Home Desserts Easy Christmas Coffee Cake Recipe

Easy Christmas Coffee Cake Recipe

From the warm blend of cinnamon and brown sugar to the crumbly melt-in-your-mouth topping, this Christmas coffee cake is a holiday must-make.

It’s the perfect way to start the festive season, and it’s extra special for breakfast after the big man’s visit.

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Christmas Coffee Cake with Cinnamon and Brown Sugar

Nothing livens up the holidays like a home filled with sweet scents and delicious food.

And nothing beats this Christmas morning coffee cake recipe.

It’s tender and super moist, with plenty of spice and crunchy pecans in every mouthful.

Serve it first thing, as a post-gift unwrapping snack, or even for dessert.

There’s no wrong time for Christmas coffee cake!

Pecan Sour Cream Coffee Cake  

Imagine the joy your family will feel waking up to the smell of this cinnamony-sweet coffee cake.

They might even be more excited about the cake than the presents!

Okay, maybe not. But it’s pretty darn delish.

Light, moist, and flavorful, you’ll love how the sponge complements the crumb topping.

Serve it with coffee, and you’ll be more than merry.

Christmas Coffee Cake Ingredients - Pecans, White Sugar, Light Brown Sugar, Butter, Cinnamon, Salt, Flour, Egg, Sour Cream and Vanilla Extract


This cake has two main components: the cake and the topping. So, you’ll need a few ingredients – like sugar and butter – in both parts. 

But the list isn’t that long! 

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  • Pecans – For a pleasant nutty crunch. Feel free to use another nut, but remember that it’ll change the texture of the cake.
    • Pecans have a buttery crunch, kind of like walnuts.
    • In contrast, peanuts will stand out with a sharper crunch.
  • White & Brown Sugar – You’ll use white sugar in the topping and the cake for sweetness. Light brown sugar just goes in the crumb for a caramelly finish.
  • Butter – To help the crumble top stick together. Real butter is best for taste and texture. Use salted or unsalted, depending on your preferences.
  • Cinnamon & Salt – Cinnamon brings a wonderful warmth. Salt balances the sweetness.
  • Flour – All-purpose flour for the sponge.
  • Baking Powder & Baking Soda – To help the cake rise.
  • Eggs – For richness and to help the sponge rise. Eggs also bind the cake ingredients.
  • Sour Cream – Full-fat sour cream brings a crazy amount of moisture to cakes. If you prefer crème fraîche, substitute that instead.
  • Vanilla Extract – Vanilla extract adds one more layer of sweet, delicious flavor to this cake.
Homemade Christmas Coffee Cake with Pecan Nuts

How to Make Christmas Morning Coffee Cake 

Making this cake isn’t difficult. And you’ll find the full recipe and step-by-step instructions below.

But here’s a quick overview:

1. Preheat the oven and prep the baking dish.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175°), and lightly grease an 8 x 10-inch baking dish with butter or cooking spray.

2. Make the topping.

Finely chop the pecans and mix them in a medium bowl with the cinnamon, salt, and white and brown sugars.

Add the melted butter, then stir until everything looks wet.

Set aside.

3. Make the cake batter.

Beat the soft butter with the remaining white sugar in a separate large bowl. Use an electric mixer on low-medium speed until it looks pale and fluffy.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the sour cream and vanilla. Mix on low until well blended.

Optional: In another large bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Do this by hand to evenly distribute the leavening agents and salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the butter and egg mixture and gently stir with a spatula.

Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and stir until you no longer see streaks of flour.

4. Assemble the cake in the baking dish.

Pour half of the cake batter into the baking dish and spread it out until it’s even and flat.

Spoon half of the topping mix over the cake batter. Try to keep it even and cover as much as you can.

Spoon the rest of the cake batter over the top and very gently spread it out.

Finish with the last of the topping.

5. Bake, cool, and enjoy!

Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Oven times may vary, so you may need to cook your cake longer. Keep an eye on it.)

Check for doneness with a toothpick inserted into the middle. It should come out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven and leave it to cool for about 10 minutes.

Serve warm, and enjoy!

Christmas Coffee Cake with Cinnamon and Pecan Nuts

How To Freeze Coffee Cake 

Freezing this cake is no problem. Just be sure it’s completely cooled first.

After that, you can freeze it in the baking pan, wrapped in plastic and foil. (Assuming it’s a freezer-safe dish, of course.)

If the pan isn’t suitable, transfer the cake or leftovers to an airtight container.

Once you’ve sealed the container, wrap it in aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. 

If you have a lidless container, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap first. Then, add the extra layer of aluminum foil.

Add the date, and freeze it! It should last a month, possibly two

When ready to eat it, allow the cake to thaw at room temperature. You can eat it without reheating it at that point.

If you want to reheat it, do so in the oven. 

Wrap it in aluminum foil and warm it for 15 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Recipe Tips & Tricks

Here are a few tips to ensure your cake turns out perfectly:

  • Always use room-temperature ingredients. This is true of most bakes (not pastry). They’ll mix better this way.
  • Use light pans for baking. Dark pans conduct more heat and can cook the cake too fast or leave the edges overdone.
  • Add extra flavor. Cardamom and nutmeg are tasty additions. Or go for almond and rum extracts. 
  • Use parchment paper. Since the filling has brown sugar, it will caramelize around the edges and can stick. So, use parchment to make it easy to get out of the pan.
  • Add sweet icing. It’s tasty as is, but extra sweetness never hurts!

More Coffee Cake Recipes You’ll Love

Sara Lee Butter Coffee Cake
Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Apple Coffee Cake
Krusteaz Coffee Cake

Easy Christmas Coffee Cake Recipe



Prep time


Cooking time





From the warm blend of cinnamon and brown sugar to the crumbly melt-in-your-mouth topping, this Christmas coffee cake is a holiday must-make.


  • Crumb Topping
  • 1 ½ 1 ½ cups pecans, finely chopped

  • 1/3 cup 1/3 white sugar

  • 1/3 cup 1/3 packed light brown sugar

  • 3 tablespoons 3 melted butter

  • 1 teaspoon 1 cinnamon

  • 1/8 teaspoon 1/8 salt

  • Cake
  • 1 ⅞ 1 ⅞ cups all-purpose flour (1 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoon)

  • 1 teaspoon 1 baking powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon 3/4 baking soda

  • 3/4 teaspoon 3/4 kosher salt

  • 1 cup 1 white sugar

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 unsalted butter, softened

  • 2 large 2 eggs

  • 1 cup 1 sour cream or crème fraîche

  • 1 ½ 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175°C) and lightly grease an 8 x 10-inch baking dish with butter or cooking spray.
  • For the crumb topping: mix the chopped nuts with the white sugar, brown sugar, melted butter, cinnamon, and salt.
  • Mix thoroughly until well combined and wet. Set aside.
  • For the cake: Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition.
  • Add the sour cream and vanilla, and mix until smooth.
  • Use a spatula to mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the butter-egg mixture.
  • Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, and mix until just combined.
  • Spread half of the cake batter in the bottom of the baking dish.
  • Sprinkle or spoon half of the crumb topping over the cake batter.
  • Next, carefully add the other half of the batter, spooning it gently onto the topping as evenly as possible.
  • Finally, add the last half of the topping, sprinkling it gently over the second layer of batter.
  • Bake for approximately 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown.
  • Check the cake is done by inserting a toothpick into the center. If the cake is ready, it will come out clean.
  • (if the cake is not ready, bake in 5-minute intervals)
  • Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes. Then, serve warm, and enjoy!
Christmas Coffee Cake

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Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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