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Pecan Pie Cake

Posted Oct 05 2010 3:00am

This is a recipe we invented months ago, and really, it's scandalous that I haven't shared this dish until now. This dessert is scandalously good, too. Naughty, naughty good, in the best possible way.

It came about as follows: Picture Zach and I in the car, driving along on an ordinary day, having a normal conversation (for us).

Zach: "Is there such a thing as pecan pie cake?"

Me: "Why yes, all sorts of spice cakes, with pecans, and other sorts of nuts, such as walnuts..."

Zach: "No no, not pecan cake, pecan pie cake."

Me: [confused] "Pie cake? How can something be pie cake?"

Zach: "That's just it! What if we invented pecan pie - in a cake?"

This actually is how we spend our Sunday afternoons, because the very next day, Zach and I tinkered about in the kitchen, mixed and wondered, stirred and hoped, poured something into a cake pan and placed it in the oven with a murmured prayer... and... voila. Pecan pie cake. The most decadent, gooey, luxurious, dreamy, heart-melting cake I do believe we've ever baked. Several months later, I'm still in raptures.

Pecan Pie Cake

1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups raw turbinado sugar, divided
1/2 cup light, nonhydrogenated vegan margarine (such as SmartBalance Light), melted
3 eggs, divided
2 cups chopped pecans, divided
3/4 cup dark corn syrup or brown rice syrup
1 tsp vanilla

~ Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 13 X9" baking pan with cooking spray.
~ Stir together the two flours and 2 cups of the sugar. Remove 1 cup of the dry ingredient mixture, and set aside.
~ Beat the remaining dry ingredients (minus the 1 cup) with the melted SmartBalance Light and 1 egg until just combined. The mixture will be crumbly and rather like shortbread in texture. Stir in 1 cup of the chopped pecans, and press the mixture into the bottom of the baking pan. Bake for 10 min, then remove from the oven and set aside.
~ To prepare the filling, combine the reserved 1 cup of dry ingredients with 2 eggs, the corn syrup or brown rice syrup, and 1/2 cup turbinado sugar, and beat until well combined. Beat in the vanilla as well, for a few more seconds.
~ Scatter the remaining 1 cup of pecans over the pre-baked cake base, then pour the filling mixture over top of the pecans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes - until the cake is golden around the edges and just set, but still slightly soft in the center. Cool on a wire rack, and serve for transportation to dessert heaven...

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