as some of you may know, i grew up going to a camp called kanakuk. in the summers as a kid, worked there every summer while i was in college, and now my husband directs one of the camps full-time. crazy the places you never think you’ll end up..
if you know kanakuk, you know that this wonderful little camp is famous for many things, but one thing they are especially famous for is their coffee cake. i dreamed about it during the school year as a kid and constantly begged my mom to make it all year. and when i got to camp? you know i made it MY JOB to eat that coffee cake every sunday when they served it.
the recipe that was given to me years ago by a camp cook was for massive quantities and i was not really sure how to cut it down so much.. (insert nervous face). so i got a new recipe in the last 5 years or so that made a much smaller batch. this is that original recipe from the camp cook, but i have increased the topping portion to make it a little bit thicker (i am sure there are no objections there). also, i initially had some trouble with the topping sinking into the cake (because it is so deliciously heavy) so i now bake the cake for a bit before taking it out, adding the streusel topping, and then finish baking it.
i have only tweaked it a little, but this is the honest, true kanakuk coffee cake recipe. if you have never had kanakuk’s coffee cake, just take my word for it. go make it.
i promise you’ll quickly understand why it’s so famous.
kanakuk’s coffee cake
ingredients for the topping
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp all purpose flour
4 tsp cinnamon
6 tbsp cold butter, cut into small pieces
ingredients for the cake
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp coarse sea salt
1 tbsp vanilla
1 1/2 sticks butter
3/4 cups water
1/2 cup (4 oz) evaporated milk (like milnot)
1. preheat the oven to 350. spray a 9×13 baking dish with coconut oil or cooking spray.
2. in a medium bowl combine topping ingredients. work cold butter in with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs and all of the butter chunks have been worked in. put in a ziploc bag, seal it, and place in the fridge.
3. in a large bowl, combine flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt – whisk to incorporate. in a separate large bowl, beat the eggs a minute or two, until foamy + fluffy. add in vanilla and evaporated milk.
4. melt butter in a small bowl in the microwave, about 1 minute. add water to melted butter, gently stir to make sure all the butter has completely melted. add melted butter & water to egg mixture and whisk well to incorporate. add half of dry ingredients into the egg mixture and whisk. add second half of dry ingredients and mix until combined and no longer lumpy. pour batter into prepared baking dish. bake for 20 minutes.
5. remove cake from oven. sprinkle chilled streusel topping evenly over the top of the batter, making sure to cover well and get the edges too. bake for 20-25 minutes more, until center is no longer jiggly and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. let cool for about 8-10 minutes, then serve warm or at room temperature.