Advocate-tested recipe

Grandmother Caldwell’s Petite Coffee Cakes

Makes 24 muffins. Recipe is from “At My Grandmother’s Table: Heartwarming Stories & Cherished Recipes from the South” by Faye Porter, who writes, “Mrs. R.W. ‘Ethel’ Caldwell (Lawrenceburg, Tenn.) was known to her grandkids as Grandmother or Mrs. Caldwell. She was a dignified, true Southern lady to whom manners were paramount — that’s why grandson Brian Carden (Nashville, Tenn.) says he only called her Granny once. He recalls, ‘… My mom said Grandmother never used a true recipe, just a dash of this and a little of that. No matter how she made it, it always was perfect in our eyes. When I graduated college and moved from Knoxville to Nashville, Mom made me a recipe book, and these coffee cakes are one of Grandmother’s best.’ ”

Petite cakes:

Cooking spray

1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine, softened

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla extract


1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

2 tsps. ground cinnamon

1 cup pecans, crushed

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 2 muffin tins with cooking spray.

2. To make the petite cakes, in a large bowl cream together the margarine and sugar. Add the eggs and blend well. Add the flour, then the baking soda, baking powder, salt and vanilla.

3. Mix well and pour into 24 muffin cups, filling one-half full.

4. To make the topping, combine the brown sugar, sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle on top of the muffins before baking. Then sprinkle with the crushed pecans. Bake for 30 minutes or until the center tests done with a toothpick.