightful cake also pairs perfectly with a hot cup of tea or a cold glass of milk.

This recipe is perfect for both novice bakers and seasoned pros. With simple instructions and just the right amount of sweet-to-spice ratio, this coffee cake is sure to become your new go-to recipe.

So why not impress your friends and family with this irresistible Brown Butter, Ginger, and Sour Cream Coffee Cake? You won’t regret it!

Ingredient List

 Indulge in a slice of heaven with this Brown Butter Ginger and Sour Cream Coffee Cake!
Indulge in a slice of heaven with this Brown Butter Ginger and Sour Cream Coffee Cake!

Here are the ingredients you need to make this delicious Brown Butter, Ginger and Sour Cream Coffee Cake recipe:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the topping:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped

Note: All ingredients should be at room temperature unless otherwise noted.

Tip: If you don’t have crystallized ginger on hand, substitute with fresh grated ginger.

The Recipe How-To

 Sweet and warm, this coffee cake will fill your home with cozy aromas.
Sweet and warm, this coffee cake will fill your home with cozy aromas.

Now it’s time to dive into making this delicious Brown Butter, Ginger and Sour Cream Coffee Cake. Make sure you have all your ingredients on hand and let’s get started!

Prepping the Oven

Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C) and adjust the rack to the center position. Butter or spray a 9-inch (23 cm) cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Making the Browned Butter

Cut up 2 sticks of unsalted butter(227g) into small pieces and place in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Cook until the butter melts, then starts to foam and sputter. Whisk occasionally, scraping the bottom of the pot with a heatproof spatula. The butter will brown quickly, but watch it closely as it can easily turn darker than desired. Once it has turned medium-brown and gives off a nutty aroma, remove it from the heat immediately and transfer it to a large mixing bowl.

Mixing the Dry Ingredients

In another large mixing bowl add 1 cup of all-purpose flour(125g) ½ cup + 2 tablespoons of whole wheat flour(67g), 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon kosher salt(4g), 1 teaspoon ground ginger, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon ground allspice together with a whisk.

Combining Wet Ingredients

Add to the bowl with the browned butter, ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar(150g), 2 eggs at room temperature1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger to give your coffee cake an extra zingy taste, 1/3 cup sour cream(60 ml) for moisture without thinning the batter too much, a splash of vanilla extract(5ml) for that fragrant flavor boost. Beat together until smooth.

Combining the Flour Mix and the Wet Mix

Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not overmix, as this can make your coffee cake unpleasantly tough.

Completing the Batter

Fold in 1 tablespoon of chopped crystallized ginger (15g) into the batter for texture and add a gingery hit. Then pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing it out to create an even layer.

Baking the Cake

Bake at 350°F (177°C) for about 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the coffee cake comes out clean.

Cooling and Serving

Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove from pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least another 10-20 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired, slice and serve!

As you can see, this recipe is quite simple and easy to follow, but make sure to read carefully each step. It’s worth it!

Substitutions and Variations

 Get a taste of autumn with every bite of this Brown Butter Ginger and Sour Cream Coffee Cake.
Get a taste of autumn with every bite of this Brown Butter Ginger and Sour Cream Coffee Cake.

The great thing about this Brown Butter, Ginger and Sour Cream Coffee Cake recipe is that it’s very adaptable. Here are a few substitutions and variations to try:

1. Flour: If you prefer a gluten-free version, substitute the all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour for 2 cups of almond flour.

2. Butter: You can replace the unsalted butter with coconut oil if you want to make it vegan.

3. Sugar: To make the cake less sweet, reduce the amount of dark brown sugar from 1 cup to 3/4 cup.

4. Ginger: If you’re not a big fan of ginger, or you don’t have ground ginger on hand, you can skip it altogether or substitute it with nutmeg or cardamom.

5. Sour cream: If you don’t have sour cream, substitute it with Greek yogurt or buttermilk for a tangier flavor.

6. Toppings: Customize your coffee cake by adding toppings like streusel crumb topping, glaze, or cinnamon swirl.

Remember that every substitution or variation may affect the texture and taste of the cake, so take note of any changes you make and enjoy experimenting until you find your perfect combination.

