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Browned Butter and Coconut Loaf Cake

1 Makes one

5 hours 45 minutes active

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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.


Makes one


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.

5 hours

45 minutes active

For the cake:

  • 10

    tablespoons (1¼ sticks) salted butter


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Christina T.

Hi wonder if I can substitute the spelt flour with almond flour or semolina flour. Thanks

Elizabeth V.

Have this in the oven now. Used all AP flour. Watched the TV show online and liked seeing it come together with the brief mixing times. Smell amazing in the house from the toasting coconut, browning butter, and now the cake baking.

Linda M.

So very delicious. Not too sweet. It did take a while to find the spelt flour-- but now I have enough to make several times!

James E B.

I made it this past Sunday, it's delicious. My cake was dark brown inside, not yellow as in the photos here. The glaze did not drizzle down the side at all. When I make it again, I'll increase the amount of glaze (and coconut topping) and perhaps pipe or drizzle it on all sides before putting the rest on top.