A Sparkling Vintage Life

Cinnamon Coffee Cake“Come on over for a cup of coffee!” Those words can brighten even the most dreary, blustery morning.

One lovely Sparkling Vintage tradition that deserves to be revived is the gathering of¬† friends over morning coffee and good conversation. The “kaffeeklatsch” (German for “coffee” and “chitchat”) was a standing custom in many neighborhoods fifty-plus years ago. Friends would drop in for coffee and often a pastry, and get caught up with each other’s lives around the kitchen table.

Less formal than an afternoon tea, morning coffee warmed women’s hearts as well as their palates. It provided a nice break from housework and helped weave strong friendships that benefited the entire neighborhood.

Why not give a kaffeeklatsch a try with the women in your neighborhood? If you don’t know your neighbors well, it’s a great way to get acquainted. In today’s crazy-busy world, it’s a real treat to slow down and honor this old-fashioned custom, gathering informally with friends over a pot of coffee (or tea or cocoa) and some freshly-baked treat. If nobody’s home in your neighborhood during the week, schedule it for a weekend. Who knows–maybe it will become¬† a cherished neighborhood tradition!

Here’s a recipe for a very simple Cinnamon Coffee Cake, pictured above, that is the perfect pairing to morning coffee. This recipe comes from a church cookbook published in 1959. It tastes best when eaten the same day, so plan to pull it from the oven shortly before your friends arrive.

(The notes in brackets are mine. Like many of her generation, the lady who submitted the recipe assumed a certain basic level of cooking know-how on the part of her reader–for instance, what size pan to use.)


1 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 Tbs. butter, melted
1/2 c. milk
1 beaten egg
extra sugar and cinnamon for topping

Sift all dry ingredients together, then stir in the melted butter, milk, and egg. Place in a wide shallow pan [I use a greased 8-inch layer cake pan] and sprinkle the top with sugar and cinnamon. Bake 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees Farenheit until golden brown and cake springs back when touched lightly in the center.

Serves 5-6

This recipe couldn’t be simpler and probably uses many ingredients you already have on hand. You can also vary this recipe by adding chopped apples or pears or pecans.