How To Make The Famous LAUSD Coffee Cake

How To Make The Famous LAUSD Coffee Cake

The coffee cake at Marina del Rey Middle School in Los Angeles, circa August 2018. (Photo by Elina Shatkin for LAist)

How to Make the Famous LAUSD Coffee Cake

Grow up in Southern California’s Los Angeles School District? Then you have most likely enjoy L.A. Unified School District Famous Coffee Cake. If this is one of your best childhood memories, you can not recreate this delicious treat at home.
People have taken to twitter to express their love for this coffee cake.

The original 1954 L.A. Unified School District official recipe for LAUSD coffee cake

Image: Courtesy of L.A. Unified School District

A few ingredients on the original recipe card might seem a bit dated. According to cook Barbara Grinage, host of the YouTube series The Bare Pantry Show, who whipped up the coffee cake herself for an episode back in 2018, “baker’s flour” is what we now call “bread flour,” the unspecified brown sugar is probably dark brown sugar, and the “salad oil” is canola.

LAUSD Coffee Cake Recipe


2 1/2 cups baker’s flour

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon nutmeg

3/4 cup salad oil

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 large egg

1 cup buttermilk


Combine first six ingredients. Mix until crumbly.

Reserve 1/2 cup of the above for topping. To this, add the cinnamon. Combine last four ingredients and add to first mixture. Blend together but do not overmix.

Put in a greased nine-by-13-inch cake pan.

Sprinkle the cinnamon crumb topping over the batter.

Bake at 350 to 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.

Serve and Enjoy

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