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So if you spotted the recipe and imagined an enormous Krispy Kreme, soaked in icing and still warm from being cooked in tonnes of hot oil – you’re wrong. Obviously.
One of those recipes that promise more than they offer, the ‘doughnut’ cake has vaguely the shape in common with the original article, plus perhaps the sugar coating. All your hope of a custard filling is lost. Not even any jam there, and definitely no inch-thick, sickly icing. Just a bit of sugar crunch. As The Weather Man wistfully declared, there’s nothing going on there.
And yet – of course there is an ‘and yet’; what didya think? It has a very reassuring, doughnut-related feeling to it when you take a bite. You almost reach for a glass of milk to go with it, even if you’re way past the milk-with-cake age. It smells like a homely doughnut not a Dunkin’, which is a good thing. And of course the best of all: it’s NOT deep fried in oil; it does NOT have inch-thick icing and there’s NO custard. How virtuous is that?
The recipe comes from NY Times Cooking and I scaled it down; the original makes one HELL OF AN enormous cake, doughnut, both.
doughnut cakeServings: 10-12Time: an hour and a half
- 115g (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for buttering the tin
- 150g (¾ cup) caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 225g (1¾ cup) plain flour
- 1 tsp grated nutmeg
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 120ml (½ cup) buttermilk
- For the topping:
- 100g (7 tbsp.) melted butter
- 80g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
1. Thoroughly butter a 24cm (9in) Bundt tin, making sure every dip and grove is greased. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4.
2. Beat the butter with the sugar with handheld mixer or in a standing mixer until fluffy. Add the eggs one by one and beat well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.
3. Stir the flour together with the nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add half to the mix and beat in on low speed until well combined.
4. Pour in the buttermilk in a steady stream while beating continuously. Add the rest of the flour mixture and beat to combine.
5. Spoon the batter into the Bundt tin and smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake for 40-45 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
6. Remove the cake from the oven and cool in the tin for 15 minutes while you melt the butter. Stir the cinnamon into the sugar.
7. Turn the cake out of the tin onto a wire rack set over a large baking tray; tap the tin gently when you inverted if the cake doesn’t just slip out. Brush liberally with melted butter and spoon the cinnamon sugar all over. Reuse all the sugar spilt onto the baking tray; try to carefully roll the cake in the sugar to coat.
8. Set the cake back on the wire rack to cool completely. It will keep well for several days covered with a cloche or in a cake box.