Funeral Food: Streusel Coffee Cake

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Streusel Coffee Cake is a recipe that feeds a crowd.  Around these parts we call these dishes “funeral food.”

You know what I mean.

Funeral food is food you make to feed a crowd that doesn’t need much tending; it’s the kind of dish you put out on a buffet table and forget about.

Comfort food.  Food that’s not particularly healthy (kind of ironic, right?), yet insanely delicious.  Food that mutes your pain for a second or two and brings a bit of cheer in a bad situation.

Streusel Coffee Cake was made for that kind of moment.  Or a great potluck or brunch.  Versatile!

Husband’s aunt made a pan of this coffee cake for a family function when I was just learning how to bake and it became my go-to for many occasions.  My favorite way to eat it is right out of the oven with a giant scoop of vanilla ice cream. Oh, momma.

Streusel Coffee Cake

Even though I’m an experienced baker now, there are times I make this dish when I’m thinking about Husband’s Aunt Jane.  She was as unexpectedly delightful as this cake.

Streusel Coffee Cake


  • 5 tbsp. butter
  • 1 package yellow cake mix*
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 2/3 cup warm water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 can fruit filling (if using apple or peach, add 1/2 tsp cinnamon to sugar)
  • Glaze
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp white corn syrup
  • 1 tbsp water


  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. Melt butter and cool.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine 1 1/2 cups dry cake mix (reserve remaining for streusel topping), yeast, flour, eggs and warm water. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed. Scrape bowl often.
  4. Spread dough in a greased 13x9 pan. Set aside.
  5. In a saucepan with cooled butter, combine reserved cake mix to make topping. Mixture will be crumbly. Set aside.
  6. Spoon pie filling evenly over dough in pan. Sprinkle with 2 tbsp. sugar (or sugar and cinnamon mixture).
  7. Sprinkle streusel topping over fruit.
  8. Bake @ 375° for 30 minutes.
  9. Glaze
  10. Combine sugar, syrup and water. Drizzle over warm cake.
  11. E-A-T!


* Always use a Deluxe Cake mix, never one with a pudding mix.

* Optional Glaze* Omit corn syrup and water. Substitute 1 tbsp heavy cream. Add cream slowly to find the consistency you want.

Have guests in the house?  Have folks in need of a some happiness?  Don’t have a funeral to attend or bake for, but now you’re hungry?

Get to it, my babies.

Happy baking!

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  1. Ummm delish! Pinning this one for sure!

    • Mrs. Tucker says

      My FIL called me to tell me that it was one of the best he’s had (we sent some home with him). Stamp of approval! Thanks for the pin.

  2. I’ve never had a streusel! Or maybe I’ve had one, but never eaten one?!?! You know… I’ve never had one.. the fruit throws me for a loop… do they have streusels w no fruit… I was thinking of a cinnamon taste.

    • Mrs. Tucker says

      You can do any fruit if you’re not a fan of blueberry (it’s not my fav…i prefer apple with cinnamon). Streusel refers to the crumbly topping, not to be confused with strudel.

  3. Ooh, this looks delicious. I usually see it just as a cinnamon swirl type cake, but I’ve never had one with fruit. Definitely going to have to give it a try!

  4. Yep, I know exactly the kind of food you mean. Also called “family reunion” food. And that’s not a euphemism for a funeral.

    • Mrs. Tucker says

      Ha! Exactly. I was wondering last night if this is a Southern thang, or if all regions have funeral food.

  5. I think I just need to come over when you bake and we can have coffee talk and consume all your delicious sweet treats. I will then leave with a serious sugar high. Happy Monday! 😉

  6. No funeral for us, but I’m making this anyway! Yum!

  7. Looks delicious, as all your recipes do! I’ll definitely be trying it! Going to pin it right now!

  8. This looks soooooooo good. I will definitely make this one. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me.

  9. I wonder if funeral food is a Southern thing? It never fails to see a coffee cake, a bundt cake, chicken spaghetti, and veggie & fruit platters at a wake. This looks so yummy. I can see why it is a go-to recipe.

  10. That looks very good! In my area, “funeral food” is a lime jello mixed with marshmallows. For some reason it’s been at every one we’ve attended – and therefore, if only in our own circles, that’s what we call it!

  11. This looks amazing! I totally need to make this asap. Great dish.

  12. Visiting from Our Sunday Best Showcase. I love streusel and coffee cake but your way of eating it with a scoop of ice cream sounds even more delicious than eating it on it’s own. I co-host Sweet and Savoury Sunday and would love for you to stop by and share these and other recipes with us . Have a great day!

  13. PINNED, and this looks amazing I love coffee cake!! I am having some friends for brunch and Mom makeovers tomorrow and I am so serving this! Checking this out from happiness is homemade and that is 100% true for this sweet dish 🙂

  14. Around here one thing at funerals is deviled eggs. And of course fried chicken. LOL I like to have a few “go to’s ” for these occasions I am going to add this to my repertoire. . I like things that will not spoil if they sit out. Therefore I don’t do the eggs or the chicken. It is hard to come up with things that will be comforting, tasty and yet not have to worry about.

  15. roxanne montuoro says

    In New Jersey, it was Bundt cake. Whenever I saw the pan out, I would get worried and ask my mother who died!!! We would also send over a canned ham (baked with the cherries and pineapple) and deviled eggs.

    When I lived in Mississippi, my then husband informed me that my neighbor’s husband had passed. I made him stop at the next grocery store and picked up a canned ham, cherries, pineapple slices, and a dozen eggs.

    While I was making his dinner, I was boiling my eggs to devil, had my ham in the oven, and was mixing up my Bundt cake.

    I sent it all over with a nice card.

    That was the day I became my mother….. LOL


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