Alvina's Crumb Cake, passed down from Bob Isleib to his family
With father's day coming up soon, it's hard not to think of my sweet dad--I still miss him a lot. He was a great dad, and an interesting, funny man who was crazy about his family.
|My dad and his darling wife, Mary Jane|
My father did not cook much, but he was proud of the two recipes in his repertoire. One was his easy but controversial method for making pie crust, which he used to make occasional apple pies.
The other was this recipe for coffee cake. I love having the recipe card in his handwriting--a treasure in my box. Although I've canvassed my living relatives, no one is completely sure who Alvina was.
I made a few tweaks to his recipe including using cake flour which makes a finer crumb. I also added butter and brown sugar to the topping, and reduced the oven temperature. (I remember the cake often coming out crispy.)
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 lb (2 sticks) butter, softened
4 cups flour, cake if you have it
4 tsp baking powder
3 beaten eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup Milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 stick butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup additional flour
Preheat the oven to 350.
Pulse the sugar, 2 sticks of butter, and flour together. (I used a stand mixer—small lumps are acceptable, even encouraged.) Remove one cup of this mixture for topping and in another bowl, cut in 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 stick of butter, and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Set that aside.
To the original mixture, add 4 heaping tsp baking powder and 3 beaten eggs. Mix well.
Mix in the milk and vanilla—do not overbeat.
Pour into a well-buttered 9 by 13 inch pan and sprinkle crumbs over top. Bake for 35 or so minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out dry.
This is also delicious with a handful of fresh blueberries folded in before baking.
When she is not blogging and cooking, Lucy Burdette writes the Key West food critic mysteries!
Fatal Reservations, the sixth book in the series, will be in bookstores on July 7, but you can certainly order it now! And, to begin the countdown and launch the celebration, we will be giving away one copy of the new book--leave a comment with your email to be entered in the drawing.