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Holiday Coffee Cake Recipe

Updated on August 7, 2020
stephhicks68 profile image

I love cooking and recipe sharing! From tried and true dishes to creative meals, I love stirring up something new!

Quick and Easy Holiday Coffee Cake Recipe

For several decades now, my mom has been making her holiday coffee cake recipe for Christmas morning. She thinks that the recipe originated from the back of a Pillsbury biscuit can. Its hard to say since we've been enjoying this delicious sweet brunch treat for so many years.

I finally asked mom for the recipe this year. I had no idea how quick and easy this coffee cake is to make. Its just perfect for hectic holiday mornings. Warm, gooey and filling, holiday coffee cake is delicious when enjoyed with fresh fruit, orange juice, bacon and.... yes.... coffee!

Next time you are hosting a gathering, or will be having the extended family over for a holiday gathering, plan on serving this delicious caramel coffee cake treat, straight from the oven and still warm. It is so simple to make, you won't believe it! I can almost guarantee that you'll print this recipe out and make it time and again. It may become a staple in your kitchen, just as it has for me!

My kids enjoy this holiday coffee cake straight from the bundt pan after it has cooled. Personally, I think it looks extra nice served on small china plates with pretty napkins. The gooey sauce is sticky, so be sure to offer your guests a fork!

Holiday Coffee Cake
Holiday Coffee Cake | Source

Directions for Making Holiday Coffee Cake

Holiday coffee cake can be prepared in less than 1 hour with little prep time. That frees you up to spend time with the family! If you have children over the age of 5, they can probably help you prep the coffee cake. Kids love to cook and it is a great way to help teach them mathematics while you sneak in some quality time!

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 12-cup fluted tube pan or Bundt cake pan and set aside
  3. In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Stir in brown sugar, pecans and maple syrup.
  4. Pour approximately 1/4 c. of the sugar mixture into the prepared pan
  5. Open the cans of biscuit dough and separate into 20 biscuits. Stand them on edge, slightly overlapping around the prepared pan.
  6. Pour remaining sugar mixture over biscuits.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes.
  8. Carefully invert holiday coffee cake onto a lipped serving plate (to catch syrup) and serve warm.

Ingredients for Holiday Coffee Cake

You probably have most of the ingredients for holiday coffee cake in your refrigerator or pantry. If not, after a quick trip to the store, you'll be ready to make this recipe in no time. Don't worry about a lot of prep time. The ingredients are inexpensive too.

Other than the refrigerated biscuits, a trip to the grocery store is one less thing on your to-do list this time of year.

The recipe is pretty straight-forward:

  • ½ C butter
  • ¾ C firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ½ C chopped pecans or walnuts (we always use pecans)
  • ¼ C real maple syrup
  • 2 (10 oz.) cans refrigerated flaky biscuits

You will also need a circular bundt pan and butter or shortening to grease the pan. I highly recommend that you not use cooking spray because it is too hard to get into the crevices to prevent sticking. Take a few extra minutes and use some elbow grease to prepare the pan correctly. This holiday coffee take looks as good as it tastes so you will want to make sure it comes out perfectly!

Cook Time for Holiday Coffee Cake

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 35 min
Ready in: 55 min
Yields: Serves 12 people

Another Coffee Cake/Pull-Apart Cake Recipe

Suggested Revisions to Holiday Coffee Cake Recipe

There are many ways you can change up this coffee cake recipe to suit your individual tastes. Try some of these suggested revisions!

1. For a richer taste, use dark brown sugar in place of light brown sugar. Because dark brown sugar is made with molasses, you may wish to reduce the amount of syrup by 1/8 cup.

2. Replace or add to the walnuts or pecans with dried raisins or dried cranberries. If you are going to use both, instead of 1/2 cup of nuts, use 1/4 cup nuts and 1/4 cup dried fruit.

3. Experiment with flavored syrups (blueberry or blackberry) in place of maple syrup

Whatever revisions you make to the holiday coffee cake recipe, remember that the butter and sugar are key! The caramelized topping is what makes this breakfast treat so extra special!

*Sorry, I cannot think of any low-fat or low-sugar variations to this recipe, but if you have any that work, please be sure to share in the comments below!

Give a Rating to this Recipe for Holiday Coffee Cake

5 stars from 2 ratings of Holiday Coffee Cake Recipe

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2010 Stephanie Marshall


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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Steph, Some of the most delicious recipes originated on the backs of boxes decades ago! Your mother's Holiday Coffee Cake is no exception. I can assure you that I won't be waiting for the holidays to make this coffee cake.

