You might be asking yourself what does being married to a stuntman and coffee cake have in common?

This is not a trick question.

The answer is stress.

Yep, stress.

I know I’ve kept it pretty much about the food on Mountain Mama Cooks but my life is so much more.

The past few weeks have been a little overwhelming in the Epstein house. One of my sons got unexpectedly sick and spent a night in the hospital. It’s the first time, thankfully, I’ve had to deal with a really sick child. When he got sick the rest of my world stopped. I dropped everything else to take care of him. Hence, my absence from blogging. I’m happy to say he is going to be just fine. Kids are soooooo tough. Mountain Mama on the other hand? Well, I’m not as tough as I thought I was.

I’ve been a little really stressed out these past few weeks. And you know what? I think its my husbands job that puts me over the top. Sorry honey.

At this point, I’m about to really delve into it. If you don’t have the time or want to listen, feel free to skip past my woe is me post and get right to the recipe. I don’t mind a bit.

Before we really get started, let me just set a few things straight: I know every one deals with stress. And there are a million and one people with a whole lot more to worry about than me. I get it. I do try to keep a little perspective when I’m having a pity party for one. But you know what? Stress is stress. Hard times are hard times. It’s all relative. We all go through tough times and just because your “shtuff” might be harder than mine, doesn’t mean I’m not hurting. You know? Another thing that helps me when I’m stressed is to talk to someone. Or the entire web…… It always makes me feel better. I like taking the craziness out of my noggin and dumping sharing it with whomever will listen.


As some of you know, I’m married to a stuntman. Yes, a real live stuntman that hucks himself in front of moving cars, crashes motorcycles, jumps out of helicopters and does the occasional fire burn. All in the name of fun. And a paycheck.

People ask me all the time if I get scared knowing what he does for a living. But I don’t. Funny enough, getting lit on fire doesn’t stress me out. It’s the schedule. The traveling. That is what stresses me out. We live in Utah. It’s a choice we made when we got married. We don’t want to raise our kids in New York or California. Not judging, it just doesn’t work for us. The downside to that choice is that he travels a lot. Like gone for 6 months last year a lot. He’s been gone the majority of the past 2 months working on this, this, this, and this. It gets lonely.

The boys and I do travel with him sometimes but it’s not always feasible for us to go with. So when he packs his bags to go, I put on my big girl panties and prepare for life as a single mama.

And can I please just take a minute to give all the single parents out there a GIGANTIC shout out. Raising babies solo is down right hard.

Forget about the physical exhaustion that comes with chasing two kids around by yourself, the emotional exhaustion takes its toll after so long. Throw a sick kid into the mix and I’m nothing short of run down. The weight of parenthood really is meant for more than one set of shoulders.

But unless the movie business picks up drastically in Utah or I turn into the next Pioneer Woman, things aren’t going to change. My husband is going to continue to travel and I will continue to feel the pressure of taking care of two boys on my own.

So he travels a lot. It’s tough, yes, but it is what it is. Its taken me years to accept the traveling and chaotic lifestyle that comes with being married to a stuntman. I don’t always like it, in fact, there are times that I down right hate it but it’s not changing.

So what’s a girl to do?

For starters, be thankful for what I do have.

And make coffee cake.

When I do put things in perspective, look at the big picture, life is pretty damn good. I have a husband whom I adore. He’s an amazing father and we have two beautiful and healthy little boys. Life is good.


So here we are. Making coffee cake and venting about my husbands work schedule.

I feel better. You?

So what’s up with stress and coffee cake? Well, here’s the deal. I bake when I’m stressed. I eat cake when I’m stressed. It’s amazing, really, the healing qualities of cake.

And since the Mr. is finally home for a bit, I’ve been baking my frustrations away. Being in my kitchen grounds me and baking brings on the calm. So needless to say, I’ve got plenty of recipes coming your way that involve sugar and a hot oven. Just in time for summer. Ha!

Honestly, there isn’t a whole lot to say about this coffee cake except it’s absolutely delicious. It’s a coffee cake purists dream. A simple cinnamon-sugar streusel with no other adornments- it doesn’t need anything else.

All it needs is a cup of coffee or hot tea and preferably a husband to share it with.

Or wife, life partner, boyfriend, girlfriend, granny etc………..we don’t discriminate here at Mountain Mama.

Thanks for listening.



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18 Responses to Cinnamon-Streusel Coffee Cake

  1. Maria says:

    You are amazing! Hang in there! Love this cake! I love cinnamon everything!

  2. Terry M says:

    I’ve tried this cake and it is AMAZING. So are you and stuntman:)

  3. Good for you for venting a bit. It’s so healthy! And by the way, if this helps at all, I am rooting for you to be the next Pioneer Woman. You have what it takes, girl!

  4. Annalise says:

    Stress is stress, plain and simple! Glad your son is healthy again, and glad your hubby is home! See you next week! 🙂

  5. rebecca says:

    you are a rock star my friend!

  6. Holly says:

    OH. AMEN SISTER!!! I totally feel you here! Have I mentioned my husband is a pro skydiver and BASE jumper? We absolutely have to hang out! 🙂 Seriously. We need to. I could have written this post (and have one very similar actually). I know just where you are coming from. Hang in there and let’s make plans for a pity party for two!

  7. What a crazy few days! Really sick kids make me totally stressed out too! Glad things are starting to look up!

  8. Aggie says:

    Oh you can vent to me any day! I have a couple of friends with husbands that travel every week and I feel for them. My hubby’s travel has picked up a lot over the past year and I’m starting to feel for me!

    The coffee cake looks amazing. I can not wait to meet you next week!!

  9. Maureen says:

    This is now a family favorite! I made it for the first time last week and doubled the topping – BIG hit! I also live in Park City and struggle with my baking. This recipe is a keeper!! Thank you.
    Hope you are resting and recovering from your surgery.

    • Kelley says:

      Thank you for the kind words. I’m feeling better each day and ready to get out and about in the beautiful weather we’re having!!

  10. I was looking for the perfect cake to make for my volunteer job this Friday.. and Foodie Crush Magazine’s Facebook status sent me here! I’m so excited to try this recipe and am excited to follow your blog now. I hope your life settles down at some point, your husband is lucky to have such an strong, patient and caring wife:)

  11. Maria says:

    At what altitude was this baked? I live at 7000 feet, so it is necessary to know what altitude this recipe is for.

  12. Alicia Erickson says:

    Made it at 9000 feet in Ecuador and it turned out great!

    Thanks for the support for single parents out there! I’d been widowed for almost four years with three kids (ages 4, 6, 15) when my sister called complaining about her husband being on a business trip for TWO WEEKS! I had been doing it without a break for years. Oh well. Not everyone is as aware as you are. Start a line of “big girl” panties that I can send others out there.

  13. Maria Roberts says:

    I am the Maria that lives at 7,000 feet (there are 2 Marias 🙂
    The taste of this cake is excellent, but the middle has sunk a bit, although cooked through. I wonder whether I should reduce the baking powder by 1/4 teaspoon and the baking soda by 1/4 teaspoon in order to get a better result.

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