Lemon Walnut Coffeecake

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This is the week to change some habits and set some goals. Many people have put “healthy eating” on their list of changes to make in the new year. Our family is no different. With my husband’s blessing, we’ve decided that we are going to make a concerted effort this year to reduce fat, increase whole grains, and transfer to more natural forms of sweeteners. Oh baby, it’s going to be rough. But, if FishPapa’s onboard, we’re good.

A house divided against itself cannot eat whole grains and be happy.

We’re “eating from the pantry” this month, so that means using up the “less than healthy” ingredients and then replacing them with more nutritious options. But, in the meantime, Sunday night we ate the last Slab Apple Pie. My! Was it good! Out of this world, actually. I’m not ditching that recipe. Oh, no, ma’am. It’s just moving to the once-in-awhile list.

Today’s URS is dedicated to sharing healthier recipes. Lately, I’ve been substituting whole grains wherever I can, like using this whole wheat pastry flour that I got for a great deal instead of regular flour. It’s resulted in some “wheaty” meals, but I think we’ll get used to it after awhile. Some recipes haven’t really flown well, but others have been a hit, like this coffeecake.

Made with whole wheat pastry flour and light olive oil, sweetened with sucanat, and accented with lemon zest and walnuts, it promises to be “nutritious and delicious.” The first time I made it, I didn’t even get to taste it! The kids scarfed it down before I got home from my Mom’s Morning Off! So, I just had to make it again. Feel free to use brown sugar and unbleached flour if that’s what your pantry holds.

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slice of coffeecake on plate with lemon slice
Lemon-Walnut Coffeecake
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
This Lemon-Walnut Coffeecake is scented with citrus and topped with crunchy nuts. It's a perfect snack or dessert.
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: coffeecake, lemon walnut coffeecake
Servings: 12
Calories: 366 kcal
Author: Jessica Fisher
  • 2 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 1/4 cup sucanat or brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 cup neutral oil
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or other nut of your choice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray a 9x13-inch pan with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sucanat, cinnamon, salt and ginger. Blend in the oil until smooth.
  3. Remove 3/4 cup mixture to a small mixing bowl and add the nuts. Set this mixture aside.
  4. To the large mixing bowl, stir in the baking powder, baking soda, and lemon zest. Stir in the egg and buttermilk, blending until smooth.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the crumb-nut mixture over the batter.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Cool on a rack before serving.
Recipe Notes

Note: Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

If you do not have whole wheat pastry flour, you can substitute an equal amount of unbleached, all-purpose flour.

Nutritional values are approximate and based on 1/12 the recipe.

Nutrition Facts
Lemon-Walnut Coffeecake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 366 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 16mg5%
Sodium 216mg9%
Potassium 196mg6%
Carbohydrates 40g13%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 22g24%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 53IU1%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 61mg6%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Allyson Kellner says

    Looks and sounds delicious!!

  2. The Happy Housewife says

    I should have saved my vegetable beef soup for next week's veggie link up! Oh well. I guess making Panera a bit healthier counts for something!
    Your cake looks really good. I am wondering what kind of grain I would use to make it….

  3. Johnlyn ~ says

    You really need to try the whole wheat white flour. Or is it white whole wheat flour. It's whole wheat flour from white berries, instead of the strong flavor of whole wheat made from red berries.

    I've been able to find it at Walmart (I can't remember the brand). When making bread I used to use half whole wheat half white flour, but with this I can use all whole wheat!

    I wrote more about it here:

  4. Susie says

    We just had a great grilled salmon last night that I posted last year:-)

  5. Hoosier Homemade says

    Looks yummy! Thanks for hosting!

  6. Lucky says

    I've been experimenting with white whole wheat as well. I got a good deal on King Arthur brand before the holidays and now I'm hooked.

    What kind of lemons are those? I've never seen ones with tops like that.

  7. Amy Green says

    I'm excited for you – this is a fun journey. There are so many wonderful foods on the healthier eating path…many I would have missed out on if I wouldn't have changed how I eat.
    Amy @ Simply Sugar & Gluten Free

  8. inthebagblog says

    I've been getting my family to eat better one step at a time. Sometimes I'll substitute a healthier ingredient like quinoa instead of rice, or I'll bake something that we normally eat fried or at a restaurant. I've found that bit-by-bit they've learned to be more accepting of new things. We also talk a lot about what kinds of food choices are better and why so everyone knows there's a method to my madness. It's absolutely a long and winding journey, but its well worth it.

  9. Margery says

    You will get used to whole wheat. We embarked on changing from refined grains to 90%+ whole grains a few years ago, and now my family almost always prefers the whole grain, even my picky 10, 8, and 5-year olds. (Well, the 8-y.o. prefers white rice, and I cook it for her sometimes.)

  10. Beth says

    Thanks for the great ideas!

  11. Hattie says

    This recipe makes a great breakfast bread with some whole grain in it! It's one of our frequent flyer recipes.:)

    Strawberry Banana Bread

    1 cup whole wheat flour
    1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    2 eggs
    5/8 cup vegetable oil
    1 1/2 cups white sugar
    3 bananas, mashed
    1 cup chopped strawberries
    1 pinch ground cinnamon

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease and
    flour loaf pan. In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda and cinnamon. Set aside. In a medium bowl blend together the oil, sugar,
    eggs and banana until well combined. Add banana mix to the flour mix. Add the strawberries. Mix with a spoon until combined. Do not overmix. Pour the mix into the loaf pan and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center
    comes out clean and the loaf is well browned. Note: Blueberries or
    chocolate chips are great in place of the strawberries. My husband prefers chocolate chips, but I prefer the strawberries.:)

  12. The Prudent Homemaker says

    And here I was planning on posting a potato donut recipe (since we've got 200 pounds of potatoes in my pantry that we're using!)

    I have lemons still from my meyer lemon trees; your recipe looks yummy!

    I have powdered buttermilk, too, but you can also use powdered milk with a TBSP of vinegar in it (per cup of milk) to substitute.

    Right now I'm having a snack of home-canned pears and pomegranate seeds (the pomegranates are from my tree and have been languishing in my pantry). No trips to the store here!

  13. Twila says

    I tried posting a recipe, but I must have done something wrong, as the recipe that comes up is definately not healthy. If you can delete it, I'll try to leave the right link.
    It is Twila, spice crumb cake.

  14. Leslie says

    Sorry but I wasn't paying close enough attention and posted my Frugal Friday link on this list. sorry about that!

  15. Kayla says

    I just wanted to tell you how much I LOVE your slab apple pie recipe. Back in November my mom and I made about 6 of them (in 8×8 pans) and froze them. I keep going back to them on nights when I haven’t baked anything and last night we made the last one. My husband and I both sat down before bed to have a piece with ice cream, and both said, at the same time, how DELICIOUS it was! 🙂 Thanks again, so much, for all the time you take to do this blog! I love getting new tips and ideas from you, and all the new recipes 🙂 Thanks again….I’m a daily follower 🙂

    • Jessica Fisher says

      Awww, Kayla, what a nice comment for me to wake up to. Thank you! I’m so glad you like that pie. So do I. Yum!

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