Brown Butter Strawberry Coffee Cake

Hi it’s me, your friendly ambitious baker reminding you of a gorgeous spring/summer dessert that’s out-of-this-world amazing.

Early last summer I was on a huuuge berry kick (looking at you, frozen strawberry margs) and I knew I needed to make you an epic strawberry dessert for spring and summer holidays, parties & BBQs. This brown butter strawberry coffee cake is truly mind-blowingly delicious. It has hints of rich brown butter, a wonderful streusel middle and topping, plus fresh strawberries baked right inside. Truly the ultimate treat for Mother’s Day brunch (if you ask me).

Did I add a luscious strawberry icing on top? OF COURSE.

Coffee cake can get a bad rap for being dry and crumbly, but you know I would never do that to you. This coffee cake is perfectly moist and the crumb is just *chef’s kiss*. I mean, just look at her — she’s gorgeous! Bring this incredible coffee cake to your next get-together and watch your friends and family swoon. Weekend plans = made.

strawberry coffee cake sliced on parchment paper

What is coffee cake?

No, we’re not mixing coffee into the batter. Coffee cake is technically just a cake that has a cinnamon sugar streusel on top instead of a frosting. We are adding a little strawberry icing to this coffee cake, too, because you know I gotta be a little extra.

mixing ingredients for a fresh strawberry coffee cake

Everything you’ll need to make this strawberry coffee cake

We’re using the real deal butter and sugar in this recipe and the result is the most amazing, melt-in-your-mouth strawberry coffee cake you’ll ever try. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • For the topping & streusel: you’ll need some all purpose flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and a little melted butter to get that nice crumble.
  • For the dry ingredients: we’re using more all purpose flour and salt, plus baking powder and baking soda (yes, you need both!)
  • For the wet ingredients: you’ll need butter, vanilla greek yogurt and milk of choice for extra moisture, eggs, pure maple syrup, and both vanilla & almond extracts. If you’re nut free, simply omit the almond extract. Learn how to make your own vanilla here!
  • Mix-ins: we’re mixing fresh strawberries right into the batter. YES.
  • For the glaze: the beautiful strawberry glaze is made with freeze dried strawberries, a little butter, powdered sugar, and milk to thin it out.

sprinkling a crumble topping onto strawberry coffee cake

Can I make ingredient swaps?

As with all of my recipes (especially baking) I recommend sticking with the strawberry coffee cake recipe as is to get the best result. Here are a few ingredient swaps I can suggest, but please note that I haven’t tried them all:

  • For the butter & yogurt: I recommend using melted vegan butter instead of dairy butter. Do not brown the vegan butter, just use it in the recipe as is (melted). You can also use dairy free yogurt of choice, and remember to use a dairy free milk.
  • For the flour: I think that an all purpose gluten free flour will work in this recipe, but please note that I have not tested it out to be sure. Let me know if you do!
  • For the eggs: I also have not tested this recipe with flax eggs, but let me know if you give it a try! Then keep the recipe vegan by swapping the butter and yogurt.

drizzling strawberry glaze onto a strawberry coffee cake

What about different berries?

If you don’t have any fresh strawberries you can absolutely mix in any of your favorite berries! If you find other freeze dried berries, too, you can use those in the icing OR just have a strawberry icing with a different berry middle. Still delicious!

Learn how to brown butter

I LOVE the addition of brown butter in this recipe because it adds a rich, caramel-like flavor to it. Browning butter is easier than it sounds — get all of my tips & tricks for browning butter here!

sliced brown butter strawberry coffee cake on parchment paper

What’s the best pan for coffee cake?

Good news: you have options when it comes to choosing a pan for this strawberry coffee cake! I like to use a 9 inch springform pan to show off the layers, but you can also use a regular 9 inch cake pan OR an 8×8 inch square pan. So easy!

Tips for the perfect strawberry coffee cake

Don’t forget these easy tips & tricks so that your fresh strawberry coffee cake turns out amazing every time!

