For those of you who aren't into the chocolate overload aspect of the famous Tunnel of Fudge Cake, I have configured a sweet counterpart: the Tunnel of Penuche Cake.
If fudge is the inspiration for the original, penuche (a "blonde" fudge made with brown sugar, butter, milk, and vanilla) is the muse for this honey-hued variation.
Note: The butterscotch sauce for topping in this recipe is optional; if you'd prefer, use dulce de leche, a confectioners' sugar glaze, or serve it with ice cream on the side.
About the author: Jessie Oleson is a Philadelphia-based writer, illustrator, gallery owner, and cake anthropologist who runs Cakespy, an award-winning dessert website. Her first book came out in October 2011; she is currently at work on her second book.
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- Yield:serves 16
- Active time: 35 minutes
- Total time:4 hours, 30 minutes
- 1 3/4 sticks (7 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup (about 7 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar, packed
- 3/4 cup (about 5 1/2 ounces) cup granulated sugar
- 6 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups (about 9 ounces) confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 2 1/4 cups (about 11 ounces) all purpose flour, sifted
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups (about 16 ounces) chopped pecans
- 3/4 cup (about 6 ounces) butterscotch sauce, at room temperature (I used Mrs. Richardson's brand)
- chocolate shavings or pieces, to garnish (optional)
Adjust oven rack to lower position and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour bundt cake pan very thoroughly.
In bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Gradually add the two cups of confectioners' sugar until thoroughly blended. Remove bowl from mixer and using wooden spoon, stir in flour, salt, and pecans until well blended. Spoon batter into greased and floured pan; spread evenly. Fill pan until batter reaches 1 inch from top of pan. Depending on the size of your bundt pan, you may have some extra batter.
Bake until top is set and edges are beginning to pull away from sides of the pan, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool upright in pan on wire rack 1 1/2 hours. Using a sharp knife, gently loosen the sides of the cake from the pan. Invert onto serving plate; cool at least 2 hours.
Once cooled, spoon butterscotch sauce on top of cake, allowing some to run down the sides. If desired, sprinkle chocolate shavings on top. Store tightly covered.