Coffee Cake


coffee cake

Coffee cake with a dollop of cool whip

Coffee Cake – and other names for it

This coffee cake recipe is my go-to when I need a simple but appealing dessert. You can make this ahead of time and put it in the freezer.  It is called a coffee cake, but the terms “bars” or “torte” work as well. I clipped this recipe from a magazine in a doctor’s office years ago – like thirty or so. I have no idea to whom I should give credit, but I’m told it’s in some other cookbooks as well.

My hubby does not like cake, but he’ll eat this when I call it a torte or a bar. It’s true – it works every time. I like to make a big pan of this and cut it into bars, then put them into the freezer. They’re easy to pull out, quick to thaw, and fun to serve. I’ve served it with ice cream or cool whip. Choose the fruit filling you like best. My go-to is blueberry, but I have family members who prefer the cherry.

coffee cake

Ready to go into the oven.

The instructions for the coffee cake

This recipe has a pound-cake type texture, and I assume it’s because the recipe calls to add one egg at a time, beating well after each egg.

The recipe calls for a powdered sugar glaze, but I never use it. This recipe serves 20-24 people.

coffee cake

Cherry on the left and blueberry on the right.

Serving the Coffee Cake

This cake can be served for breakfast, for tea, for lunch, or any other time. I usually use cool whip as a topping, but ice cream works just as well.

Anytime you serve it, it’s bound to be a hit!

Coffee Cake Bars or Torte
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 20-24
An easy coffee cake that can be served for breakfast, lunch, tea, or dinner. Keeps and freezes well.
  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ tsp. almond extract
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 can pie filling (blueberry or cherry)
  1. Cream butter and sugar
  2. add eggs one at a time, beating well after each
  3. Add remaining ingredients except pie filling
  4. Save 1 cup batter
  5. Spread remainder into greased jelly roll pan
  6. Spread pie filling over dough
  7. Drop remaining batter by spoonful on top here and there
  8. Bake at 350 (30-35 min in 11 x 17 pan) OR 45 minutes (in a 10.5 x 15.5 in. pan).
  9. Make a powdered sugar icing and drizzle on cake when cool
  10. Cut cake into squares

coffee cake


pinterest coffee cake


Sour Cream Twists

sour cream twists

The Tradition

Every family has its special food that is served at gatherings. Sometimes the food is a long-held tradition, and sometimes a new one is started.

I’ve made these sour cream twists myself, but not nearly as often as my sister Alice has made them. She and her husband stopped in to visit us en route north from the south one Saturday afternoon, and soon she was mixing up these twists. She became a hit with our foster boys that day.

At our biennial family reunion, these twists are on the table for Sunday morning. Nobody, but nobody makes them like Alice does. She’s been making them for nearly forty years.

A few years ago when all twelve of her grandchildren were living in other states, she made a big batch and posted the twists on Facebook.  She invited anybody to come by and get some at her house.

The Recipe

You’ll need sour cream, sugar, eggs, and the usual things like soda, salt, flour, and water. These rolls take yeast so you need to have time to let the dough rise. Kids love to help shape and twist these. They’ll like even better being able to sink their teeth into these sweet things.

sour cream twists

The counter in Alice’s kitchen

Here are the directions that you can print out for easy use. Have fun, and enjoy!

Sour Cream Twists
Recipe type: Pastry
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3 dozen
A dough with sour cream and a filling with cinnamon sugar gives a combination of a yogurt cinnamon roll. A little more effort but well worth the time.
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp. soda
  • 2 Tablespoons yeast
  • 6 cups flour
  • 4 Tbsp. margarine
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup warm water
  • FILLING: 4 Tbsp. melted margarine; ⅔ cup flour; 1⅓ brown sugar; 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ cup heavy milk or cream
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup butter
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 # confectioner's sugar
  1. Heat sour cream to boiling (3 minutes in microwave)
  2. Add salt and margarine
  3. Cool
  4. Dissolve yeast in water
  5. Beat eggs in mixer; add sugar.
  6. Add cooled mixture to eggs/water/sugar and add soda.
  7. Mix in 2 cups flour
  8. Add yeast mixture.
  9. Let sit for a few minutes, then add remaining flour.
  10. knead
  11. Place on floured surface; let rise for 5 minutes.
  12. Roll dough into a rectangle. spread filling on the long HALF of the rectangle.
  13. Fold the empty side over the filling and seal edges.
  14. Cut into 1½ inch strips.
  15. TWIST and place on cookie sheets.
  16. Let rise.
  17. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, interchanging top and bottom sheets at 8 minutes.
  18. When baked, turn upside down on the counter.
  19. Frost after eight minutes
  20. FROSTING: Mix flour and sugar in a saucepan, then add the rest of the ingredients.
  21. Bring to a boil.
  22. Cool slightly then add powdered sugar. (The longer you simmer the frosting, the thicker it will get and the less powdered sugar you will need to add).

sour cream twists

Baked Oatmeal with Instant, Quick, or Regular Oats

There are several reasons why I love this baked oatmeal recipe.

It’s easy to make, it keeps well, and it’s just plain good. You can use regular, quick, or even instant oatmeal. Add some milk, eggs, sugar, spices, and fruit, you’re set to go. This baked oatmeal keeps for days in the refrigerator and also freezes well.

baked oatmeal

I got this recipe from my husband’s aunt Edna. Uncle Bill and Aunt Edna hosted our family when we went to Ohio in 2010 to bury Dave’s father. She had a pan of oatmeal that we served ourselves for breakfast. So when I make this recipe, I think of Aunt Edna and how her sweet hospitality helped us bear our grief.

