A coffee cake that will have you running with joy

Coffee is not a food in the general sense, but it is served with food more often than any other condiment.

Coffee is not a food in the general sense, but it is served with food more often than any other condiment.

When I worked for Admiral Pullin as his personnel chef, I did a lot of cooking for Mrs. Pullin as well.

She had a bridge tournament at her place every week and I baked up a pile of goodies for her guests. One of her favourites was a coffee cake that had a rather ignoble start.

As a rule I baked the goodies and the Admiral’s two personnel stewards served them, but on one occasion one of his stewards was sick and I was roped into serving.

Since I was not very good at it, I only carried two plates. One of the plates was piled up with coffee cake and the icing began to melt and run.

As I walked past one of the guests, who was seated, the icing ran off the plate and down the back of her dress.

Lucky for her, I noticed what was happening and tilted the plate the other way.

She was pretty cool too. After a few minutes she got up and headed for the bathroom. The only thing that gave her away was the sound of her footsteps—slow and measured—at first—and then much faster—as she began to run.

Here is the recipe for that infamous coffee cake:


1 cup AP flour

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. nutmeg, freshly ground

1/8 tsp. cloves

1 1/2 tsp. dry instant coffee

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup butter or margarine

1 whole medium egg

1 cup sour cream (commercial)

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup chopped walnuts


Combine the flour, sugar, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. Cut in the butter or margarine to the size of corn kernels.

Beat the egg, stir in the sour cream and the baking soda. Pour all the wet ingredients at once into the dry ingredients just enough to moisten.

Spread into a nine inch pan that has been greased and floured and bake in a 350F oven for 40 to 45 minutes.

While the coffee cake is cooking, add the topping: one cup icing sugar and enough milk to make an icing that is quite runny. Pour it over the cake, cut and serve.

It is simply wonderful, enjoy with a nice cup “o” Joe. Or tea if you’d like.

See Ya Next Week!