Let me preface this post by saying that I’ve never met Aunt Helen. All I know is that she makes a crazy-good coffee cake. I was introduced to this cake by her niece Francie. Francie is one of the great bakers/cooks at Main Library. Earlier this month she baked and brought in Aunt Helen’s Coffee Cake for a program we were having. I fell in love. Just a couple of weeks ago, I made two of them. One for our neighbors across the way and one for our hosts in D.C. Everyone liked what they tasted. This evening, I have another coffee cake in the oven. It’s going to work with me tomorrow.
Aunt Helen’s Coffee Cake (reprinted with the permission of Francie)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour tube pan (I use Pam for baking). Prepare yellow cake mix as directed on package, but use two tablespoons less water. Pour 2/3 of batter into prepared pan, sprinkle with half of the filling (see recipe below). Pour in remaining batter and sprinkle with remaining filling. Bake 50 to 60 minutes. Cool 20 minutes. I like to glaze the cooled coffee cake with a simple confectioners sugar and milk glaze.
Filling: Stir together 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I use pecans) and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.