Simply De-Lite-Ful: Candy Cane Christmas Coffee Cake

      Candy Cane Christmas Coffee Cake
      (Makes 3 Candy Cane Coffee Cakes)

      This has been part of our family Christmas morning breakfast for decades, and many a friend and neighbor has had one delivered to their door. Something fresh and warm from the oven says, "Merry Christmas" in a special way!

      • Prepare one recipe of All Purpose Roll Dough as directed in the recipe below.
      • Use a cookie sheet (12" x 17 or 18") about for each cake.
      • Remaining 2 sections of dough can be refrigerated while you make them one at a time if you don't have multiple cookie sheets. Just remember to punch the dough down before you prepare it for baking.
      • 3 sheets of parchment paper cut to fit the cookie sheet


      • 3/4 cup cherry or raspberry pie filling or preserves
      • Can be used alone or along with one of the two following options:

      First Option:

      • 8 oz fat free cream cheese room temperature
      • 1/4 cup sugar
      • 2 teaspoons vanilla
      • 1 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
      • In a small bowl, cream sugar and cream cheese together until very smooth. Add flavorings and set aside..

      Second Option:

      • 2/3 cup grated almond paste. (Can be purchased at many grocery stores in baking section or a specialty grocery store.


      • 2 cups powdered sugar
      • 2 teaspoons vanilla
      • 1 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
      • 3 Tablespoons fat free milk --a little more or less to make a thick cream consistency


      When the dough has risen once, punch it down and divide the dough into three equal portions.

      Set two of them aside and on a well-floured surface, place one of the sheets of parchment paper.

      Roll one portion into a rectangle about 16-18 inches long and 7-8 inches long. You will extend over the top portion of the parchment paper, but that is okay.

      Down the middle, length wise, place a thin strip (about 2 inches wide) of the filling. If using the cream cheese or almond paste, put it down first, followed by the fruit filling. Don't let it get wider than the 2 inches.

      With a pizza cutter or a very sharp knife, make slits about 11/2 inches wide and deep on each side of the length of the dough. Starting at the top of the rectangle, cross them over each other, creating a braided effect on top of the dough. Pull them into a tight braid as you go so that the top surface of the rectangle is well closed over the filling. You can use the side of your hand to bring the dough into a narrow log shape and not spread out wide as you go.

      The finished log should only be about 3-31/2 inches wide. When you reach the bottom, use the last flap to tuck under and seal so that the filling doesn't ooze out in baking.

      Carefully, lift the top 1/3 of the log and bend it around into the shape of a candy cane. This will bring it entirely onto the parchment paper.

      Carefully draw the corners of the paper together length-wise and lift the whole thing to the center of the cookie sheet.

      Let rise about 20-30 minutes and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven about 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Check a center section with a toothpick to make sure it isn't doughy.

      Often, there will be a little seepage of the filling during baking. That is no problem as long as you don't try to move it while warm.

      Remove from oven and brush generously with glaze. Cool completely before moving to a serving tray. You can decorate the top with a ribbon bow to be removed at serving time, or shape red and green gum drops into holly leaves and berries to garnish it.

      Can be made and refrigerated a day ahead. Bring to room temperature or slightly warm in oven before serving.

      All-purpose Roll Dough

      We use this recipe for everyday rolls as well as for cinnamon rolls, orange rolls, candy cane-shaped bread on Christmas morning. You name it. This is a great low-fat recipe to play around with.

      • 2 teaspoons sugar
      • 1/2 cup warm water
      • 2 tablespoons yeast
      • 1/2 cup sugar
      • 2 tablespoons butter substitute
      • 1 tablespoon salt
      • 1 cup egg substitute or 8 egg whites
      • 6 to 7 cups flour
      • 1 1/2 cups warm water

      Mix 2 teaspoons sugar, 1/2 cup warm water, and yeast in bowl and set aside for 5 minutes or until mixture begins to foam. Meanwhile, in mixer bowl combine sugar, butter substitute, salt, and egg substitute. Beat to mix well. Add water and 3 cups flour. Add proofed yeast mixture and remaining flour and mix with dough hook attachment to make a soft, sticky dough. The least amount of flour and kneading will make a more tender roll. Cover and let rise in warm place until double in size.
      Stir down and empty onto well-floured surface to form into desired shapes. Can be used for twists or round rolls as well as cinnamon rolls or filled coffee cakes.


      Tear off desired portion and shape into a small round ball, or shape of your choice.

      Set on sprayed baking sheet or dish and repeat with remaining dough, placing portions so they are almost touching.

      Allow to rise in a warm place until double in size.

      Bake in preheated 400 oven for 12 to 15 minutes, depending on size of roll, until lightly browned.

      Remove from oven and allow to cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.


      Roll half of the dough at a time into a rectangle about 9x11 inches.

      Spread each rectangle with 1 tablespoon butter substitute and abou 3/4 cup brown sugar.

      Sprinkle generously with cinnamon. Roll tightly from short side and pinch seam shut. Repeat with remaining dough.

      Cut log in1 1/2-inch slices and place in sprayed baking dish so pieces are almost touching.

      Place baking dish in warm place to rise again until double in size.

      BAKE IN PREHEATED 350 oven for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned and test done in between individual rolls. Drizzle with glaze (recipe follows) while still warm.

      Cinnamon Roll Glaze:

      • 1 cup powdered sugar
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla
      • 2 teaspoons nonfat milk, or a few drops more to bring to thick cream consistency.

      Whisk all ingredients together untill smooth.