Cookbook’s coffee cake a delicious treat

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Before our kids outgrew family trips, we visited Pennsylvania and rode through Lancaster County’s Amish community.

Our destination was a charming restaurant that served a buffet lunch featuring all kinds of traditional dishes. The food was delicious.

I immediately thought of that experience when I was asked to review “Amish Community Cookbook.”

The cookbook, by Carole Roth Giagnocavo, is filled with recipes from the Amish and Mennonite communities across the country. The author has written other, similar cookbooks, and with all of them she donates a portion of her profits to the Mennonite Central Committee to help with poverty issues.

The recipes in “Amish Community Cookbook” are the kind you might be offered at a family home or a covered dish meal. They are basic, comfort foods that my family would enjoy, such as Dutch potato soup, orange banana salad, chicken and vegetable salad and Dutch honey bread. And wouldn’t you love to try dry-bottom shoefly pie or down-side-up fudge cake?

My mouth watered when I thumbed through the pages of this book!

I marked several recipes I wanted to try, including baked corn, easy garden pie and baking powder biscuits made with an egg, but I decided to make a sour cream coffee cake. It was a good choice!

Sometimes simple is best, and that is the case with this recipe. It’s nothing fancy, and it has no special ingredients. Yet it is buttery and so delicious for a mid-morning snack.

I made this cake Friday afternoon, and my family and I had a slice after dinner. It was very good warm, but we thought the coffee cake was even better the next day.

There is no butter in the batter, but the butter from the topping brings a delicious flavor to the cake. I loved the crunch of the buttery pecans as I ate.

If you enjoy cookbooks and uncomplicated recipes, you might like to give this one a try. The list price is $19.99, but you can find it cheaper online.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

12 cup shortening

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

12 teaspoon salt

1 cup sour cream


1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

12 cup butter, melted*

14 cup white sugar

13 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix ingredients for the topping and set aside.

Cream shortening and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients and alternately add the batter (half at a time) with 1 cup sour cream (half at a time.) Put half the topping in a greased tube pan. Add half the batter. Repeat.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until done. Let cool for 5 minutes before turning out on a rack.

Amish Community Cookbook
* I didn’t use the whole stick of butter; I used a little more than half a stick.