By Jason Shriner, The Aubergine Chef
I’ve always thought that one of the keys to success is a strong support system. Success doesn’t have to be measured with money or fame. To me success is being happy and being able to pass on that happiness to others. I’ve always wanted to have a positive impact on other people’s lives, and I’ve gotten to a place in my life where I can do it every day. These were lessons instilled into me by my grandmother, who is the most supportive person I have in my life.
My grandma has always believed that kindness is the most important quality a person can have. Intelligence, wealth, and beauty meant nothing if you were an ugly person on the inside. She taught me about charity, gratitude and social responsibility. Learning these lessons early on helped me develop empathy, which now allows me to better understand my students’ frustrations.
To honor her this Mother’s Day I’d like to share with you one of her favorite recipes of mine: Coffee cake. The recipe is very simple and there’s a good chance you have all of the ingredients in your home right now. The finished product is humble in appearance but the depth of flavor is profound–much like my grandma’s wisdom.
You can easily make this coffee cake without a mixer and there’s plenty of ways kids can help. The baked cake freezes well and lasts at least a week at room temperature, though it tastes best when served warm. This coffee cake is great for breakfast, brunch or as an afternoon snack.
I invite you to honor the mothers in your lives with this almost effortless recipe. I promise they’ll be impressed and think you’ve spent all day making it.
Jason Shriner owns the baking & pastry blog The Aubergine Chef, which contains free videos and recipes. He also teaches baking classes at the Manassas Park Community Center. You can visit his blog at www.TheAubergineChef.com.
Makes one ¼-sheet pan cake (about 13” x 9”)
1 whole egg
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted but not hot
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup room-temperature water
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ stick (2 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
Start with the streusel
1. Combine the dry ingredients, then place the butter in the dry ingredients.
2. Beat with a paddle attachment until well mixed with pea-sized pieces of butter. You can also combine the ingredients with your hands by rubbing the butter into the dry ingredients.
Make the cake
1. Combine the eggs, melted butter, vanilla, and water in a bowl and mix well.
2. Sift together all the dry ingredients
3. Add the dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients and mix until combined.
4. Pour into the parchment paper-lined sheet pan and spread evenly.
5. Top with streusel topping.
6. Bake at 375 degrees until light golden brown and cake tests done, about 10-20 minutes.