This festive gingerbread coffee cake is loaded with spicy ginger flavors, flavorful browned butter, and lots of buttery streusel topping and icing on top. — perfect for a holiday brunch or dessert!
It’s just not the holidays until there’s gingerbread in the house! I’m going to go so far as to say that browned butter, streusel, and glaze should also be present.
Final step in this game plan? Throw everything in a beautiful coffee cake and call it breakfast.
Don’t worry, I’ve got plenty of super healthy recipes planned for you in January. Until then, it’s gingerbread on the breakfast agenda!
If you’re looking for the perfect Christmas brunch item to impress guests, this coffee cake is the man for the job!
It’s super impressive and festive on a brunch table and it’s actually SO easy to make.
I’ll also let you in on a little secret: it totally doubles duty as breakfast OR dessert.
Ahh, the beauty of a coffee cake and the fact that calories don’t count during the holidays. (ha, wishful thinking)
This Gingerbread Coffee Cake features…
- An incredibly soft, dense gingerbread cake base
- Rich, spicy gingerbread flavors kicked up from the almighty browned butter!
- Tons of buttery streusel crowning the coffee cake
- Browned butter glaze drizzled on top
Making the Coffee Cake
(scroll to the bottom of the post for the full recipe!)
To make the browned butter, simply melt a stick of butter on medium heat until the butter is a deep golden brown and fragrant.
Set aside 1 tablespoon of the browned butter for the glaze and place remaining browned butter in a large bowl for the coffee cake batter.
Coffee Cake Batter
Light brown sugar (or coconut sugar) dark molasses, grated fresh ginger, and a combination of spices are the key ingredients to getting the maximum gingerbread flavor in this cake.
Don’t be tempted to skip the fresh ginger in this cake, it adds that signature slight spiciness to the cake that is SO good!
We’re keeping it basic with the other batter ingredients with ingredients like flour, an egg, buttermilk, baking soda/powder, a pinch of salt, and vanilla extract.
As per standard cake procedure, combine the wet ingredients with the dry until the batter is just combined. Scrape the batter into a 9-in cake pan and set aside to prepare the streusel.
Streusel + Glaze
For the streusel, combine flour, light brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter until crumbly.
Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the gingerbread cake batter and gently press crumbs to adhere to batter.
Bake the cake at 350F 45-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. While the cake cools a bit, let’s make some glaze!
Combine reserved 1 tablespoon browned butter with powdered sugar and a touch of cinnamon, then gently whisk in a few splashes of milk until you reach glaze consistency.
Drizzle the glaze over slightly cooled coffee cake and let stand several minutes until glaze is set.
Storing the Coffee Cake
Store the coffee cake covered on the counter up to 6 days. (if it lasts that long!)
I recommend reheating individual slices of the coffee cake before serving. It’s so good warm with a cup of coffee or tea!
Freezing Option: Cool coffee cake completely and do not glaze. Seal well and freeze up to 2 months. Thaw, reheat, and glaze before serving.
This entire coffee cake just tastes like Christmas. The cake is so soft, dense, and exploding with sweet ‘n’ spicy gingerbread flavors.
Suffice to say, it’s absolutely a DREAM warm from the oven alongside your favorite hot holiday beverage or a glass of cold eggnog!
It’s just plain incredible and needs to become a part of your Christmas brunch tradition!
More gingerbread favorites you should be baking up next!
- Soft-Baked Gingerbread Cookie Bars
- Iced Gingerbread Oatmeal Cookies
- Gingerbread Cheesecake Swirl Quick Bread
Browned Butter Gingerbread Coffee Cake
- 1/2 cup salted butter
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
- 1/2 cup dark molasses
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger (very finely grated)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1-2 tablespoons milk
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9-in cake pan with parchment paper letting some overhang the sides. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter until a deep golden brown and fragrant. Set aside 1 tablespoon in a medium bowl and transfer remaining to a large bowl.
- Beat sugar, molasses, egg, ginger, vanilla, and buttermilk into browned butter mixture until smooth. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.
- Gently fold flour mixture into liquid until batter is just combined. Spread evenly in prepared pan. Set aside for a moment.
- In a small bowl, combine all streusel ingredients until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over coffee cake batter.
- Bake coffee cake at 350F 45-50 minutes until a toothpick tests done. Cool on a wire cooling rack at least 30 minutes. Carefully use parchment paper overhang to lift cake out of pan and onto a serving plate.
- Place powdered sugar, and cinnamon in bowl with remaining 1 tablespoon browned butter. Begin whisking, adding milk by the tablespoon until glaze is drizzling consistency.
- Drizzle glaze over coffee cake and let stand 10 minutes. Slice coffee cake and serve warm. Enjoy!