Merk's Coffee Cake Fave!

Yield: 9 biggish squares
I imagine Merk as a dedicated bachelor devoted to his with the excellent coffee cake. This recipe can be doubled to fit a 9"x13" pan, but that's playing with fire a bit: the top may rise over the edge of the pan when baked. Not disastrous necessarily, but a bit aggressive. When serving groups with this recipe, it can be made in muffin or brioche pans: assemble as usual but fill each cup no more than half full. Bakes in about 25 minutes.


  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 pint sour cream
  • 6 Tbl butter, softened
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped nuts


Cream together shortening, sugar and vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time. Sift together flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add half to creamed mixture. Beat in sour cream then rest of flour mixture.

Spread half the batter in a greased 9x9" pan. Cream butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Mix in nuts. Spread half of nut/sugar mixture over batter, cover with additional batter and remaining sugar mixture.

Bake at 350F for 40-50 minutes or until the center passes the toothpick test. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan.