Brown Butter Zucchini Coffee Cake

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 on plate with bite on fork

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 with streusel and glaze

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 on plate with glass of milk

More Zucchini Recipes:

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.
4.81 from 31 votes


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


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 pan and set aside.
  • 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.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together browned butter, Greek yogurt or sour cream, eggs, and vanilla extract.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


The cake will keep covered on the counter for 2-3 days.


Calories: 289kcal, Carbohydrates: 47g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 44mg, Sodium: 163mg, Potassium: 111mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 28g, Vitamin A: 315IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 45mg, Iron: 1mg

Have you tried this recipe?

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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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  1. I LOVE the brown butter and zucchini addition to the coffee cake! Great spin on a classic.

  2. this looks seriously insanely delicious! I love zucchini season too, and am so excited to get baking!

  3. I love zucchini bread and I love coffee cake but I never thought of putting them together before. Yours looks incredible!!

  4. You had me at brown butter! What a wonderful way to make zucchini cake even more irresistible, Maria!

  5. Brown butter in anything is always a great idea! Brown butter zucchini coffee cake – yes, please!!!

  6. 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 🙂

    1. I haven’t tried whole wheat flour, but I am sure it would work just fine. Use the same amount.

  7. I’m a sucker for zucchini bread, coffee cakes, and crumble toppings, so this is like an ultimate win in my book. Oops, I think I just drooled.

  8. 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.

  9. 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?  

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. oh wow this sounds and looks so good. My absolute favorite recipe. Thanks for sharing.


  13. 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!

  14. My husband and I just placed it in the oven.. so far the batter was DELICIOUS. Can’t wait to have it with a glass of milk!

  15. 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!

  16. 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!!

  17. 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?

  18. 2 stars
    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.

  19. 5 stars
    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

  20. 4 stars
    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.

  21. 5 stars
    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.

  22. 5 stars
    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!

  23. 5 stars
    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!

  24. 5 stars
    My daughter and I made this coffee cake today and it was wonderful!!  Allowing the butter to brown, gave the cake great flavor!! 

  25. 4 stars
    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.

  26. 5 stars
    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!

    1. 5 stars
      Excellent recipe. I added chopped walnuts to the streusel. Also if you mix the zucchini in with the wet ingredients it all incorporates very well with the dry. No need to wrestle with it on the end ,it mixes together very easy.

  27. 5 stars
    This cake is awesome, moist , sweet  and very 
     Delicious . The cake is easy to make  but it doesn’t last long in my house.

  28. 5 stars
    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!

  29. 5 stars
    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!!!

  30. 5 stars
    I Love, love, love this recipe! I find myself with a freezer fill of pumpkin purée from my garden and am wondering about adding pumpkin to it- how would you adjust the flour ratios with pumpkin purée addition?

  31. Hi. I can’t see any coffee in the instructions or ingredients list. Please can you tell me how to turn the recipe into a coffee cake.

    1. There actually isn’t any coffee in coffee cake, they just call it that because people typically drink it with coffee:)

  32. 5 stars
    This is sooo GOOD! Like the best ever. I would eat it everyday. My husband was like, WOW this is good cake! Everyone should make this!

    1. I haven’t and I wouldn’t recommend it. Almond flour is very different. You can use gluten-free all-purpose flour. I like Cup4Cup.

  33. 5 stars
    Made this today, it’s so good! I don’t often make coffee cakes, but the picture looked so good, that I had to try it. Definitely will be making again. Even my husband loved it.

  34. 5 stars
    Wow! Loved this coffee cake! This recipe is definitely on my keeper list. I had some cinnamon chips in the cupboard so I cut back a bit on the cinnamon in the recipe and added some cinnamon chips instead. And I added a few drops of coffee flavored oil to the glaze, just because I could. The results were an absolutely delicious coffee cake.

  35. 5 stars
    So moist and light…I wouldn’t have believed it for a zucchini cake. And they are right… the browned butter makes all the difference. Don’t skip that step. I felt better eating it because it was made with lowfat Greek yogurt (extra protein). Absolutely delicious.

  36. 5 stars
    I have been trying so many zucchini (I use cucuzza instead) recipes lately. This one TOPS all the cake recipes! Love the sophisticated subtle flavor of the browned butter! Si yu’os ma’ase’ for sharing!

  37. 5 stars
    This recipe, as written, is a keeper! Absolutely delicious. Moist, not too sweet. Not overly dense like some zucchini bread/cakes. Love the crumb topping, combines zucchini bread and coffee cake perfectly. Was a little hesitant to try my culinary skills with needing to brown the butter, but took it to an event and it was gone quickly. Making my second batch in two days. For those who dislike zucchini, give it a very fine shred and you’ll never known it’s in the recipe. Thank you for sharing.

  38. 5 stars
    This is definitely a keeper recipe! The zucchini are now coming in abundance! I made no changes to the recipe. It is delish!!!

  39. 5 stars
    I just made this, but added chopped pecans to the streusel topping. SO delicious!! This recipe is a keeper. I have lots of zucchini from my garden, so I will be making this over and over again.

  40. 5 stars
    Thank you, Maria! Great easy to follow recipe! I made 3 of these, kept one(it’s already gone) and gave 2 away to neighbors, they LOVED it! DELICIOUS!

  41. It’s in the oven !!! Added 1 diced apple and some chopped walnuts to the batter. When I made the streusel, added chopped walnuts to that too, along with apple pie spice with the cinnamon to tie into the apples in the cake .

  42. 5 stars
    This really is amazingly wonderful! I even skipped browning the butter. My daughter said it’s the best thing I ever made 🙂

  43. 5 stars
    Best cake I’ve ever made. I made it for friends coming over and we were all so impressed by it. Great recipe!

  44. I made this today; the flavor was fantastic but mine was super dense. My kids loved it but my husband and I could tell something was off. I am trying to figure out what I did wrong…I think I got impatient and added the brown butter before it was completely cooled down to room temp. Would that possibly impact the baking soda/powder and prevent rising? Thanks!

  45. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious. I have never browned butter before – and still not sure I did it correctly, but the end result was excellent. Like someone recommended – I added the zucchini with the wet ingredients, and then the dry. I skipped the icing. Also wondering why we couldn’t brown the butter for both parts of the recipe at the same time – and divide it as needed?

    1. Glad you liked the cake. Yes, you can brown it all together, just make sure you divide it equally:)

  46. 5 stars
    This is a family favorite. My kids are always excited when they know this is coming out of the overnight! I have four boys and three are teens so you can imagine how often I am making this for them and their friends!