Bisquick Coffee Cake That Reminds Me Of Childhood

This is my go-to coffee cake. It is easy to make, contains few ingredients and never disappoints.  The secret ingredient in this basic recipe is the old-school ingredient, Bisquick. Growing up, my mom used Bisquick to make dumplings, which she put in her homemade chicken soup.  My older sister reintroduced me to Bisquick several years ago. My sister used Bisquick to make pancakes for her daughter, who has severe food allergies.

Bisquick coffee cake

The Invention of Bisquick

Bisquick, is a pre-mixed baking product made up of flour, shortening, salt, and baking powder sold by General Mills.  The back story of Bisquick is actually rather interesting. Bisquick was developed around 1930 not long after a General Mills executive complimented a chef on a train about his homemade biscuits. Apparently the chef had come up with his own pre-mixed biscuit batter.

The chef’s mixture consisted of lard, flour, baking powder and salt.  The chef stored this mixture on ice to keep it fresh. This allowed him to make his biscuits fresh daily, as needed.  Some say the General Mills executive stole the chefs idea and created Bisquick, without crediting the train chef.  The original recipe was adapted slightly, adding oil instead of lard and eliminating the need for refrigeration.  Bisquick was officially introduced in grocery stores in 1931.

Bisquick coffee cake

Entenmanns Crumb Cake

I don’t use Bisquick all that often. Many chefs would never touch the stuff. But I use it in the topping of this recipe, and it works extremely well.  Some people have told me this coffee cake reminds them a little of something I grew up with: Entenmann’s crumb cake, sold in the box with the clear top.  Others, here in Silicon Valley, have compared it to the well know Hobees’s coffee cake, minus the blueberries.

Bisquick coffee cake

I’m hoping mine is a bit better than either of those!  Personally, I think this coffee cake has the perfect balance;  a moist vanilla cake with a sweet, powdery (thanks to Bisquick) brown sugar crumble topping  and sprinkled with powdered sugar.  It is not sticky or gooey, nor does it contain nuts, which many coffee cake recipes do.  It’s great with coffee or a plain cup of milk.

Recipe: Bisquick Coffee Cake

: 8 : 10 min : 40 min : 50 min : easy


  • For the Cake:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • For the Crumb Topping:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 cups Bisquick mix
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar


  • Step 1 Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan (or an 8 x 8 baking pan if you prefer them thicker) and set aside.
  • Step 2 For the crumb topping, place the cubed butter, sugar, Bisquick and cinnamon into a medium mixing bowl. Next, use your hands to blend and set aside.
  • Step 3 In another mixing bowl, combine the flour and baking powder and place near your work station.
  • Step 4 In a mixer, such as a KitchenAid, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until pale yellow and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix well to incorporate. Slowly add the flour mixture and milk alternating. Mix well to incorporate. Stir in the vanilla.
  • Step 5 Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and spread out with a spatula. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the batter. Place the cake in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and cool slightly. Once cool, use a sifter, sprinkle with powdered sugar.
About the Author

Andrea Potischman

I am a professionally trained NYC chef turned CA mom and food blogger. I post about real food, with doable ingredient lists that are family friendly.

4 thoughts on "Bisquick Coffee Cake That Reminds Me Of Childhood"

  1. Avatar photo Tracy Woelfel says:

    I love this recipe. It was so easy for this baking novice and they were delicious! These babies were the hit of the school bake sale. This will be your go to crumb cake recipe

    1. SO love hearing this Tracy! Very happy you liked this recipe and you are right, super easy to make for a bake sale.

  2. Avatar photo Janelle L McCombs says:

    This coffee cake is delicious and SO easy! We are a family of coffee cake lovers and this one does not disappoint. In fact my 11 year old daughter walked in the house after the cake came out of the oven and said “I don’t know what that is, but YES”. Another perfect hit by Ms. Potischman!

    1. You guys are awesome! Love it. Enjoy!

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