Let’s Do Brunch: Grandma’s Coffee Cake

In honor of Mother’s Day let’s eat coffee cake!! If you’ve got an hour to spare today you can make this treat ahead of time and treat Mom to brunch tomorrow. I bet you have everything in your fridge and pantry to make this cake right now!

This recipe is actually a combination of my Grandma’s coffeecake and crumb cake recipes. I took the parts of each one I like the best and combined them to make a foolproof treat that is tender, moist, sweet, a little salty, and full of nutty goodness (my favorite part!). My Grandma hated nutmeg – like could detect a pinch of nutmeg from across the room kind of hate – but I add a little to round out the spice flavor. Sometimes I wonder what she would think about me tweaking her recipes but then I remember all of her notes and comments in the margins of her recipe cards and I think she’d be very happy that I’m making them my own. I guess I’ll find out when we meet in heaven one day. 🙂

Grandma’s Coffeecake
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk (you can sub sour cream thinned out with a little milk)

Topping:
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 Tablespoon flour
½ cup chopped nuts, I prefer walnuts
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 325°. Grease a 9×13 baking pan and set aside.

Combine all the ingredients for the topping. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together sugar and butter for 3-4 minutes or until light and fluffy – it will look a little like snow. Add egg and beat until just combined. Add vanilla.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Alternating with the buttermilk, stir into butter mixture being careful not to overbeat.

Pour batter into prepared pan. The batter will be thick so make sure to spread in an even layer. Top with nut mixture. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. I cover with a piece of aluminum foil if the nuts start to brown a little more than I like.

Remove from oven and let cool slightly before slicing and serving.

Source: Ruth’s Table, 2022.

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