Two Sisters Cook: Christmas Morning

Published 12:47 pm Friday, December 10, 2021

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“I heard the bells on Christmas Day, their old, familiar carols play, and wild and sweet, the words repeat, of peace on earth, good-will to men!

“Christmas Bells” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow captures the sentiment of ringing bells, early Christmas morning, announcing the beginning of the festive day.


Linda: Waking up on Christmas morning is filled with anticipation of opening gifts, a hearty meal, visiting with family and friends, so plan an easy breakfast that everyone can enjoy at their own pace.


Lucy: I know we have some good recipes for coffee cake and muffins that would be perfect to make a day or two ahead and have ready when everyone wakes up, and wanders in for breakfast.


Linda: One of my favorites is your New York Crumb cake. I’m not sure why it’s referred to as “New York” because I’ve read that it originated in Germany. 


Lucy: My son lives in Durham and I read on Martha Stewart’s recipe site that it’s quite a popular dessert at Foster’s Markets in the Raleigh-Durham area. Owner Sara Foster estimates that her shops sell three to four pounds of crumb cake every day.


Linda: I have an unusual muffin recipe that just looks and sounds like Christmas. They’re called Lemon-Raspberry Pound Cake Muffins. In know it’s not raspberry season but you can’t find fresh berries, use frozen raspberries.


Lucy: And I have an outstanding Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake recipe that would accommodate several guests looking for a delectable Christmas breakfast treat. It’s covered and filled with pecans. 


Linda: Yes, that is an impressive recipe and it says it serves 12, so perfect for a crowd. Let’s get our recipes out so our readers can start planning these tasty treats. 


New York Crumb Cake

Yield: Makes one 9-by-12 1/2-inch cake


2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for pan

4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1/2 cup milk

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup packed light-brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 ¼ cup  (1 stick + ¼ stick) unsalted butter, melted and completely cooled

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting



1: Place rack in center of oven, and heat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly brush a 

9-by-12 baking pan with canola oil, dust with flour, and tap to remove excess. Set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together 1 1/2 cups flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a second bowl, whisk together egg, milk, canola oil, and vanilla. Using a rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into egg mixture.

2: Spread batter evenly into prepared pan, and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine remaining 2 1/2 cups flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Pour melted butter over flour mixture, and toss with a rubber spatula until large crumbs form. Sprinkle crumbs over batter.

3: Transfer pan to oven, and bake, rotating pan after 10 minutes. Continue baking until a cake tester comes out clean, about 10 minutes more.

Step 4: Transfer baking pan to a wire rack to cool. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Using a serrated knife, cut into 3-inch squares. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


Lemon-Raspberry Pound Cake Muffins

Yield: 8 servings


1 cup (4 ½ ounces) cake flour (not self-rising)

½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp table salt

¼ cup grated lemon zest

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

¾ cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

¼ cup heavy cream

2 Tbs plus 1 ½ tsp lemon juice, divided

1 pint raspberries

¼ cup plus 2 tsp powdered sugar



  1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a cupcake tin with 8 foil cupcake liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat together the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in the vanilla. Add half the flour mixture and mix just until combined. Beat in the cream and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Add the remaining flour mixture, beating just until combined.
  3. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them halfway. Press 4 raspberries gently into the center of the batter in each cup, then top with more batter, filling the cups just up to the tops of the liners. Bake the cupcakes on the oven’s center shelf until golden on top and a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and let cool completely.
  4. While the cupcakes are baking, make the glaze. In a small bowl whisk together the powdered sugar and remaining lemon juice until smooth. When the cupcakes are cooled, drizzle the glaze over each cake.


Martha Stewart Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

Servings: 12


For The Streusel Topping And Center:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup packed light-brown sugar

1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Coarse salt

1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped toasted pecans

For The Cake

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Coarse salt

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup sour cream

For The Glaze

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons whole milk


1: Make the streusel topping: Mix together flour, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cut in butter using a pastry cutter or rub in with your fingers until small to medium clumps form. Mix in 1/2 cup pecans. Refrigerate until ready to use.

2: Make the streusel center: Mix together remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 cup pecans.

3: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the cake: Butter a 9-inch tube (angel food cake) pan with a removable bottom. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a bowl.

4: Beat butter and granulated sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla. Beat in flour mixture 

in 3 additions, alternating with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour. Continue to beat until well combined.

5: Spoon half the batter into pan. Sprinkle streusel center mixture evenly over batter. Top with remaining batter, and spread evenly using an offset spatula. 

6: Bake until cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Remove cake from pan, holding onto the tube, then lift off the cake tin bottom when completely cool, and transfer to parchment.

7: Make the glaze: Mix together confectioners’ sugar and milk. Drizzle over cake, and let drip down sides. Let set for 5 minutes before serving. (Can be stored at room temperature for up to five days)


4976: Lemon Raspberry Muffins

5131: New York Crumb Cake

5130: Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

by Lucy and Linda List