Grandma Durussel's Coffee Cake

Along with a pig roast with all the fixin’s, Grandma DuRussel’s coffee cake was a big hit at a Greenia family reunion in Capac, Michigan. From Maggie O’Donnell Hasenjager


2 cups water
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into chunks
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
8 cups flour, divided into 2 equal portions
1-1/2 cups raisins
2 packages yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup warm water
a few tablespoons milk or cream
1-1/2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons melted butter


Heat water to a simmer, and add the sugar, butter, and salt. When the butter has melted, remove from heat and cool to lukewarm. Add eggs.

Put 4 cups of flour into a mixing bowl. Add the raisins, and then the cooled liquid. Soften (proof) two packages of yeast in a little warm water, along with 1 teaspoon of sugar. Add proofed yeast and 4 more cups of flour to the dough. Mix well, and knead slightly. Place into a greased mixing bowl, cover with a towel, and place into a cool oven with a bowl of very hot water. Allow the dough to rise about 1 hour, until it has doubled in bulk.

Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Place into 4 greased, round 8-inch or 9-inch cake pans. Let rise again until double in bulk, about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the topping by combining the 1-½ tablespoons of flour with the brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter, and blend it with the other topping ingredients.

When the dough has risen for the second time, brush the tops with milk or cream, then sprinkle with topping. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.

Cooking & Recipes


4 cakes serve about 32.

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