Recently my cravings centered around coffee cake. I craved it during the frequent snow storms that kept us hostage in the northeast this winter and I crave it in the morning still with a freshly brewed cup of strong coffee. And now when it seems the rains won’t stop and the dreariness of the afternoon sky, even from the openness of a wall of windows overlooking the lake from my cottage view, nothing makes me feel better as quickly than a cup of tea and a piece of this coffee cake I baked. I figured that if I loved coffee cake than it was about time I baked one instead of resorting to the supermarket bakery for a poor substitute with 47 ingredients listed on the label. So I did!

This recipe is an adaptation from a recipe by The Pioneer Woman who said she confiscated it from her mother. She titles it “The Best Coffee Cake Ever”. I have to agree. It’s amazing. In my version I added less sugar (1.5 instead of 2 and I plan to add even less next time), low-fat milk instead of whole and walnuts instead of pecans. Next time I make this I want to add wild blueberries on the bottom. It’s a great recipe as is or as a basic for variations. You will love this. Careful though it could easily become an obsession.


My slightly tweaked recipe


• 1-½ stick Butter, Softened

• 1 ¼ cup white sugar

• 3 cups Flour, Sifted

• 4 teaspoons Baking Powder

• 1 teaspoon Salt

• 1-¼ cup Low Fat Milk

• 3 whole Egg Whites, Beaten Until Stiff



• 1-½ stick Butter, Softened

• ¾ cups Flour

• 1-½ cup Brown Sugar

• 2 Tablespoons Cinnamon

• 1-½ cup Walnuts, Chopped


Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat egg whites and set aside.

Cream butter and sugar. Add flour mixture and milk alternately until combined. Don’t over beat. Fold in beaten egg whites with a rubber spatula. Spread in a well-greased 9 x 13 (or LARGER!) baking pan. A cake pan with higher sides would be best.

In a separate bowl, combine topping ingredients with a pastry cutter until crumbly. Sprinkle all over the top.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until no longer jiggly. Serve warm—delicious!


photo courtesy of thepioneerwomancooks.com


  1. narelle February 23, 2014 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    Sounds like a yummy cake. One question. You list ‘stick of butter’ how much is this?? Your site is global but we dont have ‘sticks’ of butter in Australia. Could you possibly put the weight of the ingredients in your recipes? Sometimes package sizes and spoon measures differ from country to country too.

    • chefsilvia February 23, 2014 at 7:50 pm - Reply

      Great point Narele. 1/2 cup = 4 ounces or 113.39808 grams. Thank you for pointing this out.

  2. Melissa February 24, 2014 at 2:41 am - Reply

    HI Silvia
    It may be just me but I can’t see coffee listed as an ingredient?

    • chefsilvia February 24, 2014 at 3:35 am - Reply

      Hi Melissa, Funny thing a name is…but coffee cake doesn’t mean it has coffee in it but rather that it’s a cake to be eaten with coffee (or tea). I know, a bit strange if you are not American. Forgive me if I didn’t even think that this would be questioned. When it comes to food especially, things are called by very different names and it’s at times hard to know that not all will be familiar with a term. Thank you for your comment.

  3. Dolores LaChance February 24, 2014 at 5:43 am - Reply

    Hi Silvia,
    This recipe reads ‘decadent delicious’. I have only one problem…high cholesterol which means I couln’t possibly eat this because of the huge amount of butter and neither could Chuck

    Is there anyway we could tweak it some more, like possibly using buttermilk, substituting
    Smart Balance for some of the butter?? There are many people dealing with this health
    problem , ergo Crestor etc.. I think I’ll try it with some modifications for us oldies.
    Love your ideas.

    • chefsilvia February 24, 2014 at 6:45 pm - Reply

      Hi Dolores, So good to see you here! Yes, I can see how this is a problem. I don’t bake often but I see no reason why using Smart Balance wouldn’t work. It has the same consistency as butter so I suspect it would be fine…though I can’t be sure since I’ve never tried it. i wouldn’t use buttermilk however as a substitute because the butter gets creamed with the sugar and buttermilk is to liquid and therefore has a totally different consistency.

      As in all cooking, you never really know if something will work or not until you try it. But, there are always guidelines to consider that are helpful to insure a successful outcome. Consistency is key here.

      Thank you so much for your comment and I hope you and Chuck are well despite the health concerns. We all have them…regardless of age. Be well.

  4. Sandra Nettles February 25, 2014 at 3:37 pm - Reply

    Do you think that substitution of organic soy milk would make this still as wonderful?

    • chefsilvia February 25, 2014 at 4:17 pm - Reply

      Hi Sandra, I really can’t answer this Sandra since I haven’t tried it and can’t really say how it would effect the taste but my instinct tells me that it would be just fine. And you are substituting a liquid for a liquid so technically that will work fine too. Give it a try and come back and let us know how it worked out. Thank you for asking.

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