Thursday, December 24, 2015

Overnight Cranberry Eggnog Coffee Cake

You know it's the holiday season when the eggnog comes out. Creamy, delicious, nutmeggy eggnog. And this overnight cranberry eggnog coffee cake is the perfect holiday morning breakfast treat. There is always something a little extra special about Christmas morning and this coffee cake fits that bill. Even better, you can make it the night before so all you have to do is pop it in the oven before everyone gets up or while everyone is opening gifts. I love anything you can make ahead and this recipe is just perfect. I never ever would have thought to do coffee cake over night, but this recipe has changed my mind. There is something that happens to the batter that makes it so moist and dense. But in a good way of course. It's the perfect holiday coffee cake.

To get this coffee cake started, you'll need the basic coffee cake ingredients, plus a few extra special things - eggnog, dried cranberries and orange zest. Those three things take this coffee cake over the top to holiday special goodness.  Oh, that and the eggnog glaze that is poured over the crumby top after it has baked to perfection. Mmm, eggnog glaze. Just give me a spoon! Okay, back to coffee cake. Once the batter is made (please try not to eat it all before it goes in the pan), you'll spread it out in to a 9x13 prepared pan. You can use butter and flour to prepare the pan or non-stick spray. I use the latter, but it's up to you and what you like. Once the batter is in the pan and all ready to go, you'll need to prepare the crumb topping. To me, this is the best part, but I am a crumby person. Some people don't like crumbs. Those are strange people. The crumbs are just flour, butter, sugar, cinnamon and nuts. If you don't like nuts or are allergic, you an leave them out. Top the batter with the crumb mixture and then cover with plastic wrap (or a lid, if your pan has one) and place in the fridge overnight.

When you wake up in the morning, all you have to do is remove the plastic wrap and/or lid and place in to a 350 degree oven. In about 35 minutes, your home will be filled with the best holiday smell ever. And the best part, you had to do little work in the morning to get it all ready to go and can spend more time with your family and loved ones. Once the cake has baked and cooled for about 20 minutes, then you can pour the glaze all over the top. I doubled my glaze (I really like glaze), but this is up to you. Also, make sure to use teaspoons of eggnog and not tablespoons. I am not sure I was fully away the first time I made this and wondered why the glaze was so darn runny. Oops. Thank goodness I caught it before I poured it all over the top.

Once the cake is glazed, it's ready to diving in and enjoying. This coffee cake could not be more perfect and is wonderful for the holiday season or when you have guest over. Easy. Delicious. Wonderful. Now that's my kind of coffee cake. Here's to wishing you wonderful coffee cake a very merry holiday season!

Mmm, eggnog!

Overnight Cranberry Eggnog Coffee Cake (slightly adapted from Brown Eyed Baker)

For the Cake:

2½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup eggnog
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
¾ cup dried cranberries

pinch or two of nutmeg (if you want your coffee cake a bit more eggnoggy)

For the Streusel:
⅔ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup coarsely chopped pecans (or any nut you prefer)

For the Glaze:
½ cup powdered sugar
4 teaspoons eggnog

pinch or two of nutmeg (if you want your glaze a bit more eggnoggy)

Prepare a 9x13 baking pan with non stick spray or butter and flour.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together the eggnog, sour cream and vanilla extract. In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar with the orange zest. Using your fingers, work the zest into the sugar until all of the sugar is evenly moistened. Add the butter and cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the eggnog mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. (The batter will be thick.) Using a rubber spatula, stir in the cranberries. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan and spread into an even layer.

In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, flour and cinnamon. Work the butter into the mixture using your fingertips or a pastry blender until it is completely incorporated, then stir in the chopped pecans. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over batter. Then cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, up to 24 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the pan from the refrigerator while the oven heats. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes. While the coffee cake cools, in a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and eggnog until smooth; drizzle over cake. Allow the glaze to set for about 15 minutes, then serve warm or at room temperature. Leftover cake can be stored, covered, at room temperature for up to five days or so. Enjoy!

This coffee cake is sure to become a family holiday favorite!

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