Nana Recipe Wednesday–Orange Coffee Cake

by Sarah on February 27, 2013

For some inexplicable reason, I am currently addicted to The West Wing.  I never watched it on TV when it was actually on the air.  I think it may have been on broadcast television about the time that the photo below was taken. Nana would’ve loved The West Wing.  Maybe she did.  When was it on TV again?

I also feel a strange delight in immersing myself in some show that’s already completed, knowing I can watch the whole thing through in a matter of weeks instead of years.  Plus, no commercials.  Also:  Was every actor ever on The West Wing at some point?  It’s very deja-vuey.

Speaking of The West Wing, look at that kid up there in the suit and tie.  He would’ve fit right in on that set.  A junior politico.  I asked his mother why he is wearing suits in so many pictures and she said that he enjoyed it.  That he ASKED to wear a suit for occasions.  Ha ha!  (He doesn’t wear suits all the time now).

What does any of this have to do with a coffee cake you ask?  Um, nothing.

I did take this to work.

I think this is the third coffee cake I’ve made from Nana’s vaults.  And it’s not the last either.

This coffee cake seemed a little dry to me (you can see that I ever-so-slightly carved a taste for myself), so I made a syrup for it with orange juice and powdered sugar.  You don’t have to do that if you don’t want to.  But go ahead and make it if you do!

For taking the cake into the office, I drizzled about a quarter cup over the top and when I got there, the cake had absorbed it and was moist, delicious and orangey.

You’ll notice that this is a smaller recipe than other coffee cakes.  You can make it in a loaf pan, or in a 9-inch cake pan like I did.  I’m altering this recipe too, to add more streusel in the middle.  I’m a heavy-streusel kind of gal.  I suspect that Nana was too.

Nana's Orange Coffee Cake


  • 2 cups flour, sifted
  • 4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp orange zest
  • 4 Tbsp melted shortening or oil
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp orange zest
  • 1 cup broken walnuts or pecans
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange zest
  • 3 Tbsp powdered sugar


  • Preheat oven to 375. Grease and flour pan.
  • Mix together streusel ingredients and set aside.
  • Sift dry cake ingredients together.
  • In a separate bowl, beat eggs until thick. Add sugar, milk, oil and orange zest and beat until blended.
  • Add egg mixture to flour. Stir quickly until just moistened.
  • Add half of the cake batter to pan. Sprinkle streusel all over the batter. Top with remaining batter.
  • Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until the cake is done in the center. Cool on a rack.
  • For the syrup, mix together the juice and sugar. Drizzle over the cake and let sit until absorbed.

Related posts:

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: