Julie Rothman / The Baltimore Sun

Alisia Verdoorn from Cupertino, Calif., was looking for a recipe for a coffee cake that is made with raisin bran. She said her grandmother had given her the recipe, but she lost it. She said she remembers that the cake was made with buttermilk and orange juice in addition to the raisin bran.

I did not receive the exact recipe she was looking for but I did some research and found a similar-sounding coffeecake on Post foods website (postfoods.com.) Their recipe for Sunny Raisin Nut Coffeecake seemed to have most of what Verdoorn recalled about her grandmother's original recipe. The biggest difference was that the Post recipe was made with fat-free milk, not buttermilk. I decided to test the recipe substituting low-fat buttermilk for the fat-free milk and I was pleased with the result. The buttermilk paired with the orange zest gave the cake a nice moist texture and slight tang. The Post recipe has an optional orange glaze that I omitted as I thought it might make the cake a tad too sweet. Instead, I added a tablespoon of freshly squeezed orange juice to the batter, which made for a relatively low-fat coffeecake full of bright citrus flavor.


Doris Smithson of Greeneville, Tenn., is looking for the recipe for making what she calls “stained glass candy.” She said in the mid-1980s the ladies at Trinity Hill United Methodist Church in Lexington, Ky., made and sold the candy at Christmas time.