Danish Coffee Cake (Brunsviger)

"Brunsviger is a yeasted coffee cake covered in a brown sugar topping. The cake is rich, but fluffy, almost like brioche and the topping is like crunchy-gooey caramel."
-- @thesundaybaker
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  • Recipe Card
Prep time 2hrs
Cook time 20mins
Serves or Makes: 8

Recipe Card


  • 1/2 cup warmed to 95°f Whole milk
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons Dry active yeast
  • 3 tablespoons Granulated sugar
  • 1 room temperature Egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 1/2 cups All-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup room temperature Unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup Dark brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup melted Unsalted butter


  • Step 1

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix the yeast and warm milk together and set aside while weighing the other ingredients. The yeast should start to foam after a few minutes, otherwise the yeast might be dead.

  • Step 2

    Add the sugar, egg and salt to the milk and yeast. Set the mixer on medium for a few seconds to combine.

  • Step 3

    Pour in the flour, and slowly work the mixer up to medium speed. Knead until everything combines, forming a dough.

  • Step 4

    With the mixer still running at medium speed, slowly add the butter, one bit at a time. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, approximately 6 minutes.

  • Step 5

    Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and set in a warm place for 30 minutes to give the dough a rest.

  • Step 6

    Grease an 11 x 7 inch, or similar sized, pan and line with parchment paper. Transfer the dough to the pan, gently stretching it to the edges of the pan.

  • Step 7

    Set the pan in a warm place and leave the dough to rise until puffy and roughly doubled in size, about 1 hour.

  • Step 8

    Meanwhile, make the topping. Melt the butter with the brown sugar in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir frequently to ensure the sugar is fully incorporated into the butter. Set aside to cool slightly.

  • Step 9

    When the dough is almost risen, preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).

  • Step 10

    Press your fingers into the dough to form deep dimples. Pour the topping over the dough, being sure to fill the dimples and avoiding the sides of the pan.

  • Step 11

    Bake the cake for 20 minutes. The dough will be puffed and the topping will be bubbling and gooey. Let the cake cool and serve warm or at room temperature. Brunsviger is best the day it is made.

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