Serving and Pairing

 A perfect addition to any brunch spread, this coffee cake is sure to please.
A perfect addition to any brunch spread, this coffee cake is sure to please.

This brown butter, ginger and sour cream coffee cake is a true delight, perfect for any time of day, whether you’re looking for a breakfast treat, an afternoon snack or an after-dinner dessert. The cake’s rich and warm flavors pair wonderfully with a freshly brewed cup of coffee, tea or hot cocoa.

For serving, you can either slice the cake into individual portions or cut it into larger pieces for sharing with friends and family. A dollop of whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel sauce or some fresh berries make for excellent toppings and add an extra bit of sweetness to this already delicious treat.

If you’re looking to pair this coffee cake with something else, consider whipping up some scrambled eggs or bacon on the side for a hearty breakfast. Alternatively, serve it as part of a brunch spread alongside quiches, pastries and other sweet and savory treats.

Regardless of how you serve and pair this coffee cake recipe, I guarantee it will be a crowd-pleaser that will leave everyone asking for seconds (and the recipe!).

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 With its rich flavors and cinnamon streusel, this cake is not your average coffee cake.
With its rich flavors and cinnamon streusel, this cake is not your average coffee cake.

This Brown Butter, Ginger and Sour Cream Coffee Cake Recipe can be prepared in advance and stored for several days without losing its heavenly flavor. Once cooled to room temperature, wrap the cake tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to keep it moist and fresh. You can also store it in airtight containers or resealable bags for maximum freshness.

If you want to freeze the coffee cake, let it cool completely first, then wrap the whole cake tightly with a double layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of aluminum foil. It can be frozen for up to 3 months. To defrost, remove the cake from the freezer and let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

To reheat the coffee cake, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Remove any wrapping or containers from the cake and place it on a baking sheet. Cover it lightly with foil to prevent over-browning on top and heat in the oven for about 10-15 minutes until it’s warm and fragrant.

You can also reheat single slices in a microwave. Place the slice on a microwavable plate, cover with a damp paper towel, and heat in 30-second intervals until heated through.

Whether you make this Brown Butter, Ginger and Sour Cream Coffee Cake Recipe ahead of time or want to keep leftovers fresh for later enjoyment, these storage and reheating tips will guarantee that each slice is as delicious as the first one.

Tips for Perfect Results

 One bite and you'll be hooked on this Brown Butter Ginger and Sour Cream Coffee Cake.
One bite and you’ll be hooked on this Brown Butter Ginger and Sour Cream Coffee Cake.

Brown Butter, Ginger and Sour Cream Coffee Cake is a classic American recipe filled with warm spice and comforting flavors. While the ingredients and procedure are quite straightforward, there are a few tips and tricks I’d like to share with you to help you achieve perfect results every time.

1. Know your oven temperature

It’s essential to know your oven temperature to ensure your coffee cake bakes evenly on all sides. I recommend purchasing an inexpensive oven thermometer to guarantee the accuracy of your oven. Place the thermometer in the center rack about fifteen minutes before baking.

2. Don’t overmix the batter

Be careful not to overmix the batter; doing so will leave you with a dense cake. Mix until everything is well combined and then stop mixing.

3. Brown your butter

Brown butter has an intense nutty and caramel-like flavor that creates a depth of flavor unavailable by merely using melted butter. Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat until it begins to brown, swirling the pan often.

4. Use room temperature ingredients

All ingredients should be at room temperature before you start baking. Cold ingredients will not mix well, leaving you with lumpy batter.

5. Dust crystallized ginger with flour

Dust the chopped crystallized ginger with flour before adding them to your batter. This prevents them from sticking together and sinking once added to the mixture.

6. Add sour cream at room temperature

Add sour cream at room temperature as it helps keep the cake moist while giving it structure as well.

