What is the most stained recipe card in your recipe box? Mine is my mom’s Overnight Coffee Cake recipe card. Pretty gross, huh?
But… can’t you just tell by this card that this is a fabulous recipe? It has been made and loved and devoured countless times. We eat it for birthday breakfasts, holidays (always at Christmas!), baby and wedding showers. Yesterday, I made it for a Father’s Day breakfast, and it was perfect.
Addison and I enjoyed making it together.
The buttermilk, brown sugar, and cinnamon were added to the batter while we talked about how long this recipe has been in the family. I told her that my mom (grandma) received this recipe in home-ec while she in high school.
As we mixed up the topping and sprinkled it over the top, I also told her that my mom made if often when I was a child for her weekly Bible studies. She always offered me a piece, but I refused to eat it because I thought that it was literally coffee flavored (an ingredient I have since come to love). How many times did I pass us this wonderful cake? Tragedy!
We popped the cake into the oven and it baked for about thirty minutes while we made scrambled eggs and cooked bacon: a common Sunday meal at our house. Soon the kitchen was filled with warm, delicious flavors, and the kids started to say, “What’s in the oven? It’s coffee cake!”
This truly is my favorite coffee cake recipe. The simple flavors of brown sugar, buttermilk, and cinnamon are so warming and comforting. The light topping makes it seem special and decadent, but it’s not as heavy as a strusel.
And I especially love the versatility of preparing this cake. As its name suggests, it can be made the night before and simply popped into the oven on the morning of a brunch or holiday. Or as we did today, it can be made and baked all at one time and ready in about 40 minutes.
I hope you can make this soon- for breakfast or family brunch or for a Sunday lunch, or just because. Of course, enjoy it with a steaming cup of coffee.
P.S. Don’t worry if you don’t have buttermilk in your fridge. See the notes below about how to easily make your own. I NEVER buy buttermilk.
- For the cake:
- ⅔ C shortening
- 1 C sugar
- ½ C brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 C flour
- 1 t baking powder
- 1 t baking soda
- 1 t cinnamon
- 1 C buttermilk (see notes)
- For the topping:
- ½ C brown sugar
- ½ C chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
- ½ t cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- Cream the shortening, sugar, and brown sugar.
- Add 2 eggs, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Mix until combined.
- Add the buttermilk. Mix until combined.
- Pour batter into the 9 x 13 pan. Mix the topping ingredients together and sprinkle over the top.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
If using the cake at a later time, refrigerate before baking. I also sometimes make this ahead and freeze before baking. Allow the cake to defrost in the refrigerator before baking.
Some members of our family love this cake served with a pat of butter on top. Yum!
We this for every Christmas morning, along with some other family favorites. Check out the complete menu here: