Slice of coffee cake

Mrs. McFarlane's Coffee Cake

I first discovered Mrs. E. McFarlane's coffee cake recipe in an old newspaper dated in 1917. This was one of a number of recipes that she submitted to the Boston Post at that time. She lived in Augusta, Maine. And over the years, I fine-tuned and updated her coffee cake recipe. This is my updated and time-tested recipe for her delicious coffee cake.

~ C.A. Chicoine



1/2 cup shortening

1 cup sugar

2 eggs, (beaten separately)

2 tablespoons baking powder

1/2 tablespoon ginger

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/2 tablespoon cloves

4 cups flour

1 cup cold coffee

1 cup molasses

1 stick of butter

1 cup of raisins (optional)


two mixing bowls

measuring spoons

liquid measuring cup


large spoon (for mixing)

rubber spatula

10", 2-piece tube cake pan

cake tester


Mix shortening, sugar and eggs together in a small bowl. 

eggs, Crisco and sugar

Sift the other dry ingredients together in a large bowl.


Add the cold coffee, molasses and butter to the large bowl of dry ingredients and mix. Then pour the shortening/sugar/egg batter into the large bowl and mix until it is smooth and consistent. 


Pour the mixture into the greased tube cake pan.

pour into pan

Place the pan into the oven on rack B, and bake at 325 °F, for ~65 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into cake comes out clean. Once the cake is baked, remove it from the oven and promptly lift the cake out of pan to cool.

remove from pan

Once the cake is cooled, lift it from the center core of the cake pan.

out of pan

And it is ready to be served.

McFarlane's plate of coffee cake

Tip: Make sure the coffee is cold! Otherwise, once baked and out of the oven, it'll be as hard as a rock!