Brown Butter Zucchini Coffee Cake

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Brown Butter Zucchini Coffee Cake-if you are trying to use up your summer zucchini, you need to make this coffee cake! It is great for breakfast, brunch, or dessert. 

Brown Butter Zucchini Coffee Cake Recipe

It’s zucchini season and that makes me giddy! I LOVE zucchini! I think it is probably my favorite vegetable. Please don’t tell the other vegetables, I don’t want to hurt their feelings:) I go zucchini crazy when it is in season and make everything with zucchini. I put it in pancakes, salads, salsacookies, cupcakes, brownies, and I even make noodles and nachos! I can’t get enough!

I am always looking for new ways to enjoy my favorite vegetable and over the weekend, I made this Brown Butter Zucchini Coffee Cake. It is good, like really good. Like so good that you need to stop and make it right now. It turned Caleb into a zucchini lover and that is HUGE! He now thinks zucchini is the best vegetable ever, just like his mama! It is funny what a good piece of cake will do to a kid:)

Brown Butter Zucchini Coffee Cake Recipe

I mean, how could anyone not like this cake? It is made with brown butter and we all know that brown butter makes the world a better place. Plus, it has a streusel topping AND a glaze! And it is made with zucchini, so you can eat as many pieces of cake as you want because the more veggies in our diet, the better:)

Brown Butter Zucchini Coffee Cake Recipe

This Brown Butter Zucchini Coffee Cake is great for breakfast, brunch, or dessert! I found myself snacking on it all day long and it tasted good every time. There is no bad time to have a piece of this cake. And it is just as good, if not better the second day. Beware, it might not last until the second day, it is that good! You will want to eat it ALL the second it comes out of the oven.

Shout Hip Hip Hooray for zucchini season because that means Brown Butter Zucchini Coffee Cake! Make it again and again until you have to beg your neighbors to give you more zucchini. Enjoy!

Looking for more zucchini recipes? Check out my round-up of the BEST zucchini recipes!

Brown Butter Zucchini Coffee Cake Recipe

Brown Butter Zucchini Coffee Cake

Put your summer zucchini to good use and make this easy and delicious Brown Butter Zucchini Coffee Cake. It is great for breakfast, brunch, or dessert.
4.65 from 14 votes
Prep Time
20 minutes
Total Time
55 minutes


For the Cake:

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into tablespoons
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini don't squeeze out the liquid

For the Brown Butter Streusel Topping:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 pan and set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, brown the butter for the cake. Melt the butter over medium-low heat and continue to cook, swirling occasionally, until butter turns golden brown and has a nutty aroma. Pour butter into a small bowl and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together browned butter, Greek yogurt or sour cream, eggs, and vanilla extract.
  5. Pour liquid ingredients over dry ingredients and stir. The batter will be very thick and somewhat dry. Add the shredded zucchini and stir until cake is combined and moistened. Again, it will be very thick. Pour cake batter into prepared pan.
  6. To make the streusel topping, brown the butter. Melt the butter over medium-low heat and continue to cook, swirling occasionally, until butter turns golden brown and has a nutty aroma. Pour butter into a small bowl and set aside to cool to room temperature. In a small bowl, combined browned butter, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Mix together until crumbly. Sprinkle topping evenly over cake.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake is light golden brown. Let the cake cool on a wire cooling rack.
  8. While the cake is cooling, make the glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. Whisk until smooth and drizzle over cooled cake. Cut into squares and serve.
  9. Note-the cake will keep covered on the counter for 2-3 days.

Maria Lichty

I’m Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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CommentsLeave a reply

  1. This sounds awesome!

    Just wondering if I could use whole wheat pastry flour, if so what would the measurement be in Exchange for the all purpose flour? Thanks 🙂

  2. This recipe looks so easy as well as delicious. I love Brown Butter Zucchini Coffee Cake and I will try it very soon. Thanks a lot for sharing such informative recipes.

  3. You mention squeezing the water out of the zucchini through paper towel.  I was confused, does that liquid go into the liquid park of the recipe for the cake or not?  

  4. I came upon this recipe yesterday as I was looking for a way to use up the zucchinis I had. I just got done making it and didn’t wait to let it cool off to taste it and burned the top of my mouth. But, it was delicious even without the glaze on top yet. I made it almost exactly the same except I subbed regular vanilla yogurt for the greek. And had to add alittle bit of milk to the cake batter because there wasn’t quite enough liquid to moisten the dry ingredients. I added chocolate chips on top of the batter before adding the streusel. I think it would be awesome with finely chopped apples in it as well.

