The gentle ticking of playing cards shuffling, the smell of my grandmother’s Spanish Coffee Cake, and laughter filled the room.
It’s these memories of my grandparents’ home that I remember from my childhood. It was a place where extended family would gather for every holiday and as many would trickle out, our family would stay and play canasta for hours.
Their small wooden table is where I sat and learned from my grandad to never trust my own mother when playing cards and developed a love of games. And their kitchen is where I learned the secrets of how to cook and bake family-favorite recipes. It’s where brownies awaited me when I walked in the door, where we made biscuits and gravy the days I stayed the night, and where coffee cake was always served with a warm cup of black coffee.
It’s the extraordinary people in even the simplest and even most mundane of memories that shape our lives the most. Those sweet family treats cooked and passed down to generations are the ones to savor which is why it’s absolutely my honor to be able to share with you my grandma’s mouthwatering coffee cake recipe.
Ingredients for our family Spanish Coffee Cake
Scribbled in my grandma Lula’s handwriting, I have a collection of her recipes that she lovingly prepared for us over the years and this is definitely a family favorite!
- 2.5 cups flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 cup oil
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg
Plus, don’t forget to grab a great seasonal flavor like pumpkin spice from the New England Coffee Shop to enjoy while sipping alongside your own loved ones. For more than 100 years they have been serving coffee to families like ours where the coffee pot is constantly brewing. And just as our family has grown and adapted, so has theirs. Whether you’re needing a whole pot or just a cup, they have options to suit everyone’s needs.
Crumbly Coffee Cake Instructions
Mix the first set of ingredients to make what my grandma calls the “crumbly mixture”. While she used regular cooking oil, I actually substitute with unrefined coconut oil. It adds a depth to the flavor and is a healthier option (…yes even in cake!)
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In her nearly 9 decades of life, my grandma has brought joy into the home through her cooking and baking, a tradition I intend to continue to pass down to my own children. So the last time we made this, my daughter joined in the fun of helping whisk together the crumbly mixture.
Once this is thoroughly combined, remove half a cup of the crumbles and set it to the side with 1/3 cup nuts (optional depending on preference or allergies).
Next, add your baking soda and powder to the larger bowl of the crumbly mixture, making sure to distribute it as best as possible.
Then combine the egg and buttermilk in a separate container. I use a measuring cup as to not dirty extra dishes.
In my grandmas’ recipe, she mentioned adding half and mixing for 2 minutes, then adding the rest and blending on medium for two more minutes. But since I had a helper, my sweet daughter then helped pour it into the crumbly mixture as I stirred and mixed and saved this step.
Pour into a 9×13 inch pan and sprinkle on the topping you set aside from the beginning.
Bake at 350℉ for 35 minutes and then enjoy with your own cup of joe.
I recently polled my friends on Facebook, asking which flavor of coffee they would rather drink with a scrumptious slice of coffee cake. While one declared that she would “have Pumpkin Spice with a salad, a sandwich, a lasagna, a stick of gum…” another asked if it was even a question because she was Pumpkin Spice for life. Of about 20 people, there were only 4 or 5 dissenters to this opinion and oddly enough, most were men.
That being said, I would love to know…
Who is an extraordinary person in your life which flavor would you share with them over a piece of coffee cake?
Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 4 children living in Boston, MA and believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!