      Thank you for sharing this tasty recipe.

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Marshall 

      9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Hahaha! Good idea, Stephanie! I do the same thing - I read hubs with delicious recipes and and I get super hungry! Enjoy the coffee cake! Best, Steph

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 

      9 years ago from USA

      I need some right now! Like my Mom, I love coffee and cake in the morning —I guess I shouldn't read hubs about coffee cake before breakfast! Gonna try this one!

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Marshall 

      9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Hi ibidd, thank you! I love coffee cake any time of the year, too. Best, Steph

    • lbidd54 profile image


      9 years ago from The beautiful Jersey Shore

      'Can't wait to try these recipes. there's nothing like a good coffee cake.

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Marshall 

      10 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thanks Robie - its the holiday baking time of year! Enjoy, Steph

    • robie2 profile image

      Roberta Kyle 

      10 years ago from Central New Jersey

      I am loving all these recipe hubs you are posting, Steph-- great, easy to follow recipe for the holidays-- thanks

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Marshall 

      10 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      You will be so lucky if your mom will make this holiday coffee cake for you! That way you can simply enjoy... thanks mom! ;-) Best to you Prasetio!

    • prasetio30 profile image


      10 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Another great hub from you. I thought this cake is so delicious. I'll show this to my mom. I hope she could make this cake for me. Rating Up!


    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Marshall 

      10 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thank you Alicia - holiday coffee cake is so simple, you probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry. Go pick up some refrigerated biscuits and soon the cake CAN be baking in your oven! Enjoy - Steph

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Marshall 

      10 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thanks Sherri - this recipe is so easy, you'll be making Monkey bread every weekend! Cheers to you - hope you love it!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      10 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      The recipe looks easy and delicious, and the photo makes me wish that the cake was baking in my oven right now!

    • Sally's Trove profile image


      10 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Your delightful Hub took me right down memory lane, Steph. I used to make monkey bread a lot, but always with my own yeast bread dough, not with a prepared biscuit. Your mom's version is so much easier that I think I'll give it a whirl..or a swirl!

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Marshall 

      10 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Super easy - that's why I love this coffee cake recipe so much! :)

    • LindaJM profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 

      10 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      This looks delicious! ...And easy to make!

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Marshall 

      10 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      I agree! Thanks shy!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      yummy! Looks great! there is nothing else like a good coffee cake. :)

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Marshall 

      10 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      You are welcome around the Christmas breakfast table any day! Hope you enjoy the coffee cake/Monkey Bread recipe. Smiles, Steph

    • Jeremey profile image


      10 years ago from Arizona

      oh my God, how have I forgotten "Monkey Bread", a favorite of mine as a child, my grandmother would always lure us back indoors with the wonderful flavors flowing out the window above her stove! Oh how I loved it. I will be over for coffee cake for Christmas,LOL! thanks for the recipes and reminder of forgotten great cakes, I now have to head to the store to gather ingredients and get to baking with my daughter next weekend!

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Marshall 

      10 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thanks you guys - I love baking too and spent most of the afternoon in the kitchen yesterday (just perfect this time of year!) Fiddleman, I hope your wife likes this recipe!

      Tipoague, this holiday coffee cake is a lot like Monkey Bread and sticky buns. Gooey and yummy! Cheers all, Steph

    • tlpoague profile image


      10 years ago from USA

      I love the coffee cake, but have to admit money bread is my weakness. I am still learning how to make my grandmother's sticky buns that is a favorite in the family. Great hub! Now I feel the need to go bake...

    • chinemeremz profile image

      Chinemere onuekwusi 

      10 years ago

      uhmmm, you recipe is really cool. I can't wait to try it

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I bet this is a really great coffee cake. My wife is a baker and is always experimenting. Thanks for this recipe.

    • carrie450 profile image


      10 years ago from Winnipeg, Canada

      This coffee cake looks absolutely delicious, thanks

    • minnow profile image


      10 years ago from Seattle

      it looks wonderful! thanks for posting it.

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Marshall 

      10 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thanks BJ - it is soooo yummy! Our family looks forward to this every Christmas (in fact, its super for Easter brunch too) Cheers, Stephanie

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      10 years ago from south Florida

      The Holiday coffee cake looks good enough to eat ... right off the page.


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