Monday, September 5, 2011

Cinnamon Bun Cake

This restaurant nonsense has taught me a lot of things. Before this job, going to a restaurant as a customer was the only point of view I had experienced. Now that I'm on the other side of things, boy have my eyes been opened.

#1: There is chaos behind the scenes while you sit and enjoy a nice meal, and hopefully you have no idea that sometimes we're all screaming inside.

#2: You never get used to the pain of wearing heels for hours on end. Ever.

#3: Sometimes little old ladies come in and adopt you as their grandchild for a few hours. It's cute, really.

#4: Even though we work at a restaurant, we don't eat all day. So when you jokingly ask "Hehe would you like to sit with us?" The answer is: "I'll move you to a bigger table that has an extra seat."

#5: People are PICKY. I don't know if this is how most people work, but when we'd go out to eat growing up we'd take the table we were given and not think twice about it. I'm telling you, no less than 50% of the people that come in request a different table. I've gotten a palm to the face, straight out "NO," snarls, evil stares, and people who just move when I turn my back after I seat them. Is this how it always is? IT'S A TABLE, PEOPLE. They're all the same. No, you're date won't look less Alf-like if you put them in the lighting over there. Sorry, I'm holding grudges.

#6: If you do get a chance to eat, it has to be something bland. Because people don't appreciate coming to a restaurant and smelling their future meal on your breath.

They would probably appreciate if your breath smelled like Cinnamon Bun Cake, though. And that, my friends, is something we can make happen.

So this cake was made for my dear friend/cousin/neighbor/wing-man/copilot for her birthday. I made a similar cake for my brother's birthday a year and a half ago, and she's been requesting it ever since. And so with some changes to the original cake, this cake was born. It's got cinnamon swirl cake, cinnamon bun filling, cinnamon buttercream, streusel crumbs, and more cinnamon bun filling on top. Needless to say, I rarely get to eat my cakes, and I'm very glad I got to have a piece of this one!

Cinnamon Swirl Cake

¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) butter
½ cup brown sugar
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
1 ½ Tbsp cinnamon
3 cups flour
1 ½ cups hot milk
¼ cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp turbinado sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9” pans. Cream butter and sugar. Add condensed milk and mix well. Beat in eggs one at a time, then add vanilla and vinegar. Whisk dry ingredients together. Alternate adding dry ingredients and milk until just combined. Divide batter evenly into pans. Combine ¼ cup of brown sugar, turbinado sugar and cinnamon. Swirl cinnamon-sugar mixture into batter and bake 30-35 minutes. 

Streusel Crumbs
Adapted from Sugar Cooking

6 Tbsp butter, almost completely melted
1 cup flour
½ cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon, plus extra for sprinkling
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together until texture is crumbly. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Sprinkle extra cinnamon on top. Bake for 7-8 minutes until slightly golden. Use a spatula to break in to small pieces before completely cool. 

Cinnamon Bun Filling

1/4 cup (half a stick) butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp corn syrup
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Melt butter and sugar together. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Let cool before adding to cake.

For the cinnamon buttercream, use the typical vanilla buttercream recipe and add as much cinnamon as you'd like (I used about 2 teaspoons). 

Maybe next I'll come up with a garlic cake and eat it before work. And then people will want to get away from me and quickly as possible and just sit wherever I tell them. And then I'll get promoted to boss of everyone because I come up with such innovative problem-solving ideas. 

We've got the baking bug in my family. My cousin Gina made some pretty outrageous root beer cupcakes this weekend, among many other things she's made in the past (which unfortunately I don't have a picture of). Shout out to my cousin Kaitlynn who made these cupcakes! Would you believe she's in fourth grade?? Pretty freaking impressive if you ask me. And let me tell you, they were goooood. Reese's peanut butter brownie cupcakes and strawberry cupcakes with white chocolate chips. Holy. Cow. Keep up the good work, champ!

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