Easter Coffee Cake – A Family Tradition
Easter Coffee Cake Recipe – Sharing Our Tradition.
Each young mother tries to bring to her family some of her old family traditions during the holidays. I have also tried to incorporate some new ideas into my family’s holiday memories over the years.
One of our favorites is the Easter Nest Coffee Cake served every year on Easter morning. This recipe came from a Better Homes and Gardens Homemade Bread Cook Book published in 1973, and we’ve changed and altered it to our tastes over the years.
Each and every year I always made one with the girls helping, of course. They decided which color to put on which egg, helped me separate out the color candies that came packaged all mixed up, managing to drop a few to the dog or just eat themselves, and scooped up some icing with their little fingers that just “slipped” off their side of the cake.
Over the years friends also found out about this tradition; so I began offering them one for their family to have. (I’m such a nice person ;-)). Now they expect it as much as my family does. Last year I made 4 of these cakes; as the girls now have families of their own.
I usually make the “cake” before the holiday craziness begins and freeze it until the Saturday before Easter, Holy Saturday. Then, after all the flowers are perfect at the altar in the church, I return to my kitchen to decorate the coffee cakes.
Our traditional Easter Sunday breakfast includes this cake, lots of real butter, our colored Easter Eggs and usually sliced baked ham that is left from dinner on Saturday. So, here it is. Hope you and your loved ones enjoy this as much as we do.
Blessed Easter to you and yours!
1 package rapid-rise active dry yeast
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup margarine
1 tsp salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 slightly beaten egg (allow to warm to room temp)
Green food coloring
Candy decorations (at least 6 different colors)
Scald milk in microwave oven, cooking for at least 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup water and margarine to melt. Cool.
In mixing bowl add milk mix, sugar, 1 tsp salt, 1 cup of flour. Mix. This will cool the mixture to about 110 degrees; use a thermometer if you are unsure of the temperature. Too cold and the yeast won’t grow. Too hot and you’ll kill it. Then add the yeast. Mix well so all ingredients dissolve. Stir in slightly beaten egg. Then, begin slowly adding the remaining 2 cups of flour. Stir until mixed.
If using a dough hook, knead the dough until dough is smooth and elastic. Kneading can also be done by hand, of course, for 8-10 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in a greased bowl, turn once. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft free place until dough doubles. (About 1 hour). Punch dough down; divide into thirds, cover and let rest for about 10 minutes.
Place dough on slightly floured surface and cut into 3 equal pieces. Use one-third of the dough to shape into 6 “eggs”; arrange in center of parchment paper-covered baking sheet. For the “nest”, shape remaining dough into two 26-inch ropes. Twist the ropes together and coil around the “eggs” to form the nest. (see photo). Make sure to secure the ends by wrapping them together and folding under the nest.
Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Remove from sheet; cool.
Tint the coconut with a few drops of green food coloring by shaking it in a plastic storage container.
My girls circa 1980-something. Aren’t they cute!
Frost the eggs first (one at a time) and decorate each “egg” with a different color candy decoration. (This means you will have to separate the mixed colors ahead of time. Avoid using dark-colored nonpareils or colored sugars, as they have a tendency to “bleed” color into the icing).
Ice the “nest” last, pressing the coconut into the icing section by section being careful to not let the icing dry before you add the coconut or sugar decorations.
Confectioner Icing recipe:
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Enough milk to make a spreadable icing (about 3 T)
Enjoy your new Easter breakfast tradition!