Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Cake Slice Bakers December 2013 - Streusel Squares




It is the 20th of the month so it must be Cake Slice Baker's time!  Last month was our big announcement letting everyone know that we will be baking from Great Cakes by Carole Walter for the next year.  The cake that had the winning votes for this month was the Streusel Squares. I have to say that this was the perfect cake to be selected, since it is pretty quick and easy to put together, and it stays fresh for quite a while making it the perfect cake to have on hand for when guests drop in unexpectedly.






Who knew that the secret to making the perfect streusel is to shape the crumbs by grabbing a handful and making a large clump, and then separating the clump into smaller clumps?  Or that if you use a little beaten egg white it will help the crumbs adhere to the cake instead of falling off?  I love that you can learn so many things from a cookbook, regardless of its publication date.







The only change I made to this cake was to use buttermilk rather than milk in the cake batter, as I find that it gives a really tender crumb and the container has been staring at me from the fridge begging to be used up rather than wasted. This was certainly a simple, yet delicious cake to put together. It has a light texture that is not too crumbly, and then a rich buttery crumb topping that is so addictive. It was perfect with a mid-morning cup of coffee, and I really had to stop myself from reaching for more than one piece. It would have been gone in a day, except for the fact that I was waiting for the rain to stop so I could take some photos.









You can check out all of the Streusel Squares made by my fellow Cake Slice Bakers by clicking here, or just click on the pictures below. Also, remember to come and join us on our Facebook page where we share not only each months cake but also baking tips and other goodies that have been baked my our members.






Streusel Squares
Printer Friendly Recipe

Ingredients
Streusel Topping ∼
  • ⅓ cup (⅔ stick) unsalted butter
  • 1¼ cups unsifted all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Cake ∼
  • 2¼ cups unsifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk (I used buttermilk)
  • 1 large egg white

Preparation
  1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350⁰F.
  2. Butter a 9 x 13 x 2” pan.
Streusel Topping ∼
  1. Melt the butter, then cool slightly.
  2. Add the flour, sugar and cinnamon all at once and stir with a fork until the mixture forms small crumbs. Take a handful of the crumbs and make a fist to press the mixture into a large clump, and then separate into smaller clusters, at least two or three times the size of the original crumbs.
  3. Repeat until all of the crumbs have been reshaped, then set aside.
Cake ∼
  1. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
  2. Cut the butter into 1-inch pieces and place in the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to soften on low speed. Increase speed to medium-high and cream until smooth and light in color, about 1½ to 2 minutes.
  3. Add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, taking about 6 to 8 minutes to blend it in well, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  4. Add the eggs and additional yolk, 1 at a time at 1-minute intervals, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  5. Blend in the vanilla.
  6. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk, dividing the flour mixture into three parts and the milk into two parts, starting and ending with the flour. Mix just until incorporated after each addition, scraping the sides of the bowl and mix for 10 seconds longer.
  7. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with the back of a tablespoon.
  8. Beat the egg white lightly with a fork, and using a pastry brush, spread about half of the beaten egg white over the top of the cake batter. Discard the remainder - the egg white helps the streusel adhere to the top of the cake.
  9. Sprinkle the entire surface of the batter generously with the streusel, gently patting the crumbs into the batter with the palm of your hand; do not press hard.
  10. Center the pan on the rack and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown on top, begins to come away from the sides of the pan, and the streusel is crisp. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out dry.
  11. Remove the cake from the oven and set on a cake rack to cool. 
  12. When ready to serve, dust the top with confectioners’ sugar and cut into squares.
  13. Can be stored at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Recipe from Great Cakes by Carole Walter.




15 comments:

  1. Your cake looks so velvety soft!

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  2. Oh, the buttermilk is a brilliant idea, Felice. Your cake looks sooo lovely, light and luscious...In other words, I'd love a big slice =)

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  3. Love your cake looks beautiful! The shots are great, your serving plate is so pretty! :) Felice... I like the changes you've done to your blog :) I agree... I loved how easy it was to make this month's cake... perfect for the hectic nature of this season :D

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  4. Love that you used buttermilk..it makes everything taste that much better I think!

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  5. Felice, talk about learning new things! I wish I had used buttermilk instead of regular milk in mine! I LOVE the texture of your cake! Perfect crumb topping, too! Glad you enjoyed this so much! : )

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  6. Felice, I love how your cake looks - tight and firm crumb but yet it looks soft and moist. Definitely my kind of cake. The streusel topping would definitely bring this cake to a higher level of awesomeness :)

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  7. OMGoodness! Look at that cake crumb!!!!! love the look of the streusel topping, most unique!

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  8. Merry Christmas Felice! Glad you enjoyed the cake, I didn't get time to make this one.

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  9. Great pictures, Felice....I especially love the empty cake plate...sums it up nicely! I don't believe I've ever bought buttermilk. It's one of those ingredients that, as Julia Child would say "you just need the courage" to use, but I have a feeling I'll be giving it a go sometime soon!

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  10. What a wonderful idea to use buttermilk! Your cake looks delicious and moist. I might need to make it again.

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  11. Your cake turned so tall and spongy! Mmmm! I agree I love that I learn new techniques with every recipe!

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  12. definitely will try this recipe again with buttermilk! It seems to taste much better!

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  13. definitely will try this recipe again with buttermilk. It seems much more tasty

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  14. You cake is absolutely gorgeous! The crumb looks so thick and the cake looks so tender! Great job!

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  15. I am thinking of baking this again, and using buttermilk!! I think the taste would have been even better! What a great idea :)

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