This month's Clandestine Cake Club meeting was a bit of a last minute arrangement but the theme was Halloween tricks and Autumn treats.
I kind of wanted to make a S'mores cake but don't have a kitchen blow torch to use on marshmallow icing (and refuse to buy one solely for this occasion) so I decided on the Butterscotch Pecan Crumb Cake from Outsider Tart's Baked in America. I love this book and the bakery itself. I've met one of the David's twice now and he is lovely and very keen for baking to be homely and rustic.
This is a sheet cake and I felt anxious to take it to Cake Club as everyone expects layer cakes. I felt this one was Autumnal and it reminds me of eating crumbles for Sunday pudding at my Mum's house!
I brought my ingredients to room temperature. You will need a 12x9 inch cake pan. It may seem like you are using a huge amount of ingredients but this is a really hefty cake!
For the crumb topping:
255g unsalted butter
380g plain flour
340g light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the cake:
525g plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
460ml buttermilk (you can make your own but I've found pots in Waitrose and Tesco)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
175g unsalted butter
225g dark brown sugar
175g granulated sugar
4 large organic free range eggs
340g chopped pecans
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Grease the cake pan and line the bottom with greaseproof paper.
2. First make the crumb topping by mixing the unsalted butter, plain flour, light brown sugar and salt in a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer) until it resembles breadcrumbs. Store in the fridge until needed.
3. To start on the cake batter mix the flour, baking power, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a spare bowl and set aside. Combine the buttermilk and vanilla extract in another bowl and set aside.
4. In the stand mixer bowl (or another spare bowl) cream the butter and the sugars until fluffy, this should take about 10 minutes. Slow the speed and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg is added. Turn the mixer down to the slowest speed and alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk/vanilla mixture. Gently mix in the chopped pecans then scrape the batter into the pan, smoothing the top. Remove the crumb topping from the fridge and sprinkle it on top of the batter, gently pressing the crumbs down as you go.
5. Bake for 45-60 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. You may have to cover the top with foil to make sure the crumbs do not burn. Allow the cake to cool in the tin, then serve.
So there you have it! It went down very well at Cake Club. I also took some to work for my boss - she described it as the best cake she has ever eaten!