Yesterday, I made a cake that supposedly tastes like donuts. Even at the time, I realized that if I wanted something that tasted like a donut, maybe I should just make donuts. As it turns out, this cake wasn’t quite as donutty (word? no? oh well) as I’d hoped it would be. It was… better.
This all started because of a Pinterest addictions mine to be exact. Now, if you’re saying, “What is Pinterest?”, just stop right there. Don’t ask. You don’t want to know, because it is possibly one of the most time-wasting internet phenomena since Facebook. All I’ll say is that one of my dearest friends posted a picture of this cake, which just happened to be from one of my favorite blogs. And I figured those two things together were enough reason to bake up a cake for no real reason at all. A cake is a reason in and of itself, is it not?
Anyway, it was so very worth the 20 minutes it took to throw this together on a Sunday afternoon. The beauty of this cake, aside from its deliciousness, is that it makes your house smell like a donut shop. That warm, vanilla and nutmeg aroma wafts around your house and out your windows and most likely will make your neighbors very jealous. The cake itself is simple enough, but the addition of buttermilk and cornmeal make it tender on the inside and crispy on the outside, respectively… like a DONUT. I get it now. No, seriously, it took writing that out to understand why this was called a donut cake.
Luisa at The Wednesday Chef said that the original author of this recipe put a note in there about how the cake would inevitably fall in the middle, but that hers didn’t. Well, mine most certainly did, so I truly appreciate the word of warning. Because there is nothing to make you feel moderately inadequate like a fallen cake. And you know, I kind of like that little indent in the middle, because it makes it look… say it with me… like a DONUT.
I was slightly tempted to make some chocolate ganache to put over the top, with some candy jimmies, so it would be very donut-like, but I thought that might be a little over-the-top kitschy. I settled for some strawberries macerated with some vanilla sugar, and it turns out that was an infinitely better choice. The sweet, juicy strawberries were the perfect counterpoint to the golden, crispy-edged cake. It would be delicious plain, too, with just a cup of coffee. And that way, you could eat it for breakfast… like a DONUT. Ok, ok, I’m sorry. I’m done with that. Make this cake and you can judge its donuttiness (now I’m really pushing it in the making-up-words department) for yourself.
taken from The Wednesday Chef
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
Heat the oven to 375° F. Butter and flour a 10-inch springform pan.
Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition, then add in the vanilla. Scrape down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, and nutmeg. Add the flour mixture to the batter in 3 parts, alternating with the buttermilk, starting and ending with flour. Make sure each addition is incorporated before adding the next, but don’t over-beat it at the end. Spread the batter in the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bake until the top is puffed and golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on a rack before serving warm or at room temperature.