This Candy Cane Coffee Cake is a Christmas favorite at our house! My mom made it every Christmas growing up and the holidays just don’t seem the same without it! Now the thing is… it’s more of a bread than a coffee cake. And it doesn’t have any candy cane in it. Ha! So call it want you want and ENJOY 🙂
The bread can be made the day before you serve it. We love to have it for a December morning breakfast or with a cup of coffee at night for dessert.
Candy Cane Coffee Cake
5 tsp yeast (or 2 of the packages)
1/2 C. warm water
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup of butter, softened
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt
5-6 cups flour
2 jars of merischino cherries, chopped
2 packages of cream cheese (8 oz packages)
1 cup chopped or slivered almonds
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. almond extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a bowl combine your yeast and water. The water should be on the hotter side of warm. I like to add a tablespoon of sugar to my yeast and water mixture at the beginning. Fun fact: yeast feeds on sugar. The yeast will proof (grow) without the sugar. However, when the sugar is added to the beginning mixture, it will help to speed the process along. Especially if you keep your yeast in the fridge (which you should!). The sugar will help to “wake up” your yeast from it’s cold stupor a little quicker than if it were just yeast and water.
I always let my yeast sit for a few minutes to make sure that it has activated. The easiest way to tell if it’s activated and you haven’t killed it (by using too hot of water or too cold of water) is to give the water and yeast a good stir and to let it set. Watch for it to foam and create bubbles. If it does this then you’re good to go!
Add your buttermilk, sugar, softened butter, eggs, baking powder and salt. Use your mixer and combine all the ingredients. Add one cup of flour at a time and continue to mix. Once your dough has formed somewhat of a ball take it out and knead the rest of your flour in until the dough is no longer sticky.
Place it back in the bowl. Put a clean towel over the top of the bowl and set someplace warm. I usually set my bowl on top of my preheating oven or on my dryer (because hello. Laundry is always running at our house!).
For the filling combine cream cheese, almonds, cherries, sugar and almond extract. I like to add a splash of the cherry juice from the jar to give my filling a pink tint!
Take a portion of your dough and roll it out to create a long rectangle. You can make as many or as few candy cane breads as you like. I made one extra large bread for our family and two smaller ones to share.
Take part of your filling and spread it down the center of the rectangle.
Cut strips with a knife along the sides of your dough. Now it’s time for the fun part of making it look pretty! You’ll take one strip of dough and fold it to the other side. Then grab a strip from the opposite side and cross it over. You’ll repeat until you’ve “braided” the entire thing. You can see an example in the photos below.
Place it on your cookie sheet and gently fold the top over so it resembles a candy cane.
Bake your breads in the oven for 18-25 minutes. Depending on the size of your candy cane. You’ll watch for the tops to brown just a touch. Pull them out and let them cool.
While they’re cooling make a little glaze out of powdered sugar and milk. You want the glaze/frosting to make sure it’s not too runny and not to thick that it won’t drizzle over the tops of your bread. I don’t ever use exact measurements of powdered sugar or milk. Play around with it until you find the right consistency to drizzle!
You could wrap the trays with plastic wrap. Then decorate it with some yarn or bakers twine!
These tags would also look darling on top of your breads!
Now it’s time to pass them out and to enjoy one for yourself!