Thanks to the National Raspberry Council for sponsoring this post

So much of what my kids relish about the holidays are the traditions we’ve started and stuck with as a family. Some are borrowed from my childhood (decorating gingerbread houses) and others from Mr. Mom’s Kitchen’s (hosting friends for Huevos Rancheros). One of the simplest rituals, though, is waking up on Christmas morning to warm baked goods, hot coffee, and English breakfast tea, all of which my kids seem to look forward to (nearly) as much as what’s under the Christmas tree.

Historically, our Christmas mornings have begun with croissants, which we buy pre-made, but not baked. We set them out to rise overnight and pop them in the oven in the morning until crusty and warm.  This year, though, I’m adding a new tradition to the old: Raspberry Buttermilk Coffee Cake.

Raspberry Streusel Coffee Cake

It’s a recipe tailor made for this time of year. Here’s why:

It’s Holiday Red

The cake is loaded with red raspberries, giving it the color of the season. It doesn’t matter that raspberries are a summer fruit, since the recipe calls for frozen raspberries, available year round.

Can be Made Ahead

It can be made a day or two ahead and holds up beautifully.

Is Healthier

It’s a bit higher up on the “good for you scale” than mosts coffee cake, since it has about half the sugar, relies on low-fat buttermilk for tenderness, and includes whole wheat flour.

Is Perfect for Guests

It’s the sort of cake you can set out for house gets or when company pops in. Cut a few wedges, brew a pot of tea, and visit. That’s what this time of year is all about.

Makes an Excellent Edible Gift

The recipe can be adapted into mini bundt cakes, which make pretty hostess or teacher gifts throughout the season. You’ll find the “how to” on that in the Notes section of the recipe.


Raspberry Streusel Coffee Cake
5 from 11 votes

Raspberry Buttermilk Coffee Cake

A tender breakfast or brunch cake crowned with a raspberry pecan streusel topping. Make it with frozen raspberries, which can be added straight from the freezer to the batter. See Notes below if you want to make this coffee cake as mini bundt cakes instead, perfect for holiday gift giving. 

Course Breakfast
Prep Time 25 minutes
Servings 12
Author katiemorford


  • 1/2 cup butter softened to room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 medium orange
  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup low fat buttermilk
  • 1 1/3 cups frozen raspberries not defrosted

Streusel Topping

  • cup frozen raspberries not defrosted
  • 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a 10-inch tube pan (angel food cake pan) with butter and lightly dust with flour. If you don’t have a tube pan, use a 9- or 10-inch springform cake pan.
  2. Cream together the sugar and butter until light and pale in color, 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, the vanilla, and the orange zest, and mix until blended, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the whole-wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Add about one-third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture followed by one-third of the buttermilk. Continue until all the ingredients are mixed together, scraping the sides as needed. Add the raspberries and use a spoon to stir just until mixed into the batter.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake pan. Mix together the Streusel Topping ingredients and sprinkle over the top of the cake, pressing down gently.
  6. Bake until the top of the cake is just firm and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake, about 45 to 50 minutes for a 10-inch tube pan. The time may vary if using a standard springform cake pan.
  7. Leave to cool completely on the counter. Once cool, run a knife around the edges to loosen the cake. Invert gently and set upright on a cake plate. Cut into wedges and serve.

Recipe Notes

You can use this same batter to make mini bundt cakes. Grease and flour mini bundt pans and fill about 2/3 of the way up the side. Skip the streusel topping. Bake at 350 until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 20 minutes (the time will vary depending on the size of the pans). Once the cakes are cool, whisk together 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar with 1 tablespoon orange juice or milk (add more if needed) and drizzle over the top.