You heard me right, I am one of the new members of The Cake Slice Bakers and I must say I am a little bit excited. Why am I excited you may ask? Well good friends there are a number of reasons:
- I get to bake something that is not a cupcake for a change.
- I 'needed' to buy a new cook book to bake from for the next year (Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott).
- I am now part of an elite group of bakers.
The first cake that was chosen from the new book was the Cinnamon Pecan Coffee Cake. Now at first I must admit I wasn't very excited about this because I thought that meant that there was actually going to be coffee in the cake. You see I can't stand coffee or anything coffee flavoured - I am a cup of tea kinda gal. After reading the recipe however I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was in fact no coffee in the cake, and instead it is simply a cake that is to be eaten with coffee - yay! So after my absolutely mad weekend (with Zoe's 1st birthday) I baked up this lovely, lovely cake. The cinnamon aroma that comes out of the oven as you bake this cake is just heavenly and the cake itself a lovely balance of light cake with crunchy pecans and chewy raisins. I loved this cake, especially with a drizzle of thickened cream.
Oh and if you are wondering why my cake looks a little dark - let me just say that I won't be trusting Mat to get my cake out of the oven from now on :P
Cinnamon Pecan Coffee Cake (from Southern Cakes)
Makes a 13"x9" cake
For the Cake:
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
For the Filling:
3 tbsp plain flour
3 tbsp cinnamon
1½ cups raisins
1½ cups coarsely chopped pecans
¾ cup unsalted butter, melted
- Heat the oven to 180C. 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.