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Milk Street Recipe
Milk Street Bowtie Browned Butter and Coconut Loaf Cake

Browned Butter and Coconut Loaf Cake

5 hours 45 minutes active

Browned Butter and Coconut Loaf Cake

Free

This moist, dense, buttery loaf cake comes from Briana Holt of Tandem Coffee + Bakery in Portland, Maine. It's baked until the exterior is deeply browned, developing rich, toasty flavors and an amazing aroma. A coconut syrup is brushed on while the cake is still warm and, after cooling, a coconut glaze coats the surface. Holt uses spelt flour, a whole-grain flour with a subtle nuttiness. If you prefer, you can use all-purpose flour instead; if so, the total amount of all-purpose would be 228 grams (1¾ cups). Don't use whole-wheat flour in place of the spelt flour, as it changes the texture of the cake. Stored in an airtight container, the cake will keep at room temperature for up to three days.

10 tablespoons (1¼ sticks) salted butter
36 grams (½ cup plus 1 tablespoon) unsweetened shredded coconut
98 grams (¾ cup) all-purpose flour
135 grams (1 cup) spelt flour
1¼ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk, room temperature
1¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
214 grams (1 cup) white sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons coconut milk
31 grams (2 tablespoons) white sugar
62 grams (½ cup) powdered sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon coconut milk
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
For the cake:
  • 10

    tablespoons (1¼ sticks) salted butter

  • 36

    grams (½ cup plus 1 tablespoon) unsweetened shredded coconut

  • 98

    grams (¾ cup) all-purpose flour

  • 135

    grams (1 cup) spelt flour

  • teaspoons baking powder

  • ¼

    teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1

    cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk, room temperature

  • teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 214

    grams (1 cup) white sugar

  • 4

    large eggs, room temperature

For the syrup:
  • 2

    tablespoons coconut milk

  • 31

    grams (2 tablespoons) white sugar

For the glaze:
  • 62

    grams (½ cup) powdered sugar

  • 1

    tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon coconut milk

  • ¼

    teaspoon kosher salt

Directions
  1. 01
    To make the cake, in a medium saucepan over medium, heat the butter, occasionally swirling the pan and scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon, until dark amber and the milk solids at the bottom are almost black, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer, making sure to scrape in all of the milk solids. Cool until the butter is opaque, spreadable and cool to the touch, about 1 hour.
  2. 02
    While the butter cools, heat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle position. Spread the shredded coconut in a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan and toast in the oven until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes, stirring once about halfway through. Measure 1 tablespoon of the toasted coconut into a small bowl, then transfer the remainder to a medium bowl; set both aside. Let the pan cool.
  3. 03
    Mist the loaf pan with cooking spray. Line it with an 8-by-12-inch piece of kitchen parchment, fitting the parchment into the bottom and up the pan's long sides; mist the parchment with cooking spray. To the medium bowl with the coconut, whisk in both flours, the baking powder and salt. In a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, stir together the buttermilk and vanilla.
  4. 04
    Add the white sugar to the cooled browned butter. In the stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar on medium until well combined, about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl about halfway through. With the mixer running on medium, add the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl after the first 2 additions. Beat on medium until the mixture is shiny and lightened in color, about 1 minute. With the mixer running on low, add half of the flour, then the buttermilk mixture, followed by the remaining flour mixture. Mix on low for about 10 seconds, then stop the mixer. Using a silicone spatula, fold the batter just until the flour is incorporated, scraping the bottom of the bowl to ensure no pockets of butter or flour remain.
  5. 05
    Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Bake until the top is deeply browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few small crumbs attached, 75 to 80 minutes.
  6. 06
    While the cake bakes, make the syrup. In a small microwave-safe bowl, stir together the coconut milk, white sugar and 2 tablespoons water. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, stirring once about halfway through to ensure the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool.
  7. 07
    When the cake is done, cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Using the parchment overhang as handles, remove the cake from the pan and set on the rack. With a toothpick, poke holes in the top of the cake at 1-inch intervals. Brush all of the syrup onto the cake, allowing it to soak in. Cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Remove and discard the parchment.
  8. 08
    To make the glaze, in a medium bowl, whisk the powdered sugar, coconut milk and salt until smooth. Spoon over the cooled cake, spreading it to cover the surface and allowing it to drip down the sides slightly. Sprinkle with the reserved 1 tablespoon toasted coconut. Allow the glaze to dry for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Tip: Don't attempt to warm the buttermilk to room temperature by heating it in the microwave or in a saucepan. Buttermilk curdles if overheated, so it's best to let it stand on the counter until it reaches room temperature. If you're in a rush, warm it very gently in a warm water bath. Don't be afraid to brown the butter until the milk solids (the bits that separate out to the bottom) are deeply browned—almost black in color. They won't taste scorched in the finished cake. Rather, they will infuse it with a rich, nutty flavor and aroma.
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Browned Butter and Coconut Loaf Cake

