Quick Buttery Coffee Cake (made with Pancake Mix)

(Becky, the Mama.)

This is our second week of condo living in regions of the U.S. where the sun is shining, the grass is green, the birds are singing and this week, in Oceanside, California, the ocean is waving.   

The sentence (and scene) above is brought to you by our much younger selves, when we each bought Time Share, never dreaming that someday we’d end up married to each another, with four vacation weeks to use up, per year, between us.  (And it is a use it or lose it proposition. So what can we do but go play?)

Neither of us would say that Time Shares are great financial investments; but man oh man, they have been AWESOME investments in terms of fun, extended get-aways  for our marriage. We’re both blessed with jobs we can do anywhere, as long as we have laptops and cell phones.

Some ways that we save money and also get business done while we’re away:

1) We drive instead of flying whenever possible, getting crazy good deals on hotels using Hotwire.com or Priceline.com.  I stock up on books on tape from the library (Greg listens with earphones while driving),  and we have wifi – via his cell phone– and a plug for my lap top (goes in the cigarette lighter)  in the car, creating a roving office-on-wheels. I get some of my best writing done on the road, my feet up on the dash, computer on lap, pillow behind my head. Greg also sees clients everywhere we go.

2) We always look for places to stay that have a full kitchen, bringing along a couple of boxes of kitchen essentials so that I can cook “on location” rather than eating out.

For whatever reason, cooking is an enormous treat for me, and especially when on vacation. I like the challenge of creating good meals from whatever supplies I bring, plus fresh local meats and produce.

It has been a long time since I’ve baked something sweet, at home or “abroad,” but today  after a nice long walk through an artsy Farmer’s Market with Greg, I began thinking that a warm coffee cake with a crunchy, buttery, cinnamon topping sure sounded good. 

Coffee cakes are one of my favorite treats to make because they typically aren’t overly sweet, they whip up and cook quickly, and it makes its own topping while baking.  If you have a good basic recipe, you can swing it a dozen ways!   Add blueberries or chopped apples, a variety of nuts, a little citrus zest, or even chocolate chips and you can dress up a basic cake anyway you want to go.  The added bonus: you get to eat cake for breakfast.  What’s not to love?

I didn’t bring baking powder or soda with me, however (a HA!) I brought some pancake mix.  Sure enough, I sleuthed up a recipe online for coffee cake made with pancake mix that got some lovely reviews.  I used it as a starting point, played with it a bit, and within 30 minutes… from stir to cut and serve…I was eating a fluffy, moist, perfectly balanced coffee cake.  So good, this will be my Go-To Coffee Cake Recipe from now on.  This recipe makes a small cake (perfect for a couple),  so I plan to double the recipe when I get home and make this for our big family next week, arriving for what we call “Thanksgiving Camp.”

Quick Buttery Coffee Cake (with Pancake Mix)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

1 c. pancake mix, any kind (I want to try Trader Joe’s pumpkin pancake mix! Vegans use an egg & dairy-free mix)

1/3 c. sugar

1 egg  (vegans can use fave egg substitute)

1/3 c. almond milk (or any kind of milk you like)

¼ c. butter, melted  (I used ½ olive oil, ½ butter, Or use your favorite vegan butter.)


2 T. softened butter (or vegan butter)

¼ c. brown sugar

1 t. cinnamon

2 T. pancake mix (or flour)

2 T. oatmeal (or mixture of oatmeal, hemp seeds, chia seeds)

1/3 c. chopped pecans (almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, peanuts)

In a medium sized bowl whisk pancake mix and sugar together.  Add egg, milk, butter and stir until smooth.

Butter a small pan, such as a round cake pan.  (I found a small broiler pan in the condo that worked well. It’s smaller than it looks in the pictures, only about 8 by 10 inches. )

Mix topping in another small bowl and crumble on top of batter.  

Bake for 20 minutes.  It will look a bit like the surface of a crater, but with each “dent” there’s the yumminess of melted butter and cinnamon going through the cake. Sooo delicious.  Serve warm and crumbly!!  (Or if I serve it later, I’ll zap a piece for just a few seconds in microwave.)

This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com
The title: Quick Buttery Coffee Cake
The URL: http://wp.me/p1UwM9-Nt
This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook


19 Comments on “Quick Buttery Coffee Cake (made with Pancake Mix)”

  1. Have pinned this one Becky! It looks nice and easy.
    We dont really make coffee cakes here in Australia but it seems like a streusel? I have heard of them thanks to Seinfeld (Drakes!) but why are they called coffee cakes?

    • Becky Johnson says:

      Sharon, that’s so interesting! Thank you for pinning. I think we call them coffee cakes because they taste great with a cup of morning coffee.

    • carol ollie says:

      While visiting non-GF family I used this recipe w/GF pancake mix, melted butter and brown sugar in smallish glass oval dish, sliced peaches, berries into butter/sugar, zapped in microwave 2 minutes, , dropped dollops of pancake mix batter over fruit, and baked. Turned it out onto a plate and had an amazing upside down fruit coffee cake! Thnx

  2. Bari says:

    Is the butter in the cake itself melted? Or just soft?

  3. Marisa says:

    OMG!!!! This is sooooo good!!!! I just made this for me and my husband and we can’t believe how good it is!! I used almonds instead of pecans and didn’t use oatmeal because I was out, I also melted some canned frosting I had left and drizzled it on top of the cake when it was ready and it was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Thank you so much for this recipe, it’s so simple and easy to make and so delicious!!!

  4. Alli says:

    So delicious! I made it with gluten free pancake mix and added almond extract. Turned out so good and my gluten free friends were happy! Thinking a little cinnamon would be awesome!

  5. Charlene says:

    Tried it with Trader Joe’s pumpkin pancake/waffle mix and almond meal instead of oatmeal and nuts. It’s in the oven right now, sooooo easy. Doubled the recipe to use up the box of mix and some coconut milk from a curry recipe. Don’t really care for pumpkin pancakes. Thanks for the recipe!!

  6. Peg Maggie says:

    What cinnamon are you referring to? None in the recipe. Just wondering.

    • Peg, good save! I can’t believe I didn’t notice this and no one else has mentioned it yet! Yes, add a teaspoon of cinnamon to the topping. (Just changed the recipe.) Thank you!

  7. SR says:

    Just made this cake using the trader joe’s buttermilk pancake mix (that was all I had).

    Added 2 tsp of vanilla to the batter and cinnamon to both the topping and batter.
    Very delicious. I think I’ll use this as a go to recipe for a pretty great coffee cake.

    Thank you.

  8. Rayna says:

    Oh thank you!! Im only 15 and its my half sisters birthday, I had no foour to make her a cake! I figured something nice for breakfast would be good, so I stumbled upon this recipe. Good thing we have pancake mix! I used a maple and brown sugar oat, eal packet for the topping and it turned put so delicious!

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