Bon Appetit’s Brown Butter, Ginger, and Sour Cream Coffee Cake ~ Susanized

I thought the crumb topping would sit on top, but it sank into the cake imbuing each bite with caramel and cinnamon.
Butter Browning

Since I work primarily with U.S. Navy Seabees and Civil Engineer Corps Officers, everyone I work with thinks I’m a great writer.  People often ask me to edit documents and presentations for them or to write papers or articles from a list of facts.  I do this so often, that people come to me and say, “I need you to Susanize this.”  I take it as a great compliment and realize that I “Susanize” a lot of things.

Filling sandwiched between layers of cake batter ~ before topping was added.

When I saw this recipe for  Brown Butter, Ginger, and Sour Cream Coffee Cake in the November edition of Bon Appetit,  I tore it out & saved it.  Like any good food blogger, I have a pile of recipes at the ready.  This morning, when I felt like baking, I came across this recipe and decided to try out.  Brown Butter has such an addictive flavor.

Since I don’t care for Ginger in sweets, I substituted Penzeys Baking Spice for all of the spices in the cake.  For the filling and topping, I used 1 Tablespoon Baking Spice and 1/4 cup Cinnamon Chips for the 1/2 cup crystallized Ginger.  I also used Walnuts in place of Almonds.

Even though there’s only one cup of Brown Sugar in this recipe, it imbues the cake.  The Browned Butter and Whole Wheat Flour give it a graham and nutty flavor.  This is a dense cake that can be served any time of day.


Sun setting over Santa Cruz Island ~ from Ventura Harbor
These recipes are provided for your personal use. If you publish them, or re-post them, please give me credit. Grazie e Buon Appetito!


  1. says

    Susan, Such a lovely cake! Love the square cake pan! I’m with Lizzy…love the term Susanized!

    I am a recipe hoarder…Is there a group for that?

  2. says

    Good job Susanizing this recipe…looks delish. And I can see why you spaced on the soda bread…this looks too good. If not for St. Paddy’s day fun, I would have spaced too. And “Susanize” sounds so good…I don’t think “Krisize” makes the cut.

  3. says

    Susan…this looks absolutely amazing! Where do I start? I love your square pan. And I LOVE Penzey’s. I use their ‘cake spice’ a lot and often buy my vanilla beans there. But this cake looks sweet, crunchy, chewy and delicious! I’m going to have to start ‘Susanizing’ my recipes! : )

  4. says

    Susanize – what a great term and yes, that is a great compliment! This looks like such a delicious coffee cake. I wish I could have a slice or two with my coffee right now.

    That photo of the sunset is stunning!

  5. says

    Looks delicious. I love whole wheat flour used in baked goods. Penzey’s…that rings a bell. I believe there was a spice shop in Kansas City called Penzey’s. It was locally owned and very cute. I wonder if it is the same on you buy from. And…you grew up i Italy!? How very interesting…you must have some wonderful stories and memories.

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