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Brunsviger Coffee Cake

If there’s one thing the Danes are serious about, it’s baking—and this coffee cake is proof of that! This yeasted confection is like a cross between a cake and breakfast bread, and the sticky vanilla caramel topping makes it impossible to eat just one piece.

Prep: 1 hour
Cook: 12 mins
Total: 1 hour 12 min
Serves: 8



  • 1 cup milk, lukewarm
  • 3 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt

Caramel Topping

  • 10 tbsp butter
  • 1 ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp vanilla sauce powder


  1. Preheat oven to 440℉.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in lukewarm milk. Allow to sit for a few minutes until bubbles start to form.
  3. Melt the butter, allowing it to fully cool before adding it to the milk mixture.
  4. Add the flour and salt, then knead by hand or with a stand mixture’s hook attachment for about 10 minutes until the dough comes together into a smooth ball. 
  5. Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  6. Place the dough on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Flatten into a 16″x16″ square, then let rise another 20 minutes.
  7. To make the caramel topping, melt the butter and brown sugar together in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. 
  8. Add the heavy cream and vanilla sauce powder, mixing together until combined.
  9. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Be careful not to overcook or you’ll end up with hard chewy caramel!
  10. Using your thumb, make indents in the dough deep enough that you reach the bottom of the pan, but do not break the dough itself. Then form a moat along the edges so that the caramel cannot overflow.
  11. Carefully pour the caramel topping over the dough.
  12. Bake for 12 minutes. Make sure the cake is fully cooled before serving.