It’s like a miracle. A Baking! Miracle!
Okay, not really.
But I’ve got to say, I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself that I was able to sack up and make cakes up two months in a row.
Even if I wasn’t able to get them posted on the appropriate date.
So a few weeks back, on a lovely Sunday morning (or it was possibly Saturday. I don’t really know, honestly. Nor do I care OH GET ON WITH THE STORY ALREADY, LADY.), I stumbled downstairs and gathered the ingredients for this month’s cake, which is lovingly known as monkey bread.
Later, after eating a healthy portion of the bread, Dad was curious to know why I called it monkey bread, he’d always heard it called pecan rolls or something, I can’t really recall because I’d tuned him out by that point.
What? Oh, right, like you listen to every word YOUR dad says.
Anyshoes, I gave him a vague answer about monkeys needing things that they could peel apart easily with their feet and then yelled, “IT’S BANANAS, DAD!” and wandered away to get a Diet Pepsi.*
So! On to the cake. I won’t lie to you, Interwebers—after linking up all of the cake escapades I’ve had this year and realizing that I’ve failed more times than I’ve succeeded, I fully expected this baking adventure to make like Katy Perry’s last Friday night and need a ginger ale to recover from the epic fail.
But surprisingly? It was not an epic fail. EVEN WITH THE MODIFICATIONS I MADE!
Modification #1: I don’t care for raisins in my baked goods. So I left them out.
That being said, in full disclosure I should also add that I think it wasn’t a complete success, either. Much of which might have to do with the fact that I was using the baking ingredients at my parents’ house.
Some of which have been there since the 1990s.
Which, in case you’re not good at math, was a long time ago.
So I can’t really speak to their effectiveness.
But on the plus side—nothing exploded, so there’s that.
On the minus side, nothing seemed to rise very much. And I don’t know if it was just the size of the ice cream scoop I was using, or if I shortchanged the quantities of the flour, sugar, et al, but I barely got two rows of dough balls (heh. BALLS!) out of the batter. In fact, it was more like 1.5 rows.
Also, I’m thinking that toasting the almonds before sprinkling them over the dough balls (BALLS! Heh.) would have been a good idea, because you know what’s not delicious? Raw almonds. They’re kind of…chewy. Even when they’ve been baked with dough.
So, you know. Good things to keep in mind.
If you’re not too busy shoving your face with this cake.
I won’t judge you. I mean, come on, have you been reading these cake posts AT ALL? There is no room for judging over here at McPolish.
So just be quiet and have another slice.
*I didn’t actually do any of that. But were you to ask my father, he’d most likely agree that it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that I’d do something like that.
Monkey Bread—From Cake Keeper Cakes
For the topping:
1/2 cup (4oz/ 113g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup light brown sugar
For the cake:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
9 tbsp (4.5 oz) unsalted butter, chilled
3 cups plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup plus 2 tbsp buttermilk, plus more if necessary
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup raisins
1. Make the topping: Whisk together the melted butter and light brown sugar. Set aside.
2. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a non-stick 12-cup Bundt pan and dust with flour.
3. Combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a zipper-top bag. Cut the butter into 1/4-inch dice. Place the butter in a small bowl and set it in the freezer while you gather together the rest of the cake ingredients.
4. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the chilled butter pieces and, with an electric mixer, mix on low speed until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the buttermilk until the mixture just comes together, adding an extra tbsp or two if the mixture is too dry.
5. Use a small ice cream scoop or spoon to scoop up balls of dough and transfer them to the zipper-top bag. Shake the bag to coat the balls with cinnamon sugar.
6. Place the coated balls of dough in the prepared pan, sprinkling walnuts and raisins over them as you go. Pour the melted butter mixture over the cake. Bake until the cake is firm and well risen and the caramel is melted, 35 to 40 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan, on a wire rack, for 10 minutes. Invert onto a serving platter and serve immediately.
7. Store uneaten cake in a cake keeper or plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to a day.