Although the recipe calls for regular (not quick or instant) oatmeal, I have used all three kinds (not in the same recipe, of course.)  If you use the instant packs (brown sugar/cinnamon or apple/cinnamon) you don’t need to add cinnamon or apples. You can also decrease the sugar quite a bit or not add any at all. You will need to add a little more liquid (milk, eggs, or veg. oil). I usually add 1/4 – 1/2 cup more milk.

I decided to try the instant oatmeal when the WIC checks for our foster children only allowed plain instant oatmeal instead of flavored or plain bulk oatmeal. [Don’t even get me started on government policies!]  I decided I wasn’t going to lose or waste this WIC check, so I bought the specified packets of instant oatmeal and used it instead of the regular oatmeal. It took longer to open up each individual pack, but it was worth the time, especially when my gang couldn’t tell the difference. When you’ve made it a few times, you’ll know how wet/dry it should be before it is baked. I just dump some extra liquid in until it looks right.

This will last for days if you keep it covered and in the fridge. Heat a serving size in the microwave.  You can add other fruit on top after it’s heated – try bananas, blackberries or blueberries.

I’ve frozen some in Tupperware containers and that works well also. It used to be that this dish didn’t hang around my kitchen very long; but now that our nest is more often empty than full, I’ve found that freezing is a great way to keep it from spoiling.

Baked Oatmeal
Recipe type: Breakfast Oatmeal
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
  • 1 Tbsp. margarine or butter
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 6 cups oatmeal (regular, quick, or instant)
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla.
  1. Melt margarine in 9 x 13-inch pan while the oven is preheating to 400.
  2. Mix oil, sugar, and eggs together until glassy
  3. Put oatmeal into a bowl.
  4. Add baking powder, cinnamon, and salt to the measured oatmeal.
  5. Measure milk and add vanilla.
  6. Mix milk and oatmeal together.
  7. Combine oil/egg mixture with oatmeal mixture
  8. Add fruit of your choice: apples, blueberries, raisins, etc.
  9. Pour mixture into a 9 x 13-inch pan
  10. Bake at 400 for 30-40 minutes



Homemade Cinnamon Rolls & Frosting

Cinnamon rolls

Homemade, hand-rolled Cinnamon Rolls. What a breakfast treat! When you need a good recipe for homemade cinnamon rolls and want to try something new, you call your sister in Nebraska.  But if you don’t have a sister in Nebraska, you can ask me and I can give you the recipe. My sister Loretta had several choices, but she gave me her favorite recipe. I thought I had heard wrong when she listed cornmeal as one of the dough ingredients. You’ll never know when you taste these cinnamon rolls, I guarantee.

Cinnamon and brown sugar

On the far right, you’ll see the butter; the middle has brown sugar on top of the butter; the far left has all 3 layers: butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon.

So I mixed them up and let the dough rise.  Then I turned the dough out onto my countertop and added real butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Rolling them up and pinching the edges brought back so many memories of watching my mama doing her cinnamon rolls, back in the day when she sold them in packs of eight in mom-and-pop stores. Our job was to cut them – each one pound dough neatly rolled up and pinched to keep brown sugar from escaping. One quick slice in the center, then a slice on each half right down center; then another slice for each section. We could practically do it without looking because we started at a young age and learned the tricks of the trade.

So today I’m standing in my kitchen, alone, slicing across the rolled up cinnamon bun to make practically even rolls. I put the rolls into a large pan – large enough to hold an even 48, and let them rise for about an hour. One of the keys to making cinnamon rolls is to not over-bake them. If the center pops up in any of the rolls, just reach in and smush it back down where it belongs.

Cinnamon rolls with frosting

Then, when the rolls are out of the oven and still warm, drizzle the brown sugar frosting on top.

One of the secrets of this frosting is that, if you let it bubble long enough, it will begin to thicken on its own, and you won’t need to add nearly as much confectioners sugar. With this recipe, I only added 1/2 cup confectioners sugar for over 50 rolls.

The frosting mixture thickens as it bubbles.

Take your time and allow the mixture to simmer so it thickens on its own. They will be sweet enough and have less calories – but then, who’s counting?

For a variationyou can us this Caramel Topping recipe. This makes one pan of topping. Mix together 1 cup brown sugar, 3/4 cup butter, 1 Tbsp. water, 1 Tbsp. corn syrup and bring to a boil. Add pecans if desired. Put mixture in the bottom of the pan and put the cinnamon rolls on top.  bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and turn the pan over; the caramel topping will be on the top of the rolls.

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 (9 by 13-inch) pans
It doesn't take that long to make these rolls. Put some in the freezer for later, and serve the rest today.
  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup butter
  • ⅓ cup cornmeal
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • ½ cup ice water
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 rounded Tablespoons yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • Enough flour to make a soft dough (4-6 cups)
  • Butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon for the inside of the rolls
  • TOPPING: ½ cup butter
  • 1 scant cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup milk
  • confectioner's sugar - ½ cup or more
  1. Combine the first 5 ingredients in microwaveable bowl and heat until dissolved
  2. Add ice water and allow mixture to cool to lukewarm
  3. Add yeast
  4. Add eggs and 3 cups flour
  5. Mix well, then add enough flour to make a soft dough
  6. Let rise until double
  7. Roll out and brush with butter, then sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon on top
  8. Roll up tightly, pinch edge, then slice and put into pans
  9. Let rise until double
  10. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes

Pinterest Cinnamon Rolls