Get Ready to Cook

1

Makes one

5 hours

45 minutes active

Tip

Don't attempt to warm the buttermilk to room temperature by heating it in the microwave or in a saucepan. Buttermilk curdles if overheated, so it's best to let it stand on the counter until it reaches room temperature. If you're in a rush, warm it very gently in a warm water bath. Don't be afraid to brown the butter until the milk solids (the bits that separate out to the bottom) are deeply browned—almost black in color. They won't taste scorched in the finished cake. Rather, they will infuse it with a rich, nutty flavor and aroma.

For the cake:
  • 10

    tablespoons (1¼ sticks) salted butter

  • 36

    grams (½ cup plus 1 tablespoon) unsweetened shredded coconut

  • 98

    grams (¾ cup) all-purpose flour

  • 135

    grams (1 cup) spelt flour

  • teaspoons baking powder

  • ¼

    teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1

    cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk, room temperature

  • teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 214

    grams (1 cup) white sugar

  • 4

    large eggs, room temperature

For the syrup:
  • 2

    tablespoons coconut milk

  • 31

    grams (2 tablespoons) white sugar

For the glaze:
  • 62

    grams (½ cup) powdered sugar

  • 1

    tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon coconut milk

  • ¼

    teaspoon kosher salt

Step 1 of 8

Brown Butter

10
tablespoons (1¼ sticks) salted butter

To make the cake, in a medium saucepan over medium, heat the butter, occasionally swirling the pan and scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon, until dark amber and the milk solids at the bottom are almost black, 8 to 10 minutes.


Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer, making sure to scrape in all of the milk solids. Cool until the butter is opaque, spreadable and cool to the touch, about 1 hour.

Step 2 of 8

Toast Coconut

36
grams (½ cup plus 1 tablespoon) unsweetened shredded coconut

While the butter cools, heat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle position. Spread the shredded coconut in a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan and toast in the oven until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes, stirring once about halfway through.


Measure 1 tablespoon of the toasted coconut into a small bowl, then transfer the remainder to a medium bowl; set both aside. Let the pan cool.

Step 3 of 8

Combine Ingredients For Cake Batter

98
grams (¾ cup) all-purpose flour
135
grams (1 cup) spelt flour
teaspoons baking powder
¼
teaspoon kosher salt
1
cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk, room temperature
teaspoons vanilla extract

Mist the loaf pan with cooking spray. Line it with an 8-by-12-inch piece of kitchen parchment, fitting the parchment into the bottom and up the pan's long sides; mist the parchment with cooking spray.


To the medium bowl with the coconut, whisk in both flours, the baking powder and salt. In a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, stir together the buttermilk and vanilla.

Step 4 of 8

Combine Separate Mixtures

214
grams (1 cup) white sugar
4
large eggs, room temperature

Add the white sugar to the cooled browned butter. In the stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar on medium until well combined, about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl about halfway through.


With the mixer running on medium, add the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl after the first 2 additions. Beat on medium until the mixture is shiny and lightened in color, about 1 minute. With the mixer running on low, add half of the flour, then the buttermilk mixture, followed by the remaining flour mixture.


Mix on low for about 10 seconds, then stop the mixer. Using a silicone spatula, fold the batter just until the flour is incorporated, scraping the bottom of the bowl to ensure no pockets of butter or flour remain.

Step 5 of 8

Bake Cake

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Bake until the top is deeply browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few small crumbs attached, 75 to 80 minutes.

Step 6 of 8

Prepare Syrup

2
tablespoons coconut milk
31
grams (2 tablespoons) white sugar

While the cake bakes, make the syrup. In a small microwave-safe bowl, stir together the coconut milk, white sugar and 2 tablespoons water. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, stirring once about halfway through to ensure the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool.

Step 7 of 8

Brush Syrup Onto Cake

When the cake is done, cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Using the parchment overhang as handles, remove the cake from the pan and set on the rack. With a toothpick, poke holes in the top of the cake at 1-inch intervals.


Brush all of the syrup onto the cake, allowing it to soak in. Cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Remove and discard the parchment.

Step 8 of 8

Prepare Glaze

62
grams (½ cup) powdered sugar
1
tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon coconut milk
¼
teaspoon kosher salt

To make the glaze, in a medium bowl, whisk the powdered sugar, coconut milk and salt until smooth. Spoon over the cooled cake, spreading it to cover the surface and allowing it to drip down the sides slightly.


Sprinkle with the reserved 1 tablespoon toasted coconut. Allow the glaze to dry for at least 5 minutes before serving.

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