A church coffee hour staple: Quiwie’s cardamom coffeecake

A dense, tasty treat to go along with the return of coffee hour.

Quiwie's cardamom coffeecake. Photo by Sophie Godfrey

(RNS) — The return to in-person worship after more than a year of pandemic restrictions means the comeback of one of the most popular parts of church services: the coffee hour

A survey from Barna Research found churchgoers missed having the chance to socialize with each other — either before or after services — almost as much as they missed taking Communion in person.

And what is a coffee hour without a tasty coffee cake to go with the java?

RELATED:  The beloved church coffee may return as COVID fades


Here is a favorite coffee hour recipe from First Covenant Church in Seattle, submitted to the church’s cookbook by Quiwie Magnuson. 

Sophie Godfrey of Athens, Ohio, daughter of Religion News Service national reporter Bob Smietana, gave the recipe a try recently. The results were a tasty treat — more like a loaf of sweet bread than a traditional coffee cake. It’s best served with a cup of coffee and lingonberry jam. 


Makes 6 servings

Ingredients and prepation for Quiwie's cardamom coffeecake. Photo by Sophie Godfrey

Ingredients and preparation for Quiwie’s cardamom coffee cake. Photo by Sophie Godfrey


  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • Sliced almonds
  • Swedish pearl sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine first five ingredients in a large bowl.

Cut in the butter.

Add milk and combine.

Grease a 9×9-inch baking pan, then line it with baking paper, letting a little excess hang over the edge of the pan (for ease in lifting the cake out.  

Spread batter in pan

Sprinkle sliced almonds and pearl sugar on top.

Bake 30 minutes until a toothpick in the batter comes out clean.

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