For some reason lately, I haven’t been able to get the idea and taste of this cake out of my head. It’s like my “Gramma” Harter (as I used to call her) has been telling me to make it for my kids and for all of you to remember. It was a regular cake in my mother’s repertoire, although it was always known as Grandma’s Crumb Cake. More of a traditional “coffee cake” than a dessert cake, it was one of the few desserts that we would have. I have the Xerox copy of my mother’s original handwritten recipe in one of those old plastic sleeves.
It only takes about 10 minutes to put it together, and about an hour to cook. It has the feel of one of those dishes you could make quickly to take to a neighbor or friend who needed cheering up of some sort. And the taste…well, it’s the taste of my childhood. Although, next time I might try making it with whole wheat pastry flour….
Grandma’s Crumb Cake Recipe
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ cups sugar
- ¾ cup shortening (I used ½ cup butter and ¼ cup coconut oil this time, but I’m almost certain Gramma used lard)
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup milk
- Preheat the oven to 375°.
- Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar, and shortening together until well blended.
- Set aside ¾ cup of this mixture for “crumb” topping.
- Add the eggs and milk and beat until smooth.
- Pour batter into a well-greased pan. My mother always used a round pan, but I don’t think it really matters.
- Sprinkle the crumbs on top.
- Sprinkle some cinnamon and salt on top.
- “Bake until done,” as the recipe card says…. Turns out, it’s about an hour.