Saturday, December 3, 2011

The History of the Coffee Cake

Coffee cake is a wonderful American tradition. They are often served at breakfast, but that does not mean that you should overlook stirring one up any time of the day. Along with breakfast, it is not unusual to see this wonderfully flavorful cake showing up at brunch as well, and many enjoy serving them as a dessert at the end of the meal. Regardless of when you find this traditional style of cake, you can be sure that it will bring back delightful memories from a simpler time of life.

As with other specialty desserts, it begins with an easy to create basic recipe that lends itself well to the addition of different ingredients. It is easy to stir in different fruits to make a special delight for family members or guests who have shown a great affinity for those fruits.

Coffee cake is a very versatile goodie that can be shared with family and friends as well as making a great hostess gift. Kids like munching on these delightful cakes when served with a glass of milk. You can even bake one up quickly in the morning to share at the office or as part of a potluck breakfast at church. They are easily transported which makes them perfect even for bringing along to picnics.

Coffee Cake May be an American Tradition now but they began long before America was Settled. Contrary to popular opinion, the original cake was not invented in a bakery shop in Colonial America. It was an evolutionary process that brought it to where it is today. They can be traced back to a period long before the Pilgrims settled on this continent. These cakes are similar in nature to the first honey bars that got their start way back centuries ago. They found their way to America as immigrants of Scandinavian, German and Dutch descent brought with them the formulas they knew and loved as their own special contribution to the American experience.

Of course, there is no way that we should eliminate any of the various national origins from the list of those who have contributed to the many variations of the humble but very tasty breakfast cake. Everyone who enjoys this quick and easy way to create a delicious cake has left their own mark.

Coffee cake may have received its name originally, due to the addition of coffee to the mixture that renders a lovely, light and scrumptious dish, but today it is rare to find coffee as one of the ingredients in most cases. It is the Scandinavians influence that has often been given credit for the evolution of this pastry having a sweeter taste today. It seems that they loved having something more sugary when they took their coffee breaks. This tastier variety seems to be the result of their own personal tastes.

Coffee cakes today are typically found flavored with fruits, nuts, and cinnamon, and where would we be without those heavenly flavors. Historians will tell you that the development of coffee cakes proliferated during Colonial times when recipes were handed down from one homemaker to the next by word-of-mouth, and later began to show up in cookbooks of the period. We are grateful to those first efforts that later ended up helping us to enjoy the wonders of these treats.

Rick Mongiovi shares his recipes for coffee cake recipes and more breakfast recipes for muffins, biscuits, egg dishes, egg casseroles, on his site at

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