All I wanted to do was bake a cake.
It’s was a Saturday morning. The first real Fall day of the year. You know what I mean. There’s that little nip in the air where you can wear jeans and a sweater, but you don’t need a big bulky coat. Something about that weather just makes me want to bake! It always has. When the hubby and I first married, I used to bake constantly. (And I have the hips and butt to prove it!) Sometimes I think that’s why he married me! (The baking, not the hips and butt!) But, when my fibromyalgia set in, and then worsened, the baking went by the wayside. The long periods of standing, the stirring, gripping spoons and mixers, kneading dough… I just couldn’t do it any more. But, now, post surgery, as I’m feeling a little better, I could feel that baking bug starting to nibble away inside me again. It was only 9:30 a.m., by noon, we’d have a yummy warm cake to go with our lunch!
So, I grabbed a recipe. Wait, I’m missing an ingredient. Ok. Grab another recipe. Missing another ingredient. Another recipe. Another ingredient. (Do you see a pattern starting to emerge here?) A half hour later, with the Pioneer Woman playing in the background, making me feel desperate to make something culinary happen in my home, I whipped open my laptop and went to my desperation-go-to spot – Pinterest! Yet, still the pattern continued. Recipe. Missing ingredient. Recipe. Missing ingredient. You’d think by now I’d take the hint, throw in the towel, give up! But, not me! I’m nothing if not hard headed! After 45 minutes of diligent searching the Heaven’s opened up and sent me the one recipe on the planet earth for which I seemed to have all the ingredients. (I’m pretty sure at this point even the Pioneer Woman broke into a round of the Hallelujah Chorus!) The recipe was from a lovely dessert blog called Dozen Flours (be sure and check her out – www.dozenflours.com) and was for a Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake. Well, Snickerdoodles being my dear hubby, Mr. T’s, favorite cookie in the whole wide world, this seemed like destiny!
I quickly read through the recipe, determined this was easy, I could do this and began. I heated my oven, greased and sugared my pan, and mixed my dry ingredients. And then it hit me, I had taken out salted butter instead of unsalted butter, so I trudged to the basement freezer for the only unsalted butter I had, which was in the deep freeze! *sigh* Have you ever tried to “rush” bringing butter to room temperature when it has been in the deep freeze for 3 months? The butter was having none it. So, I set the butter near the heating stove and proceeded to make Mr. T and myself lunch. By the time lunch was made, eaten and cleaned up, my butter was finally ready and I was FINALLY ready to finish my cake. (So I thought!) I carefully added my sugars one at a time, bringing my butter/sugar mixture to just the right color. Time for the eggs. The eggs! I had forgotten to take the eggs out to bring to room temperature. *sigh* sigh* Luckily, I knew the trick for this one and quickly placed my eggs in a bowl of hot water and waited 10 minutes. Meanwhile, I decided to read ahead in the recipe and make sure I hadn’t made any more slip ups. Did I have vanilla? Yes, I took it out of the cabinet. Sour cream? I reached for it. Oh no! It called for full fat and I only had “light”. Well, at this point we were just going to have to wing it. And, what?! What is this?! Bring the sour cream to room temperature? I’d never heard of bringing the sour cream to room temperature! It had never even occurred to me! *sigh* sigh* sigh* I was convinced my cake baking day was doomed. So, I set the sour cream aside to warm up and grabbed my vanilla, at least I knew I didn’t have to worry about that. One teaspoon. Two… wait! Where was my other teaspoon?! What had happened to all my vanilla? Where had it gone? Who was the vanilla thief?! Mr. T! Sneaking down at night and making himself vanilla milkshakes, he had used up my vanilla and not told me! What’s a wife and mom to do?! 23 yr. old son to the rescue! Off I sent #1 son to the grocery store to purchase another bottle of vanilla! Now the sour cream would have plenty of time to come to room temperature!
An HOUR later, #1 son returns with the vanilla, and, FINALLY, the cake gets in the oven. Within the next hour, my kitchen is filled with the mouth watering smells of brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla! And the lovely cake that started in my mind at 9:30 a.m. and should have been done by 11:00 a.m. is finally cooling on the counter at 5:00 p.m.! Welcome to my life! I wish I could say this is unusual, but it’s really not. On the upside, the cake was fabulous! The guys all raved, including the vanilla-stealing Mr. T, who insisted it’s the perfect cake for the holidays… or for Sunday mornings… or for Spring… or for Summer….and with coffee – you get the idea!
Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake
Yield: serves about 12
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup white sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup full-fat sour cream, at room temperature (I did use light sour cream, and it was still fabulous)
In a small bowl, combine 1 cup of sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Mix together really well and set aside.
Preheat oven to 325F.
Spray a 9 inch Bundt pan with Pam with flour, being careful to cover all the nooks and crannies, as well as the center tube. Don’t forget the tube. Note: If you don’t want to use Pam with Flour, you can just grease the pan with shortening. Gently dust the entire inside of the pan with the sugar and cinnamon mixture. You should only need about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sugar, but you want to try and evenly coat the inside surface of the pan, including the tube. Don’t rush. Save the remaining sugar and cinnamon mixture and set everything aside.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Beat just the butter on medium speed for one full minute. Add the white sugar and mix for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl and blade and add the brown sugar.
Mix for 2 minutes until the mixture looks light brown and uniform in color. Add the eggs one at a time, beating each for 1 full minute. Stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the sour cream; beat well.
Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup of the cinnamon sugar mixture over top the cake. Spread the rest of the batter into the pan and sprinkle any remaining sugar mixture over the top. (If you run out of cinnamon sugar, you can mix just 1/4 cup of sugar + 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon together for the top of the cake. It should be more than enough.)
Bake in the preheated oven for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Recipe courtesy of Julia at DozenFlours.com