Potato Chip Coffee Cake, 1957– A Vintage Recipe Test

Posted on Jan 4 2017 - 3:28am by RetroRuth

Happy New Year! I don’t know about you, but I am pretty excited to kick 2016 goodbye. 2017 is going to be so much better for me, because not only am I moving on to some new and better things, but I am also going to be revisiting old things that made me happy. Like using this blog to answer important questions. Question The First: What happens when you pour crushed potato chips over a coffee cake?


That’s important, right?

This is Chip Coffee Cake!

4.5 from 2 reviews
Chip Coffee Cake
  • 1¼ cups sifted flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • 3 Tablespoons shortening, melted
  • For Topping:
  • ⅓ cup light brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon butter, melted
  • ½ cup crushed potato chips
  1. Sift flour, measure; add salt and baking powder and sift together. Combine egg, sugar, milk and shortening. Add flour and mix well. Pour batter in a lightly greased 8-inch square pan.
  2. Make topping by mixing brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and melted butter. Add crushed chips. Sprinkle topping over batter. Bake in moderately hot oven (375 degrees) for 30 minutes. Serve warm.


Pink Library Card003

This recipe came from Recipes That Pep-Up Meals With Wise Potato Chips from 1957. And every recipe in the book contains, you guessed it, potato chips.


This recipe got points for being easy, and not actually having any chips mixed into the batter.


And it didn’t even smell chip-y while it was cooking.



“So, is it crazy?”

“No. This is good. What’s in it?”

“Potato chips.”

“Really? Where are they? In with the nuts on top?”

“There are no nuts on top.”

The Verdict: Tastes Like Nuts

From The Tasting Notes –

I’m not exactly sure what craziness I thought was going to ensue during this recipe, but none of it happened. This tasted like a delicious coffee cake with a crunchy, sweet/salty nut and crumb topping on it. It was a miracle, considering a nut didn’t even come close enough to this cake to sneeze on it. The chips lost their potato flavor and they just tasted salty and crunchy, which was a really nice contrast to the lightly sweet and soft cake base. A winner, especially if you want to make a coffee cake but don’t have any nuts in the house. And a good start for 2017!

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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit in...to the 50's. I have a passion for vintage recipes and an enormous vintage cookbook collection that I keep testing, even though by now I should know better. Creator of Mid-Century Menu (www.midcenturymenu.com), No Pattern Required (www.nopatternrequired.com), and I Ate The 80's (www.iatethe80s.com).

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14 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. disneypal January 4, 2017 at 5:24 pm - Reply

    This sounds good and interesting – can’t wait to try it.

    PS: I love, love, love the little plate that you served it on – so cute!

  2. zydny January 4, 2017 at 8:33 pm - Reply

    Sure sounds good. I like to use crushed potato chips or Fritos for casserole topping.

  3. Teddi Carbonneau January 5, 2017 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    I’m going to have to make this. My husbands two favorite things are potato chips and anything sweet. Thanks!

  4. Rebecca January 6, 2017 at 1:13 am - Reply

    I go to the Empire Asparagus Fest every year!

  5. Marty January 6, 2017 at 11:42 pm - Reply

    Oh my gosh, that Disneyland plate is fantastic!

    I like the idea of the chips standing in for nuts. Now I’m really curious about the other recipes in that booklet.

    Happy New Year!

  6. Mila January 7, 2017 at 9:42 pm - Reply

    This is the craziest/fantastic thing ever, love it and love what you guys do on the blog. Happy New Year and all the best wishes!

  7. Linda January 8, 2017 at 1:28 am - Reply

    I love everything vintage!!! This looks wonderful and I also love the plate! Happy New Year and warm greetings from Montreal, Canada. Thank you so much for sharing. 🙂

  8. Ann January 11, 2017 at 8:56 am - Reply

    Looks tasty. Makes me think about trying potato chips as a sub for nuts in my go-to coffee cake recipe that I never make anymore due to a nut allergy in the family.

  9. Godzilaw January 13, 2017 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    Made this, kids loved it! Definitely a keeper!

  10. Kate from Iowa January 18, 2017 at 2:42 pm - Reply

    Just wanted to let you know I made this for a nephew that’s allergic to nuts and (after I managed to shout down the panicking) everyone loved it! Thanks for finding things like this for us!

    • RetroRuth January 18, 2017 at 3:17 pm - Reply

      Nice! So, so glad it worked! It actually is a neat little recipe. 🙂

  11. Maureen March 12, 2017 at 7:37 pm - Reply

    This looks awesome! I love coffee cake, and I need a good recipe.

    I’m catching up on my Mid Century Menu reading-such a treat. I did want to mention, I have the same plates-and I bought them within the last few years. Disney is doing a great job selling items with a retro flair-I love my plates and use them all the time!

  12. Allegra April 16, 2017 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    Made this yesterday and the house smelled sooooo good! Wonderful crunchy topping. I might have let it go too long as the cake itself was a teeny bit on the dry side.

    I added a couple things to make it even yummier. 1/2 t lemon zest and 1/4 t pure lemon oil, stirred in after the other wet ingredients. Lemon cake just seemed perfect for Easter breakfast.

    And! I didn’t use normal potato chips. I used Hawaiian brand ginger potato chips. They were too sweet for me to love straight out of the bag, so I made this coffee cake specifically to give the chips a purpose. I didn’t detect much ginger flavor in the finished product but it added to the heavenly smells in my house, and helped use the chips up.

  13. Susan October 10, 2017 at 10:04 am - Reply

    Would you mind sharing how many ounces of potato chips it took for you to make half a cup of crushed ones?


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