This cake is crazy! There’s really no better way to describe it than the title – thank-you Smitten Kitchen!
For the cake;
3 T. milk AND 2 T. water – both warm
1 3/4 t. traditional active dry yeast
6 T. butter, room temperature AND 3 T. sugar AND 1 t. kosher salt
1 3/4 c. flour
For the topping;
3 T. + 1 t. light corn syrup AND 2 T. water AND 2 1/2 t. vanilla
3/4 c. butter, room temperature AND 1 1/2 c. sugar AND 1/2 t. kosher salt
1 c. + 3 T. flour
icing sugar for garnish if you wish
For the cake – in a small bowl, whisk together the warm milk and water and then gently stir in the yeast until it dissolves. The mixture should foam very slightly.
Using your electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar and salt, scrape down the sides and then beat in the egg. Alternately add the flour and yeast mix, scraping down the sides after each addition. After all ingredients are in and combined, carefully scrape off the paddle and switch to your dough hook. Beat the dough on medium speed until it forms a smooth mass. It should pull away from the sides, but still be very soft when it’s ready – this will take 7 to 10 minutes.
Butter a 9 x 13 deep cake pan and then pull and stretch and hang the dough (think pizza dough!) to squish it as evenly as you can across the bottom of the pan. It won’t be pretty, don’t worry. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and leave it to rise in a warm place until doubled – 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
For the topping – once the rising of the cake dough is nearly finished, preheat the oven to 350. In a small bowl, whisk together the corn syrup, water and vanilla, and in your electric mixer, beat together the butter, sugar and salt for about 5 minutes until fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, beat in the egg, then alternately add the flour and corn syrup mix, scraping down the sides as needed until well combined.
Spoon the topping in large blobs over the risen cake dough and use a spatula to gently spread it into as even a layer as you can. Bake for about 45 minutes until the cake is a lovely brown, but doesn’t look set in the center – it will set properly as it cools, but still be gooey. Allow the cake to cool in the pan if you’d like it to slice beautifully – and make a plan to start on another tomorrow…you’ll need to.