cake slice bakers – cinnamon pecan coffee cake

20 Oct

The Cake Slice Logo

As you may or may not know, I am now officially a member of a secret interwebs baking club.

I first heard about this club from Monica’s blog (Hi, Monica! *waves*), and basically, it’s a group of peeps who bake their way through a cookbook. I find this an ideal group for two reasons: A) I like baking things and then taking photos of it, and 2) I, in general, like reading blogs of other people who also like to bake and take photos of it.

My needs and wants are simple, really.

So when I realized that the Cake Slice Bakers were getting ready to dig in (heh) to a new book, I quickly and politely elbowed my way into their group. Actually, no elbowing was involved. Email was, which can’t really be considered elbowing. And since they were starting a new cookbook, it wasn’t like I was being pushy, as they are a very accepting group, so really it was just me emailing Monica and asking how I could join this band of merry bakers, and ta-da! Here I am.

Which is really a longer explanation than needed.

Back to baking!

This year the Cake Slice Bakers will be baking our way through Southern Cakes: Sweet and Irresistible Recipes for Everyday Celebrations by Nancie McDermott. So every month on the 20th here at McPolish, you’ll find my version/results of the recipe of the month. This month’s recipe, as voted on by the CSBers, was a cinnamon pecan coffee cake. Voila!

Baked Cake 1

I’m not going to lie, I was only semi-happy with how this cake turned out. It tasted terrific, but it just…. I don’t know….it just wasn’t ideal. I made it during Baby Watch! 2009!, because I had run out of other things to do and I was sitting around watching entirely too much HGTV and The Bonnie Hunt Show to be healthy.

The dough was a little thick to spread evenly, and it didn’t cut as cleanly as I would have liked, but overall, it wasn’t bad. I’d give it a 3 out of 5 stars.

Cinnamon Pecan Coffee Cake

(Recipe from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott)

Makes a 13×9 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

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



Kitchen Aid

Part of the fun was using my sister’s Kitchen Aid mixer. I do not own one of these, unfortunately, though if I did, I would have to mix things on my living room floor. As it is I slice and dice and mix at my own peril in my shoebox of a kitchen, in my shoebox of an abode. Ah, studio apartment life.

Kitchen Aid 2

In case anybody is wondering, the cake batter is delicious when fresh off the paddle. I do my research for you,  people. FOR YOU.


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.

Cake 2

The finished product. Meh. It tasted pretty good, but I could have done better. On to next month!

TobySorry, Toby, you won’t be able to help me next month, since I’ll be baking from my home kitchen here in DC. Not that you were much help anyway. Unless by “help” you mean “sitting on my feet until I dropped something so you could snarfle it up like a hoover.” Because in that sense you are incredibly helpful.


10 Responses to “cake slice bakers – cinnamon pecan coffee cake”

  1. Katie October 20, 2009 at 2:59 AM #

    Welcome to the group! Your cake looks wonderful, very soft and tender crumb

  2. mollystrz October 20, 2009 at 7:27 AM #

    Thanks, Katie! I’m looking forward to next month’s creation!

  3. jo October 20, 2009 at 7:51 AM #

    Haha .. I didn’t know we were “secret interwebs” ! Any way welcome to CS and you surely did a great job with your 1st challenge.

  4. Monica h October 20, 2009 at 11:30 PM #

    Dogs are helpful that way aren’t they?

    You’re so funny and I’m glad you’re baking along with us.

    I liked this cake too but I wish it cut cleaner. But it’s just coffee cake. Can’t wait to try mext month’s cake!

  5. Kim October 21, 2009 at 7:02 AM #

    Your cake looks great, but I understand what you’re saying about it being hard to spread the second layer. I love the pick of your little helper!

  6. rachel October 21, 2009 at 8:36 AM #

    I had a hard time getting a clean slice!

  7. hotovenwarmheart October 23, 2009 at 4:29 AM #

    Hi Molly!

    Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and saying hello- it was really wonderful to hear from you. As a newbie Cake Slice baker, I’m so glad to meet the other members- I’m looking forward to getting to know you better as we bake our way through Southern Cakes 🙂

    Can I just say reading your *adorable* post was the perfect way to start my day- it totally put a smile on my face! Your writing is so clever and funny- I think you may have just found a new fan! Your coffee cake looks scrumptious, but I’m sorry it didn’t hit it out of the park for you… 11 more cakes to go, though! Hopefully this next one will be outstandingly delicious! Regardless, I think you did a fantastic job, and created a cake that makes you want to take a bite of right off the screen.

    Now, let me see if I can help you get that CSB badge on your site. It should be pretty easy to explain since we’re both proud wordpress bloggers (we’re definitely in the minority, so we’ve got to stick together!) So if you go into your dashboard and scroll down a ways, you’ll see “Media” on the left column- select “Add New” and upload The Cake Slice image (I make sure I’ve saved it to my desktop in advance so I’m ready to go). A little farther down, you should see the “File URL” which you’ll need- so make sure to copy this down.

    After that, find where it says “Appearance” on the left column, and under that, “Widgets.” Click on widgets, and then scroll down until you find the gray box titled “Text.” Drag and drop that over to your sidebar on the right (placing it in whatever order you want it to appear on your page’s far column). Make sure you click on the little gray arrow so you can see the entire box. You can type in a title if you want (I leave mine blank so I just have the picture/hyperlink). In the bigger white box underneath the Title, copy and paste this in:
    In between the final two “”, type in the File URL link that you got when you uploaded the new media. For example, here’s what mine looks like:

    With that code sequence, you’ll get the CSB logo, which will function as a link to the group’s site, so when you click on the picture, it will open a new tab and take you to The Cake Slice Bakers webpage.

    I’m sorry it sounds so confusing, but it’s really not too hard. If you have any trouble, problems, questions, or concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch either through my blog ( or via email at I want to help until you get it just the way you’d like! But I hope this explanation helps!

    Thanks again, Molly. Have a wonderful rest of your week and a fun and relaxing weekend. Looking forward to hearing from you again soon!


  8. hotovenwarmheart October 23, 2009 at 4:37 AM #

    Okay that was really bizarre… I’m not sure why when I tried to give you the codes, it created some weird links in my comment instead. Ahhh that’s frustrating! Is there any way I can rewrite my message and send it via email, where it hopefully won’t get all nutty? Just send me a quick message, and I’ll write back with the code you need. Here’s my email address again: I’m sorry you have to go through the extra trouble, but I’d still really like to help!

    Hope to hear from you soon 🙂

  9. katie October 26, 2009 at 1:47 PM #

    Welcome our super secret club!! glad you were able to beat off the competition for your esteemed spot! Loved your post especially the puppy!


  1. oh! it’s a kaaayyyyke! « - November 20, 2009

    […] I had to make this cake for my secret interwebs baking club, the Cake Slice Bakers. Remember last month? This month was more traditional cake-y, rather than coffee cake-y, which was a nice change […]

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