Sunday, May 20, 2012

Snickerdoodle Cake

Butter+Sugar+Cinnamon=Cake - made May 11, 2012 from Baking Style by Lisa Yockelson

I can't resist a sugar-cinnamon cake, or what in my mind, I dub a snickerdoodle cake.  I was meeting my cousins for dinner last weekend and I had to have a non-chocolate offering for my nephew, Vanilla King.  This seemed like a good contender to try out, especially since I was short on time after work and this looked quick to put together.  The recipe calls for half-and-half but I always just buy whole milk and heavy cream and make my own half-and-half by literally using half milk and half cream when half-and-half is needed because that's what half-and-half is anyway.  This way, whether a recipe calls for whole milk, heavy cream or half-and-half, I've got all my bases covered.

If you like snickerdoodles, you'll like this cake.  I loved the cinnamon sugar topping and the cake was moist.  I (once again) inadvertently underbaked it a tad although in my defense, it wasn't so deliberate this time.  The toothpick came out clean when I tested the cake but in hindsight, it had the slight glisten of wetness although no batter or crumbs clung to it.  I should've baked it for at least 40 minutes instead of taking it out at 35.  That dry-cake paranoia struck again.  Doesn't matter though as I would definitely make this cake again and will have a second chance at baking it properly.  It still turned out pretty well.  If you want a little extra decadence, while the cake is hot out of the oven, brush a thin layer of butter over it then sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar topping over the melted butter.  Yowsa.
You can tell from the picture it's underbaked but the moistness also came from the melted butter I put on top

2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 ¾ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
½ pound unsalted butter, softened
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons half and half (I used 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk and the same amount of heavy cream)

Cinnamon Sugar Topping
½ cup granulated sugar blended with 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1.     Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2.     Line a 9 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan with foil and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.
3.     Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon onto a sheet of waxed paper.
4.     Cream the butter in the large bowl of an electric mixer on moderate speed for 3 minutes.  Add the sugar in 2 additions, beating for 2 minutes after each portion is added.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing only until incorporated.  Blend in the vanilla extract.  On low speed, alternately add the sifted mixture in 3 additions and the half-and-half in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the sifted mixture.  Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a rubber spatula.  Beat the batter on moderately high speed for 30 seconds. 
5.     Spoon and scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top.
6.     Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until risen, set, and a toothpick inserted 1-2 inches from the center withdraws clean.  Cool the cake in the pan on a cooling rack for 5 minutes.  Sprinkle half of the cinnamon sugar topping evenly over the surface of the cake.  The first sprinkling will cause the surface to darken as it absorbs the mixture because the cake is emitting warmth.  Let the cake rest for 30 minutes, then sprinkle the remaining topping on the surface of the cake.  Cut into squares and serve.  Store in an airtight cake keeper.

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