Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cinnamon Bun Cake

Wee-Ooo! We're all moved and almost completely unpacked and settled. I've never unpacked this fast, and I've been trying to decide if it's because this townhouse is very small and half our stuff is in storage, or because this is the first move that I'm not either very pregnant or have a baby/toddler to take care of. My guess is it's probably a combination of both. We've had delay after delay on the construction of our new house, and it's very nice to be almost done unpacking so we can be comfortable for the next 4-5 months.

I actually made this Cinnamon Bun Cake before we moved. My niece, who is staying with us before starting her fall semester at college, was craving cinnamon rolls one afternoon, and who wouldn't rather bake instead of pack? I didn't have time to make actual cinnamon rolls, but I could totally pull this off.

This cake is a variation of my Pumpkin Cinnamon Bun Cake, which is completely to die for, and if you like pumpkin, is definitely something you should try. Soon.

Cinnamon Bun Cake
printable recipe

for the dough
1/3 cup warm milk (100-110 deg)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups bread flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain yogurt
2 eggs
6 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

for the filling/topping
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

for the icing
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (I like to sift mine)
2-3 tablespoons milk or cream, depending on how creamy you want your icing

1. Lightly spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with non-stick spray.

2. In a medium bowl (I used a 2-cup glass measuring cup), whisk together the warm milk, 1 teaspoon sugar, and yeast. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl combine the flour, 2/3 cup sugar, and salt; mix well and set aside.

4. In a medium bowl (I used another 2-cup glass measuring cup), whisk together the yogurt, eggs, oil, and vanilla.

5. Add the milk mixture and the yogurt mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well (the dough should be pretty thick). Transfer the dough to the prepared baking pan in big dollops and spread it in an even layer. Cover the pan with paper towels and let rest for 45 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, combine the topping ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well. After the dough has rested, sprinkle the topping evenly over the top and use your fingers to press it down into the dough. Don't be shy here; pressing the topping into the dough gives you that marbly goodness that makes this cake so, so scrumptious. You can also use a knife or spatula to swirl the topping into the dough, but I think fingers work better.

7. Put the pan in a cold oven, set a timer for 30 minutes, and set the oven to 350. Bake until the bread springs back when touched, and the edges are just barely starting to brown, 30-35 minutes. The topping will still be bubbling at the end of cooking; as it cools it will sink down into the craggy top of the cake.

8. While the cake cools whisk together the icing ingredients until smooth. Use a spoon to drizzle the icing over the cake--make sure it sinks down into the craggy top, too. Gracious, this is so good!

Makes 18 servings.

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