Monday, January 10, 2011

Guest Post: Buttermilk-Pecan Coffee Cake

I'm headed back to California this morning, so I'm turning my blog over to my mom to write about our Christmas morning breakfast this year...

For many, Christmas morning breakfast conjures up thoughts of a super-buttery, rich stollen. In fact, this has been the case at our house for many, many years. Sara’s grandma had a wonderful recipe chock-full of butter, candied fruits and nuts, with a butter-cream icing daintily-decorated with little rounds of red and green cherries and almonds. Any year that we were celebrating Christmas across the miles, a loaf would faithfully be delivered by the USPS. After the passing of grandma, we tried to duplicate her recipe for several years, never to the standards we remembered.

“Let’s try something different this year!” I said.  “Ahhhhh! No, kneading in 3 pounds of butter this year!” The recipe we came up with this year comes from The Feast Within.  The taste is buttery-rich, but, oh, this is so much easier to make. Another plus is that you can mix this up quickly on what is always a hectic Christmas morning. The crispy-pecan topping makes for a festive presentation that we think almost equals that of a stollen. Put this recipe on your back-burner for next year, and thanks Sara for letting me have a turn on your blog!

Buttermilk-Pecan Coffee Cake (adapted from The Feast Within, original recipe here)

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
4 T butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup all purpose flour
4 T cold butter
1 cup pecan halves

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a 9-inch round cake pan and line with parchment.
2. Make the cake.  Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and set aside.  In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla, and mix well.  Add the flour and the buttermilk in alternate additions (flour-buttermilk-flour), being careful to mix just to combine.  Scrape the batter into the pan.
3. Make the topping.  Whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, and flour.  Cut in the butter and then stir in the pecan halves.  Sprinkle evenly over the cake.
4. Bake about 35 minutes until golden brown and a tester comes out clean.  Let cool for a few minutes and then serve warm.


  1. Oh this looks delicious, I just love the top- very pretty

  2. that cake sounds delicious and I love pecans!!! what a great guest post! I would love a big piece with my coffee!

  3. Yummmm... I also love pecan! This cake sounds really tasty! I'd love to have a bite right now. =)

  4. What a great post from your mom. This looks really tasty and would be wonderful for breakfast or dessert!