Brown Butter Banana Coffee Cake

Brown Butter Banana Coffee Cake
From, by Heather Tullos

Brown Butter Banana Coffee Cake Photo

So um… it’s been awhile since we made a coffee cake, right? I think the last time we ventured into breakfast cake territory was when we made this Black Forest coffee cake. I’m not sure what has taken me so long -- cake in the morning is THE BEST!

There are some cakes that might not necessarily be coffee cakes, but are also pretty awesome in the a.m., including my brown butter pumpkin cake with vanilla bourbon glaze (omg) and my apple butter spice cake. Today though? Today is ALL about coffee cake -- more specifically brown butter banana coffee cake!

The thing that sets this recipe apart as a coffee cake in my mind is mostly the crumbly streusel topping. Those buttery square slices covered in bits of brown sugar, flour, butter, and spice are the epitome of coffee cakeness.

Brown Butter Banana Coffee Cake Picture

Also!!! If you’ve never used brown butter in your cake batter you are in for a real treat. In my opinion, brown butter makes all things exponentially more amazing all year long, but there is definitely something cozy that makes the depth of flavor it adds even more beautiful when the weather has cooled down.

Bananas seem to be my morning go-to (you can find my recipes for banana oat pancakes and fluffy banana muffins <<-- HERE) for fruit to put in foods, and that’s for a good reason. Besides the banana flavor, they add the perfect amount of moisture to baked goods, along with some natural sweetness. Bananas are definitely winning.

The week I made this cake I had a little slice every morning with my coffee while I worked. And I’m not trying to make any crazy claims, but I think I was like 40% more productive WITH cake than without.

Brown Butter Banana Coffee Cake Image

Then I sliced up what was left and took it with me to an event for the Humane Society over the weekend, and we were all extra motivated to get our work done -- in the rain!

In case you needed extra incentive to bake a breakfast cake. 

Brown Butter Banana Coffee Cake Pic


Brown Butter Banana Coffee Cake Recipe



  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups mashed banana, about 4 or 5 medium bananas, mashed

For the Crumbly Topping:

  • 1/2 cup butter, cold
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Put the butter in a small saucepan and melt it over medium high heat. Once the butter has melted it will snap and crackle as the water cooks out. When it starts to smell nutty and fragrant and turns just slightly amber, remove it from the heat. It will continue to brown a little bit in the pan.
  2. Place the browned butter in a large mixing bowl. Remember to scrape the browned bits! That’s the good stuff. Add the sugars and mix until combined. Then add in the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Stir in the vanilla.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter and sugar in thirds, alternating with the milk, starting and ending with the flour.
  4. Stir in the mashed bananas and scrape the cake batter into the prepared pan.
  5. Make the crumbly topping by cutting the 1/2 cup butter into the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. I like to use a box grater to reduce the butter into small bits and then I mix it all with my fingers until coarse crumbs are formed.
  6. Spread the crumb topping over the cake batter in the pan. Bake for 60 minutes. Be sure to check for doneness by inserting a pick into the center of the cake.
  7. Let the cake cool slightly before slicing and serving.


Le Creuset 3-quart Stainless Steel Saucepan

Cuisinart Stand Mixer

KitchenAid Stand Mixer

Le Creuset Revolution Spatula

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