This Overnight Cinnamon Coffee Cake with Pecan Topping is the most perfect cake for Christmas morning. This very easy to make batter is topped with the most delicious cinnamon pecan topping. Prepped the night before, it smells heavenly baking on Christmas morning.
- Why you'll love this recipe?
- What is a coffee cake?
- What ingredients are needed to make Overnight Cinnamon Pecan Coffee Cake?
- Can I make this coffee cake dairy free?
- Can I make this coffee cake gluten-free?
- How do you make cinnamon coffee cake?
- What is the secret to keeping a coffee cake so moist?
- Expert Tips:
- Recipe FAQ's
- Some other delicious cake recipes:
- Easy Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Pecan Topping
Why you'll love this recipe?
- This cinnamon coffee cake is a delicious way to start your Christmas morning.
- It's also incredibly easy, and can be made the night before to save time.
- The top is covered in a crunchy pecan topping which adds an extra layer of flavor and texture.
- Baked in the oven, this cake will fill your house with the most amazing smell
- The beautiful thing about this cake is when there is madness happening of holiday prepping, you could make the batter, place it in the pan, leave it overnight in the fridge. Christmas morning as soon as you wake up, place it in the oven. Everyone will wake up to the most magical spicy aroma baking away.
Make this cake batter tomorrow. Stick it in the fridge. Christmas or New Year’s Day you wake up. Pop it in the oven.
Soon you will smell the smells of holiday time: cinnamon, ginger. Pecans intermingling in this dreamy and spicy sensory moment. Your headache will start to fade just a little.
Then it is ready and you take a bite. SMILE! It’s the new year and you have amazing cake! And make sure there’s some really strong coffee to go with it.
I made this cake last Christmas day with my neighbor. We both were in LOVE with this recipe. I made it all December last year. This year I had friends requesting the "Christmas Cake".
What is a coffee cake?
A coffee cake is a type of dessert that typically contains flour, sugar, butter, eggs, and baking powder. It's usually flavored with spices like cinnamon or nutmeg and often topped with crumble or streusel topping. It's traditionally served with coffee or tea as an accompaniment to breakfast or brunch.
Coffee cakes can be either baked in a cake tin or as a loaf, depending on the recipe you choose. Coffee cakes can also be filled with nutty ingredients like walnuts or pecans for added texture and flavor.
Originally posted December 31, 2010 and updated on December 21, 2020. This is one of our favorite holiday cakes! I found it in a 2009 Southern Living issue. I bake it the week leading up to Christmas and it's become a Christmas morning tradition. When I originally posted this I titled it the "Hangover Cake" to be silly. It's so easy to put together.
What ingredients are needed to make Overnight Cinnamon Pecan Coffee Cake?
- butter *(can use your favorite dairy-free butter replacement...I like Earth Balance)
- all-purpose flour *(can use your favorite 1-1 gluten-free flour ...I like King Arthur's or Bob's Red Mill)
- baking powder
- baking soda
- ground nutmeg
- ground ginger
- ground cinnamon
- sour cream* (can use unsweetened coconut or almond milk yogurt to keep dairy-free)
- firmly packed brown sugar
- ground cinnamon
Can I make this coffee cake dairy free?
Yes! Since this was a cake I first baked in 2010, we have most of the family dairy-free. So to let you know if you are dairy-free, I now bake this cake with Earth Balance margarine (or whatever your favorite dairy-free butter substitute is)and I use sugar free coconut yogurt (or whatever nut milk yogurt you like or even soy yogurt)in place of sour cream. The cake is still super rich and delicious and you don't miss the dairy.
Can I make this coffee cake gluten-free?
Yes! I have baked this using my favorite King Arthur's Flour or Bob's Red Mill 1-1 gluten-free flour mix and the cake turns out fantastic!
How do you make cinnamon coffee cake?
1. Prep your 9-inch spring form pan with baking spray (or butter and flour). If you're using a large Bundt pan, the nuts could be added to the bottom of pan. Beat butter and granulated sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
2. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients; add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Spread batter into a greased and floured 13- x 9-inch pan.
