Christmas Coffee Cake

I’m excited to tell you about this coffee cake…prep

Mostly because it was one of the best breakfasts/desserts/midday snacks I’ve ever made in general…but more significantly because it was the only sweet something made this jolly holiday that was completely demolished by my whole family (save for the standard, unassuming but delectable pumpkin pie).


Everybody ate it, everybody liked it, everybody came back for more…what more could this proud baker ask for?

Cinnamon and sugar is without a doubt a winning combination, especially with my family.  My mother is not at all averse to whipping up a coffee cake mix or a batch of quick cinnamon rolls on a lazy Sunday any time of the year (nor am I when I’m visiting, for that matter).  However, we really enjoy the opportunity that the holiday brings – a chance to slow down, make everything “from scratch”, and hang out in one of the best rooms in the house – the kitchen!

Christmas morning tradition stipulates that while Santa’s presents and stocking contents are free game (once everyone is awake), no one may open a present from under the tree until after breakfast.  Of course, cereal and milk just won’t do when we want to make Christmas Day last as long as possible…we have to pull out all the stops (and cook like we’re feeding a small army…)

Dad made bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, biscuits, home fries…(phew!)

And I made this fabulous cake! (The night before so I wouldn’t get trampled in the kitchen.)


Incidentally, the above list is only a minuscule portion of the food made this Christmas…I’m pretty sure we have a refrigerator that expands magically to accommodate more leftovers…kinda like the Weasleys’ flying Ford Anglia…(yeah, I went there).



This cake. Oh my goodness this cake.  It’s egg-free!  Also, it’s made with applesauce (enough that you can taste a just a hint of apple, which makes me giddy and eager to add more apples next time) and Greek yogurt.  As a result, this cake is wonderfully dense.  The cinnamon-sugar crumb is cause for celebration too – since the cake itself isn’t overwhelmingly sweet, the crumbly streusel adds both a different texture and an additional burst of spice and sweet flavor.  I have to say, it is truly an excellent complement to a fresh mug of coffee – a delicious Christmas morning treat!


You need a hearty breakfast…those presents aren’t going to open themselves.

It tastes pretty fantastic with coffee ice cream too, by the way…

Coffee Cake
Adapted from the spectacular & splendid Shutterbean
For the Streusel:
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted, plus more for coating
• 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose), plus more for coating
• 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
• 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Cake:
• 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
• 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
• 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F and be sure to put your oven rack in the middle. Take a 9-inch spring form pan and coat it with some butter and flour. Set the pan aside and get ready to make streusel (the best part, always)!

Combine above streusel ingredients in a small bowl. Stir until well incorporated and let it chill in the refrigerator while making the cake batter.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to mix and break up any clumps. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until fully combined. Add Greek yogurt and mix well. Add the applesauce and vanilla and stir until well-incorporated. Add your dry ingredients slowly and mix until just combined. Pour your batter into the prepared spring form pan. Take your streusel out of the refrigerator and stir it up a bit. Top the cake off with an even spreading of your streusel mixture – it will sink into the cake as it bakes. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 50 to 55 minutes.

Let cool completely before popping out of the pan and serving.


I hope you all had a merry Christmas and I wish you a Happy New Year!


2 thoughts on “Christmas Coffee Cake

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