Pat is not my grandma, but she’s a grandma and she makes a dang good coffee cake. My grandmas are Pud’n and Ninny. Pud’n (pronounced like “pudding” if you were either southern or didn’t respect “g”s) is my dad’s mom and no, Pud’n is not her grandma name. It’s her name-name. As in, everyone calls her Pud’n. Even her boyfriend calls her Pud’n. (While we’re talking about names, Al isn’t technically her boyfriend. He’s her “Pal Al” but boyfriend pretty much covers their relationship.) Pud’n is an artist and the person who taught me to always seek out fun in life. Every time I talk to her she says, “Hi Leighto-Greato*! Are you having fun up there in Newwwwww York City?” (Pud’n has a great Texas accent.)
And Ninny, my mom’s mom, has the best heart of anyone I know. She is sweet and loving to every single person she meets. She is always smiling and happy, full of warmth and love. Every time I talk to her she tells me she loves me and she’s proud of me. Every single time! A girl can get full of herself that way.
Pat isn’t my grandma, she is my cousins’ other grandma who I have gotten to know — and love — over the last couple of years. Pat lives in Louisiana, but she and her husband, Bob, head over to Texas every year for our big family reunion. Pat calls this her Starterless Amish Bread, but I call it my Not-My-Grandma Pat’s Coffee Cake. It’s a perfect cake to serve with a savory, egg-y main dish for brunch. And even better to snack on after brunch is over.
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup milk
- 3 eggs
- 1 t. vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar plus additional for topping
- 1½ t. baking powder
- ½ t. baking soda
- ½ t. salt
- 6 oz box vanilla instant pudding**
- Preheat oven 325 degrees. Spray a 9x9 baking dish with non-stick spray. Mix up about a half cup of cinnamon sugar, like you would use for cinnamon toast. Coat the baking dish with cinnamon sugar, and save the rest in a small bowl to top the cake.
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Pour the cake batter into the sugared baking dish and top with remaining cinnamon sugar. Bake 55 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean in the middle.
*No, Pud’n doesn’t call me Leighto-Greato. But I changed my name to protect my own identity. Remember what I told you about real names and 1990s chatrooms?
** This is what we call a secret ingredient, y’all.