3. Stir together brown sugar, pecans, and cinnamon; sprinkle over batter.
4. Cover pan with plastic wrap, and chill 8 to 18 hours.
5. Preheat oven to 350°. Remove cake from the refrigerator and dispose of the plastic wrap.
6. Place cake in middle rack of oven. Bake coffee cake 35 minutes. Lower the temperature to 325 F and bake about another 20-30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.
6. Remove from oven. When pan has cooled enough (I usually use a dish towel to hold pan), release the spring form and place on a serving plate.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
What is the secret to keeping a coffee cake so moist?
Mom took a bite of this one the other day and she said, "The secret to it being so moist is that it rests overnight in the fridge before baking." SO there you have it. This is seriously the softest and most delightful cake. One of my most favorite simple cake recipes. Ever!
- The fun part of this cake is you make the batter the night before. It can stay in the refrigerator for up to 18 hours.
- You can also bake it immediately after making the batter. I have and it is amazing!!
- If you are saving for next morning to bake, simply wrap the top of your baking pan with plastic wrap and pop the cake in the fridge until the next day morning.
- When you take it out of the fridge, remove the plastic wrap before baking.
- I have made this in a Bundt and I have made it in a 9 inch spring form, as I did on this one in the photos above.
- I adjusted the recipe by adding more spices! I added ginger and more cinnamon to the batter and more cinnamon to the topping.
Coffee cake is a bit denser than traditional cake, as it typically uses baking powder instead of baking soda for a more moist texture. Coffee cakes are often flavored with nutmeg, cinnamon or other spices, such as cardamom or ginger.
The topping can range from streusel to a crumb layer and may be combined with nuts like pecans or almonds. Coffee cakes are often served as part of breakfast or brunch, while traditional cakes are usually reserved for desserts or special occasions.
Coffee cake can taste bitter if it has been overbaked. Be sure to set a timer and watch your coffee cake as it bakes. If the top is golden brown, but the center isn't set, lower the oven temperature and continue baking until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
If your coffee cake is too dry, it may be that you used too much flour in the recipe. Make sure to measure the flour carefully and not heap it when measuring. You can also adjust the amount of liquid in a recipe if needed. Too little liquid or not enough fat will make a cake dry. If possible, try adding an extra tablespoon of butter or oil to the batter. You can also try adding an extra egg or two tablespoons of sour cream for added moistness.
Yes, you can freeze coffee cake! Allow the cake to cool completely before wrapping tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Label and date the package and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
I get really giddy when you tell me on twitter or email me that you made my recipe and it was successful. If it wasn't successful, I break down in tears!
Whatever you do this New Year’s Eve, I hope it is a wonderful evening. I wish you a New Year filled with hope and peace. Good health and much love. Lots of great cake and fun times. Thank you for visiting me these past few months. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you. I LOVE your comments and visiting your blogs.
Much love and thank you for your friendship!! xo
Some other delicious cake recipes:
Recipe from: Southern Living December 2009
Did you make this? Please RATE THE RECIPE below:)
Did you make this? Please RATE THE RECIPE below:)
Easy Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Pecan Topping
- ¾ cup butter* softened, could sub with dairy-free butter sticks (I like Earth Balance)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour*
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sour cream* could sub with unsweetened coconut milk
- ¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Prep your 9-inch spring form pan (or 13- x 9-inch pan) with baking spray (or butter and flour). If you’re using a large Bundt pan, the nuts could be added to the bottom of pan. Beat butter and granulated sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
- Combine flour and next 4 ingredients; add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Spread batter into your prepped pan.
- Stir together brown sugar, pecans, and cinnamon; sprinkle over batter. Cover pan with plastic wrap, and chill 8 to 18 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Remove cake from refrigerator and discard plastic wrap.
- Bake coffee cake 35 minutes. Lower the temperature to 325 F and bake about another 20-30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information presented below is an approximation and may vary depending on the exact ingredients used.
- Gluten-free 1-1 baking flour could be used to make this totally GF (I like King Arthur's or Bob's Red Mill...both are equally great to bake with).
- This coffee cake could be made dairy-free. You could use your favorite margarine (I like Earth Balance, but there are other options out there now that are really great) in place of the butter.
- You could sub coconut milk yogurt (unsweetened) or even almond milk yogurt for the sour cream.