Treasured Coffee Cakes

Treasured Coffee Cakes

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Springtime is sure busy here on our little patch of heaven, and I look forward to the days getting longer and the weather getting warmer! 

 There’s much to be done, from tilling the gardens for the planting of early greens and vegetables, weeding the asparagus patch, removing dead canes from the berry bushes, and hoeing gently around the herbs in my herb garden. 

 We entertain a lot during the spring. We’re all happy to gather together after the winter.  

I especially enjoy serving brunch to family and friends. Coffee cakes are a given at our brunches, and today I’m sharing two treasured recipes.  

The first is a yeasted and fruited crumb cake from friend Elaine Hennessey. Elaine and I met at church a long time ago and when we would host bazaars, Elaine always brought these fruited crumb cakes, which were best sellers.  

The second recipe is an heirloom one from my mother-in-law, Clara Heikenfeld. It was her signature cake for the card parties that she hosted. 

The bonus for both of these recipes is that the base is a cake mix. These cakes are not only pretty to look at and quick to make but will elicit requests of “more, please.”  

For those of you who shy away from anything not made from scratch, take a second look. As I mentioned, think of cake mix as the first step in a time-saving process of making your own special occasion cakes.  

So the next time cake mix is on sale, buy an extra box or two. And take a bit of time to make one, or both, of these family favorites. 


Bakery quality crumb cake from your kitchen! 


• 1 box yellow cake mix, 15.25 oz., divided (see instructions) 

• 1 package rapid rise or regular active dry yeast 

• 1 cup all-purpose flour 

• 2 large eggs 

2/3 cup warm water 

1/3 cup butter, melted 

• 1 pound can cherry pie filling or your choice  


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 

Butter or spray a 9×9 cake pan. 

Whisk together 1-1/2 cups cake mix with yeast and flour. 

Add eggs and water. Blend until mixed, then beat for 2 minutes either on medium speed with the mixer or vigorously by hand. 

Combine the rest of the cake mix with melted butter until crumbly. Set aside. 

Spread batter in pan. 

Spoon pie filling evenly over batter.  

Sprinkle crumb topping evenly over fruit. 

Bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Check after 35 minutes. 

The toothpick may have a bit of topping clinging to it. 

Let cool a bit before serving.  

Make 1 larger cake 

Use a 9×13 pan and check after baking for 30 minutes. The cake won’t raise as high and the topping won’t be as thick, but you’ll get more servings!  

Gilding the lily:  

*After the cake cools, drizzle a little confectioner’s sugar glaze on top. 


1 packet of yeast is approximately 2 1/4 teaspoons. 

Store yeast in the freezer for longer life. 

Bring to room temperature before using. 


This cinnamon-scented cake is a good keeper at room temperature, covered.



• 1 box yellow cake mix, 15.25 oz. 

• 1 box vanilla instant pudding mix, 4-serving size 

• 1 teaspoon cinnamon 

• 2 tablespoons favorite neutral oil 

• 1-1/3 cups water 

• 2 large eggs 

Streusel :

Combine together — 

• ½ cup all-purpose flour 

• ½ cup brown sugar, packed, light or dark 

• 1 tablespoon cinnamon 

• ¼ cup butter, melted 



Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 

Grease and flour 10” tube or Bundt pan. 

On low speed in a mixer or by hand, blend cake mix, pudding mix, water, and eggs. 

Beat either 2 minutes on medium speed or vigorously by hand. Don’t overmix. 

Spread 3/4 of the batter evenly in the prepared pan. 

Sprinkle 2/3 cup streusel mixture over batter in pan. 

Spread remaining batter over streusel. 

Top with reserved streusel. Swirl into the batter with a knife.  

Bake 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Check after 40 minutes. 

After removing from the oven, take a knife or offset spatula and run it around the edges of the pan, including the center. Let cool 15-20 minutes. 

Remove from pan and serve.   

Gilding the lily: 

Drizzle cooled cake with confectioner’s sugar glaze. 


Whisk together: 

• 1 cup confectioners’ sugar 

• ½ teaspoon vanilla 

• 1 tablespoon water or more as needed 

Originally published in the March/April 2022 issue of Countryside and Small Stock Journal and regularly vetted for accuracy. 

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