Christmas-Morning Coffee Cake


Why wait for Christmas morning to make this delicious cake?

Christmas-Morning Coffee Cake
Photo: Photographer Victor Protasio, Food Stylist Emily Nabors Hall, Prop Stylist Audrey Davis
Active Time:
15 mins
Bake Time:
1 hrs 5 mins
Cool Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 50 mins

Start your Christmas morning on a sweet note with this pretty coffee cake. In our Christmas-Morning Coffee Cake, a crunchy, spiced streusel topping sits atop a soft, buttery cake. But don't be fooled: This is not your average coffee cake. While it packs all the requisite spices—cinnamon and nutmeg—this Christmas coffee cake has a few surprises up its sleeve. The first: dried tart cherries, folded right into the cake batter. The dried fruit brings a pop of tartness to this warming spice cake; it's complemented by roasted, salted pistachios, which grace the top of this cake. (Note that the red-and-green theme is just perfect for Christmas.) You can trade the pistachios for pecans or walnuts, or leave the nuts out if you prefer.

The coffee cake holds particularly well at room temperature when wrapped tightly, which makes it the ideal treat for Christmas morning—no kitchen time required. We recommend warming a slice of this coffee cake with butter in a skillet on the stovetop. Enjoy this make-ahead spice cake with a cup of coffee while you're opening presents.



  • Baking spray with flour

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour 

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 4 large eggs

  • 2 cups sour cream (from 1 [24-oz.] container)

  • 1 cup dried tart cherries, chopped (from 1 [5-oz.] pkg.)


  • ¾ cup shelled roasted, salted pistachios, chopped

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour

  • ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • cup unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 cup powdered sugar

  • 5 tablespoons heavy cream


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease a 10-inch tube pan with baking spray.

  2. Prepare the Cake: Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl. Beat together sugar and butter on medium-high speed with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add vanilla and eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and sour cream alternately to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Fold in dried cherries. Pour batter into prepared tube pan.

  3. Prepare the Topping: Stir together pistachios, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until combined. Stir in butter. Sprinkle over batter.

  4. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 65 to 70 minutes. Cool in pan 30 minutes. Remove from pan; place streusel side up on a platter. Whisk together powdered sugar and cream until smooth. Drizzle over cake.

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