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Monday, May 9, 2011

A Cake to Make You Feel Good

It's not often that lightening strikes twice but it happened last week.  I am sure that it will come as no surprise that I read a number of food blogs regularly.  I really love Daily Salt (Daily Salt) and I even get an email whenever a new one is posted.  I also enjoy Tasty Kitchen (Tasty Kitchen) which is a spin off from the Pioneer Woman Cooks.  I urge you to take a look at both.

But I digress.  Last week I was catching up on my blog reading and found that both Salt and Tasty Kitchen had a recipe for something called a Lazy Daisy Cake.  With a name that cute I just had to try it.

Apparently the Lazy Daisy Cake came from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook back in the 1940's and then was republished in Marion Cunningham's Lost Recipes.  The name comes from the fact that it's the easiest cake in the world to make.  It takes about 10 minutes to mix up and then it's into the oven.  The really great thing about the Lazy Daisy Cake is that it tastes as though it's much more complicated than it is.  I also like the fact that it can be served either as a dessert or as a coffee cake at brunch.

So I made the cake.  It was as easy as advertised and was absolutely delicious.  The topping, which is a mixture of butter, brown sugar, cream and coconut goes onto the cake after it's been baked.  The whole thing is then popped into the broiler for a minute or two just to lightly brown the topping.

The end result is so satisfying.  My mother was never much of a baker, but if she had been, this recipe would have been right up her alley.  It's comforting and not complicated and surprisingly cheerful.  Just the way a cake should be.

Recipe:  Lazy Daisy Cake
(Adapted from Marion Cunningham's Lost Recipes and Daily Salt)
Makes one 8-inch square cake

Note:  You can also add about a 1/2 cup of chopped nuts to the topping is you like.


2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 cup shredded coconut


NOTE:  Once the hot milk has been stirred into the batter, work quickly and pour into the prepared pan. Pop the cake into the oven straight away.  As soon as the baking powder is combined with the hot liquid, it begins to leaven and you will want this to happen in the oven.  (This is not the case with cool or cold liquids.)

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Butter and flour an 8x8 square pan.  Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.

Beat the vanilla and eggs until slightly thickened.  Slowly add the sugar and beat well.  Add flour mixture to sugar mixture.  Blend until smooth.

Heat the milk and 1 tablespoon butter in a small saucepan.  When the butter has melted, stir the milk mixture into the batter and mix well.  Batter will be very liquid.

Work quickly and pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake for 25 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven.  Mix the remaining 3 tablespoons butter, brown sugar, cream and coconut together in a small saucepan until it is melted.  Stir until well blended.  Spread over the bot cake and brown lightly under the broiler for a minute or two.  Be careful not to burn.  It only takes a minute too long to ruin the cake!

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