No need to run to the store when you desire a slice of coffee cake. This delicious and lovely cake can be made in a little over an hour because it contains no yeast. The dough is crossed over the filling making it look as if you spent hours in the kitchen. The fruits in the filling can be varied depending on which fruits are in season.
European settlers brought the tradition of serving sweet cakes along with coffee to guests when they immigrated to the Americas. The custom is said to have developed in Northern/Central Europe during the 1700s. It’s a wonderful tradition that has stood the test of time!
The recipe came from the “learn to bake…” book published by General Foods in 1947.
Coffee cake can be served for a weekend or weekday breakfast, along with brunch, a luncheon or with coffee and tea when you entertain. Serve this cake straight from the oven, reheated or cold the next day.
- 3 cups of all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- ½ cup of sugar
- ½ cup of solid shortening
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- ¾ cups of milk
- Fruit filling
Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
Make the fruit filling (recipe follows) and set it aside to cool while you make the cake dough.
Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix together with a fork or wire whisk. Cut in the shortening using a pastry blender or two knifes until the particles are the size of peas. Combine the egg and milk in a small bowl. Mix and add to the dry ingredients. Stir together until a soft dough is formed.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Dust with flour and knead a few times until smooth. Place the dough on a baking sheet and roll or pat out into a 15×10 inch rectangle.
Spoon the fruit filling in a 2 inch wide strip down the center of the rectangle. Cut the dough in 1 inch strips from the filling to the outside edge. Lace the strips over the filling by taking one strip from each side and crossing over the center.
Bake for 45 minutes or until done. Remove from the oven and while still hot brush with icing; 4 tablespoons powdered sugar and 1 ½ teaspoons of hot water. Serve warm.
- 1/3 cup chopped, cooked prunes
- 2/3 cup chopped apples
- 1/3 cup of brown sugar (firmly packed)
- 1/3 cup of water
- 2 teaspoons of vinegar
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan. Boil gently for 5 minutes. Cool before using.
Half shortening and half butter produces a richer coffee cake.
Many different combinations of fresh and dry fruit can be used. Dried fruit should be cooked before combining with other fruits. If hard pears or apples are used they should be cooked before using in the fruit filling.
More cinnamon or other spices can be added to the fruit filling.
Lemon or orange zest is good in the filling.
Lemon or other citrus juice can be used instead of the vinegar in the filling.
Chopped nuts can be sprinkled on the filling after adding it to the cake. Walnuts would go well with apples.
Instead of the icing you can brush with butter and sprinkle with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon. Pop it back in the oven a couple of minutes.
Reheat wrapped in foil at about 350 degrees F. for a few minutes. Or microwave a slice at a time for about 38 seconds on high.
It should freeze well if wrapped in plastic wrap and then in foil. Thaw before reheating.