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recipe: buttermilk coffee cake

June 15, 2011

Breakfast. Only my favorite meal of the day. Seriously! Set a plate of whole wheat toast (or English muffin or waffles), with butter and blackberry jam, bacon, hash browns and fruit and I am one happy girl. Or even a simple breakfast of bran muffins with coffee? Yum.

Almost every Saturday, I make it a point to do breakfast “big” at our house. Sometimes I cook scrambled eggs and bacon, sometimes I make fancy oatmeal, with fruit and nuts in it. Something different than what we usually eat during the week (most often, cold cereal). This weekend was no different.

Since I do all the cooking in our house, I get to decide the menu. My husband usually doesn’t ever give any input because he’ll eat whatever I make but this past Saturday, I asked him what he wanted for our “big” breakfast. He gave me a smile and said, “coffee cake?” and I said, “why not?” How hard could coffee cake be?

Thanks to my mother-in-law’s present of this handy-dandy cookbook, the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook, I was able to find a simple coffee cake recipe. Specifically, buttermilk coffee cake. I actually didn’t have any buttermilk on hand, so I made it (1 tbsp lemon juice and enough milk to cover the necessary measurement that the recipe asked for). The only hard part about this recipe is cutting the butter, since I didn’t have a pastry blender. I just used two forks and got a great arm workout, haha!

Buttermilk Coffee Cake (slightly adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook)
Makes 18 pieces


  • 2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ cups packed light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 medium eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk
  • 2-3 tbsp toasted wheat germ
  • 2-3 tbsp milled flaxseed

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using butter, grease the bottom and ½ inch up the sides of a 13x9x2 inch glass baking dish. In a large bowl, mix flour, brown sugar and salt. Cut in butter until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs; set aside ½ cup of this mixture. Add baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg into the remaining flour mixture.

2. In another bowl, mix the eggs and buttermilk. Add the liquid to the flour mixture, stirring until just moistened. Pour the batter into the baking dish. Sprinkle remaining flour crumb mixture onto the batter, then sprinkle the wheat germ and flaxseed on top of that.

3. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a wooden toothpick (in my case, a long, thin fork) inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool slightly, then serve warm.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 15, 2011 2:25 pm

    I HAVE to make this – NOW! I’m thinking baking project with the kids is in order today. I love a good coffee cake recipe… especially when I have all the ingredients. And now that you’ve shared the alternative for buttermilk, I am no longer unable to make coffee cake! Thanks!

    • June 15, 2011 2:27 pm

      yay! you are welcome 🙂 don’t you love “pantry” recipes like this? did my buttermilk substitution make any sense? sometimes I don’t write clearly :-\

  2. June 15, 2011 8:36 pm

    hello yum! must try this

  3. June 21, 2011 2:42 pm

    Thanks for the buttermilk substitution recipe. That’s handy! I love coffee cake too, only I eat it with tea. 🙂

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