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Pine Nut Butter Cake

Posted Apr 03 2010 12:00am
It has been quite a few years since I put on my white stockings and best Easter dress, only to come home with grass stained knees and more candy in my basket than I could ever consume. But now, as an adult, I find that all those little chocolate candies and jelly beans have nothing on a cake like this.

If you have your Easter menu all planned out, but are still looking for a last minute dessert to make, then might I suggest you bake this cake. It's quick, makes your home smell of warm butter and sugar, and it's a little unexpected. There is no chocolate, no carrots and cream cheese frosting, no lemon curd or ricotta; things you might typically see every year for Easter. Instead what you have is butter, sugar, eggs, and flour working together at there finest, all to be topped off with buttery pine nuts. Simple, effective, and will have people asking you for the recipe before they've even finished their last bite. Plus since it only takes 35 minutes to bake with maybe 10-15 minutes hands-on time, you can have this cake out and done in under an hour. No frosting and waiting for layers to cool. There is no dough that needs to be chilled and rolled; just measure, mix, sprinkle with pine nits, bake. You can even make it the day before, that way you can finish filling all those last minute eggs with candy, for the kids. If you don't like pine nuts a good substitution would be roughly chopped macadamia nuts.
Pine Nut Butter CakeAdapted from
serves 12
6 ounces(12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted1 cup cane sugar or granulated sugar2/3 cup packed brown sugar2 extra large eggs, at room temperature2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour1/2 teaspoon salt3 tablespoons pine nuts
Center a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat to 350˚F. Generously butter or spray a 9" round cake pan. Dust the inside with flour, shake off excess. Cut a round piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan. Butter the parchment round and place in the pan, butter-side up.
Place melted butter in a large bowl. Add the sugars and stir together with a rubber spatula until thoroughly blended.
One at a time add the eggs to the butter mixture. Mix evenly, scraping the sides down as you go. The mixture may look curdled as the eggs are added, but it will smooth out. Then add the vanilla and stir to blend.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add to the butter mixture in 3 stages, blending well after each addition. Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan. The batter is very thick, so use a rubber spatula to spread it evenly into the pan.
Sprinkle the pine nuts evenly over the top of the cake. 
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove the pan from the oven and cool completely on a rack. Invert the pan to remove the cake, then peel the parchment paper off the back of the cake. Re-invert the cake onto a serving plate.
Cut into wedges and serve at room temperature.
Store the cake tightly wrapped in aluminum foil at room temperature up to four days. Freeze up to 3 months, wrapped tightly in several layers of plastic and aluminum foil. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.
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