Editor’s note: Sadie Davis-Suskind, 14, is an eighth grader at Jane Addams Middle School and an aspiring chef. A former “MasterChef Junior” competitor, Davis-Suskind will share a recipe each week that other kids can make as well.

My dad has adventurous tastes. It may be because he was born in Thailand, moved to Boston, then to Alabama and settled in Louisiana. But he definitely leans toward the spicy/savory side.

My mom, on the other hand, loves (and I mean LOVES) sugary stuff. It doesn’t matter what it is, if it’s covered in sugar, she’ll eat it.

She suggested a few years ago that I make my dad a family favorite recipe for Father’s Day: homemade coffee cake. This was pretty bold of her because I was sure it was just a ploy to get me to bake her something sweet.

Surprise, surprise, my dad ate three slices of the cinnamon-y goodness and now asks for a repeat experience every Father’s Day. So everyone’s happy on Father’s Day. I hope your family will be, too.

The name is deceiving — there is no actual coffee in coffee cake. Coffee cake wasn’t invented, it evolved over hundreds of years and from many diverse countries. Its roots include the honey cakes of Biblical times, German strudels, French galettes and Danish pastries.


Today, the American version is a moist, delicious cake. It usually comes with a “streusel” topping (a sweet and crumbly texture), served alongside coffee or tea for breakfast and loved by one and all.

Rebecca’s Kind of Famous Coffee Cake


9-by-13-by-2-inch baking pan

Large and small mixing bowls


2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 cup packed brown sugar

¾ cup sugar

¾ cup corn oil

1 cup chopped walnuts (disregard for nut allergies)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 egg, beaten

1 cup buttermilk

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease your baking pan well.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, brown sugar, white sugar and corn oil. Remove three-quarters of a cup of this mixture and put it in a small bowl. Into this smaller bowl, also add your walnuts (if using) and remaining teaspoon of cinnamon. Set aside.

3. In the large bowl, add the baking powder, baking soda, egg and buttermilk to the flour mixture and stir everything together. It’s OK if you have small lumps. Pour this mixture into your greased pan.

4. Sprinkle the nut mixture from your smaller bowl evenly over the top of the batter.

5. Bake for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle of the cake comes out dry and free of wet batter.

Enjoy and Happy Father’s Day to all the amazing dads out there. Love you, Dad!