Over-Night Coffee Cake

by Lori on September 7, 2010

I’m not going to mention those holidays that happen at the end of the year.  It’s way too early, and I just can’t say their names yet.  It’s a matter of principle.  But you know which ones I’m talking about.  The ones that involve lots of food, shopping, and the occasional dysfunctional family member.

They’re coming people.  You need to be ready for them.

And by that I don’t mean the dysfunctional family members.  Although they’re coming too.  They kind of go hand-in-hand with the holidays. But that’s a whole other matter that requires hours of mental preparation.  Or medication.  Or a sudden November trip to a dude ranch…

To cushion the blow, I have a handful of go-to make ahead recipes that really help me during the holidays.  My biggest challenge is that holiday morning when it feels like I just went to bed only to be rallied by two eager kids who are ready to tear into what arrived over night.  I love the excitement of it all.  But I’ve learned that if I’m not prepared with something for breakfast, we won’t be eating until lunch.  And then that screws up my dinner plans because I don’t want to spend the whole day in the kitchen.

Over the next few months, I’m going to be dropping in my favorite make-ahead breakfast/brunch helpers and hopefully they will help you.  I’m starting with the a behind-the-scenes super hero that will turn you into Wonder Woman or Superman at your next breakfast or brunch.  But don’t let a special event keep you from jumping on this one.  My kids and their sleep-over friends have enjoyed waking up to the aroma of fresh baked coffee cake quite often this summer.  That does something to you.  It warms your soul, and you just can’t have enough of that at any time of year.

The night before you plan to serve this, dump (and I mean that quite literally) all of the ingredients into the bowl of your stand mixer and mix for about 4 minutes.  This couldn’t be an easier or more forgiving recipe.  Just make sure to have your ingredients at room temperature.  Spread the batter into a greased and lightly floured (I used Wondra) 9-inch by 13-inch baking pan.  Sprinkle the nut and sugar mixture over the top and refrigerate uncovered over night.  If you’ve got any onions or other smelly stuff in your refrigerator, you may want to cover the pan so the flavors don’t develop into your coffee cake.
The next morning, set your oven at 350 degrees F (and if you have a automatic feature, you can program your oven to come on automatically…aaah technology), remove the pan from the refrigerator, melt a little butter, and drizzle the butter over the top of the cold coffee cake.  Pop the pan into the preheated oven and set your timer for 30 minutes.  That’s all that stands between you and warm breakfast coffee cake.
The melted butter will begin to set against the chilled topping and batter.  This is going to create a struesel effect once the cake bakes.  You’ll see.
As the cake rises in the oven, it puffs up around the butter and the butter sinks down creating ribbons of gooey deliciousness throughout the coffee cake.
It’s meant to be served warm, and it melts in your mouth.  Easily.  A little too easily.

It’s irresistible!

And who wouldn’t want to wake up to this sitting on the bedside table?  A word of warning: make this for your guests and they may never leave.  Bake with caution!

Over-Night Coffee Cake
Recipe from what else?  Simply Classic:A New Collection of Recipes to Celebrate the Northwest

For the cake:
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup (11 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons dry milk powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the topping:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup butter, melted

Sitting time: overnight.

Grease and flour a 9×13-inch baking pan.

In large bowl of an electric mixer, combine all cake ingredients.  Mix at low speed until well-blended, about 4 minutes.  Place in prepared pan.

Mix dry topping ingredients together and sprinkle evenly over the batter.  Refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees F and drizzle batter with melted butter.  Place in preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes, until top is a rich golden brown.  Cool for 15 minutes and serve warm.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Prerna@IndianSimmer September 9, 2010 at 2:46 pm

Wow, You couldn't have made a mother of an year old superactive baby any happier! Love your idea of posting such make-ahead recipes. They would really help me. Love this recipe and I'm most definitely going to copy it. Would let you know when I make it.
Thanks for sharing and also thankyou so much for visiting my space and for your kind words.
Keep up the good work and stay in touch!

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Lemons and Lavender September 9, 2010 at 7:24 pm

Thank you Prerna! We busy parents need to stick together and help each other out! I was in your shoes and remember those times very well. I hope you enjoy the coffee cake and thanks for visiting my site.

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Anonymous October 1, 2010 at 9:19 am

I'm a Japanese and am living in France, but I have the same cook book! I never tried this recipe before, but your post made me wanting to try it!(Not today, because I just made the Banana Brunch Cake this morning.) Since there's no pictures in the Simply Classic cook book, I now know how the cake should look like!

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Lemons and Lavender October 1, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Hi Anonymous! You're the only commenter who I come across who has this cookbook. With the exception of a few recipes, every one that I've tried has been great. And this one is so easy and such a great help for those early morning help that we all need sometimes! Enjoy and thanks for the comment!

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Michele October 27, 2010 at 2:33 pm

I only clicked over from FoodGawker because I loved the George Clooney comment, but this looks great, and perfect for Christmas morning. Thanks.

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Lemons and Lavender October 27, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Michelle, Whether it was from the comment or from the coffeecake photo, I'm glad you clicked over. This is a great coffeecake recipe for busy mornings.

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Anonymous November 2, 2010 at 12:48 am

I have to admit – I clicked over due to the George Clooney comment as well – but the recipe sounds and looks so good – I am definitely going to try it! Thanks for posting!

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Lemons and Lavender November 2, 2010 at 6:44 pm

Hi Anonymous, I know the photos on Foodgawker and Tastespotting aren't as appealing as they could be. Both sites have turned down a couple of shots of this recipe previously, so I went with what I could and added the comment to try and get more views. This is a great tasting and wonderfully helpful coffeecake. I wanted as many people to know that as possible!

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Anonymous February 15, 2011 at 10:00 pm

I too have this cookbook and tried this recipe a couple of times when we lived in Colorado. It did not bake properly for me, but that might have been because of our altitude. Did you make any adjustments to the recipe or directions in the book? Now that we live back at sea level I would like to try it again. Simply Classic is my absolute favorite cookbook, I love almost every recipe in it!

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Lemons and Lavender February 16, 2011 at 4:08 am

Anonymous,
I do follow this recipe exactly as it appears in the book. Simply Classic is probably my most reliable cookbook with just about every recipe having very positive results. You may be able to tell that from all the recipes I've made and featured here! Let me know how the coffee cake turns out now that you're back at sea level.

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