Thursday, January 3, 2013

Pintertest Kitchen: Cinnamon Roll Cake

I have a confession to make:  I'm not particularly good with money.
Sure, one of the duties of my job is to oversee the spending for a building and make sure that I don't go in the hole, but the way that I do that is by telling my staff that there's no money.  Okay, that's not totally true.  We still have a photocopy budget, and we do some special things.  But at home, well...let's just say that Dave Ramsey wouldn't be thrilled.
J and I have taken steps to get ourselves on the right track; and I'm much better than I used to be.  But by the same token sometimes the money just runs out.  Like this past weekend.  Through a glitch in payroll, my pay isn't coming through until Monday.  This left J and I with about $25 to our name that wasn't spoken for.
Unlike many, the biggest change in our plans was that we wouldn't be going out for a meal this weekend and the cat tree we'd planned to buy got waylaid until next week.  As a result, I was left to figure out what we were eating with no trip to the grocery store.
Our church has been doing a series about letting go of our stuff and how we allocate our resources.  One thing that has rung very true with me recently is that we as North Americans feel poor:  like there's no money, we can't afford things and what a misnomer this truly is.  We are encouraged to live simply and share our resources, demonstrating God's love for those around us.  Heavy stuff, but an important reminder.  This weekend really made me think about this - we can't afford to go out to eat.  So what?  We go out for the entertainment of it.  I started combing my cupboards for what to make while we stay home.  The next few days will be posts from that weekend.  We ate really well while having no money.  I need to remember that.
It's a little embarrassing what lurks in my cupboards.  We spent the weekend eating recipes that I wanted to try from Pinterest that I just hadn't gotten around to.  I pinned two very similar cakes that I combined into this one with a couple of substitutions based on things I'd run out of.  Here are the pins:
I present to you now a hybrid of Cookin' Up North and Six Sisters Cinnamon Roll Cakes:

1 c butter
1 c white sugar (apparently it should be brown, but I didn't have any)
2 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp cinnamon
2/3 c chopped pecans
3 c flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 c sugar
4 tsp baking powder (or the 3 tsp you have plus whatever will shake out of the almost empty container)
1-1/2 c milk
2 eggs (or 2 tsp oil and 4-5 tablespoons of sour cream when you have no eggs)
2 tsp vanilla
4 Tbsp melted butter
1-1/2 c icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
5 Tbsp milk, or enough to make a pourable glaze

1.  For the topping, cream butter and sugar together, then add cinnamon and flour.  Stir in nuts.  Set aside.
2.  For the cake, stir together dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix milk, vanilla and eggs (or egg substitute) together and stir into dry ingredients.  Slowly add melted butter.  Pour into a greased 9x13 pan.
3.  Drop topping over cake batter evenly, swirling into batter with a knife.
4.  Bake at 350 F for 28-30 minutes.
5.  For the glaze, stir together sugar, milk and vanilla.  Pour over still warm cake.
Adapted from Six Sisters and Cookin' Up North
So here's the topping.  It makes a lot.  I read the comments on both recipes, and people talked about the cake being goopy, and that it probably came from the amount of topping in the cake.  I thought the nuts would be a nice touch. 
Then I made the cake batter.  It's stiff, and I don't think that's just from my egg substitution.  I googled what to sub for an egg, and decided that 2 oz of sour cream and 1 tsp of oil would work, seeing as they would be activating the baking powder.  When stirring in the butter, my handmixer was overwhelmed by this batter.  I ended up stirring it in by hand.
I started dropping the topping on the cake, and realized that there was way too much topping.  I used about half, and the top of the cake was well covered.  I don't think swirl is really the right word...I folded it into the batter with a knife.  Think coffee cake.  The rest of my topping is in the fridge, looking for another use.
This whole thing started to remind me of the apple fritter cake with the thick batter and wacky substitutions.
It was about this point where I started praying that the cake worked, seeing as I ran out of sugar, butter, and baking powder while making this - plus I had no eggs to begin with.
Doesn't this look lovely?  It smelled lovely too.   There was a little butter on the top of the cake when I took it out, but I was pretty sure it would be absorbed back in while the cake cooled.
The glaze for me was a little hit and miss.  I didn't make as much as the originals called for, but used more milk.  I added 4 Tbsp of milk to start, but it didn't pour off the spoon to my liking, so I added milk little by little until I was happy.
Then I poured it over the still warm cake to soak in as it cooled.

And how did it taste?  Um, okay.  The cake is bland.  It needs salt, I think.  Or all the topping.  Perhaps I shouldn't have listened to the comments and just kept adding it.  But it was tasty with a glass of milk.  I could see myself eating it for breakfast.
But there are other cakes.  And real cinnamon rolls.  Onwards - both in terms of recipes and in how I view the resources that God has gifted me with.
Today, I'm Keeping Up with the Johnsons.  You should too!


  1. The cake looks glorious! Sad to hear it was a little bland... and thank you for sharing whats going on at church... its true... always good to hear to be reminded.

  2. It sure doesn't look bland! And I SOOO get the $25 left. Dave Ramsey would not be thrilled with me either. ;) Thanks for linking up!