Cinnamon Pull-Apart Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Cake with Lemon Glaze

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

We’ve finally started watching the new season of The Great British Bake Off. We’re meeting up with the rest of the country halfway through because I had actually been binging old seasons of Bake Off on Netflix and All 4 over the late summer, and I wasn’t caught up by the time the new season started. This year’s contestants took a few weeks to warm up to, but I’m finally growing attached to a few of them. Mannon is so beautiful and talented I almost can’t handle it, and Briony is plucky and adorable. But Paul Hollywood continues to blow my mind with how completely out of touch he is.

What Paul doesn’t know about food trends I will never understand. I checked and the man definitely has Instagram. I assume it’s run by someone else because if he went on it even once, he would have seen that chocolate globe desserts are freakin’ everywhere. He clearly doesn’t follow food blogs because he’s apparently never heard of tangzhong. And I can never forgive him for the time he pronounced chipotle as chi-pot-el on one of his cooking shows. Are we sure he’s an actual expert?

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Hopefully Paul’s had a pull-apart cake, though I certainly wouldn’t want him to judge mine. Although I feel that the slight wonkiness of this Cinnamon Pull-Apart Cake adds to its charm. Between each layer of enriched yeasted dough is butter and cinnamon sugar that melts into the most delicious goo as it bakes. There’s also a generous layer of lemon glaze that adds a sweet brightness to the whole thing. This dessert is a great combination of crunchy top, chewy bottom, and sweetness and spice. We love it.

Like with any yeasted dough, this cake is a bit of a project, but there’s nothing excessively complicated. It’s just time consuming because of the multiple rises for the dough. There’s also a bit of low key geometry, but don’t worry, you’re not being judged, so no need to get out your ruler. 

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

This cake has so many possibilities. You could easily modify it to make your signature flavor. We’re starting with Cinnamon Pull-Apart Cake, but I’m pretty sure you’ll be seeing some variations on this in the future.

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Cake with Lemon Glaze
Serves 8
Cinnamon Pull-Apart Cake is chewy and sweet and perfect for autumn.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
4 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
4 hr
For the dough
  1. 3 cups plain flour, plus a few tablespoons more for the counter
  2. 1/4 cup sugar
  3. 2-1/4 teaspoon yeast
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/3 cup whole milk
  6. 2 ounces unsalted butter
  7. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  8. 2 eggs
For the filling
  1. 1 cup sugar
  2. 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  3. 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  4. 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
For the glaze
  1. 3/4 cups icing sugar
  2. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  3. 1 tablespoon whole milk
For the dough
  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 2 cups f the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt until well combined.
  2. In a small sauce pan over medium low heat, add the milk and the butter and heat until the butter is melted, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat and add 1/4 cup water and the vanilla. Check the temperature of your liquid mixture with a candy or instant read thermometer. It should be between 115 and 125 Fahrenheit. You may need to let it cool or put it back on the heat depending on how cold your water was.
  3. Once your wet ingredients reach the right temperature, add them to your dry ingredients, and stir both together with a spatula. Add your eggs and continue to stir. It will seem very wet, but it will eventually start to come together. Finally, stir in your last cup of flour until your dough comes together. It will still be very sticky.
  4. Transfer the dough to a greased mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel, and stash it in a warm place in your kitchen to rise for about an hour or until doubled in size.
  5. When your dough is risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured counter and knead an additional 2 to 4 tablespoons of flour into it until you have a smooth dough. It should take about five minutes. Form your dough into a ball and cover it with a clean kitchen towel. Allow it to rest for about five minutes before rolling it out.
For the filling
  1. While your dough is resting, gently whisk together your sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl and melt your butter for the filling.
  2. Also butter and flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
  3. Once your dough is rested, you can begin gently rolling out your dough in a lightly floured surface until you have a rectangle that's about 12 inches by 20 inches.
  4. Use your pastry brush to spread the melted butter evenly over the dough. Try to brush it right to the edge without going over. Next, sprinkle on all the cinnamon sugar. You can use your pastry brush again to spread it evenly over the dough, again up to the edge.
  5. Now it's time to slice and stack. Start by cutting six equal strips vertically. I use my pizza cutter for this. You'll then need to stack these strips on top of each other. I use my small offset spatula to slice under the strip to make sure it's not stuck to the counter anywhere. Start with the strips on each each working your way to the middle until all six are stacked on top of each other.
  6. Next slice your stack of strips into six rectangles horizontally. Line up your piles of dough squares into your loaf pan.
  7. Place your clean kitchen towel over your dough and allow it to rise again for about half an hour until it's filled up your pan.While your dough is rising, be sure to preheat your oven to 350 F (175C).
  8. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes until beautifully brown on the top. Allow to cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes before turning out onto your desired destination.You'll obviously need to gently turn it upright after you get it out of the pan. Also, it can't hurt to run a butter knife around the edge of the pan before attempting to turn it out.
For the glaze
  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the icing sugar, lemon juice, and milk until smooth. Gently pour evenly over your cooled cake. Allow gravity to do it's thing and drip over the cake.
  2. To serve, gently pull or cut apart a few layer at a time.
Adapted from Homemade Decadence by Joy Wilson
Adapted from Homemade Decadence by Joy Wilson
http://awesomeon20.com/

