Once, I heard somebody compare donuts to one-night stands. You know, both seem like a good idea at the time, but when it’s all over…yep. You get it.
But then, whoever made that comparison obviously never had a baked donut. And they also never had a donut cake. No, that’s not a cake made of donuts.
Before we progress any further, I need to take a minute to vent about keeping a straight face. In my line of work, I see kids do a lot of things that, well, make me want to react. They sing. They make presentations. They share their innermost feelings. And I’m really glad they do all of that, and I never want them to stop.
But see, my face is a problem. I happen to have a very expressive face, but it’s expressive in a way that nobody can read accurately. Like, whenever I’m deep in thought, people think I’m really upset. When I’m trying to work something out, people read that as super angry. And whenever I’m amused, my face reads as snide.
Honestly, it sucks. People have never read the tone of my thoughts quite correctly, and so I’ve had to cultivate a very bland poker face over the years. My friends get to see my real face, and so do my family. But my students? Heck no. They have no idea.
And in a weird way, this donut cake is the same. It has to pretend to be a simple coffee cake, unassuming, with a lovely cinnamon topping. But really? If you put this batter into donut pans, it tastes just like a cinnamon cake donut. It’s all about the way something gets presented.
See, while I have a hard time controlling my facial expressions, I can totally control what I do with batter. As you can see, this cake is light and fluffy and absolutely perfect for breakfast. And the topping is cinnamon heaven.
In fact, though I haven’t called it one, this is a poke cake of sorts. In order to get the topping to really stick, you accomplish the effect by poking holes all over the cake with a fork, pouring in melted butter, and then adding the cinnamon-sugar topping. The good flavors just get everywhere.
Maybe we regret eating that donut. Or letting our faces betray feelings that are real or just perceived. But folks, remember this one: we never have to regret cake. Especially donut cake.
1 and 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line an 8-inch square pan with foil and coat with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a bowl, combine all of the cake ingredients and stir until a smooth batter forms. Spread the batter in the prepared pan.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs.
- Pierce the cake with a fork all over. Don't miss any spots!
- Brush the melted butter (under the topping listing, 1/4 cup) onto the cake, making sure it gets into all the fork holes.
- Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Evenly sprinkle the mixture over the cake while it's still hot.
- Serve warm, or cool and cut into squares.