Easy Coffee Cake

Liberty Brammer
by Liberty Brammer
16 slices
42 min

This cake would be a great thing for kids to make for their moms for Mother's Day this year!

This easy coffee cake is one of the first things that I remember making when I was learning to bake as a pre-teen. It takes only one egg, and we almost always had all of the ingredients on hand. We also had heart shaped pans, and I enjoyed using them instead of round pans.

Today I realized that since my daughter likes to help me bake, that this would be the perfect simple and easy thing to make with her. So we did! I used Crisco since someone had given me some–otherwise I would have used butter. I used water this time; but milk is fine, too.

  • Grease the bottom and sides of the pans.
  • Mix the shortening and sugar, then add the egg.
  • The original recipe calls for vanilla, but since it has become so expensive lately I decided to try lemon extract today instead.
  • Then add the 1/2 c. water or milk and stir it in.

You can see below that my helper has mixed the dry ingredients in. The batter will be a little bit lumpy. We mixed the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon together for the topping.

As a child it always seemed hard to divide the batter evenly into enough for two pans. And then came the best part– crumbling the brown sugar mixture over the batter.

If you don’t crumble the brown sugar well enough, big chunks fall in that cook into the bottom of the pan– but it is good that way, too.

The best part after crumbling the sugar onto the top was– licking your fingers! Cinnamon, sugar, and butter– Mmmm! My daughter enjoyed doing that today, too.

During baking….


This cake’s nickname is “Crater Cake” because of the craters that the brown sugar makes when it cooks. It is easy to overbake and dry out these coffee cakes, but not today! They came out perfect. Isn’t it a funny thing– there isn’t any coffee in this coffee cake! Maybe that’s because you’re supposed to eat coffee with it? Maybe sometime I’ll try using coffee instead of water….it would probably be good.

The lemon tasted just fine. I would say though, not to use too much. With vanilla you can use double the amount and it doesn’t make much difference. With the lemon, I think you could definitely use too much. I like having milk with mine, instead of coffee. Enjoy!

Recipe details
  • 16  slices
  • Prep time: 20 Minutes Cook time: 22 Minutes Total time: 42 min
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  • ¼ c. butter or Crisco
  • ¾ c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla or lemon extract
  • ½ water or milk (or coffee!)
  • 1½ c. flour
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ c. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1½ Tbsp. butter

Cream the shortening and sugar together.
Then add the egg and extract and mix well.
Then mix in the liquid.
Combine the 3 dry ingredients, and add in to the liquid ingredients.
Spread the batter into two greased 9 inch pans (circles or hearts).
Melt the butter and combine with brown sugar and cinnamon.
Then sprinkle the mixture on top of the batter.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 22 minutes.
  • Be careful not to overbake or it will be dry.
Liberty Brammer
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