Awesome in July

Awesome in July

It’s been a blissfully quiet month. We’ve been sticking close to home, dodging the rain, and eating a lot of burgers. The best burger this month that I didn’t make myself was for sure from DogHouse in Merchant City. We’ve been continuing on with our Marvel film festival now that the World Cup is finally over, and I finally saw Black Panther. I absolutely loved it. Thor: Ragnorak was also really fun. Captain America: The Winter Soldier had the best fight choreography.

I also managed to finish three books this month; The Piano Lesson by August Wilson, Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. Between the World and Me was definitely my favorite of the three. 

I have a powerful need to try out this Baked Honey Hot Chicken Sandwich

I’d never heard of Smith Island Cake before, but I’m certain I need to eat it.

Also please hook me up with a bucket of Cinnamon Harissa Caramel Corn.

Classic Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Your favorite recipes this month were Classic Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies, Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels, and Peanut Butter Fudge. These are the best of the best, friends.

August means back to school and back to insanity. I’m reveling in the peace and quiet while I still can. Make it awesome, kids.

Lemon Polenta Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Lemon Polenta Cake

Lemon Polenta Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

When we moved into this flat, it was with the promise that we could completely redesign the kitchen. In fact, I believe I was promised the kitchen of my dreams. And while our kitchen is spacious, it is far from dreamlike. We may have the stupidest oven ever sold.

My oven has four stops on the “settings” dial. There’s off, obviously, followed by the first click that turns the oven light off. The oven light does not work (insert face palm emoji). Then there’s the click to turn on the bottom AND the top heating element. And finally top only. Does anyone else see something missing? I can’t turn off my top heating element in my oven. Basically everything I put in there is getting broiled. I have to cook everything on the bottom rack to keep it from over-browning. Often, as is the case with this particular cake. I am not successful.

Lemon Polenta Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

And yet I’m sharing it with you today anyway because this blog has always been about finding the awesome in the everyday and making the most of what you got. And I still couldn’t get Geoff to stop eating two pieces a day, so I can confirm that it tasted absolutely amazing.

Lemon Polenta Cake is naturally gluten-free as it’s made with ground almonds and cornmeal. And of course there’s plenty of lemony-ness both in the cake and in the lemon syrup you drown this cake in to make it not just moist but damp for days. You won’t want to stop eating.

Lemon Polenta Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Some people have perfect kitchens. Some people… don’t. We all deserve great cake. This Lemon Polenta Cake is where it’s at. 

Lemon Polenta Cake
Serves 8
Lemon Polenta Cake is soaked in a tangy lemon syrup that makes this gluten-free cake awesome for days.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
for the cake
  1. 200 grams unsalted butter, room temp
  2. 200 grams sugar
  3. 200 grams ground almonds
  4. 100 grams cornmeal
  5. 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  6. 3 eggs
  7. zest of 2 lemons
for the syrup
  1. juice of 2 lemons
  2. 125 grams powdered sugar
for the cake
  1. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment, and grease the sides with butter
  2. Preheat your oven to 350F/175C.
  3. With a mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  4. Combine the almonds, cornmeal, and baking powder in a separate bowl, then mix a third of the mixture into the butter and sugar. Add an egg and combine. Continue alternating dry ingredients and eggs until everything is combined.
  5. Finally mix in the lemon zest.
  6. Transfer the batter to your pan and bake for 40 minutes until the edges start to pull away from the pan.
  7. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.
for the syrup
  1. In a small saucepan, boil the lemon juice and powdered sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool.
  2. With a toothpick, prick tiny holes in your cake, then pour the syrup over the cake and let it sink in.
  3. Once cool, remove the collar from your pan. Serve a big wedge and experience pure joy.
Adapted from How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
http://awesomeon20.com/
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