Brunch Part I: NJ Coffee Cake

The invention of Brunch is a good one. Breakfast and Lunch rolled into one very rich and fattening meal. Now that it is finally getting cold here, I want Brunch. Egg casseroles, grits, coffee cakes, fruit and all else that goes with Brunch- a nap. Each Christmas, I know its over, just wait, I make this NJ Coffee Cake for Christmas Morning. The great thing about this cake is that one recipe makes 3 eight inch cakes. So we keep one and two are given away or put in the freezer for another winter day. The only reason I can think of that this is called NJ Coffee Cake is because it mimics Entenmann’s Crumb Coffee Cake that is famous in the North East and was a favorite of Frank Sinatra’s. Does anyone know for sure?

One year for Christmas my SIL Ellen gave me one of these cakes along with the recipe. I have been making this cake every Christmas for over ten years now. This cake is so delicious and I love the crumb to cake ratio- lots of crumb, little cake.

January is the time of year I drink many mugs of hot tea so I think I will be pulling another NJ Coffee Cake from the freezer to go with my afternoon tea. Should I call it a tea cake then? This cake freezes perfectly so is nice to make and have a few for potlucks, the office, or a big brunch.

NJ Coffee Cake
One Box Yellow- I like Duncan Hines
Prepare cake mix as directed; pour into 3 eight inch round cake pans. Bake for 15 minutes (cake will look wet).

While cakes are baking-prepare the following crumb mix by mixing the following ingredients until crumbly.
4 cups flour
4 sticks of butter or margarine, softened
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 T. Cinnamon
1 T. Vanilla

Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the cakes once they are done the first 15 minutes and bake them another 17-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Note- You may want to make these in disposable pans as it is easier to give away and not have to ask for your good cake pans back. That would be poor form. I found these 8 inch pans with the clear lids at my local grocers.

Tomorrow in BRK- Brunch Part II: Hot Fruit Salad. See the above photo? The Fruit Salad is peaking out from behind that delicious NJ Coffee Cake. Join me all week for more Brunch Recipes!

Happy Epiphany! Now I can take my Christmas Tree down.

Related Posts
Brunch Part II: Hot Fruit Salad
Brunch Part III: Scotch Eggs
Brunch Part IV: Yeast Biscuits


  1. Rindy R
    Posted January 6, 2009 at 8:26 AM | Permalink

    Wow – that is the kind of streusel you want on the top of your coffee cake! Pictures are great! This is going on my “To Make” list! YUM!

  2. Sabrina
    Posted January 6, 2009 at 8:56 AM | Permalink

    that looks so good.

  3. Just Another Army Wife
    Posted January 6, 2009 at 9:52 AM | Permalink

    I am going to make this ASAP!! My mom is orginally from Long Island and when ever we go to visit this is always on the table for dessert with coffee or tea and its Entenmann’s of course. YUM, I can’t wait to share with with my mom too..she is gonna LOVE it!!!

  4. Mari at Once Upon a Plate
    Posted January 6, 2009 at 10:56 AM | Permalink

    Oh my! That looks FABULOUS Robin Sue.

    I’m in your camp, the more crumb topping the better.

    Thank you for sharing the recipe. 🙂 ~m.

  5. grahamstravelblog
    Posted January 6, 2009 at 11:58 AM | Permalink

    Your pictures of your coffee cake really makes me hungry. I’m going to have to try this one against my coffee cake that doesn’t have as much topping and see which one wins out. Coffee Cake Showdown!

  6. JEWEL
    Posted January 6, 2009 at 12:03 PM | Permalink

    This cake looks delicious. I am lookin forward to the rest of the brunch recipes. What a great idea.

  7. j*amy
    Posted January 6, 2009 at 12:57 PM | Permalink

    ummmm that looks SOOO good.

  8. Kate
    Posted January 6, 2009 at 12:59 PM | Permalink

    First you had me when you mentioned the high crumb to cake ratio — that’s a winner in my book.

    Then I saw the first ingredient was a yellow cake mix and clapped my hands.

    Scratch Bakers, say what you will, but cake-mix-doctoring is my favorite way to go. Daring Bakers have my undying admiration, but I’m reaching for the box nearly every time, and THIS sounds FANTASTIC.

    I’m making it soon. I can see it would be easy to adapt down in size for one person, using one of those individual cake layer mixes (Jiffy, for instance). But I might go full hog.

  9. Jen
    Posted January 6, 2009 at 1:09 PM | Permalink

    My dad was an Entenmann’s driver when I was a child, so I’m well-versed in their goods and these pictures bring back some tasty memories! Call it what you may, just be sure to call it delicious 🙂

  10. That Girl
    Posted January 6, 2009 at 3:36 PM | Permalink

    Sure this could be brunch – but I’d eat it for breakfast too!