7. Choose high-quality ingredients

Using quality ingredients makes all the difference in flavor, especially in desserts where subtleties count for big things. Try using organic or farm-fresh milk, high-quality unsalted butter, vanilla extract, or a potent crystalized ginger root for this recipe.

I hope these tips have been helpful, try them out and see how they affect your coffee cake’s texture and taste!


Now, let’s move on to the frequently asked questions (FAQ) section that you might have while making this delectable Brown Butter, Ginger and Sour Cream Coffee Cake Recipe. I understand that as a barista, it is important to clear all the doubts of our customers and help them achieve a perfect cup of coffee. Similarly, in this recipe section, I will answer some of the FAQs like ingredient substitutions, baking time, storage tips and more so that you can make this rich and flavorful cake with ease. Let’s dive right into it!

What does sour cream do in baking?

When preparing a cake batter, using sour cream as an ingredient proves to be beneficial as it provides moisture without causing the consistency of the mixture to become too thin. This ultimately results in a cake that has a delicate texture and fine crumb.

How much sour cream to add to cake mix?

Did you know that adding sour cream to your box cake mix can make it incredibly moist? It’s a secret ingredient that packs a punch of flavor!

Can I substitute buttermilk for sour cream in coffee cake?

One helpful substitution for baking is using buttermilk instead of sour cream. For every cup of sour cream required in recipes like muffins and cakes, you can opt for 1-1/3 cups of buttermilk. However, make sure to lessen the amount of liquid indicated in the recipe by 1/3 cup, such as juice, milk or water. This can be a great rescue for any baking mishaps.

Can you put sour cream in cake?

According to Wilk, sour cream is a dairy product that has high fat content, making it a rich and moist ingredient when used in baking. The presence of fat, whether from butter, lard or cream, can shorten the gluten strands, leading to the creation of tender baked goods.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Brown Butter, Ginger and Sour Cream Coffee Cake Recipe is a game-changer for coffee lovers and cake enthusiasts alike. With its delectable blend of spices, rich browned butter, and tangy sour cream, this recipe is sure to satisfy your cravings for something sweet and decadent.

Not only is this recipe delicious, but it’s also simple to make and includes easy-to-find ingredients. Plus, with the ability to make ahead of time and store for later consumption, this cake is perfect for a quick breakfast treat or an elegant dessert.

So why settle for bland store-bought coffee cakes when you can impress your guests with a homemade Brown Butter, Ginger and Sour Cream Coffee Cake? Give it a try and see for yourself why this cake is the new must-have addition to your baking repertoire. Happy baking!

Brown Butter, Ginger and Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Brown Butter, Ginger and Sour Cream Coffee Cake Recipe

Recipe is from Bon Appetit.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 913.6 kcal


Brown butter

  • 2 cups unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger


  • unsalted butter (for pan)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup almonds, with skins coarsely chopped


  • For brown butter:
  • Simmer 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until browned bits form, 6-8 minutes. Pour into a 2-cup measuring cup. If needed, add more butter to measure 1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (added butter will melt).
  • For topping:
  • Whisk flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown butter (reserve remaining butter for cake); stir until moist clumps form. Stir in ginger. Set aside.
  • For cake:
  • Preheat oven to 325°. Butter pan generously. Whisk all-purpose flour and next 7 ingredients in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat remaining 1 cup browned butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and thick, 2-3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions. Beat in sour cream, milk, and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture just to blend.
  • Spoon half of cake batter into prepared pan; smooth top. Scatter 1 cup of topping over. Spoon remaining batter in dollops over; smooth. Add almonds to remaining topping; squeeze to form 1/2" clumps and scatter evenly over batter in pan.
  • Bake until a tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 20 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge of pan to release cake. Remove pan sides; let cool completely.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 236gCalories: 913.6kcalCarbohydrates: 98.9gProtein: 11.7gFat: 54.3gSaturated Fat: 30.1gCholesterol: 197.3mgSodium: 530.7mgFiber: 3.4gSugar: 59g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Breads, From Scratch
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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