A Joyful Attitude and Make-Ahead Chocolate Coffee Cake

Looking for a real time-saver recipe for weekend guests? Prepare this Make-Ahead Chocolate Coffee Cake recipe the night before, perfect for baking in the morning, with your guests awakening to the aroma of freshly baked pastry! Mm-m-m-m …

Make-Ahead Chocolate Coffee Cake | ReluctantEntertainer.com

I love holiday entertaining. It makes me very joyful. But I realize not everyone feels joy, especially if hosting stresses them out. I need to constantly remind myself that joy really comes from doing for others. It’s the simple things that really count in life that make your heart happy, happy, happy —- like giving, listening, cooking, connecting. For me, it’s about inviting friends and family into our home. Any act of love can really make you happy, which can increase or spark that joy in your life.

Make-Ahead Chocolate Coffee Cake | ReluctantEntertainer.com

What’s Joy?

We’re in the heart of entertaining season right now. It’s hard to sometimes keep your joy cup full, when things get so stressful.

Here’s the cool thing. Joy happens even when you don’t feel like inviting others in. So if you take the chance, even when you don’t “feel” like it, a little hospitable effort can go a long way for not only your guests, but yourself as well.

Worrying about how everything is supposed to look, or be, or taste, trying to impress others, will steal your joy. Think of others first, what they are bringing to the table (more than food) with their personalities, their stories, even their struggles.

Getting together is all about connection and getting to know each other in a more intimate way. We need each other, especially during the holidays, when life can be lonely and depressing for many.

You have to think of yourself sometimes. Plan ahead with a simple party outfit, shoes, necklace, even red lipstick. Getting yourself ready for the guests, and feeling good about yourself, means you care about the party that is about to take place. Plan simple recipes, not recipes where you will spend hours slaving in the kitchen. YOU want to enjoy the season as much as possible too!

It’s good to be reminded of how to bless others, but also take care of yourself. Part of this comes with planning and organizing.

Make-Ahead Chocolate Coffee Cake.

My recipe today is easy, you can make it the night before, and then pop it in the oven in the morning.

Make-Ahead Chocolate Coffee Cake | ReluctantEntertainer.com

Just drizzle the butter on top right before baking.

Make-Ahead Chocolate Coffee Cake | ReluctantEntertainer.com

It’s perfect if you have plans for out-of-town guests arriving in the next couple of weeks! It’s also a delicious idea to make and take warm, out of the oven, to friends who you know are hosting a large group of the holidays, to surprise them with a yummy dish.

Make-Ahead Chocolate Coffee Cake | ReluctantEntertainer.com

What are some tips you have for keeping a joyful attitude during the holidays?

Make-Ahead Chocolate Coffee Cake

Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Servings: 8 -10


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2/3 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. cocoa
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup butter melted


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×13 baking pan.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, buttermilk, butter, brown sugar, and eggs. Mix by hand; add the cocoa, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  • Mix well and spread into the greased 9×13 pan.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the dry topping ingredients (brown sugar, almonds, chocolate chips) and sprinkle over the batter.
  • Refrigerate overnight (or follow the steps of adding butter and baking, if you plan to serve right away).
  • In the morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle the cake with melted butter.
  • Place the pan in the oven and bake for 35 minutes until the top is rich golden brown. Cool for 15 minutes. Cut into squares and serve!

18 comments on “A Joyful Attitude and Make-Ahead Chocolate Coffee Cake”

  1. Did you forget to add coffee to chocolate coffee cake? ;)

  2. Particularly important published! A good portion to receiving full of rich and optimized content. Thumbs up for you!!

  3. Wow its amazing and delicious brown sweet . http://goo.gl/moF5QL

  4. Thanks for posting this recipe. I made it New Years Day for family & friends using a gluten free flour mix and everyone loved it so much, that I have made it twice since then! It is a keeper! Happy New Year!

  5. This Baked Kale Gratin is delicious served as a main dish, or as a side dish for holiday entertaining.

  6. This recipe looks delicious and I agree so much with your post. Sometimes finding an excuse to invite friends over is a great way to get out of a funk…and find some joy! Wishing you LOTS of joy this holiday season!

  7. Bake ahead is the best! What a great recipe and great tips as always. Joy, joy, JOY!

  8. Oh I’m loving this cake! And your thoughts on JOY…like Liz said, it’s about perspective. And what you said…finding what makes you happy!

  9. Yum. Looks so good! I think keeping a realistic perspective helps my attitude. Taking in where we are at in life, what is happening around us and adjusting accordingly, and being okay with making adjustments.

  10. A good way for myself is to take time with Jesus everyday. Talk with Him, read scripture, pray for others. The day may or may not go well, but I have joy and peace. I cannot wait to make this cake! :D Thanks Sandy!

  11. Love this cake, and even more, your heart behind entertaining as always. Wishing you a holiday season filled with so much joy, friend! :)

  12. The cake looks scrumptious and the holidays truly are about a joyful attitude.

  13. Gorgeous make ahead coffee cake! Love recipes you can make in advance! xo

  14. I so enjoy coffee cake of any kind. Love that you can do this the day before.

  15. I think perspective is everything when it comes to finding joy in the every day. We are all just so darn lucky and blessed. Love this, Sandy!

  16. Ahh my God ! Mouth Watering one.. very nicely put up here.

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