This is one of my favorite recipes! I don't think this was an original recipe but my Grandma passed it down to my mom who passed it down to me. Grandma almost always had this delicious coffee cake on hand. It was a staple that everyone loves, which made it a perfect gift when someone was sick or grieving.
I think of Grandma every time I make it. Though we often cooked together, I can't remember if we ever made the coffee cake together. Either way, the recipe is indelibly associated with her.
Every Christmas I make a bunch of mini coffee cakes for my boss and other helpful administrative staff. Then I make a regular size coffee cake for my coworkers, which I bring to our afternoon meeting. Grandma was still living the first year I did this and got such a kick out of me carrying on a tradition. The next Christmas, she had passed and my hospice coworkers had known her and cared for her at the end. The coffee cake became a way of honoring her memory.
It helps that this coffee cake is a definite crowd pleaser. People actually cheer when they see me breaking it out every year! Also, your home will smell amazing while it's baking. The marbling of the filling is a nice touch- it's pretty to look at!
Grandma's Duncan Heinz Coffee Cake
1 pkg. Yellow Cake (Duncan Heinz is the best for flavor but another mix will do)
1 sm. pkg. Vanilla Instant Pudding
3/4 c. oil
3/4 c. water
1 t. vanilla
1 t. butter flavoring
Beat above ingredients together. Separately mix the filling in a bowl. If you want to have a really pronounced cinnamon/sugar flavor, you can make more filling and layer it thickly.
1/2 c. sugar
4 t. cinnamon
1 c. chopped nuts (optional)
Grease bread pan- either regular or you can use 4 small bread pans. Alternate layers, starting with cinnamon mix on the bottom, then cake, then filling, cake, etc. I usually end up with 3 layers. End with filling on the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.