Coffee cake so good you’ll want it on your death bed


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Culinary SOS is one of our most popular features -- you ask for a restaurant recipe, and the L.A. Times Test Kitchen does everything within the letter of the law to get it.

Well, over years, one of the most popular and frequently requested recipes has been for a sour cream coffee cake and a crumb cake served in Los Angeles schools. I have no idea whether these are still served to LAUSD students -- do you? -- but I do know that I frequently send these recipes to former students who are pining away for a taste of their youth.


Here’s an example of one such request that we have gotten over the years:

DEAR SOS: If I were dying, I would want the coffee cake served in the junior and senior high school cafeterias in Los Angeles as my last meal. Do you, by chance, have the recipe? -- Michele

Wow. That must be some good coffee cake. And here’s the recipe for it, 1959 City School sour cream coffee cake, so named because it first appeared on the menu in 1959.

The other recipe request we get a lot is for the Los Angeles City School old-fashioned crumb cake.


And if you have a recipe request for a favorite recipe, let us know. E-mail me at and we’ll do our best to search the L.A. Times Test Kitchen archives for it, or else we’ll sic the Test Kitchen on it.

In the meantime, here’s a photo gallery look at other Culinary SOS recipe requests we’ve been able to answer of late:

-- Rene Lynch