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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Day 7 - Twelve Days of Christmas Celebration & Giveaway

It's a Winter Wonderland outside!
Yesterday and last night we had a great snowstorm....the wind blew and the snow came down heavy.  The snow clung to the windows and made for a very pretty picture indeed.
It was cozy and warm inside, and a great day to catch up on some UFOs, decorating and baking.

Each Christmas morning, I make a treat to feast on while we enjoy our coffee and open presents.  It may be my caramel nut rolls, or it may be my Nana's coffee cake.  My Nana died when I was 13, but I have such fond memories of her.  She was a real lady...tall, lovely and as kind as can be.  She always dressed well, as befitted a lady of her time.  If you recall seeing pictures of Lucille Ball all dressed up and looking glamorous (not goofy)...that was my Nana.  She came from an era where people took pride in their appearance when they stepped out the door.  I think of my Nana often...sometimes I even feel her presence when I make her coffee cake, her pot roast, or see a jar of M & M's, which she always had when we came to visit...I wish she had lived long enough to see my sister, brothers and I grow up...she would have loved the boys and now our grandchildren.  But, time marches on and I know in my heart, Nana and PopPop (who died when I was just 2) will be waiting with open arms to greet me when the time comes.  

So in honor of my Nana, I am sharing her simple, yet yummy recipe.

Nana's Coffee Cake

A family favorite in our home - now you can make it too.

For the cake:
Sift together
2 1/2 c flour, 1/2 t. salt and 2 1/2 t. baking powder
In separate bowl, mix
1/2 c shortening
1 c sugar
2 t. vanilla extract
Cream well, then add
2 eggs and mix just until blended - do not overbeat
Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture, alternating with
1 c milk
Beat just until blended and spread into a 13 x 9 pan
For the crumb topping:

In food processor, combine 1 c sugar, 1 c flour, one stick butter and 1 - 2 T cinnamon.  Blend until combine and butter is in small pieces.  Top batter with crumb mixture and place in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Cool completely before serving.
I'm not sure why, but we have traditionally baked this coffee cake in two round cake pans.  Occasionally we will use a 9x13 pan, but it never quite seems the same unless it is sliced like a cake...lol.  Oh and...my brother Jon and I used to always fought over who got to scrape the crumbs from the bottom of the pan with a spoon and eat them.

I'm sure this recipe could be fancied up with the addition of some chopped nuts in the topping and perhaps fruit and more crumb topping in the middle of the cake, but the simplicity of the recipe and the Lady who inspired it are what make it so special to us.
I hope you enjoy it too.
Today's giveaway question is:

"Do you have a special family recipe you make at Christmastime that invokes wonderful memories?"

Thank you all for stopping by again today and sharing your wonderful comments with me - I read each one and enjoy hearing about your family traditions!

I have listed a couple of new items on Ebay, if you care to take a look. You will find a link on the top left of my blog.


  1. I've tried for many years to duplicate my Mom's shortbread cookies but just can't get them right. Your Nana's coffee cake looks so delicious ")

  2. Treasured memories are so important, and my flood back at this time of the year. Yes, your grandparents will be there to welcome you into the Kingdom.

    No special family recipe but I love making the traditional oatmeal cookies and I always made a batch of Ginger Snaps for my Dad. ♥ Now hubby receives that tradition.

  3. I make cinnamon rolls for Christmas and it makes me remember when my boys were all little and ate them as fast as they came out of the oven! Sweet hugs my friend, Diane

  4. love your new dolls-they're adorable!

  5. Thank you for the recipe. I have been looking for a good simple coffee cake recipe. I have tried a few but have not found the flavor that I have been looking for. Maybe I can try yours for Christmas day. We make chocolate peanut butter fudge in the same plate that grandma used. Always turns out great when we use her plate.

  6. Great post, and you have a lovely blog. We all had the snowstorm here in Montreal, Canada yesterday and it lasted from Tuesday, so it snowed for more than 36 hours!

  7. Wow! Snow already. Our special treat is chocolate brownies. Everyone loves them. Your grandma's coffee cake recipe sounds really tasty :)

  8. Hi Wendy, your Nana sounded wonderful! Thanks for sharing her recipe! One recipe that I love is snowballs, some people call them Mexican wedding cookies. My mom would make them every year, they are my dad's favorite cookies! Love your snowgirl and Santa, you are sooo talented. hugs, Lecia

  9. Your Nana was a very beautiful woman Wendy. Love these old recipes, they are always the best aren't they? Thank you for sharing your Nana's coffee cake recipe, I will definitely give it a try (and bake it in two round cake tins :O) The recipe I make unfailingly every Christmas is for a shortbread cookie called 'Mexican Wedding Cakes'. They are a small round nut and shortbread cookie rolled in berry sugar, the perfect bite with a cup of tea. No idea why they are called Mexican Wedding Cakes but I'm sure there is a story there somewhere! Thanks as always for your generosity my friend.

  10. That is such a beautiful picture of the homestead of how beautiful the snow stuck the the window's. It is like a post post card.
    That is so sweet for you to honor your Nana and post her recipe.
    Christmas Blessings,
    Tricia XO

  11. I enjoy reading about your family traditions and recipes. My grandmother made the best coffee cake, but I never go the recipe. One thing I always made for holiday parties was swedish meatballs using my mom's recipe.


  12. HELLO, yes we do.It is my Mother's Roll Recipe!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Merry Christmas!


  13. Our favorite family recipe is the turkey stuffing with white raisins and apples. My grandmother also made that coffee cake in a round pan. I loved it too.

  14. Evening Wendy, lovely picture, how special is that recipe.....I have a old Shortbread recipe from Mama, love to make them but don't seem to taste as yummy. Blesssings Francine.

  15. Grandma's sugar cookies.Never can get it quite right since hers were mostly from her head repetition. She wrote down the recipe as close as can be must just be missing the love..smile..

  16. I make my mom-in-law hot rolls recipe now that she is gone...it's now my job to bring them to all family get togethers. Never have left overs because at the next meal or snacking time we use any buns not eaten earlier with meat and slap it on the bun....always have an empty pan to bring home.

  17. Your home is beautiful! I love to make spritz cookies. We used to make them with the old twist cookie press and color the dough. The camel shape one always disappointed me. :) I want to make sand tarts like my grandma this year.

  18. I make a lot of the Christmas cookies my mom made when I was young.....russian tea cakes, chocolate snowballs, cut outs...I haven't started baking yet & I am craving them!

  19. The coffee cake looks wonderful--thank you for sharing:) I have a special recipe of my grandma's for butter cookies I make most years for the Christmas cookie plates...

  20. Thank you for the recipe, I will have to give it a try!

    We love to make gingerbread cookies, it's not Christmas without them. My Granny made divinity at Christmas, I don't have her recipe, wish I did.

  21. Thanks for sharing your recipe, Wendy! Looks Yummy!
    My favorite recipe is probably my MIL's sugar cookie recipe.


  22. My husband came from a Norwegian family so every year we make a flat bread called Lefse.

  23. Actually the recipe that gets baked every year is my best friends mothers sugar cookie recipe. They are my favorite.


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