Edited and written by Catherine Cunningham. Published October 3rd 2021.

Original recipe by The Sunday Baker.

Generationally loved, this coffee cake has no known origin. All we know is that everyone in Denmark sees this cake as the best and easiest thing to buy! It doesn’t have the normal coffee cake crumble on top, but a large and in charge brown sugar butter top! It’s gooey on top, something American coffee bread is not! 

There is no direct translation of Brunsviger to English, however to every dane, Brunsviger simply means, like coffee cake! This can even be a birthday cake, just decorate it with some birthday candles! 

I love coffee cake as much as the next girl, however while I have made the traditional coffee cake, this is totally out of my wheelhouse. First, this is a yeast bread, making it maybe even a yeast coffee cake if you will. While I loved the experimental part of this dish, it was a little nerve racking because I was stressed on time. The yeast took longer than I planned for so the bubbling of the dry yeast wasn’t as showing stopping as I was expecting it to be. I would definitely advise you to prepare for that.  


1 cup of whole milk, warmed to 105°F

2 1/4 teaspoons of dry active yeast

1/4 cup of granulated sugar

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon of salt

3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

6 tablespoons of unsalted butter

For the topping: 

2 cup of dark brown sugar

12 tablespoons of unsalted butter 


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix the yeast and warm milk together and set aside. The yeast should start to foam after a few minutes.
  2. Add the sugar, egg, and butter to the milk and yeast when the yeast is fully foamed. Set the mixer on medium for a few minutes to combine. 
  3. Next, add in the flour and salt, and slowly work the mixer up to medium speed. Continue/knead until everything combines, forming a dough.
  4. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes.
  5. Allow the dough to rise, cover the bowl with a damp towel and set in a warm place to rise for 60 minutes. It will double in size.
  6. Grease a 9 inch by 13 inch pan and line with parchment paper. Then, transfer the dough to the pan, gently stretching it to the edges of the pan.
  7. Set the pan in a warm place and leave the dough to rise until puffy and roughly doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  8. For the topping, melt the butter with the brown sugar in a small saucepan over low heat and stir frequently. Set aside to cool slightly.
  9.  Preheat the oven to 400 Fahrenheit, once the 45 minutes is up and it is ready to be baked!  
  10.  Now press your fingers into the dough to form deep dimples. Enough where they make little craters, but don’t reach to the bottom of the pan. Pour the topping over the dough, make sure to fill the dimples and avoid the sides of the pan.
  11.  Bake the cake for 20 to 25 minutes (The dough will be puffed and the topping will be bubbling and gooey).
  12.  Let the cake cool and serve warm or at room temperature. 

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