Breakfast, Cakes & Cupcakes, Desserts

Night-Before Coffee Cake

0 Comments 17 May 2013

OK, who doesn’t love the idea of a warm, rich coffee cake you can pop in the oven first thing in the morning with no prior work? When I saw this recipe I was like, “Me, me, oh me, me me!” Cuz, like, I was serious, y’all. However, this recipe ended up flummoxing us a little. Still, we ended up with decent results. Just be sure to check our notes section in addition to the post for the snafu or two we ran into.

Overnight Coffee Cake-1

Despite the warning above, the bulk of this recipe’s work does occur the day before and that makes your morning so much more relaxing. It’s not a hard recipe to assemble, either, so take that added bonus to the relaxation bank, m’kay?

Overnight Coffee Cake-3

The first stage of the cake batter is very much like a cookie dough consistency. It oughta be – there’s four cups of flour in this thing! It reminded me a lot of our chocolate chip cookie recipe in that regard.

Overnight Coffee Cake-4

Once you add the rest of the ingredients in, though, there it is, a beautiful, fluffy-as-the-clouds cake batter. Hellwo, wittle cake batter! You taste yummy!

Overnight Coffee Cake-5

I mean, hello and holy pans of batter! That looks like a lot, doesn’t it? This was our first clue that this cake might not bake as the recipe said. But we didn’t realize it till the next day of course.

Overnight Coffee Cake-6

Once you sprinkle on the topping, into the fridge this baby goes to await your hunger the next morning. Like a cooking boss, you are!

Overnight Coffee Cake-8

In all honesty, by the time this coffee cake was done, I was tired of baking it. And that’s only because the original recipe wasn’t correct at all on the baking time – for us. We were expecting a little over thirty minutes – though the amount of cake in our pan did give us the uuuurrr??? of confusion, but we went with it. And we ended up having to bake the cake twice as long. This isn’t necessarily a problem….if that’s what you’re expecting to have to do. When you are making plans and preparing things, no matter for yourself or guests, it’s nice to know you can depend on the recipe. So now we know, this tasty big-ass coffee cake just needed some more time. Future reference, we has you now!

The funny thing about this cake was, after all that prep work the day before, then the when-the-heck-will-this-thing-be-done baking the next morning….it really tasted better the day after we baked it. Yeah, you gotta have some snort laughter for that one. This might have been the case because we over-baked ours a little, and the next day it was actually not as, well, hard on top as it had been. Winning, right? Just know that this one needs to bake about 50 minutes to an hour. Watch it closely. Tent foil over the top if it seems to have browned enough but still has some jiggle in the middle. Ready? Get to baking!

Night-Before Coffee Cake

by Sylvia Patterson, Taste of the South Magazine, March/April 2013, Vol. 10, issue 2

Prep Time: 20 minutes    Cook time: about 35 minutes (see notes)    Level: Easy    Serves: 12

For the cake:

  • 1 1/3 cups all-vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons nonfat dry milk
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the topping:

  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Lightly spray a 13×9-inch baking dish with nonstick baking spray with flour. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine shortening and sugars. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy, approximately 3 minutes. Add eggs, beating until incorporated. Add flour, buttermilk, dry milk, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Mix at low speed until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.

In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, raisins, almonds, cinnamon, and nutmeg for topping, stirring to blend. Sprinkle mixture over batter. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 8 hours or up to overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake coffee cake until top is lightly browned and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, approximately 35 minutes (see notes). Cool about fifteen to thirty minutes before cutting and serving.


Our cooking time ended up being almost twice as long as the recipe instructions, but do follow the recipe and just know yours too might need longer. If it does, and your cake has browned plenty but not baked enough to be set, tent the top with aluminum foil and continue to bake until that wooden test pick comes out clean.

Note, too, that with SO much cake batter, we were glad we used my deep cake pan that has about two to two and a half inch tall sides. You might want to use a pan like that. This is a pretty tall coffee cake after it puffs up.

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- who has written 347 posts on Full Fork Ahead.

Wife, mom, indulgent reader and Day Job Do-er, who occasionally likes to think she can cook. Sometimes she's right, sometimes she's wrong.

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