I'll go ahead and get a few things out there. First, I don't know why it's called Cowboy Coffee Cake. Not sure what makes it particularly "cowboyish", but it's a fun alliterative name at the very least. Second, if you're looking for a healthy breakfast option, this is not the recipe for you. However, if you want something delicious, that will make your house smell amazing, and is pretty simple to make, read on!
I grew up eating this coffee cake and now we've made it a family tradition in our house. We made it our Christmas Morning Breakfast a few years ago and I celebrate how much easier it is to throw together on that busiest of mornings than the cinnamon rolls we use to make. WIN!
The first step is mixing together the flour, brown sugar, and salt. Then you cut in your shortening. Do you have one of these pastry cutters? If you ever make pie crust, or if you're going to give this recipe a try, grab one! It makes cutting in the butter or shortening so much faster. When I was younger and foolish I once used two butter knives to try and cut in the butter to a pie crust. What a nightmare.
Anyway, you want to cut it in until the ingredients resemble coarse crumbs. You don't want huge chunks of shortening, but it's okay to have bits. Plus they'll start sticking together a bit, so it will look like you have some bigger chunks than you really do. Then you scoop out a 1/2 cup, and put it to the side.
Spice it Up!
Next you add your spices. This is where things start to smell good! You grab the cinnamon and nutmeg, as well as the baking powder and baking soda. Stir up your ingredients so it's well mixed.
Then come the wet ingredients: eggs and buttermilk. If you don't have buttermilk you can also use "sour milk" which is made by putting 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup and pouring in milk up to the 1 cup line. Sounds weird, but it works! Mix well, until you don't see any dry bits. It's okay to still have some lumps, it'll work out, I promise.