Hot Butterscotch Pudding Poke Cake
Here we go again. A few folks on Twitter this week decided to gain some retweet capital by trotting out the familiar, “These food bloggers and the interminable STORIES before the RECIPE, am I right?! Just gimme the ingredients already” snark.
There are a lot of reasons this attitude is problematic: we spend countless hours creating recipes and can offer them to you for free precisely because our posts are long enough to include ads that pay our rent. These people are basically saying scrolling is too much payment in exchange for our labor. That’s pretty offensive.
I’ve also written about other facets of this topic: about food bloggers’ appropriate place in food media, and about how to decide if you should be using food blogs or recipe websites. But today I’m gonna make sure you understand why this critique is also misogynistic.
First, here’s what I’m not saying: I’m not saying it’s sexist to not wanna scroll through a story. People can have preferences! And they can choose what to do about them! They can still use food blogs and be irrationally annoyed, or they can use recipe websites instead to satisfy those preferences like a reasonable person. Whatev.
What’s sexist is someone publicly announcing that they think a group of overwhelmingly female content creators should shut up, get in the kitchen, and make them some pie.
To put it simply: someone not reading my words is perfectly fine. Someone asserting that I should not speak — when women are told they talk too much and have their language policed disproportionately — is not okay. To imply that it’s not appropriate for me to receive payment for the significant labor I put into providing this free service for readers? Also not okay.
Read my words or don’t, but don’t tell me I shouldn’t write them, and frankly, don’t even tell me that it’s my job to make it easier for people not to read them (no, I’m not adding a “jump to recipe” button on my blog. If that upsets people, I’ll consider a “go jump in a lake” button.)
I write about things that matter to me on a personal blog that people can choose to visit or not. I write about body image, changing my mind about significant beliefs, systemic racism, my queerness, trans rights and my faith, affirming queer kids, the #MeToo movement, dealing with difficult emotions, gun violence in schools, my grandmother, my silence. But even when I’m just writing about my donut preferences, I deserve to take up space here. This is my space. My voice belongs.
Next time you see someone cashing in on laughs because of this particular snark, I hope you’ll see how weird and inappropriate it is. They have a scrolly finger (and an X-clicky finger) just like everyone else, and they can use it without implying I shouldn’t be talking. And the other side of this coin: many, many thanks to so many of you reading this who are the choir I’m preaching to. You letting me know that my words matter to you over the years — and sharing your words with me in return — means so much to me.
And now that I’ve said what I have to say (which I always always ALWAYS will), here’s the amazing cake recipe I made you for freeee. I took my favorite moist yellow cake recipe and doused it in the Online Pastry Chef’s latest recipe for butterscotch pudding after my friend Brandy (you might know her as Nutmeg Nanny) said the combo was a childhood favorite of hers. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
One year ago: Buttery Broccoli Bread
Two years ago: Baked Eggs in Avocado Boats (and an Introduction to Jesus)
Three years ago: Chipotle Shrimp Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes
Four years ago: Peaches and Cream Cheesecake Braid
Five years ago: Gooey Turtle Brownie Sticky Buns
Six years ago: Lemon Cheesecake Morning Buns
Seven years ago: Thick Chocolate Cake with a Big Red (Velvet!) Heart
Eight years ago: Cream of Mushroom Soup with Crispy Leeks
Nine years ago: Ugly as Sin Coconut Cake
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/8 cups cake flour
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and prepare a 10-inch oven-safe skillet sprayed with cooking spray. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the butter and water to a boil. In the meantime, in a separate large bowl, whisk together the cake flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt before whisking in the egg, sour cream, almond extract, vanilla extract. Mix to combine. While mixing, slowly pour in the boiling butter and water mixture. Mix to combine completely. Your batter will be very runny. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 17-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in several places comes out with a few moist crumbs. Use the back of a spoon to poke holes throughout the entire surface of the cake, cleaning off the spoon between pokes so it won't tear up the tender cake. While the cake bakes, make your butterscotch pudding.
- To make the pudding, whisk the eggs and cornstarch together in a small bowl and set it aside with the whisk still in it. Put the vanilla extract in a separate medium bowl and set a fine mesh sieve over top of it to prepare it for use later.
- Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a heavy-bottomed saucepan before adding the dark brown sugar. Cook these together, stirring with a wooden spoon. The mixture will look creamy and bubbly before it separates for a bit. Keep cooking and stirring and it will come back together in a couple of minutes and continue cooking. Stir constantly through all of this.
- When it comes back together, remove the pan from heat and very carefully add the milk. It will bubble up and the mixture will turn hard on the bottom of the pan. Carefully pry the mixture off the bottom of the pan and return the pan to medium-low heat. Stir and cook until the mixture melts back into the milk, around 4-5 minutes. Continue to heat until the milk is steaming.
- Temper the egg mixture by carefully pouring a small amount of the hot mixture into the eggs while whisking constantly. After that, continue to pour about half of the hot mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly. Then pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan now that the eggs are tempered. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly. Allow the mixture to boil at least two minutes or until it's getting thicker (for me, this took more like 10 minutes).
- Pour the pudding through the fine mesh strainer into the bowl with the vanilla, pressing it through with a spatula. Stir until the vanilla is mixed in. Pour over hot cake and let cool for just a bit before serving warm.