Cathie Campbell

Cake with your coffee or tea?

By Cathie Campbell

Some pineapple upside-down cake goes great with coffee or tea.
Some pineapple upside-down cake goes great with coffee or tea. Submitted photo

As far as I can tell, coffee cakes never go out of style. I remember my mom serving them to guests along with a home-brewed pot of hot coffee. Her friends did the same. So, I see no reason to drop such fine traditions, even though I must admit, many of us have to cut back on our simple carbs for health reasons. If you are thinking you might like to make a fragrant and delicious coffee cake this fall, I dug around in my recipe files (not as organized as I might like) and chose the following recipes to share. I hope you are enjoying the change in the weather.

Cat’s pineapple upside-down cake

I often make this with crushed, drained pineapple instead of rings.

1 can (8 1/2-oz.) sliced pineapple

3 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

4 cherries, halved

1/3 cup shortening

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 350. Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Halve slices. Melt butter in 10-inch cast iron skillet (or 8-by-8-by-2-inch pan). Add brown sugar and 1 tablespoon reserved syrup. Add water and remaining syrup to make 1/2 cup. Set aside.

2. Arrange pineapple in bottom of pan. Place cherry half in center of each. Cream shortening and sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Beat until fluffy.

3. Mix dry ingredients; add alternately with 1/2 cup juice and water. Spread over pineapple. Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, Cool in pan 5 minutes. Invert onto plate.

Apple coffee cake with pecans

Walnuts work well with this recipe, too.

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 large egg (or 1/4 cup egg substitute)

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup sliced, peeled tart apple (about 1 medium)

1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts


1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

1 tablespoon butter

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1. For cake: Preheat oven to 350. In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar, applesauce and egg or egg substitute. In another bowl, mix the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to the applesauce mixture. Stir in apple slices and pecans. Spread into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray.

2. For topping: In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, pecans, butter and cinnamon; sprinkle over apple mixture. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Makes 9 to 12 servings, depending on size.

Sour cream streusel cake

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup (8-oz.) sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

Streusel filling:

1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1. For cake: Preheat oven to 325. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, sour cream and vanilla.

2. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture and beat until combined. Pour half the batter into a greased 13-by-9-inch baking pan.

3. For streusel: In a small bowl, combine all streusel ingredients; sprinkle half of mixture over batter. Add remaining batter and remaining streusel mixture. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Makes 12 to 15 servings.

Blueberry ricotta coffee cake

From Pillsbury.


2 1/3 cups flour

1 1/3 cups sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup Crisco Butter Flavored Vegetable Shortening (or 3/4 stick of the butter flavored shortening baking sticks)

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 cup milk

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla


1 cup ricotta cheese

1 large egg

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon grated lemon peel

1 cup fresh or frozen (drained) blueberries


Reserved crumb mixture (see instructions)

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. Cut in shortening with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 cup crumb mixture for topping. To remainder, add baking powder, milk, eggs and vanilla. Beat on medium speed of electric mixer for 2 minutes, scraping bowl constantly. Pour into prepared pan.

2. Blend ricotta, egg, sugar and lemon peel in medium bowl until smooth. Sprinkle blueberries over batter in pan. Gently spread ricotta mixture over blueberries. Combine reserved crumb mixture, nuts, brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over top of ricotta layer.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly before cutting. Makes 12 servings.

Caramel apple coffee cake

2 tablespoons butter

3 cups peeled and sliced tart apples (about 3)

Streusel topping (recipe follows)

Caramel sauce (recipe follows)

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add apples; saute 5 minutes or until softened. Remove from heat; cool completely (about 30 minutes).

2. Meanwhile, prepare streusel topping and caramel sauce. Reserve 1/2 cup caramel sauce for another use.

3. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition.

4. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla and mix well. Pour batter into a greased and floured shiny 9-inch springform pan; top with apples. Drizzle with 1/2 cup caramel sauce; sprinkle with streusel topping.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes. Cover loosely with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning; bake an additional 25 to 30 minutes or until center is set. (A wooden pick will not come out clean.) Cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes; remove sides of pan. Cool completely on wire rack (about 1 1/2 hours). Drizzle with 1/2 cup caramel sauce.

Streusel topping

1 1/2 cups flour

1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup white (granulated) sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1. In a mixing bowl, mix together flour, pecans, melted butter, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon and salt until blended. Let stand 30 minutes or until firm enough to crumble into small pieces.

Caramel sauce

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup honey

1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring brown sugar, butter, whipping cream and honey to a boil, stirring constantly; boil, stirring constantly, 2 minutes.

2. Remove from heat, and cool 15 minutes before serving. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 1 week. To reheat, microwave at HIGH 10 to 15 seconds or just until warm; stir until smooth.