Updated: Dec 25, 2020
If you are from Los Angeles, further - if you went to school in the Los Angeles Unified School System in the recent past, AND, if your participated in the School Lunch Program, you know that the food was trash. One might have had a favorite item: I liked the burritos. Those burritos were junk. Not even sure now, if there was real anything in it. But I liked them. And I liked the Taco Sauce that they gave for them. In the little soy sauce packet-thingy. The closet thing I have found to that taco sauce is the mild sauce from Taco Bell. I don't eat there, but I do go and pick up a handful of those mild packets - from time to time.
The one thing however, those who did go through LAUSD will unanimously agree on is the Coffee Cake. EVERYONE loved the Coffee Cake. I loved the Coffee Cake.
Some years back, I had a friend in LA who made and sold Old School Coffee Cake. I loved being able to get it from him. My daughter loved it too because I made it for us back when.
I share the recipe here because it is one of the most delicious coffee cakes I've ever had and everyone should have a perfect Coffee Cake in their lives. Its moist, perfectly spiced, and the crumble topping has the loveliest semi-crackle texture. Absolutely wonderful with coffee or tea. Or honestly anything else you want to drink.
I'm not sure what made me make one again. I think it was inspired by a conversation but I have since forgotten how that conversation went. Here is my version of the infamous Coffee Cake, after tweaking it to my exacting requirements... <-------- insert a wry laugh.
*If you like nuts, you could add 3/4 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts to the crumble mixture before sprinkling it over the
Full disclosure: I over-shot the crumble topping by mis-measuring and I forgot to add the oil. The correct measurements are in the recipe below.
Let me know in the comments if you like it when you make it. I hope you make it - because what else are you going to do...?
3 ¾ C. all-purpose flour
1 C. Buttermilk
1 ¼ tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Nutmeg (if you don’t like Nutmeg, you can leave it out).
1 ½ tsp. Cinnamon
3 ½ tsp. Baking Powder
¾ tsp. Baking Soda
1TBSP Vinegar (white or apple cider)
½ cup Water
1 C. + 2 TBSP Vegetable Oil
1 C. Sugar
1 ¼ C. Light Brown Sugar
Ingredients for Topping
⅓ C. packed Light Brown Sugar
½ tsp. Cinnamon
⅔ C. All-Purpose Flour
4 TBSP Melted Butter
1 pinch of Salt
Preheat oven to 375 F and grease 2 - 9X9 or 2 - 9” round cake pans.
Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
Blend together the sugars (not for the topping), oil, buttermilk, and water until they are well combined. Add eggs and blend on low for 1 minute.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in increments, blending on low until all the dry ingredients are incorporated and the batter is smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go. Do not over-blend.
Divide the batter evenly between baking pans and sprinkle topping evenly over each.
Bake 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Check at minute 30...
Directions for Topping
In a medium bowl, using a fork, mix sugar, flour, cinnamon, *(nuts, if you want them), and pinch of salt until well combined. Gradually add melted butter and toss until topping is crumbly.