I have always been a huge fan of eggnog-anything, so one year, I adapted a blueberry coffee cake recipe from Martha Stewart into an eggnog coffee cake recipe. It has been a Thanksgiving- and Christmas morning tradition ever since. The first time I made it was our first Thanksgiving in Tennessee, when we had just moved here from Washington State and were living in a small apartment. Our kids were 2, 3, and 6, and we realized that the rugrats were getting old enough to notice traditions. Before that, we didn’t care about traditions because it was so much effort to feed/change/occasionally bathe them that the thought of even putting up a Christmas tree (not to mention keeping the baby, toddler, and preschooler out of it) was enough to make me do this:
But this particular year, we had just made our cross-country move and my husband was asking if we could start some traditions for the sake of the small herd of mini-people who kept calling us mommy and daddy. To me, that sounded like a lot of work. I know a lot of people are up for that kind of work, as is evidenced by the amount of people who tote drooling, diapered people to places like the pumpkin patch or Nutcracker Ballet. Then, I realized it didn’t have to be that way for us. Those things could wait until everyone could walk on their own (or heck, maybe drive on their own), and we could start mini-traditions that are fun for us.
Enter eggnog coffee cake. That Thanksgiving morning in the apartment, I sat 3-year-old Bennett on the counter with a rubber spatula and a bowl of dry ingredients to stir. I attempted to turn my blueberry coffee cake recipe into eggnog coffee cake, and it was a hit. I made it again for Christmas. Then it went away for awhile, but when eggnog appeared in stores the next year, I remembered my recipe and we made it for Thanksgiving breakfast again. And then we had a tradition.
I’ll put the recipe here so you can make it if you want to! Since I adapted it from the original recipe and changed a few things, I’ll also put the other options in case you want to make it differently.
Eggnog Coffee Cake
(We double this streusel topping and use a 9×13 pan, but it was originally written for an 9×9 square pan. The amounts below aren’t doubled.)
1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cold butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix streusel ingredients in bowl and put it in the fridge while you’re making the rest.
4 Tb softened butter
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp rum extract
2/3 cup eggnog (this was originally buttermilk but we changed it to eggnog. If you want the cake to rise more, you can make your own eggnog buttermilk by adding two teaspoons of lemon juice to the eggnog and letting it sit a few minutes. It’s good both ways).
In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. In another bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg; beat until combined.
Add flour mixture and eggnog in alternating batches, beginning and ending with flour. Beat until just combined.
Pour into greased pan and sprinkle with streusel topping in big crumbs. Bake in a 9×9 pan for 45-55 minutes, or in a 9×13 pan (with streusel topping doubled) for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving!