A few months ago I was digging through my pantry looking for some inspiration. A work potluck was coming up and I need what I call ‘a church lady’ recipe. Something that is easy, fast, and with broad appeal. The kinds of things that people bring to church potlucks or put in a Church cookbook.
I opened up a cabinet to dig one of those church cookbooks that I have been gifted by the older women in my life since I turned 16. That is when I spotted, high on the top shelf, the little plastic container where my mom kept her recipe cards.
It was stashed up there years ago when in a flurry of combining my kitchen gear with my mom’s I was jamming stuff in whatever corner or shelf would hold it. I think I also put it on a shelf out of site because looking at her neat, tidy cursive brought tears to my eyes.
I pulled it out and started thumbing through the cards inside, about 10 cards in I came across the recipe for my Grandma Becker’s Cherry Coffee Cake.
This coffee cake totally slipped my mind.
How this happened is beyond me, since Mom made it all the time and my younger sister, Stacy, was OBSESSED with it.
I did enjoy this coffee cake but I had a strong dislike of cherries so I would do the thing that annoying children do everywhere – pick them all out (and complain loudly while doing it).
But it was just the thing I was looking for: easy, fast, broad appeal. And it didn’t any of those weird things you can sometimes find in old recipes. Like the time I was looking through a cookbook from the 70s that had powdered MSG in the ingredient list.
It also helped that my dislike of cherries has softened over the years.
Grandma’s Cherry Coffee Cake
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup canola oil (I use grapeseed)
- 1 can cherry pie filling
- 2 tbsp sugar (for topping)
- 1 tsp cinnamon (for topping)
- Preheat oven to 350; Butter 9 x13 pan, set aside.
- Place all ingredients (besides the pie filling) in the bowl of your mixer; beat until smooth.
- Put about 3/4 of batter in the buttered pan. Spread evenly, using an offset spatula.
- Spread the cherry pie filling on top of the batter. Place spoonfuls of the leftover batter on the pie filling. Spring the sugar and cinnamon mixture on top.
- Place in the preheated oven, until set and a knife inserted in the center of the pan comes out clean.