Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cowboy Coffee Cake

Do you ever make something just because it reminds you of good times?

Mom used to make Cowboy Coffee Cake for special occasions.  We would have it when company came and during the holidays.  Cowboy Coffee Cake usually meant that good times were about to happen.  I was feeling particularly nostalgic this morning so I made a batch.

Cowboy Coffee Cake

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 t salt
2 c brown sugar
2/3 c shortening
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1 cup milk
1 T vinegar
2 eggs

Mix the flour, salt, sugar and shortening together until crumbly.

Set aside 1/2 cup of the mix.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the remaining mix.

Pour into two 8 inch cake pans.  Top with reserved mix.

Bake 375 degrees for 35 minutes.

This freezes fantastically so I usually eat one and freeze the other.  It's not good for you but, man, it's good!

If I do it again:

Nothing to change!  This is perfect, as is.


  1. Why is it called "Cowboy" Coffeecake? Just curious as the ingredients are regular coffeecake ingredients; nothing particularly cow boyish. Sometimes there is a story behind name...

  2. No personal family story, sorry! I think that this could be cooked in a dutch oven in a campfire very easily. . . perhaps that's why? I grew up calling in "Cowboy Coffee Cake" and never asked why!

    1. We are going on a camping trip very soon and at first thought to make it in our dutch oven. I decided not because I've never used a dutch oven before and want to start out with something more forgiving than baked goods, like stew...lots of liquid less likely to burn! I will give your recipe a try at home. I like that it freezes well.

    2. As the infamous Jennifer's younger sister, I can actually tell you why it is called Cowboy Coffee Cake. (1) The actual recipe calls for 1 cup "sour milk". I guess they thought cowboys would have more access to sour milk than the rest of us. Since there were 6 of us growing up, there never was any milk that went bad; so the cheat is to add a Tablespoon of vinegar to the milk before you add it to the rest of the ingredients. Eew, I know. (2) This is the most important reason. It is called "Cowboy Coffee Cake" because that is what my parents called it. I have a couple recipes that I still call by my parents' colorful descriptors even though I would prefer my (very young) children not repeat me; "Shit on a shingle" aka chopped meat in gravy over toast, and "chicken and rice shit" aka super awesome chicken dish. Maybe Jennifer might consider sharing that one day. :-)