Thursday, June 11, 2015

Alvina's Crumb Cake #FathersDay @LucyBurdette #recipe

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.


  1. Sounds ands looks scrumptious! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Alvina's Crumb Cake looks yummy! Thank you for the sharing the recipe.

  3. I love this series. The cake looks delicious. Thank you for sharing the recipe and this wonderful opportunity to win.

  4. I love this series! The cake sounds delicious, thank you for the chance to win!

  5. Forgot my email.

  6. R just before I come here I loosened the waistband on my slacks. It sounds delicious and I love the "lumps are encouraged".. Delicious as your mysteries even though it may be fattening.

    1. we all loosen our waistbands a little on this blog:), then we go out and take a brisk walk and all is forgiven

  7. This looks lovely! And I like the idea of adding blueberries. I can see adding in any fruit in season.

    1. Oops. harbingerdc(at)gmail(dot)com

  8. I enjoy this series a great deal. Thank you for the giveaway. This coffee cake sounds delicious, but I think the best part is having the recipe card in your father's handwriting. dmskrug3 at hotmail dot com

  9. I will be trying this recipe. Love crumb cakes. It is neat that you have his recipe in his handwriting. My sister passed away at an early age . She loved to cook and I have one of her recipes cards in her handwriting and I treasure it. Looking forward to the new Key West book. Can't wait!

  10. The cake looks delicious! I am truly charmed by the recipe card. I have my late mother's recipe box just stuffed full of such cards and it is a real treasure. Isn't it a shame that those sweet little cards are no longer used any more?

    1. Yes it is a shame! so glad you have your mother's recipes

  11. The crumb cake sounds wonderful and easy enough for me to make. My mom passed away several months ago...I love going through her recipes and seeing her handwriting! I am looking forward to the new book...your series is one of my favorites.