This recipe goes back to my early days of marriage in 1952.  It came from either a Crisco or Sunbeam mixer cookbook (two of my favorite sources at that time) and I made it countless times.  The crumb topping is very sparse and light but is just right for the cake which is richer than most coffeecakes.  I have always called it my “best coffeecake”.

BEST COFFEECAKE

  • 1/2 cup shortening (Crisco)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tblsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Grease and flour a 9″ baking pan.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, place the shortening, sugar and egg.  Beat until light and fluffy.

In a separate medium bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking powder.

Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with flour, and beating until well blended after each addition.

Pour into a greased and floured 9″ pan.  Sprinkle the following topping on the top of the cake:

TOPPING

  • 1-1/2 Tblsp. melted butter
  • 4 Tblsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tblsp. flour

In a small bowl, mix together the butter, sugar and cinnamon.  Stir in the flour and mix well.  Crumble over the top of the unbaked cake.

Bake cake @ 400 degrees F for approximately 25 minutes, until cake tests done.

Cool for 10 minutes on a rack.  Cut into squares to serve while still warm.

In the early 1960s my husband and I were raising three children in a 1922 house on Maple Drive in Oakley (Cincinnati).

I used to bake this cake as a treat during the evening when we didn’t have money for snacks like potato chips and soft drink.   I would omit the crumb topping and after it was cool, frost it with some powdered sugar icing and sprinkle raisins on top.

ICING FOR TOP OF CAKE

  • 1 Tblsp. softened butter or margarine
  • 1 Tblsp. undiluted evaporated milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup powdered or confectioners’ sugar
  • Dash of salt

Place all of the above ingredients in a mixer bowl and beat until smooth.  An additional drop or two of evaporated milk can be added gradually to make a good spreading consistency.  Frost top of cooled cake while still in the pan and sprinkle about 3 Tblsp. of raisins on top.

The three kids (age 2, 6 and 8), my husband and I would eat the entire cake that evening while watching television.