For my first cake with "The Cake Slice" bloggers we made Cinnamon Pecan Coffee Cake from "Southern Cakes" by Nancy McDermott.
Yummy from the looks of the recipe. Not so much while making it although I need to make it clear that was my fault. I decided to halve the recipe at the last minute so there might have been some ingredients that I was off on. Plus on the spur of the moment I decided to improvise despite the fact that I know from experience that I really should try the recipe as it was called to be baked before I tweak too much so I can get a good feel for what I"m making. But that said, hopefully ignorance is indeed bliss as I realized while mixing that I was out of milk so i substituted whipping cream and then I was too lazy to reach for the regular sugar and brown sugar was handier so I used that.
So after mixing the cake batter up, I had my first misgivings as the batter was very thick. After deciding that maybe that's how it was supposed to be, I dumped half of it in the pan and spread it around. No problems, I am a baker, I can do this. Then reality kicked in as I discovered:
Problem #1: I had melted the butter in advance so it had congealed when I was ready to pour the butter over the streusel.
Problem #2: Trying to spread a thick batter over a cinnamon streusel topping is really a pain to do right.
Problem #3: I'm pretty sure I used the entire amount of butter called for the original recipe and not the halved version so there's going to be a LOT of butter poured over the batter.
I took a quick peek at the cake about 10-15 minutes in (again, I know, not good but I was a little worried) and discovered that there was still layer of melted butter that had yet to soak in. Not a good sign.
When I pulled it out of the ovens, the edges were burned. And although the cake was firm in some spots, in others it was it was soft and buttery and goey.
It is definitely not the prettiest cake. But it is still hands down pretty yummy. I'd make it again for sure...just the right way that time.
Cinnamon Pecan Coffee Cake
(Recipe from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott)Makes a 13 x 9 inch sheet cake
For the Cake
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
For the Cinnamon Raisin Filling
1½ cups light brown sugar
3 tbsp all purpose flour
3 tbsp cinnamon
1½ cups raisins
1½ cups coarsely chopped pecans
¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter, melted
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 13 by 9 inch pan.
To make the filling, combine the light brown sugar, flour and cinnamon in a bowl and stir with a fork to mix everything well. Combine the raisins and pecans in another bowl and toss to mix them. Place the cinnamon mixture, nut mixture and melted butter by the baking pan to use later.
To make the cake batter, combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Stir the vanilla into the milk. In a large bowl combine the butter and sugar and beat with a mixer on high speed until pale yellow and evenly mixed, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl to ensure a good mix. Add the eggs and beat for another 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl now and then, until the mixture is smooth and light.
Use a large spoon or spatula to add about a third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir only until the flour disappears. Add a third of the milk and mix in. Repeat twice more until all the flour and milk mixtures have been incorporated. Stir just enough to keep the batter smooth.
Spread half the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Sprinkle half the cinnamon mixture over the batter followed by half the melted butter. Scatter half the raisins and nuts over the top. Spread the remaining batter carefully over the filling, using a spatula to smooth the batter all the way to the edges of the pan. Top with the leftover cinnamon, butter and nut mixture, covering the cake evenly.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the cake is golden brown, fragrant and beginning to pull away from the edges of the pan. Place the pan on a wire rack and allow to cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes before serving in squares right from the pan. The cake is delicious hot, warm or at room temperature.