Browned Butter Hummingbird Coffee Cake

Coffee Cake

This is your best excuse for having cake for breakfast. Browned butter adds depth to this unexpected twist on the classic Southern banana-pineapple confection. Pecan streusel is just, well, the icing on the coffee cake.

Browned Butter Hummingbird Coffee Cake
Makes 1 (8-inch) cake
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Browned Butter
  1. ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter
  1. ⅓ cup (42 grams) all-purpose flour
  2. ¼ cup (55 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  3. ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground cinnamon
  4. ¼ teaspoon (0.75 grams) kosher salt
  5. 3½ tablespoons (49 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  6. ½ cup (57 grams) pecan halves, chopped
  1. 2 large eggs
  2. 1 large banana, mashed
  3. ½ cup drained crushed pineapple
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. 1½ cups (188 grams) all-purpose flour
  6. ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon (162 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  7. ¼ cup (55 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  8. ¾ teaspoon (2.25 grams) kosher salt
  9. ¾ teaspoon (3.75 grams) baking powder
  10. 1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground cinnamon, divided
  1. ½ cup (60 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  2. 2 tablespoons sour cream
  3. 1½ teaspoons whole milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8-inch round deep cake pan with baking spray with flour.
  2. For browned butter: In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Cook until butter turns a medium-brown color and has a nutty aroma, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature.
  3. For streusel: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in butter until mixture is crumbly. Crumble with your fingertips until desired consistency is reached. Stir in pecans.
  4. For cake: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat eggs, banana, pineapple, and vanilla at medium speed until combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in browned butter.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, baking powder, and ½ teaspoon (1 gram) cinnamon. Gradually add flour mixture to browned butter mixture, beating just until combined.
  6. In a small bowl, stir together remaining 1 tablespoon (12 grams) granulated sugar and remaining ½ teaspoon (1 gram) cinnamon. Spread half of batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with one-third of streusel and cinnamon-sugar mixture. Top with remaining batter, smoothing top with an offset spatula. Sprinkle with remaining streusel.
  7. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes, loosely covering with foil to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Run a sharp knife around edges of cake to loosen sides. Invert onto a plate, and then invert again onto a wire rack.
  8. For glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar, sour cream, and milk. Pour over warm cake.
Bake from Scratch
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  1. In the list of ingredients for the cake, it doesn’t list how much butter to use for the brown butter portion. Could you let me/us know? Thank you!

    • Hi Ann, you will use 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter to make the browned butter in Step 2. You will incorporate all of the browned butter made into Step 5. I hope this helps!

  2. The finished cake, as shown in the magazine photo, looks as if half of the streusel is swirled throughout rather than layered in the middle, per the recipe directions. Also, the direction in step 6, separating out 1 tablespoon of sugar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, seems completely useless. Last, the glaze in the article’s pictured cake is obviously double the amount provided for in step 8, and looks like it was poured over the cake after cooling and directly on the serving plate rather than a wire rack.

    • Hey S. Wells,

      Thanks for reaching out! We always try to make sure that our photographed baked goods faithfully represent the recipe instructions. The streusel was layered in the middle, although some pieces may have sunk slightly, and the sugar-cinnamon mixture is sprinkled over the streusel for a boost of cinnamon flavor (making sure the spice really stands out, even though it is in the middle of the cake and competing with the fruity notes of pineapple and banana). As for the glaze, we didn’t double the recipe (wouldn’t want to falsely advertise) but we did it transplant it to a plate before pouring over the icing for a more aesthetically pleasing shot. Rest assured, this adaptation will not effect flavor or quality of the cake! Happy baking!

  3. This is a delicious cake, moist and flavorful I toasted the pecans, added ground cardamom to the streusel and used turbinado sugar for the final sugar-cinnamon boast. It was perfect. The glaze is a nice tart (from the sour cream) balance to the sugary streusel. Everyone loved it.

  4. Looks and sounds delicious. Is it called a coffee cake simply because it is served with coffee? In the UK coffee cakes are usually flavoured with coffee (unless I’ve totally missed something )

  5. I just made this for breakfast while quarantined. My husband love coffee cake. I did substitute an additional banana for the pineapple. I also doubled the crumb because we like crumb!
    I only had a 9 in spring form and that worked great. The cake turned out a bit thinner but was still very moist and delicious. I cut the bake time to 35 min which was perfect. It never burned either.
    This cake was fabulous! I love this site and will be making more recipes soon.

  6. Just made this recipe as muffins- super flavorful, delicious, and moist. Doubled the recipe, and made 14 generous muffins. Baked for about 30 minutes.

  7. Delicious coffee cake and very easy to make. I did have to cook an additional 15 minutes, but every oven is different and it still turned out moist. I will definitely be making this again.


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