Bensonhurst Kitchen: Half Strawberry Half Peach Coffee Cake

Long before Starbucks showed up on 18th Avenue and 65th Street, coffee (pronounced cawfee) was one of Bensonhurst’s five major food groups.

Whether brown or black, hot or iced – served in demitasse or paper – we always looked forward to a little nosh with our morning or afternoon cup o’ joe.

And what goes better with coffee than coffee cake?

Colleen, who never backs down from a challenge, has managed to complete the traditional, yet plain, version with the addition of sweet, delicious fruit, as well as an absolutely insane crumb topping.

Understanding the coffee cake’s deep roots, she came well prepared with an old family recipe that, until recently, was thought to have been lost forever.

In this addictively delightful cake, peach and strawberry are separated by an invisible line running down the middle of the pan, not unlike the property line running down the driveway between two semi-detached houses.

Just like the original, this cake pairs well with kitchen table gossip – an additional benefit being that the family Yenta may now spend more time talking about the food and less time discussing you!

Colleen’s Half Peach Half Strawberry Coffee Cake



2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons melted butter
3/4 cup sliced fresh strawberries
3 small peaches peeled and sliced

Crumb Topping

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup cold butter, diced


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In another bowl beat together the eggs, milk and melted butter.

Stir egg mixture into the dry flour mixture.

Pour cake batter into a greased 9×13 pan.

Place strawberries on top of half the pan of batter.

Place peach slices on top of the other half of the batter.

To prepare the crumb topping, combine flour, white sugar, light brown sugar in a bowl.

Drakes ain't got nothin' on these scrumptious crumbs

Mix diced butter in working the mixture with your hands until the butter is the size of small peas.

Sprinkle the crumb topping mixture over the strawberries and peaches.

Bake for approximately 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.


For an added crunch to your coffee cake add 1/2 cup of chopped nuts to your crumb topping. Walnuts and pecans work great!

Not fond of strawberries and peaches or just in the mood to be a recipe rebel? Substitute your favorite fruit to make this coffee cake your own.

Recipe and tips by Colleen