  • Grease your pan. Please remember to generously coat your springform pan (sides included!) with nonstick cooking spray so that the cake comes out easily! If you’re using a cake pan or square pan, remember to line it with parchment paper.
  • Use room temp ingredients. Be sure to cool down the brown butter for a full 10 minutes and bring your eggs to room temp so that they don’t coagulate when mixed together.
  • Do not overmix. When combining the wet and dry ingredients be sure to mix until the batter is just combined. Overmixing will create a dense, gummy texture.
  • Cool, then glaze. Let the cake cool for at least 30 minutes before adding the icing so that it doesn’t soak into the cake.

slice of brown butter strawberry coffee cake on a plate

Storing & freezing tips

  • To store: keep the strawberry coffee cake covered at room temperature for 1-2 days, then place it in the fridge covered for up to 1 week.
  • To freeze: let the cake cool and then wrap it well in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Place the full cake in a zip-top freezer bag. When you’re ready to serve it, thaw the cake in the refrigerator overnight, then let the cake come to room temp before adding the strawberry glaze and serving it.

slice of strawberry coffee cake with strawberry icing on a plate

More cake recipes you’ll love

Get all of my cake recipes here!

I hope you love this incredible brown butter strawberry coffee cake! If you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!

Brown Butter Strawberry Coffee Cake with Lovely Strawberry Icing

strawberry coffee cake on a plate

Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Gorgeous strawberry coffee cake made with rich brown butter and topped with a lovely strawberry icing. This wonderful strawberry coffee cake recipe is deliciously moist with the perfect crumble topping. The best way to use up fresh strawberries all summer long!


  • For the topping & streusel:
  • 1
    all purpose flour
  • 1/2
    packed brown sugar
  • 2
    ground cinnamon
  • 1/4
  • 1/3
    salted butter, melted
  • Wet ingredients:
  • 1/2
    salted butter* (unsalted is fine too!)
  • ½
    vanilla greek yogurt (I used siggi’s vanilla whole milk yogurt)
  • ¼
    milk of choice (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 2
  • ½
    pure maple syrup
  • 1
    vanilla extract
  • ¼
    almond extract
  • Dry ingredients:
  • 1 3/4
    all purpose flour (or sub gf all purpose flour)
  • 1
    baking powder
  • ½
    baking soda
  • 1/4
  • Mix-ins:
  • 1 ½
    diced fresh strawberries
  • For the glaze:
  • 1
    butter, melted
  • 1/4
    powdered sugar
  • ¼
    freeze dried strawberries
  • 1-2
    milk of choice, to thin glaze so that it’s easy to drizzle


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously coat a 9 inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray (VERY IMPORTANT TO COAT THE SIDES TOO); alternatively you can use a 9-inch cake pan or an 8×8 inch square pan that’s been lined with parchment paper.

  2. First make your streusel: in a medium bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add in the melted butter and stir together with a fork until it begins to form into crumbles and resembles clumps of wet sand. You may need to use your hands/fingers to form into nice thick ‘clumps’. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until ready to use.

  3. Make your brown butter: add 1/2 cup butter to a large saucepan or skillet and place over medium heat. The butter will begin to melt, crackle, and then eventually foam. Make sure you stir constantly during this process. After a couple of minutes, the butter will begin to brown and turn a nice golden amber color on the bottom of the saucepan, this usually happens right when it foams. Continue to whisk and remove from heat as soon as the butter begins to turn a brown amber color and give off a nutty aroma. Transfer brown butter to a large mixing bowl and set aside to cool for 10 minutes while you get all of your other ingredients out and measured. Note: It is important that you wait the full 10 minutes for the brown butter to cool.

  4. Once brown butter has cooled, add the remaining wet ingredients to the bowl: vanilla yogurt, milk, eggs, pure maple syrup, vanilla and almond extracts; whisk until well combined, smooth and creamy.

  5. In a separate medium bowl: whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined; do not overmix. Fold the diced strawberries into the batter.

  6. Pour HALF of the batter into the prepared pan and spread out with a spatula; the batter will be thick. Sprinkle the batter with HALF of the streusel mixture. Then top with the remaining batter and gently spread over the streusel and then top again with remaining streusel mixture.

  7. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a tester comes out clean with just a few crumbs attached. Allow the cake to cool for 30 minutes before glazing.

  8. To make the glaze: add freeze dried strawberries to a blender and blend until they are a fine powder. In a small bowl, mix together the melted butter, powdered sugar, freeze dried strawberry powder and milk. Start with a little bit of milk to thin the glaze, knowing you can always add more to thin if necessary. Drizzle the glaze back and forth over the cake. Cut into 12 slices. Store covered at room temp for 1-2 days, then transfer to the fridge for up to 1 week.

Recipe Notes

To make dairy free: I recommend using melted vegan butter instead of dairy butter. Do not brown the vegan butter, just use it in the recipe as is (melted). You can also use dairy free yogurt of choice.

Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats

This post was originally published on June 3rd, 2022, and republished on May 10th, 2023.

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