Cinnamon-Pecan Coffee Cake

This is the first month in my new cooking group The Cake Slice Bakers. For the next year, we will be baking cakes out of Nancie McDermott’s book Southern Cakes. For our first cake, the group has chosen a Cinnamon-Pecan Coffee Cake.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t know what to expect from this cake. Although, not an unusual combination of ingredients it is not a cake I have seen before. Having baked it, I can tell you it is fantastic. The flavor, aroma, and texture all work beautifully together. The butter gives the pecans a sweet candy like flavor, the cinnamon is surprisingly not overwhelming, and the cake itself is moist. As it name states, it would be perfect in the morning with a cup of coffee. And Pecans are so festive so it is a perfect cake to have on hand for the Thanksgiving and Christmas season.
Now let’s talk about where I went wrong and I really don’t know how I went wrong…well actually I do. You are suppose to lay one layer of the batter, top it with the cinnamon-pecan raisin filling, and then put another layer of batter on top of that and so on. Well I put too much batter on the first layer and didn’t have enough for the second layer and so my cake became a cake with no filling. Either way, the flavor was not compromised and given that we only have so much of a sweet tooth it worked out perfectly for us.
Check out the other lovely cake slice bakers here!

Cinnamon-Pecan Coffee Cake
(Adapted from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott)
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
2 eggs

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

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 13 by 9 inch pan.
2. To make the filling- In one bowl, combine the light brown sugar, flour and cinnamon and mix everything using a fork or whisk. In another bowl, combine the raisins and pecans in another bowl and toss to mix them. In another bowl, melt butter. Take all three bowls and set aside.
3. To make the cake batter- In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. Also combine the milk and vanilla.
4. In the bowl of a electric mixer combine the butter and sugar whisk on high speed until pale yellow about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and beat for another 2 minutes.
5. Start slowly adding the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Alternate between the milk and flour.
6. Spread half the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Sprinkle half the cinnamon mixture over the batter and pour half of the melted butter on top of it. Then sprinkle half the raisins and nuts.
7. With a spatula spread the remaining batter over the filling. Finish by sprinkling the rest of the cinnamon, butter and nut mixture making sure to cover the cake evenly.
8. Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes-until the cake is golden brown. Let the cake cool before serving and you can serve out of the pan.


Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting....Kind of

It’s a fun day today; I’m doing a MS Cupcake Club post! This month Kim from What the Whisk chose Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes. I should start of by saying there are two seasons in my house- College Football and waiting for College Football. So it’s with this that my fall cupcakes come in a different spirit then what Martha had in mind. Truth be told, we had all my husband’s friends over for the game on Saturday and I needed to bake my cupcakes but I couldn’t very well give a bunch of grown men, who are still holding on to their college youth, a cupcake with a perfectly formed marzipan pumpkin on it. It’s not times like this, when everyone is worried about the quarterback and his concussion and the faith of the world which relies on this football team, that you serve cute foods. Oh no! In times like this you suck up your pride and contribute to the insanity that is college football. After all, if the football team loses, I may not care but I will suffer the consequences of a grumpy husband for weeks to come. So with that I will do my part and I hope the MS Cupcake Club will forgive me and understand my predicament of being a football wife :)

As for the Cupcakes, like all the others in the book, I found to be great. Were they outstanding? No. I will probably try a couple more pumpkin cupcakes before I remake these. As for the icing, as I’ve mentioned before I am not a fan of Martha’s Cream Cheese Frosting. It’s far too buttery. I have to make a lot of alterations to meet my tastes.

BB-Ina's Beatty's Chocolate Cake

For the month of September, the Barefoot Bloggers chose two chocolate cake recipes. The first one I had not heard good things about and the second was Beatty's Chocolate cake. I have wanted to make this cake for as long as I can remember because of all the great things I have heard about it. The funny thing about this recipe that I do have to mention is that although Ina calls it her friend Beatty’s recipe….it appears to originally be a Hershey recipe called the Black Magic Cake. The recipe is identical as in word by word and I find it odd that Ina doesn’t mention anything about this anywhere. But I digress, the recipe itself was very easy to make and was not too time consuming. The batter was extremely watery; I have actually never seen batter that was almost pure liquid. I admit I was worried, but it did form and everything turned out fine. I used cake circles to take the cakes out of the baking pans. This is not a cool and flip-over and remove cake type of recipe; even if you sprayed your pans trust me when I say at least one of your cakes will break in half if not both. You need to somehow support your cakes when you remove them. The cake itself was extremely moist and had a great flavor. The icing on the other hand, I did not enjoy too much. But I think that may have had something to do with the fact I knew there was a raw egg in there. Which brings to this question-what purpose does a raw egg yolk serve in icing? I left in the recipe when I made it because I was curious but I have never heard of this. I was a little surprised when I originally saw the recipe and saw an egg yolk in the icing. Apart from the egg yolk, I thought it could have been more rich and intense in flavor. It was too light and sweet for me. The verdict on this recipe is that-I would make the cake again but with a different icing recipe. If you are interested, you can find the recipe here.


Gourmet Magazine Folds

It's a sad day in the Foodie world today. Conde Nast Publications annouced that it is ceasing publication of Gourmet Magazine. I'm not shocked anymore with the state of the economy but Gourmet has been around for so long-68 years to be exact. It's the falling of an institution. Apparently Bon Appetit will continue publication, so that's at least some goods but I'm not going to lie-I'm going to miss Gourmet!

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