  5. We are gluten free family, so I substituted gluten free flour and it came out perfect!  Yum!
    Used “America’s Test Kitchen” flour recipe from their book “How Can It Be Gluten free Cookbook”.  Best gluten free book I have found – now tied with the best (healthy) coffee cake out there – my teenage sons won’t know what hit their plates this summer.  Just that it is GONE by lunch!  LOL.
    Thank you!

  6. I tried this recipe last night and it came out very good. I did have to add about a half cup of almond milk because the batter it was too thick to stir – almost dough instead of batter. But the crumb topping is amazing!

  7. I am on my 3rd try making this.  Any idea why the cake mixture is so dry I cannot even stir it? I resorted to using a mixer, so we will see…

    1. I had the same problem. Added about a half cup almond milk. It wasn’t just thick, it was dry before adding milk. Looks good though. 

    2. The batter is dry, but the zucchini will moisten it up. Don’t squeeze out your zucchini, you want all of the moisture. The batter will be dry and thick, but when you add the zucchini it will moisten. It is a very thick batter because it is a coffee cake. I made it with one egg and two eggs and both work well. I updated the recipe to say 2 eggs, just in case that helps moisten it up for you. I hope this helps!

  8. I love this coffee cake and tell everyone about it. ?I came back this morning to make it ?but for some reason I can’t see the actual recipe anymore. Help!!

  9. I made this today and it was delicious. My batter was really dry and I ended up adding buttermilk so I could mix it. I don’t believe I added too much flour, but will try again. What consistency should the batter be before you add the zucchini?

  10. I am not sure what I did wrong but the batter was too thick and the cake came out doughy? I triple checked and I followed the recipe exactly so not sure? Did this happen to anyone else?

    1. The batter is thick, the zucchini will moisten it though. Coffee cakes are denser cakes. Every oven is different and yours might require a little longer cooking time. If the top is getting too done you can drape it with foil and let the center cook.

  11. I just made this recipe for a meeting at work.  I used Lite Sour cream and didn’t add the icing .  Also used an 8 x 12″ pan.  This recipe will be a staple….it was the moistest coffee cake I have ever made!!  Delicious

  12. Made this for a gathering was great. Another pan is in the oven to use for tomorrows gathering. Yummy
    I mis read directions and didnt brown butter for topping either time. Just cut soft butter into dry. Still turned out great.

  13. I never leave reviews on recipes no matter how good or bad they are but this is seriously amazing.. SO good! For someone who doesn’t bake (or cook) much overall it was pretty easy although it looks scary due to the ingredients and such.. So amazing. Go make it. Right now. I might eat the entire pan tonight.

  14. Brown butter makes everything better. I made this the other week and it was delicious. I had a bit of difficulty getting the zucchini to mix in with the rest of the dough which had become a pretty coherent mass on its own, but ended up getting there. The brown butter in the streusel topping was also a nice touch. Thanks for the recipe!

  15. Omg this came out soooooo good! It’s moist, the brown butter flavor is fantastic, and the icing I have to stop myself from eating the whole thing!

  16. My daughter and I made this coffee cake today and it was wonderful!!  Allowing the butter to brown, gave the cake great flavor!! 

  17. Apparently it is now my responsibility to make this for my family. It’s delicious! The 2nd time I made it I used an insulated cake pan. The cake was shorter, more dense, and the zucchini did not get as soft as it did the first time I made it. I’ll stick with the glass pan. How about using frozen shredded zucchini? How much? Do you drain it, as frozen is a lot more watery than fresh.

  18. This is SO GOOD! As the author states, the batter will be very thick, but after adding the zucchini it will moisten up more. Because of the batter being thicker than usual you will have to spread it out to cover the 13 x 9 pan. Again, this cake is awesome with a cup of coffee or a glass of milk!

  19. This cake is awesome, moist , sweet  and very 
     Delicious . The cake is easy to make  but it doesn’t last long in my house.

  20. I think the key to this recipe is patience. Go slowly as you brown the butter, thoroughly mix the wet and dry ingredients (it takes a little while), gently fold in the zucchini. I made muffins that smelled heavenly, looked beautiful, and disappeared in an instant. Too delicious for words!

  21. Oh my goodness!! So good!!! One of my daughters helped make it. First time we had ever done anything with brown butter. I couldn’t even wait for it to cool! Inhaled my piece with a glass of milk! Yummy!!!

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