Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lazy Daisy Cake

A simple, tender and light, old-fashioned hot milk cake, but the real star here is the broiled, caramel and coconut topping.

Lazy Daisy Cake

Some of you will fondly remember this cake from your mother or grandmother's kitchen from long, long ago. Others of you likely have never heard of it.

Back in the day, dessert was as much a part of the supper plate as were meat and three, and this cake often made an appearance. Called Lazy Daisy Cake, and sometimes Busy Day Cake, because it is just simply so easy to throw together, it is really just a very basic, old fashioned, boiled milk pan cake.

The cake itself is wonderfully tender and light, but what sets it apart, is this lovely, crunchy, broiled caramel and coconut topping.

One of the primary goals of my website from the beginning, has been to bring back some of the older heritage and heirloom recipes that are practically lost recipes to younger folks today. This is one of those recipes.

In days past, grandmothers and moms passed their recipes down to their children and grandchildren by propping them up on a stool in the kitchen to both watch and participate. As women moved into the workforce and our lives got busier, manufacturers answered by offering us more quick and easy packaged, convenience products and the enjoyment of cooking got moved to the back burner giving way to just getting our families fed!

I am glad that there seems to be a shift back to the kitchen these days - maybe not to the level it once was, but certainly more of us are finding joy in getting back to the kitchen to create, at least a couple times a week, even if only the weekends.

Except for us random bloggers, you don't hear that much about this cake these days and I don't know why since the ease of preparation fits right into our current busy lifestyles. I'm not sure that it's really a "southern" cake, though many of us in The South would consider it so, since we grew up knowing it.

Though not traditional, I've added chopped pecans to mine, and while walnuts are also good, any nuts are totally optional. I think they are a nice addition. This cake may also be made with a combination of flour and oatmeal, adding a little more substance and fiber, and it's a great potluck or funeral food cake to bring along - simply double the recipe.

A Lazy Daisy cake is as easy as it comes. Here's how to make one.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 9 inch baking pan; set aside. In a small saucepan bring 1/2 cup of milk and 1 tablespoon of the butter to a near boil. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of sugar. I used self-rising flour because it's a staple in my kitchen. To use regular all-purpose flour, simply add in 1 teaspoon of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt.

Add the hot milk to the flour mixture and blend. 

Beat two eggs and very quickly blend those into the batter.

Stir in 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. 

This batter will be very loose and not at all thick.

Pour into prepared baking pan. 

Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes back clean.

The last few minutes of the cake cooking, in a small saucepan over medium heat, mix 3 tablespoons of butter with the 3 tablespoons of brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream.

Bring to a near boil.

Measure out 1/4 cup of chopped nuts and 1/2 cup of shredded coconut.

Add to the butter mixture.

When you remove the cake from the oven, turn on the broiler. 

Immediately spread the hot topping on top of the cake. An offset spatula is a helpful tool here. I actually use mine a lot!

Place cake under the broiler, with the oven door ajar, only long enough to lightly brown and caramelize the topping. Keep a watchful eye over it so it doesn't burn! Let the cake cool slightly before serving, but it's best served warm.

For more of my favorite cake recipes, pop over to my Pinterest page!

Posted by on September 28, 2011
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