Sweet & Sour Cowboy Coffee Cake

"Delicious sweet coffee cake. Courtesy of the Brickhouse Inn bed and breakfast, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania."
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Ready In:
2 eight inch round cakes




  • Grease and flour two 8-inch round pans.
  • Line bottoms with wax paper.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Combine flour, salt, sugar, and shortening together with pastry blender.
  • When blended, take out 1/2 cup of crumbs and reserve.
  • To remaining crumbs add baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and mix well.
  • Then add milk and eggs.
  • Stir together.
  • Pour into prepared pans.
  • Sprinkle reserved crumbs on top.
  • Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • NOTE: All you are trying to achieve with the sour milk is the necessary acidity for raising as sour milk reacts differently with baking powder than regular milk. The intention is for the milk to sour, not curdle -- if it curdles slightly it's not a problem. You could achieve the same result substituting an equal amount of buttermilk. However unless you have a use for the rest of a quart of buttermilk, most people prefer to use the lemon method and sour just enough regular milk to use in the recipe. Just add the lemon to the milk while you are getting the dry ingredients ready and it will be just fine.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Chris A.
    Can I make this as cupcakes or muffins? How would be best to bake it if I did?


  1. Bev I Am
    I call this an AMAZING Coffee Cake! This was the first coffee cake I ever made back in 1970's, from the 1968 edition of the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook, pg.48. I'm not surprised it is still around! It is delightful and light, easy and quick to make! An addition of toasted pecans to the batter and/or topping would make a delightful addtion!
  2. skat5762
    This was a very delish coffee cake! Sweet, but not in an overpowering way. As I had no shortening on hand, I used an equivalent amount of butter, softened to room temp, then whipped till it was fluffy. It washed down perfectly with a steaming hot cup o'joe!
  3. Mirj2338
    A very nice, simple cake that impressed me with its subtlety. I baked it in a round fluted cake pan, everyone in the family enjoyed it with a rich cup of tea.
  4. Cydney12
    Great basic coffee cake recipe! The kids loved making it. We "soured" soy milk and the cake came out great. Does anyone know why it is called cowboy coffee cake? We had fun imagining why as we ate it!
  5. LaJuneBug
    My mom has always made this from her Betty Crocker cookbook. I like using light buttermilk instead of the lemon and milk.


  1. LaJuneBug
    My mom has always made this from her Betty Crocker cookbook. I like using light buttermilk instead of the lemon and milk.



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