Christmas breakfast is probably the most awkward meal of the whole year. It’s a no-brainer if you’re a young one. It just doesn’t exist. I remember the few times my mom tried to get us to eat something before we descended upon the tree. Not a chance.
Now that the roles are reversed, I did my best to remember my feelings back then so I could be the ‘cool’ mom and not put Dudette through the hassle of rolling her eyes and sighing in disappointment at me. I didn’t suggest breakfast before we opened presents.
In fact, this year kept a step ahead of the whole deal. I made breakfast the night before. Yup, it’s true. Southern Living Magazine has a couple of fantastic recipes of breakfast dishes that can be made the night before, shoved in the oven and baked the next morning.
The family wakes up; I pull the pan out of the fridge and leave it on the counter to warm up a bit while the oven heats and everyone opens presents. At some point I slip out and put the coffee cake in the oven. By the time the present frenzy is over, hot, wonderful coffee cake is ready to be eaten.
As with many cakes, let the beatings begin….butter, then added sugar, then eggs. All beaten. Mix up the dry stuff, then add it to the wet stuff, alternating between the dry and the buttermilk. End by splashing in a bit of vanilla and making sure it gets stirred in well. That’s it.
It took me about ten minutes to pull this coffee cake together. I poured it into a 9×13 pan, covered it and put it in the fridge.
The next morning, I did just as I said, kinda. I pulled the cake out of the fridge and preheated the oven. I took a couple of extra minutes and threw together the crumble for the top of the cake. It was just a matter of mixing pecans, walnuts, almonds, brown sugar, flour, butter and cinnamon. That all got sprinkled on the cake.
After letting the cake sit out for 30 minutes, I slipped into the kitchen and put it in the oven.
Fast forward another 30 minutes and the cake was ready to come out. I drizzled the drizzle, which is powdered sugar, bourbon and milk over it and it was ready to be served to a crowd of happy, wide awake family members.
This cake turns out very, very moist and light. In fact, it’s so light that much of the crumble sank to the bottom. You can see some of it on the left in the photo. It doesn’t matter (except for the aesthetics) because the flavor is fantastic. I was very generous with the drizzle because there was so much. The adults found that the bourbon flavor came through very well, which they loved. The kids, not so much liking of the alcohol.
My suggestion would be to make a separate breakfast for the kids and allow the adults to indulge in this one on their own.
What I’d Do Different Next Time
I don’t know a better way of doing the crumble, but it was disappointing to see how much of it dropped to the bottom of the cake. Next time I might try adding it halfway through the baking. Maybe the cake will have set up enough that the crumble will stay put yet cook as much as it needs to.
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cinnamon-Nut Crumble (below)
Sweet Bourbon Drizzle (below)
Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
Combine flour and next 3 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in vanilla. Pour batter into a greased and floured 13- x 9-inch pan. Cover tightly, and chill 8 to 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 350°. Let cake stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Sprinkle with Cinnamon-Nut Crumble. Bake 32 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Sprinkle Sweet Bourbon Drizzle over cake.
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Stir together all ingredients.
Sweet Bourbon Drizzle
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon bourbon
2 to 3 tablespoons milk
Stir together powdered sugar, bourbon, and 2 Tbsp. milk. Stir in remaining 1 Tbsp. milk, 1 tsp. at a time, until desired consistency. Use immediately.