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If you know me, you know I love to cook and bake.  Ron and I had the opportunity this past weekend to leave the inn in the very capable hands of inn sitters and spend some time in Pittsburgh with our daughter.  This morning I enjoyed getting back in the kitchen and preparing breakfast for my guests.  Many guests ask me for recipes and I am generally happy to share, although there is one recipe I never share. My scone recipe is uniquely mine and I’m just not ready to share that one.  I continue to take orders and sell them, allowing me to continue to support a women and children’s hospital in Mali, West Africa.

Once in a while I enjoy sharing a recipe in my blog and today is one of those days.  This recipe for Graham Struesel Coffee Cake is from Ron’s Aunt Pat.  It is one of those quick and easy but oh so good recipes. The kind every busy innkeeper loves!  Easy to make and always a hit with guests.

You are going to love these easy and simple ingredients:

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

3/4 cup chopped nuts ( walnuts or pecans )

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

2/3 cup butter

1 yellow cake mix

1 cup water

1/4 cup oil

3 eggs

Powdered Sugar Glaze


Let’s Make the Streusel!!!

Combine the graham cracker crumbs, chopped nuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon.  Stir in the melted butter.  Mix well and set aside.

Now let’s mix the cake!

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, water, oil, and eggs.  Beat on medium speed until throughly mixed.

Set the batter and the streusel aside and prepare your pan or pans.  This recipe originally calls for a 9×13 cake pan, which is easy and works great.  I decided to use two 9 inch round cake pans.  That way I get 2 coffee cakes out of each recipe. One to serve and one to freeze.  I use parchment paper in the bottoms of the pans for easy removal of the cakes.  It’s not necessary when using a rectangular cake pan because you can just serve directly from the pan.  To make it easy, I trace around the cake pan onto the parchment paper and cut out the circles.  Place the parchment paper circle in the bottom of the pan and spray the sides of the pans with cooking spray.

Let’s build you a cake ( as Pedro, friend of Napoleon Dynamite would say):

Place approximately 1/4 of the cake batter in the bottom of each pan.  On top of the batter, sprinkle 1/4 of the streusel.  Repeat by spooning 1/4 of the batter on top of the streusel then sprinkle the remaining streusel on top.  Don’t worry if batter and streusel get mixed together.  It’s gonna taste yummy no matter how it looks:)

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until golden brown and puffy.  Remove from oven and cool on cooling rack.

Once the cakes are cooled, run a kitchen knife around the edges, turn upside down and remove the cakes from the pans.

Once completely cooled, drizzle with a powdered sugar glaze, a cream cheese glaze, or my favorite….Butter Rum Honey Butter! You can purchase Honey Butter at “A Drop of Honey”, one of Grand Rapids’ unique shops.

This coffee cake is a true winner. Not only because it is easy to make and uses simple ingredients, its a crowd pleaser!

Pssssss….you don’t have to tell anyone how easy this is to make.  Good cooks never tell their secrets. Just enjoy all the compliments and MMMMMMM’s you’re going to receive!




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