Brioche Coffeecake


by Heather Harris Brady

Top off that cup of coffee or tea before you start this one, because it’s probably one of the longest single posts I’ve ever done. But if you haven’t worked with a brioche dough before I wanted to give you clear directions. I set out on this endeavor with the idea to make butterhorns, however, things took a turn. I was looking for something buttery but not pound-of-butter-for-30-pastries buttery.

This recipe makes a half-sheet pan of coffeecake, it also freezes well so you could bake it in two smaller pans if you like. It is also satisfying buttery yet lighter with only 1/4 lb. of butter. I based this recipe off Nick Malgieri’s brioche recipe in How to Bake. I’d highly recommend a large standing mixer with a dough hook too. But if you succeed in making this by hand you’ll be on your way to the arms of a goddess.

Brioche Coffeecake, Makes one half-sheet pan (About 24 generous servings)

  • 2 pkg. quick rise yeast
  • 1 c. warm water
  • 1-1/2 c. flour
  • Three eggs
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 2-3/4 c. flour
  • 1 stick of butter
  • Cinnamon sugar: 1 T. cinnamon + 3/4 c. sugar
  • Egg wash: Two eggs, beaten well in a bowl and set aside
  • One cup of 1-2-3-4 Streusel (see basics, above)
  • Simple Icing: 1 c. milk, 1 T. butter, 1 T. cream

First make a sponge by combining the first three ingredients.



Set it aside for 30 minutes.


Turn the sponge into your mixer bowl and add the sugar, flour and eggs. Put on the dough hook.


Beat on medium until well mixed.


Add the butter. The dough may separate at first but keep beating on medium.


Keep going for at least five minutes. The finished dough should look like this:


Set it aside until doubled in bulk. See all these lacy strands? They’re going to give us our light lacy texture.


Punch the dough down on a well-floured countertop. I apologize for these photos. The sun comes into my kitchen at a funny angle this time of year.


Roll it out into a large rectangle about 1/2″ thick.


Paint it well with egg wash.


Cover it the egg with the cinnamon sugar.


Now fold the long sides in.


Give the top another coat of egg wash.


And fold it on top of itself like so:


Time to preheat the oven to 375! Cut the roll into 1″ thick slices and lay them on a lightly greased baking sheet. They will slide around a little bit and get wonky because of the egg wash but that’s okay.



Sprinkle the tops with streusel.


Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until the edges are a pretty brown.



Let the coffeecake cool while you stir up the icing. When the top is no longer warm to the touch drizzle it well with icing.



Cut into pieces, or pull it apart, and serve!


Lightly cover any leftovers. Serve warm or at room temperature.


One year ago: Chocolate Almond Torte


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