Vintage Duncan Hines Coffee Cake

Vintage Duncan Hines CoffeecakeAlthough I know that I will make other coffee cakes in the future, this is probably the best one I have in my repertoire.   It figures that a recipe that has been around for decades would be a good one.  I have a sneaking suspicion that this is the “secret” recipe my sister-in-law has been making us for years, too.   No matter how many times I asked for the recipe, she always managed to forget to write it down for me before we had to drive home.  I am now wondering if the fact that this cake is just a jazzed up cake mix had anything to do with her reluctance to share.  Hmmm, could be.

Duncan Hines Coffee Cake

This cake is super moist and full of flavor.  That middle layer of cinnamon really sends it over the top (although my husband says that it isn’t possible to have enough filling and that I could add more).   I actually took two vintage Duncan Hines recipes, one for coffee cake and one for “Sock-It-To-Me” Cake.  The result was a crowd pleaser (I have served it on a couple occasions to crowds of 15+ and it always goes fast).

Vintage Duncan Hines Coffee Cake
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup water
  • ⅓ cup oil
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  1. Mix cake mix, sour cream, water, oil and eggs in a large bowl.
  2. In a smaller bowl, stir together brown sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Grease a 9X13 pan and preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  4. Layer half batter, then half cinnamon mixture, remaining batter, then top with remaining cinnamon mixture.
  5. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until tests done.
For gluten free, use gluten free cake mix.


9 thoughts on “Vintage Duncan Hines Coffee Cake

  1. Honestly some of the best recipes are from the 50s, 60s and 70s. I know many of them use some sort of box in the mix but they’re definitely delicious. A favorite that I’ve made for years and everyone insists I bring it to a party is one that used Jello pudding mix. It’s a hit everytime and this one looks just as good. I’ll be sure to try it. Not only are they delicious but they’re so simple to toss together.

  2. Very excited to find this recipe and cannot wait to try it. My granddaughter has Celiac’s disease and loves coffee cake. We used to buy a mix and then they discontinued it so this should make her HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY.

  3. Hello!
    Since I am new to your site (from RecipeLion suggestion) and speaking french, I was wondering why you call it Coffe Cake while there is no coffee? It is simply a cake we serve at coffee time? I surely will try it.

    Thanks for the recipe and your answer (if you’ve got time).

    Rene (from Canada)

    1. Hello,
      “Coffee cake” refers to a class of cakes that is meant to be served either along side coffee (for breakfast) or during a coffee break (as a snack). They are usually single layer cakes with either a streusel topping or a glaze of some sort. Most contain cinnamon. And yes, they actually do not contain any coffee. I hope that helps.

    2. That is exactly why it is called Coffee Cake. It is usually served with coffee. Like when friends or family stop by. you can offer a nice treat to serve while chatting.

  4. Curious since I’ve been modifying recipes to be Weight Watcher friendlier if I could substitute applesauce for the oil and low fat or non-fat sour cream? Any thoughts?

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