Saturday, August 6, 2011

6 August 1957 “Easy Coffee Cake and Summer Time”

 easycoffeecake As I have been so extra busy, but still wish warm good food for us, I whipped up this quick coffee cake yesterday morn. It is not as tall and rich as my usual coffee cake, but it is quite easy and very good.

I had an unexpected guest last evening when our Gussie brought over a friend. So, with an impromptu tea, I served this with some fresh strawberries with apologies that it is not as good as my ‘usual coffee cake’. The guest replied it was the best she had ever had, so there is much to be said about homemade.

This is really a combination of two recipes the first for an easy cake the second a topping is a rough approximation of streusel:


1 cup all purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
4 tbsp. butter, melted
1 egg

  • 1  cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4  cups Flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix ingredients and pour into a 9” round pan (I use a glass baking dish) Mix topping and spread on top before baking. Sprinkle with chocolate chips or nuts or what have you.

Bake for 20-30 minutes.

So easy.

Speaking of summertime, the song “Summertime” is a wonderful old standard written by George Gershwin in 1936 for Porgy and Bess. It has been covered thousands of times. Here are few variations and how they make me feel.

I always love Ella’s versions of songs. Her sing song literary style makes it almost a little fictional vignette. You have the feeling of just finished reading a concise short story in your favorite literary magazine.


This Miles Davis version of the same song is a wonderful late summer tune. Your hand lazily drags through the cooling waters as you sit basking in the hot August sun. A bead of sweat rolls down your back, so you slip back the brim of your old beach hat and sip the cool iced G & T and wipe the sand from the pages of your paperback book, dog eared and slightly warped from salt water and eelgrass book marks. It IS Summertime and the Living is easy.

This rendition of Summertime by Peggy Lee has, to me, an early Autumn feel. It feels more city to me. Your enmeshed in your corner cafe in late September. The multitude of breath from cafe chatter, the steam from your hot coffee clouds the windows. You run your fingers down the glass making stripes to catch the passersby. Their bundled up muted colors flash in and out of view and you recall the warmth of the summer days. The sandy floors and screen doors, the cool touch of the waves, the hot sticky skin with just a taste of salt. Along the old window sills sit the day’s treasures: seashells, an old mermaids purse, a razor clam. The days seem as if they can stretch into forever and the hot smell of the old house and the laughter of family and guests below.

Now, the cool air blasts you back to the present as the door whips open. The black of your cooling coffee looks deep and dark. Summer is over and Autumn has taken hold of you. You gulp the dregs of your tepid coffee, replace your old woolen beret and you are off into the cool rainy city streets. Summertime is over for now, but next year’s promise is locked away to keep, like the lawn chairs, and old beach furniture and the shuttered windows of the Summer house. It will come again…Summertime.

I hope all are having a good day. This week my hubby has a week holiday and we are going to enjoy more of the Cape as our own Summertime draws closer to its end.

Happy Homemaking.


  1. i have to try this recipe, sounds so yummy and tasty ;)
    love and kiss,mary

  2. Thank you for posting that delicious-sounding recipe. I hope that you have a lovely holiday and post you fun "stay-cation" adventures as you have in the past.


  3. If it's a coffee cake,where's the coffee in the ingredients?

  4. anon-cute, unless you are serious of course. Coffee cake is so named is it is a dense cake oft served with coffee at breakfast times. Also, it is a rough slap together kind of recipe, so you can add anything. When you want a good coffee taste, sometimes using dried instant coffee imparts a nice coffee flavor and in this case, with the chocolate chips, you'd have a mocha cake.
    What I learned since 1955 is that recipes are guidelines for the genius and creativity of the homemaker. We know baking soda does this and butter, sugar, eggs are a great base from cookies, to cakes, what 'flavors, essence, or additives' we add are endless possibilities. So, why not make a coffee cake that actually contains coffee, go for it!

  5. This recipe for Busy Day Coffee Cake is still the one I most often like to bake. A perfect "side-car" to a freshly brewed cup of coffee (yes I still use a percolator:)

    As a matter of fact, August is National Coffee Month and Coffee Cake Day is celebrated on April 7th.

    GREAT post! Thanks for sharing, luv Ella too...

  6. I love them all but Peggy lee speaks to me i can almost feel the ice cubes clinking softy in the glass. Thanks for the cake.

  7. Your coffee cake looks yummy! Nothing beats homemade! Thank you for sharing your recipe.


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