bundt cake fail

I made this recipe (http://www.food.com/recipe...) yesterday and things went wrong with the streusel. (FWIW, I've made it many times before with success.)

When I put the streusel together, it had a very damp texture - not crumbly at all. I added quite a bit of extra flour to finally get close to the right texture, but it still dissolved into the cake. The two things that were different was that the brown sugar I used was an organic brand that was much, much darker than the usual commercial brand that I use. Also, the butter (silver Kerrygold) was soft, even right out of the fridge. The refrigerator is working fine, so I just assumed it was the high fat content of the butter?

Separately, the cake stuck like glue to the Kaiser bundt pan. I did use Pam/flour, but it didn't work very well. Has anyone had an issue like that? I have used it dozens of times, but it's never been in the dishwasher.

I'd love some feedback. Pretty annoying!


Jocelyn Grayson


Regine March 14, 2016
The combination of butter that is too soft and a sugar that is too "wet" (maybe it had more molassess) definitely contributed to the cake being more moist than it shoud, which in turn cause some of the batter as it was cooking to stick to the pan. This is my explanation, although I am no expert. I have had this happen to me once. However, in some cases, it may be because the bundt pan was not sprayed/greased properly.
HalfPint March 14, 2016
The thing about cooking spray (like Pam) and non-stick pans is that the spray leaves a residue that interfere with the non-stick properties of the pan. I avoid using non-stick spray on my pans in general and use butter with or without flour. Butter almost guarantees that the cake will release (only once in the last 10 years has it failed and that cake was the stickiest cake I've ever made).

Your streusel problem almost sounds like the brown sugar was too wet (too much molasses). And there simply may have been too much butter in the recipe. I'm always leery of recipes from cooks.com. They tend to not be well tested by anyone in particular. I once made a pasta sauce recipe that called for 1 TB of sugar. That should have been a red flag, but it was somewhat well rated (by 4 people apparently), so I ignored my instincts and made it. Too sweet (surprise surprise), mediocre (that's being kind), and down the drain it went.

Any chance you can post the recipe or the link?
HalfPint March 14, 2016
Oops, just saw your recipe link. And the food.com is also one that I use with caution. Even the ones with good reviews, I read carefully to see if the person followed the recipe (mostly). Nothing irritates or makes me more suspicious than a review in which the person changed everything except the kitchen sink and certified that recipe as "great!".
Jocelyn G. March 14, 2016
The recipe is here: http://www.food.com/recipe/apple-ginger-streusel-coffee-cake-252352

It's originally from Fine Cooking (I think), and as I mentioned, I have made it many times before with no issue. Nordic Ware did confirm what you said about Pam. That was the mistake there. I'm becoming more convinced about the brown sugar, since it was really dark.
Jocelyn G. March 14, 2016
I feel like the problem with the streusel started with the ingredients since it was so soft to begin with.
Patricia March 14, 2016
I just hate it when things like that happen! And a double fail to boot - I hope you wrapped your hand around a big glass of wine after that! I make the streusel first & put it in the freezer whilst I make the cake. It 's supposed to stop the topping from melting into the cake & it works for me.
Jocelyn G. March 14, 2016
Jocelyn G. March 14, 2016
Oops - had the brands mixed up. It was Nordic Ware, and the problem was indeed with the Pam. Now I have to hunt down one of two specialized Dawn products to get the residue off.
drbabs March 14, 2016
Oh, man, I hate when that happens. I have a couple of guesses, but I don't know if any of them will be right. I suspect that the high fat content of your butter caused the streusel to melt into the cake, and that plus the overly wet brown sugar probably made it damp. That's irritating but not a failure, right? The cake probably still tasted good.

The sticking is stickier. (Sorry.) I've started using baking spray on everything--in addition to oil and flour, it has a little bit of silicone in it, and baked goods pop right out. I'm sure silicone is on someone's carcinogen list, but what I do is spray the pan lightly and then take a paper towel and rub it all over the inside of the pan till there's barely a sheen. I can live with that.

Is it possible that your pan is old and the non-stick coating is starting to fail even though you've never put it in the dishwasher?
Jocelyn G. March 14, 2016
Well, the two halves taste good, but there's no streusel :(. I didn't have the baking spray in the house, so I wonder if that would have been better. I'm going to contact Kaiser and ask them.

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