Coffee Cake

coffee-cake-pictureLooking to give something from your heart and hands this Christmas? Try Betsy Elkins’ Coffee Cake. Here’s her coffee cake tradition:

“I bake coffee cakes throughout Advent in preparation for Christmas!  I do this because my mother did and I enjoy continuing the tradition.   The recipe for these cakes came with Mom’s new freezer in 1952.  The recipe makes two cakes, it is easily doubled, tripled, etc. and the cakes freeze well. (I make at least 60 cakes each Advent.) Today with the use of a food processor for certain steps it is easier than ever, despite the hours involved!  Mom made cakes for all our friends, neighbors and colleagues and I do the same.  A coffee cake for breakfast on Christmas morning has become a tradition now for many people.

Making coffee cakes as part of my Christmas preparation reminds me of my childhood, my family, friends, old and new.  Baking helps keep me focused on others as I prepare these cakes.  I would rather spend many cozy hours in my kitchen making cakes with my husband for our friends, than shopping in the malls or online for things no one needs.  Making coffee cakes during Advent keeps me focused on the season.  It is best when I have my grandchildren with me to help.”

Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart ~ Acts 2:46

Coffee Cake Recipe
Makes two 9” cakes

Ingredients for crumb topping: (mixing all in a food processor works very well)

  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ cup of flour
  • ½ stick of margarine or butter
  • 1 cup of nuts

Ingredients for cake:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 8 tbsp shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Grease and flour two cake pans (9 inch)

Prepare crumb topping

Sift together dry ingredients for cake: flour, sugar, salt and baking powder

Cut in the shortening, OR toss all in food processor and mix quickly.

Beat together in a small bowl: eggs, milk and vanilla.  Mix into the dry ingredients above.

Divide half of this batter between two of the pans and spread evenly over the bottom.

Sprinkle half of the crumb topping over the two pans.  Repeat with the rest of the batter and cover with the remaining crumb topping

Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes—test to be sure it is cooked completely.

Cool completely before removing the cakes from the pan.  These cakes freeze very well.

Submitted by: Betsy Elkins, St. Paul’s Church, Syracuse, NY

For a downloadable/printable version of this recipe, visit:

Tomorrow: Salvadoran Pupusas