A Christmas Morning Coffee Cake

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By Marge Von Lehmden

I grew up in an east Texas traditional Catholic family: a fabulous cooking mom, a dad that insisted we try everything, one funny brother and three very unique sisters. I’m number four in the line-up.  This Christmas apron with it’s muted pink holly berries and kelly green leaves inspired me to make the ultimate Sunday breakfast food just like my mom made.  One that I want to make a Christmas morning tradition in my own home. 

Sunday morning: Mom would come upstairs where the five children were tucked in our three bedrooms. Up and at’em and off to the (one) kid’s bathroom to get ready for mass.  With all of us crammed into one bathroom, fighting for a sink, hair dryers running, hairspray flying (in east Texas, we loved our hairspray), the chaos was immense.  By the time you escaped the bathroom, threw on your church clothes and ran downstairs you were overcome by the heavenly scent of coffee cake. It was such a relief to belly up to the table and indulge in the most delicious, yet simple, morning treat.  It was usually accompanied by some crisp bacon and/or sausage and a cold glass of milk. 

This recipe reminds me of the wonderful, although sometimes hectic, memories that happen around the breakfast table. My son is just a baby, but I know we want the same for him. The coffee cake reminds me to have more meals around the table with my own family.  This is where my mom and dad attempted to instill manners, teach me the power of being an adventurous eater and show their love and support….just by listening. Merry Christmas.

Christmas Morning Coffee Cake
Serves:  6

1 1/3 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup Butter Flavored Crisco
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350. Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Use a whisk to ensure there are no lumps.

Remove a 1/2 cup of the flour mixture and set aside. 

Then if you have a food processor, place your pastry blender and “cut in” the Crisco until the flour mixture is combined.  If you do not have a food processor use a standard mixer or good ole’ fashion elbow grease. 

Add milk and beaten egg into flour mixture. 

Place into a 8X8 pan.  Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the reserved flour mixture on top of the batter.

Sprinkle with cinnamon. 

Bake for 25 minutes.

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Reader Comments:


excellents recipes congratulations. You´re a incredible person thanks for share us the recipes........really love ypur recipes

By lucy ortiz on December 22, 2011


Love your recipes.

By Anonymous on December 16, 2011

Sitting in front of my computer on a day that will be 104degrees reading your Christmas Coffee Cake recipe makes me start thinking of cold weather and gooooood food.  This one will be a great one.  Thanks you little ol’ Texas sweety you.


By Patricia on August 13, 2010

I was going through my email inbox to clean it out and realized I never opened your email.  This is a wonderful story and I can picture the “Cussen crew” getting ready for church and running around like crazy!  This put a smile on my face and I can’t wait to try out your mom’s recipe.  Love you girl:)

By Suzanne Shelton on February 01, 2010

As they say in East Texas “I’m proud to know you”!
love & prayers,

By Patricia Cussen on December 29, 2009

Such a fabulous story!  Thank you for sharing this….I will be trying this with my family this Christmas morning!

By Mary Beth on December 21, 2009

  Being your family neighbor and friend I know all you said is true.  I’m still benenfiting from your Mom’s receipes, The Blue Plate Cookbook.
  I’m now waiting for second generation cooking creations from you.
        You go girl!!!

By Jane Hoover on December 21, 2009

Great story, I can just imagine what it was like at your house.
Thanks for sharing the story and recipe.  Merry Christmas to you and your family.

By Marie Crowe on December 20, 2009

Love the east Texas story!! need to try this cake!

By donna rosenblatt on December 19, 2009

you crack me up girl! i might just try this out in east manhattan!!

By sarah on December 17, 2009

Sounds amazing! Cannot wait to try it.

By Jessica on December 16, 2009


What a wonderful story and recipe.  Love you lots.

By Eric Von Lehmden on December 16, 2009

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Paula, I love watching you and your family. I miss seeing your show, I watched you everyday. My son lives in Charleston S.C. He took me to the Lady & Sons to eat. Oh my goodness! People are always telling me that I look just like the cooking lady Paula Deen. I always tell them that you are my hero. May God Bless You Mary Ann
Mary Ann Tharp in A Summer of Burgers on August 15, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Add a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese to the flour and cornmeal breading and it kicks the tomatoes up another notch. Bev
in Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes on August 15, 2014 at 10:33 am

I just bought Paula's Peach Salad Dressing and wondered if anyone has a good recipe that they use it in?
Melissa in Taste Testing 101 on August 13, 2014 at 8:36 am

Congrats Bobby. Loved the family picture miss you Paula on TV will be watching online. Jack is getting big. Looks like his mom but Matt aka moose has your face. Your eyes cheeks hair even falls to his face like yours except to the left. Good luck on your next venture. You give us other 60+ yr women strength to move on. Keep up the good work.
Carol Bryant in Love at Last on August 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm