We have lots of holiday traditions at our house. Tradition runs deep at the Wilkes household and I have learned that even though my children are now young adults I can’t ignore those long standing childhood traditions. Some of our favorites include our Breakfast with Santa, Christmas Eve fondue dinner, Christmas Day traditions and others that are on my blog and I hope you will visit. Our family even made the newspaper and the nightly news when someone tried to mess with one of our family traditions a few years ago!
Today though I want to share a non-family tradition. This holiday tradition involves my friends. One of my favorite holiday traditions has always been a holiday brunch I host the first Saturday of December. For twenty years I was involved in a direct sales business and during that time I would invite the women on my team to my holiday brunch each year. It was a favorite event and one they looked forward to all year. Not only was it a chance for me to spoil them during this crazy, busy time of year but it was an opportunity to slow down just a bit, for just a few hours on a Saturday morning and enjoy each others company and some good food.
When I resigned from the company just over a year ago I decided I needed to continue the tradition of the brunch. So last year I invited a group of my friends from church. These particular ladies were not in the same congregation as I was so I didn’t see them on a regular basis. It was a wonderful morning, enjoying friends, good food and good conversation. A chance to slow down for a few hours. The tradition continued. You can see details from last year’s Breakfast with Friends here.
One menu item that is a must have for my holiday brunch is Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake. It has been a family and friend favorite for over 20 years. It can easily be made the night before your event and kept in the refrigerator. This coffee cake is always the favorite holiday brunch leftover with my family! (If there is any leftover)
One thing I particularly love about this coffee cake is the almond flavor in the cake part – so yummy! The middle of the coffee cake is filled with a cream cheese mixture and then topped with raspberry jam and almonds.
You’ll be hoping for leftovers when you serve this! Just keep them stored in the refrigerator.
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup butter chilled
- 1/2 tsp. each baking powder and baking soda
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4/ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup raspberry preserves
- 1 cup reserved crumb mixture
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
Preheat over to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan
In a large bowl, combine flour and 3/4 cup sugar. Cut in butter suing a pastry blender or fork and work into coarse crumbs. Set aside 1 cup of crumb mixture.
Into remaining crumb mixture, add baking powder, soda, salt, sour cream, 1 egg and almond extract. Blend Well.
Spread batter over bottom and 2 inches up sides of pan. Batter should be about 1/4-inch thick on sides.
In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar and 1 egg and blend well. Pour over batter in pan. Carefully spoon preserves evenly over cheese filling.
In a small bowl, combine the 1 cup reserved crumb mixture and sliced almonds. Sprinkle over top.
Bake in a 350-degree oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until cream cheese filling is set and crust is golden brown. Cool 15 minutes. Removes sides of pan. Serve warm or cool, cut into wedges.
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