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The Fried Family Christmas Coffee Cake

Made the evening before and served Christmas morning with hot cocoa, hot tea, and coffee. 

Author Tammy


  1. .

    The Fried Family Christmas Coffee Cake

    Our family tradition is to serve this “coffee cake” (made using pound cake batter) Christmas morning with hot cocoa, hot tea, and coffee while sitting by the warmth of the fireplace, listening to Christmas music, and gazing at the Christmas tree. It is the one time we don’t actually eat our holiday breakfast at the dinner table — which has already been fully set the night before and decorated for the afternoon holiday feast. The cake is made the day before so the morning is less hectic and can be spent together as a family and as the suspense builds just waiting to begin opening the gifts.


    2 cups (1 pound) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

    2 cups (1 pound) sugar

    9 large eggs (1 pound) at room temperature

    3-¼ cups (1 pound) flour

    1/2 cup sour cream

    1 Tablespoon orange extract

    2 Tablespoons orange zest

    1/4 teaspoon allspice

    1 cup raisins or dried cranberries, blanched, optional


    1 cup packed brown sugar

    2 tsp. cinnamon

    1/2 cup chopped pecans

    Streusel Topping:

    1 cup packed brown sugar

    2 Tbsp. flour

    2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

    2 tsp. cinnamon

    3/4 cup chopped pecans

    pecan halves (to line bottom of pan)

    Orange Sugar Glaze:

    1 cup powdered sugar or sugar free substitute

    1 tsp orange extract

    1 Tbsp. milk, cream, evaporated milk, half n half (plus additional as needed) 2 tsp. of orange zest

    Grease and flour a tube pan. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.

    To prepare the cake batter, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Whisk in the eggs until smooth. Whisk in sour cream, allspice, zest, and orange extract. Add flour about a half cup at a time mixing well after each addition. Set aside.


    If desired, blanch 1 cup of raisins or dried cranberries, drain well, stir into prepared cake batter.

    To blanch, cover in water in small saucepan, bring to boil, remove from heat, let sit for 5 minutes to soften and plump before draining.

    Line the bottom of the prepared tube pan with pecan halves with the smooth, flat side facing up.

    Combine the Streusel ingredients. Crumble the Streusel over top of the pecan halves lining the bottom of the tube pan.

    Combine the filling ingredients.

    Pour a small amount of cake batter into the prepared tube pan over top of the Streusel.

    Spoon some of the filling around. Add a little more cake batter and repeat. Continue until all of the filling has been added and end with a topping of more cake batter.

    Bake for 1 hour or until knife inserted into center comes out clean.

    NOTE: If tops appear to be browning too soon cover loosely with a sheet of foil.

    Cool in inverted suspended tube pan for ten minutes before removing from pan to finish cooling on wire rack.

    When cake has fully cooled, prepare the orange sugar glaze. Whisk glaze ingredients — except zest — together until smooth.

    Add additional milk 1 tsp at a time if glaze is too thick and add additional powdered sugar 1 tsp at a time if too thin. Whisk well after each addition.

    Stir in the orange zest.

    Streak the top of the cake by drizzling on the Orange Sugar glaze. Allow to sit uncovered at room temperature until glaze has set.

    Cover and store at room temperature until ready to serve.


    If making in loaf pans, do not line pan with pecan halves or Streusel. When prepared loaf pans have been filled with cake and the brown sugar cinnamon pecan filling as directed, crumble the Streusel on top then top with pecan halves with the wrinkled, grooved side facing up. The number of loaf pans needed depends upon the size of the loaf pans being used and how much you fill them. Leave at least 1/2 inch space at the top to allow for expansion.