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Author Notes: This little cake was born out of a series of riffs on a spice bar-cookie recipe. Thinking it was missing a few ingredients and with no set method, I ended up with something entirely different, but very delicious. It should be easy to whip up with basic baking ingredients, when you need a study break or if you suddenly have to bring a treat in to work. Makes plenty of little squares, use several large casserole pans, or even a half-sheet rimmed cookie pan to allow this pourable batter to rise and get chewy, not too cakey (I suspect a deeper volume in the pan would just make a regular cake). Called "stay-awake" because of the high caffeine content...perfect if you need to keep studying all night. The smell is divine, too! —Raquelita
Makes 36 2" squares
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (3 oz)
- 2 cups sugar (400g)
- 1 cup buttermilk (8oz); sub in 1 c. milk plus 2 tsp vinegar
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup instant coffee, dry (18g)
- 1.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour (180g) (or use all white)
- 1.5 cups all purpose flour (180g)
- pinches salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon each of any of the following: allspice, nutmeg, ground cloves
- 1.5 cups chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup raisins or other dried fruit, more if you'd like
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts or seeds (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, generously butter or grease at least a 13 by 9 baking dish. I use something close to 13 by 9 and then an additional 9 by 5 loaf pan.
- Combine melted butter and sugar, then add in the buttermilk and eggs, all in a large bowl.
- Combine the coffee, flours, salt, baking powder, chocolate chips, raisins and nuts.
- Stir the dry into the wet ingredients, combining but not overmixing. You should have an ugly batter.
- Pour the batter into your pans--the trick is a shallow volume (the cake will rise but get a nice chewy caramelized crust).
- Bake 40 minutes, until the middle of the cake is firmed up and springy to the touch.
- Cool in the pan, cut into squares or bars.
- Stay awake!