My First Recipe: Coffee Cake

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This is the first recipe that I remember making, although, if I was making a cake by myself, I must have cooked with supervision before this.


I was a preteen, maybe 11 years old, and I wanted to make a cake for my mother's birthday. She loves coffee to this day and I found a recipe for coffee flavored icing, probably in her trusty "Joy of Cooking" cookbook. I'm sure it was just a packaged mix cake.

I remember meticulously following the directions and carefully measuring each ingredient so that the cake would be perfect. When the directions called for 2 tablespoons of coffee, I measured out coffee grounds. It didn't even occur to me that they would mean brewed coffee.

The finished icing had a very gritty texture and was practically inedible. Mom was a trooper, she ate a piece and commented on how good it was. Nevertheless, I was mortified when I realized the mistake.

Today, in this world of chocolate covered espresso beans and coffee flavored soda, you might see something like this served in a fancy bakery. Or maybe not, it was a little like eating dirt!

Jess in Portland, OR

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