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 | ReluctantEntertainer.com
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Make-Ahead Chocolate Coffee Cake


  • 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!
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