Make a delicious graham streusel cake the ’70s way

Bake someone happy with this sensational seventies Graham streusel cake

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This delicious vintage graham streusel cake starts with a boxed cake mix, the batter divided and adorned with a streusel-type crunch, and after baking, is drizzled with a light powdered sugar glaze. Here’s how to make it!

The wonder of the graham streusel cake (1978)

From Kitchen Chatter, New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) – May 26, 1978

I tasted this first cake at an indoor Sunday school picnic… where the desserts were arranged buffet-style on a long table. The fact that I picked it above all the others which were beckoning me with their rich creams, icings, fruit fillings and nut toppings, proves it looks good.

After I’d finished every last crumb, and was still unable to identify the specific flavor of cake that was divided and adorned with a streusel-type crunch, I set out to find its creator.

I finally tracked down Mrs Alys McCormick, who was more than delighted to give me her recipe, plus a few more pieces of cake to enjoy at home.

Bake someone happy with this sensational Graham streusel cake from the seventies

One mistake I made when baking this cake was to put the pan too high in the oven: my streusel topping was a bit scorched. But I just covered it up with the glaze, and no one knew the difference. Well, hardly anyone.

Incidentally, the original cake Mrs McCormick had baked was lemon. I’m not a lemon-lover, but this was so delicate when blended with the streusel flavor that the lemon-ness wasn’t even detectable.

ALSO TRY: 6 dessert recipes made with Duncan Hines cake mix (1978)

Graham streusel cake recipe (1979)
Bake someone happy with this sensational seventies Graham streusel cake

Graham streusel cake

Yield: 12 servings


  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (28 squares)
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1-1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 package cake mix (your favorite flavor)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp. water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour rectangular pan, 13 x 9 x 2 inches.
  2. Mix graham cracker crumbs, nuts, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter; reserve.
  3. Beat cake mix (super moist yellow, chocolate, lemon or spice cake mix), water, oil and eggs in mixing bowl on low speed, scraping bowl until moistened. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  4. Pour about 2-1/3 cup of batter into pan; sprinkle about 2 cups of reserved crumb mixture.
  5. Pour remaining cake batter over the other and rest of crumb mixture on top.
  6. Bake until cake springs back in middle, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool.
  7. Drizzle with powdered sugar glaze.

Powdered sugar glaze

  1. Mix 1 cup powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon water. Stir in additional water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until smooth and of desired consistency. Drizzle on cake.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 514Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 77mgSodium: 518mgCarbohydrates: 69gFiber: 2gSugar: 43gProtein: 6g

Click Americana offers approximate nutrition information as a general reference only, and we make no warranties regarding its accuracy. Please make any necessary calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe, and consult with a qualified healthcare professional if you have dietary concerns.

Betty Crocker graham streusel cake recipe card

Recipe card for graham streusel cake from the seventies

Bake someone happy with this sensational seventies Graham streusel cake

ALSO SEE: Easy old-fashioned monkey bread recipes from the ’60s

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Comments on this story

2 Responses

  1. I have an old Family Circle magazine with this exact ad in it, so I decided to try the recipe out. Wow!! It was to die for!! So moist and delicious! I highly recommend everyone to make this Graham Streusel Cake! It’s also very easy to make.

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