  11. PaniniKathy
    Posted January 6, 2009 at 4:13 PM | Permalink

    The crumb is definitely the best part of any coffee cake, in my opinion 🙂

  12. Linda
    Posted January 6, 2009 at 5:09 PM | Permalink

    Robin…I love this recipe! Thanks for the great post and I am going to make a few of these for the freezer this weekend. Crumb topping rules! 🙂

  13. Grace
    Posted January 6, 2009 at 5:35 PM | Permalink

    brunch is absolutely my favorite meal, and the crumb topping on this cake is ridiculous. bless your heart for sharing the recipe with us, robin sue. i love it. 🙂

  14. Ellen
    Posted January 6, 2009 at 6:49 PM | Permalink

    Sister-hey! I just made this for our Sunday School snack this past week. I got the recipe from a Jersey girl perhaps hence the name. (Jennifer my cute upstairs Heidelberg neighbor) anyway… Love ya.

  15. HoneyB
    Posted January 6, 2009 at 8:40 PM | Permalink

    Oh looks so good! I’d rather do brunch every day. I’m not much of a breakfast person.

  16. Joie de vivre
    Posted January 6, 2009 at 9:50 PM | Permalink

    This looks really yummy! My hubby has been reluctant to put away the Christmas things until epiphany and it didn’t even occur to me that today was the day. I am very excited to get my house back to normal!

  17. Sara
    Posted January 6, 2009 at 10:10 PM | Permalink

    This looks great, when it comes to coffee cake, the more crumb topping the better it is!

  18. biz319
    Posted January 7, 2009 at 4:41 PM | Permalink

    Glad to see you back after the holidays – need to catch up on your blog tonight!!


  19. Robin Sue
    Posted January 7, 2009 at 8:35 PM | Permalink

    Rindy- I think you will love this cake!

    Sabrina- If you bless it, it won’t have calories!

    Just Another Army Wife- I do like my Entenmann’s! I like the Dannish with the cream cheese filling.

    Mari- I love the crumb topping the best!

    Graham- Ok let me know which one wins! Can you believe my mom pick offs most of the topping?? Crazy gal!

    Jewel- More Brunch on its way!

    j*amy- Thanks!

    Kate- I do like to bake from scratch but doctoring cake mixes is another fun hobby, and so simple too!

    Jen- That is so cool that your Dad drove for Entenmann’s! I bet he brought home many treats!

    ThatGirl- Or after lunch or for dinner:-)

    PaniniKathy- I agree!

    Linda- I do have some more in the freezer, it is a good feeling to be ready for anything!

    Grace- I love a good brunch! Appetizers are my next favorite type of meal!

    Ellen- Oh yeah I remember her! Thanks for the recipe all those years ago.

    HoneyB- I am with you there, sometimes it is too early to eat breakfast!

    Joie- I still have Christmas out but it must be gone by Saturday!

    Sara- Yes more crumb is the best!

    biz319- Thanks it is good to be back in the kitchen too!

  20. Rindy R
    Posted January 8, 2009 at 8:07 AM | Permalink

    Ok – couldn’t stand it any more and had to make this. DID NOT DISAPPOINT at all! My family LOVED this and the good news is that I have 2 more in my freezer. This will be my go to coffee cake from now on. Thanks for sharing!

  21. Dawn
    Posted January 8, 2009 at 12:18 PM | Permalink

    I love this! I have one question, where it says to use 1 1/3 cups of sugar, you mean brown sugar right? I don’t think white sugar would taste so hot…although I’ve never tried using white sugar in my crumb cakes.

  22. Robin Sue
    Posted January 8, 2009 at 12:34 PM | Permalink

    Dawn- It is white sugar. I have never used the brown in this recipe so I can’t vouch for what it will do. I imagine it will have a deeper flavor?? If you do use the brown let me know how it goes.

  23. mindy
    Posted January 8, 2009 at 6:33 PM | Permalink

    oh my gosh, my mother buys that same Entenmann’s coffee cake every time we visit! it would be fun to make this and surprise her.

  24. Anonymous
    Posted January 24, 2009 at 1:53 PM | Permalink

    Iam so thankful that I found your site! This cake looks wonderful! But I wanted to ask ….do you ever make it in a 9X13? This would be more portable to take to church that way! Thank you so much,Elizabeth Glass

  25. Robin Sue
    Posted January 24, 2009 at 5:44 PM | Permalink

    Elizabeth- This can be made in one 9×13 plus an 8 inch pan. I have done it that way and it works out fine! Thanks!

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