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 super moist yellow, chocolate, lemon or spice cake mix (butter pecan also recommended)
1 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour rectangular pan, 13 x 9 x 2 inches. Mix graham cracker crumbs, nuts, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter; reserve. Beat cake mix, water, oil and eggs in mixing bowl on low speed, scraping bowl until moistened. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Pour about 2-1/3 cup of batter into pan; sprinkle about 2 cups of reserved crumb mixture. Pour remaining cake batter over the other and rest of crumb mixture on top.
Bake until cake springs back in middle, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool.
Drizzle with powdered sugar glaze (recipe below).
Powdered sugar glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp. water
Mix 1 cup powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon water. Stir in additional water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until smooth and of desired consistency.
The wonder of the graham streusel cake (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.
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.
– From Kitchen Chatter, New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) – May 26, 1978