Christmas Eve.

The stockings are hung by the chimney with care...

Visions of sugarplums dance in their heads...

Not a creature is stirring...

...except you, of course. Trying to figure out Christmas morning breakfast.

Christmas demands more than cold cereal. But does it warrant standing at the stove flipping pancakes, while everyone else is relaxing around the tree?

Sticky buns or cinnamon rolls are nice – especially if you were organized enough to shape them ahead, and freeze; and they'll be thawing in the fridge Friday night, ready to bake Saturday morning.

But if you're JUST now thinking about Christmas breakfast – here's a simple solution, one that's fancy enough for this very special occasion, yet easy enough that you'll be in bed long before a visit from St. Nicholas.

Check out our No-Fuss Coffeecake.

Put the following in a mixing bowl:

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, light or dark, firmly packed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon strong flavor, such as butter-rum, vanilla-butternut, etc.; or 1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat everything together until smooth.

Add 2 large eggs one at a time...

...beating well after each addition.

Add 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour alternately with 1 cup sour cream or yogurt (low-fat is fine).

Add part of the flour first...

...then part of the sour cream, then flour again, and so forth, alternating until you've added all of both ingredients, and ending with flour.

The batter will be thick and creamy.

Lightly grease a 9” x 13” pan.

Spoon the batter into the pan, spreading it to the edges.

Next, the topping.

Combine the following in a small bowl:

3/4 cup brown sugar, light or dark, firmly packed
3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup chips (chocolate, butterscotch, cinnamon, or cappuccino), optional

Sprinkle the topping over the batter in the pan.

Distribute it nice and evenly.

Cover the pan with plastic wrap, and refrigerate it overnight.

Next morning, take the cake out of the refrigerator, and preheat the oven to 350°F.

Sprinkle the cake with a judicious amount of sea salt – not too much, but enough that you can taste it – barely. I've used Maldon Crystal sea salt here, as the flakes are very delicate, disperse well, and don't add any crunch - just flavor.

Bake the cake for 40 to 45 minutes...

...until it's golden brown on top.

Remove it from the oven, and cool briefly before serving.

Does that look like heaven in a pan, or what?!

Serve warm, with a cup of coffee. This cake is quite sweet; coffee helps temper the sugar, as does the sea salt on top.

Note: You can skip the overnight chill in the fridge if you like, and bake the cake right away. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

Read, rate, and review (please) our recipe for No-Fuss Coffeecake.

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PJ Hamel
The Author

About PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!