Nuts top off Braucksieck’s coffee cake

This Streusel Coffee Cake is so moist there is no need to serve it with a milk or coffee chaser.

Beth Braucksieck got the recipe from her mother-in-law.

“If you make it, people will rave about it,” she said.

With its crunch of chopped walnuts with the pudding-infused cake, it could be served at breakfast or as a dessert.

“She was a very good cook,” Braucksieck said about her mother-in-law, Arline. “This is one of the recipes she handed down to me.

“It is a staple,” she said. “My kids love it when I make the coffee cake. It’s really easy (and) it’s been around for a number of years.”

She and husband Phil have been married for 43 years and Arline had the recipe longer than that, Braucksieck said.

Arline, who is deceased, also taught her how to make pies and can, she said.

She learned to cook from her mom.

By the time Braucksieck was in fourth grade, her mother’s rheumatoid arthritis was so bad she and her older sister Donna had to take over in the kitchen.

“That’s how I learned to cook,” she said. “Cooking wasn’t anything difficult for me to do. I really took to it.”

One of the first meals she fixed for her soon-to-be-husband Phil was stuffed shells.

Then he fixed her a meal of steak, green beans and tossed salad.

And the rest was history.

Her biological son and two stepdaughters can cook, but Braucksieck said she couldn’t take the credit. The son is good on the grill and can make a mean cheesecake and the stepdaughters can cook as well.

“They like to come over here and eat,” Braucksieck said.

She said she enjoys cooking more than baking.

The couple often cooks together, with him tending to the meat and her fixing the sides. He does a mean brisket in the smoker, she said.

Phil was disappointed he couldn’t have a piece of the coffee cake until the interview was over.

“The coffee cakes that she makes, that’s probably a 10,” he said about rating this recipe. “It’s at the top of the list. It’s right there with a good homemade apple pie.”

Phil said his favorite meal fixed by Beth is pot roast with vegetables.

The couple’s German ancestry comes through with the sauerkraut casserole that they both enjoy.

“The people who like sauerkraut love it,” she said.

Braucksieck taught elementary at Eastwood from 1980-2011 after getting a degree in deaf education from Bowling Green State University.

Braucksieck, as is many retired Eastwood educators, is a member of the Quilting Eagles.

She said she didn’t own a sewing machine and was intimidated by the skills of the other members.

After making her first quilt, she said she fell in love with it.

“I’ve been sewing ever since,” she said.

Streusel Coffee Cake

Ingredients

1 box yellow or white cake mix

1 3-ounce package instant vanilla pudding

(If using a cake mix with pudding, omit the instant pudding.)

1 cup sour cream

1 cup vegetable or canola oil

4 eggs

1 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup powdered sugar

4 tablespoons milk

Directions

Mix the first five ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Beat for 5 minutes with an electric beater.

In a separate bowl, combine walnuts, sugar and cinnamon.

Pour half the batter into a greased 13×9 pan. Sprinkle with half the nut mixture.

Repeat with other half of batter then nut mixture.

Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.

Cool.

Mix powdered sugar and milk until smooth and drizzle on top.