495: Snacking Cakes

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:00

Hi. I'm Matthew.

Molly 0:05

And I'm Molly.

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:06

And this is spelled Bell this year where we cook something delicious. Eat it all and you can't have any.

Molly 0:11

Today we are talking about snacking cakes,

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:15

from cakes

Molly 0:17

as distinguished from snack cakes, which to me is like, you know, like a hostess or Little Debbie convenient.

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:24

Horse. Okay, so this is different and I think we're gonna maybe spend most of this episode trying to define what is a snacking cake.

Molly 0:30

This is true. It's also something that I've thought of as like an everyday cake. Yeah, cake, everyday cake.

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:38

Before we get started a quick reminder, if you're if you're listening to this on the day it airs or shortly thereafter, the live show that we did the lightning round show will be available to view on our Reddit page until the end of June. That's reddit.com slash are slash everything spilled milk. It was pretty fun,

Molly 0:54

huh? It was super fun. Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:56

yeah. Sorry.

Molly 0:57

You weren't. I mean, maybe you were maybe you were well, we'll do it again. relive it again. So okay, it seems to me that like you know, as we head down memory lane, we should acknowledge that this agenda is just going to be a little bit of a mess because I yeah, I think we're gonna be talking about what defines a snacking cake as an integral part of talking about snacking cakes.

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:22

And I don't think I really thought about the concept of a snacking cake until last year, when we did the show Laurie started making snacking cakes, which we'll get into. Okay, so shall we start with memory lane, or should we start by trying to define a snacking cake?

Molly 1:35

Let's define a snacking cake. Let's go Let's go off roading here Matthew. I know that memory lane always comes first. But I think our listeners are old enough now to be able to go with us wherever we take this road.

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:52

Oh yeah, I love I love going off roading. I've got my Suzuki sidekick. All gassed up.

Molly 1:57

Great. Okay, let's go room room. So okay, what makes a cake a snacking cake as opposed to like a birthday cake.

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:06

You know? Okay, here's my definition. Okay, ready for this? It's a square cake that sits around in your house. And nobody gets upset if you cut off a random square or rectangle of any size from an and eat it at any time. Okay, that's my definition.

Molly 2:25

Have you got in trouble before for cutting other shapes off of a square cake? Or for cutting into a round cake?

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:33

Yes, no, no, of course if I cut a trapezoid out of a square snacking cake, there would be a trial there'd be there'd be an inquest. What if you cut a triangle? Like a courtland? Like if I cut a corner off like any other way? I'm just No, I don't think that would be okay, though. I think it'd be like cutting like the tip off a slice of pie.

Molly 2:51

Yeah, yeah. Okay. Okay. So okay, for you. It's a square cake. And it's the kind of thing that you know, sits out on the counter, and it is expected and encouraged that everyone in the household will come and just take a rectangle of it whenever they want.

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:06

That's exactly it. Yeah, like it's okay. Like the rectangles don't always have to be the same size. Like you can go like who's an artist who uses a lot of rectangles like Rothko, but he's rectangles are more like similar sized. I feel like

Molly 3:17

oh, lots of artists use rectangles.

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:20

Like, yeah, okay, like, like, like a June. Like, abstract. Let's

Molly 3:26

see here. Salma wit? Sol lewitt for example, you know, a Mondrian yeah two rectangles in there. Let's

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:33

go on and on Agnes Martin. So many inclined to go totally Agnes Martin on a snacking cake. But you don't you can't go Okay, who's an artist? trying all sorts trapezoids like I don't know like I'm realizing like how few a few artists like wow, you don't want to go like Salvador Dali on a snacking cake. You know, now that now that we said that,

Molly 4:01

like you don't want to go like dripping clock on a on a snacking cake. You don't want to let

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:05

your clock drip on a snacking cake, obviously. But now that we've said this, like it didn't even occur to me to cut a weird shape of the stacking cake. And like if no one can hear me saying this in the house, like next time, there's a stacking cake. I'm gonna do this and see what happens.

Molly 4:19

Are you just gonna like cut like a, like some sort of random shape out of the very center of

Unknown Speaker 4:26

the cake.

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:27

You know, I feel like I might not get in trouble for that. Because like the edge is the best part, right? Oh, no, no, okay. Wow, God.

Molly 4:37

Okay. Wow, this is more exciting than I thought. Matthew it's my turn to define it. All right. Okay. Okay. So in contrast to you, I don't for me, whether it's square or round, both feel equally snack cakey to me, but what is important is that it's a single layer.

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:55

Question about art. When did you want to finish your stacking cake efinition sholayar dev I think definitely

Molly 5:02

single layer. I don't think of a snacking cake as having frosting. Now it might have some sort of like an like a thin icing or glaze that you can like pour over it. But I don't want to deal with frosting this this bad boy, I agree. So no frosting. And often it just has one flavor element. So like almond paste or nutmeg or

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:23

the one that I just that Lori and I just finished off this morning, which was a sesame cake. Oh, tahini in the batter and lots of sesame seeds sprinkled on top. Very good.

Molly 5:33

So yeah, I think in general, for me, what I think of first is like single layer more than more than the cake shape. More than you know what's expected in terms of shape of slice.

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:49

Clearly, I think a lot about slice shape expectations. It's all I want to talk about. Do you think a snacking cake should be edible by hand as opposed to with utensils? And do you eat snack and cakes with your fingers?

Molly 6:03

Most of the time? Yes,

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:04

me too.

Molly 6:05

I don't think that's part of the definition. At least not for me. But I do. I do mostly eat them out of hand as we say.

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:13

I mean, I feel like fingers are a bigger part of I'm just realizing that fingers are a big part of snacking. Right

Molly 6:19

fingers are a big part of snacking everything is is finger trouble.

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:24

Everything is changeable. Wow. Okay, that's our new t shirt. All right. Okay, so here's my question about art. Oh, like, Are there painters that collaborate with other painters on paintings? Because like, if I think of any other kind of art, I can think of like, you know, people collaborate on novels and songs. And I that's the only those the only two kinds of art I can think of plays drama. Do people ever collaborate on paintings go?

Molly 6:48

Ah, I'm not going to say no, because that that seems to defend it seem like that would be fun. It doesn't seem like it would be fun. No, I am sure that there are painters out there who are known for their collaborative work, or maybe, you know, for whatever reason, like Yeah, something I can think of even other types of visual artists who freely collaborate. Yeah, the

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:16

video game artists, or even,

Molly 7:18

um, you know, I'm thinking of sculptors or performance artists.

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:24

Okay, I have a feeling that many of our listeners are art historians, and are going to let us know like, which painters collaborate with other painters, because I feel like what if I was a painter, and I was really good at like painting people, but I wasn't very good at painting castles. And I wanted to do like a cool like, medieval castle painting. Like, maybe my friend is really good at painting castles, but not people and like, together, it will be awesome.

Molly 7:44

And we should say that this is comic artists collaborate,

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:47


Molly 7:48

we should say this is separate from any idea of like, like, like a famous artist having an ad tell EA right of painters who work for him or her. I don't think of that as a collaboration in the way we're talking about, right? No, this

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:01

is like to to artists, like, like sitting down in front of a canvas together and like deciding who's gonna paint what and I mean, you can collaborate on cakes, you can.

Molly 8:11

Speaking of which, you know, do you think it's a collaboration when we cook a recipe out of a cookbook? Now?

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:17

Like, like you're collaborating with the author? No,

Molly 8:21

no, I don't think so. either. I think that this is this is one of those I like cute ideas that you see show up in like a, you know, a recipe head note or cute food essay,

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:31

like collaborate in a way isn't every recipe like a collaboration with those who came before us? Gosh, that's beautiful.

Molly 8:41

Okay, but anyway, what I'm trying to say here, Matthew, is that there is an entire book called snacking cakes. And this episode is not about that book, but we're gonna be talking about it a lot in the book I'm talking about is Yossy Arefi's, snacking cakes, yes.

Which came out in 2020. And can I tell you what, what she says about what a snacking cake is?

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:03

please do

Molly 9:03

so I read this wonderful article that Rebecca den friend of the show, Rebecca den here in Seattle of the Seattle Times, wrote about yossy's book, and in this article yossy reportedly explains that a snacking cake is a snake.

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:21

Wow, that that is not the definition. I expect. I thought it was gonna be some kind of food. But it's it's a reptile. It was a reptile all along. Like I knew it. Snakes are so fucking sneaky. Like, they know they slink through the grass, they pose as cakes. They're always like, wherever you are in the world right now listening this show there's a snake within three feet of you. And if you don't think there is something you're looking at is a disguised snake.

Molly 9:54

It's unusual for me to cry this episode. He says it's a cake for the sake of having

Unknown Speaker 10:05

sounds to me like a

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:06

tongue twister but I love it for the sake of

Molly 10:11

set it to music for the sake of having some cake beat

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:18

for the sake of Okay,

Molly 10:21

okay, Rebecca den goes on to say it's a quick and simple cake that can do triple duty as dessert breakfast pastry or tea time nibble.

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:33

Yeah. Great for breakfast.

Molly 10:36

I would never do that. I just wouldn't eat a cake for breakfast. It's not It's not

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:41

that today. It wasn't my only breakfast house had some bran flakes and a slice of bacon.

Molly 10:46

Yeah, no, I would never it wouldn't occur to me to eat cake for breakfast, but

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:51

it's like right there.

Molly 10:52

Yes. Do what shape did you cut it into a

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:55

rectangle there was there was like a you know, a rectangle like a two by one rectangle remaining. And so I caught one square off it so I mean, a square is a kind of rectangle, obviously. But I actually made a square.

Molly 11:09

Okay, Matthew, let's go down memory lane now.

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:11

Okay, the only snacking cakes that I remember from childhood and particularly I was I have never been much of a cake eater until recently. And I river coffee cake. Would you say coffee cake is a snacking cake.

Molly 11:23

I would. Because coffee cake is not. So coffee cake I don't think of as a dessert cake. Right? I think of it as something that shows up on like a brunch menu or at like a church potluck. If I had ever been to one of those.

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:38

Yeah. Like all my all the branches in church potlucks of my youth featured coffee cake.

Molly 11:43

Yeah, that sounds right. That sounds right. I

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:45

did love brunch as a kid. I've never been to a church potluck either. Wow. But I love coffee cake.

Molly 11:49

Oh, I love coffee cake too. Do you like Do you like it with like, streusel on top. Do you like to layer in the middle? Bow or crumb layer crumb crumble crisp?

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:59

Is that I don't think I knew that was different from streusel. We did a coffee cake episode. We probably talked about all these permutations. We did when did we do have a coffee cake episode in the past? Okay. I'm gonna say 2007 No. Okay. 27

Molly 12:14

that was before we were doing the show. Matt

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:17

was before you were doing

Molly 12:21

you were here alone in your bedroom.

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:23

Yeah, just making podcasts. It Yeah, it sounded a little something like this. So coffee cake. Is it a snacking cake? Is it a dessert cake? Let's find out.

Molly 12:36

I would listen to this.

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:39

Like to lower insomnia.

Molly 12:41

Yeah. Oh, okay.

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:45

Yeah, those those first episodes that I was doing myself had negative episode numbers.

Molly 12:51

you're counting down

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:52

getting down like I know something's gonna happen when I get to episode zero.

Molly 12:57

Okay, Matthew, I want to talk about my my snacking cake Memory Lane, please. So I don't remember having cake much as a kid outside of birthday parties.

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:06

Yeah, I agree.

Molly 13:08

like not even coffee cake. I just, I remember cake being a birthday party thing. I never thought about the idea of a cake as something that could be as every day as a cookie. Until I got a copy of Edna lewis's the taste of country cooking.

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:24

Oh, okay.

Molly 13:24

Which I think I picked up a copy of it in like 2007 or something.

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:31

Oh, right. When I was starting solo spelled now.

Molly 13:34

Yeah, yeah. I was busy reading Edna Lewis. At that time you were podcasting alone in your room.

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:40

You were studying up for being the future hostess.

Molly 13:43

Yeah, one of the first recipes that I dog eared in Edna lewis is the taste of country cooking was a recipe she called a busy day cake or sweet bread. I love her description of it. Busy day cake was never iced. It was always cut into squares and served warm, often with fresh fruit or berries leftover from canning. The delicious flavor of fresh cooked fruit with the plain cake was just to our taste. And it was also very refreshing with newly churned chilled buttermilk or cold mornings milk.

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:15

Oh, that sounds great. Right? Yeah. So writer, right.

Molly 14:20

I love Edna Lewis. Speaking of which, have you ever read the introductions that she has. So the book is is organized chronologically through the seasons and it's a number of menus, like hog butchering breakfast, stuff like that. But anyway, she has these wonderful introductions at the beginning of each season. And they are so lyrical

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:42

and just Okay, I need to reread it, do it.

Molly 14:46

Okay. Anyway, her recipe for what she calls a busy day cake is basically like a really quick to assemble white cakes. It's made with butter. I remember it having like this kind of surprisingly nubbly texture like I really like that. One bread. Anyway, it's like flavored with vanilla. I mean, that's it. And I just remember being blown away by how delicious it was, you know, I saying no, nothing. You know, once I had written all of that into our agenda, Matthew, I did remember this cake that so, you know, shout out to Crescent market recipes. Chris is

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:19

my barmer. carpet.

Molly 15:21

So over along the wall where the suit of armor was, and where the fireplace was, there was this rack, where they sold like bakery items that they had brought in from other local bakeries. And this was I feel like this was kind of something that nobody else was doing in Oklahoma City, ladies. So there was this loaf cake that was bright pink with a bright pink like glaze like poured icing on top of it. And it was a raspberry cake with raspberry glaze.

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:53

Okay, that sounds good.

Molly 15:55

It was unbelievably good. And that maybe is like the closest thing I can think of to a snacking cake in my youth.

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:03

Remember, we did the pudding cakes episode? A pudding cake as a snack cake?

Molly 16:08

Yes, I think you're right. I think you're right. Do you think that it's that it's a snacking cake because it's

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:15

you can't really cut a square or rectangle out of it. Because you

Molly 16:18

feel like Bundt cakes are inherently snacking cakes. Because one cake is a kind of shape that like you would have with tea or you would have a picnic if you were the kind of person to bring an entire cake to a picnic.

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:33

Yeah, I mean like I think of a bundt cake as being like an unfussy cake because like what we're it seems like what we're really talking about is not a layer cake right and correct. And not like a daintily frosted cake.

Molly 16:45

Right. We're not talking about like petit fours.

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:47

We're not talking about petit fours. I'm ready for episode will be next week.

Molly 16:50

I can't wait. We just came up with this idea. Great.

Where do we go from here, Matthew?

Matthew Amster-Burton 17:05

Oh, let's talk about snacking cakes we have made. Should we do that?

Molly 17:08

Yeah, let's do. So it's interesting. I've now made two recipes from Yossy Arefi's book. But you know, when I sat down yesterday to make a list of snacking cakes I've made I feel like I have been like snacking cakes have been my favorite baked item to make for more than a decade now. When I thought about you Yeah, I mean, I am like, really apparently into snacking cakes. But I only just now with your CS book learned that it's called a snacking cake because I was calling it an everyday cake which was kind of my summation of like Edna lewis's description of a busy day cake.

Matthew Amster-Burton 17:51

It's kind of a cake that you can eat like a cookie not in the sense that it has the texture of a cookie but like you can go to the cupboard and grab it.

Molly 17:58

Yes, yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay, what are some of your your snacking cakes have your

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:04

amin have your meaning like the last year? Last since since your book came out?

Molly 18:09

What is your really mean? Just what does your

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:12

mean and what's a Yeoman?

Molly 18:14

Oh, and and if you're putting that thing around an oxus neck, is it a yoke ending or ke or a yoke like yoke like an egg? Let's make this our words that begin with why spelling I use a yak. Oh, it's a yak. Yeah, what like what's

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:36

like what's a wildebeest we touched on this

Molly 18:40

and start with a with a why

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:41

well, I was gonna say what's a yak and then I remembered that I always get confused about what a wildebeest is. Like I don't think it's a lot like a yak like is a yak like a buffalo.

Molly 18:51

What was the animal we talked about recently that you fooled me into thinking was real? Oh.

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:58

I was gonna say a Gruffalo. But that's not it. Is Mark ruffle up is not real. It was the thing from gloom county

Molly 19:11


Matthew Amster-Burton 19:14

I think buffalo is rough Israel like Shel Silverstein or something.

Molly 19:18

The Gruffalo is its own book.

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:20

It's his own book. Okay.

Molly 19:20

Julia Donaldson, maybe authors and striga Dragon Oh,

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:27

nice. Is the animal that you thought was what it's like. This is gonna drive me

Molly 19:34

crazy Jackalope.

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:35

That was it. Yes.

Molly 19:37

So wait, hold on.

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:39

Jackalope isn't real. This conversation

Molly 19:41

that got real. I still can't believe it. I'm stunned.

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:45


Molly 19:47

What were we talking about snacking cakes made.

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:50

Okay. So you said you've made two recipes from from the book snacking cake.

Molly 19:55

Yeah, I have. So yesterday I made her powdered donut. Cake. Oh,

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:01

best ones? No,

Molly 20:03

it's so good. So it's basically a white cake. It has about a cup. I think it has a cup of sour cream in the batter and sour cream cake. And it also has a lot of nutmeg. Now, I didn't even measure my nutmeg because it's supposed to be one and a quarter teaspoons I think of freshly grated nutmeg. And whenever I use freshly grated nutmeg, the thought of trying to corral it into a teaspoon makes me feel crazy. Yeah, you

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:28

know, grind it out.

Molly 20:30

I just graded it on my microplane right over the bowl. And I think I could have even used to tiny bit more. But anyway, it's like this really like pillowy light but moist white cake. And then when it is almost fully cooled, but not totally cool. you brush it with a tablespoon of melted butter, which is I was worried it wouldn't be quite enough butter, but it was actually plenty. you brush it all over with a tablespoon of butter. And then you dust it with three tablespoons of powdered sugar, which creates this like really nice, thick carpet of powdered sugar.

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:08

Have you ever brushed butter on a cake before? No, but

Molly 21:11

I have

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:12

I haven't even heard of that technique.

Molly 21:14

Well, I've made like donut muffins if you've ever made donut Sure,

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:17


Molly 21:18

So it's that concept where like you take a muffin you know, not in a muffin paper. And you brush it all over with butter or dip it dip the top in butter, and then roll it in cinnamon sugar powdered sugar. Anyway, this powdered donut cake was everything I love about a powdered sugar doughnut without me having to leave the house. That sounds great. And then I've also made well there's a so one of my favorite cake recipes of the past five years is her pumpkin bundt cake with maple brown butter glaze

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:53

interesting. I am not much into pumpkin flavored things but why for this show Laurie would love this.

Molly 21:59

Well so the recipe first appeared in The New York Times and that's where it has a new story. That's Yes, best pumpkin cake ever says the host of the show Molly weissenberg. So that's where it

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:14

made me buy which Oh, it was a weird article.

Molly 22:17

That's where it appears as pumpkin bundt cake with maple brown butter glaze. It also appears in the snacking cakes book under a slightly different title. You'll know it because she sprinkles puppy does on top. Okay, which I don't actually do. But anyway, it is an incredible recipe. So yeah, her pumpkin cake with maple brown butter glaze. Okay,

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:41

now, I want you to guess how many recipes from the book snacking cakes wife the show Laurie has made since the book came out.

Molly 22:49

I know for sure that you made some sort of a sumac cake because you mentioned it in our sumac right episode.

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:57

That was the rhubarb crumb cake with sumac crumb.

Molly 23:00

Okay, what else? I'm guessing that WOTSL has made six recipes from the book.

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:06

The correct answer is 15.

Molly 23:08

Oh my gosh. Hold on. I'm gonna open up the table of contents.

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:13

I'm not gonna I'm not gonna go through all of them. We're not we're not our favorites, but I'm gonna list off the five that were my favorites. Okay, salted caramel peanut butter cake, maybe number one.

Molly 23:23

Okay, that one I have seen show up on other places online and it just sounds incredible.

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:31

brown butter pecan and white chocolate cake. And the thing I like best about this was like, you know, we did a white chocolate episode and like we said, like, you know, at least I said like I don't really think of myself as a white chocolate fan. But that we talked about caramelized white chocolate, and you don't caramelize white chocolate for this recipe but you do sprinkle it with with white chocolate chips or phevs on top. Okay, get really browned, and the browned white chocolate bits are so good.

Molly 23:59

Oh, I'm looking at this recipe. Oh my gosh, this looks really good. And I would never think to make this

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:07

this next one was made not by WOTSL but by SILOTSW. I love the show. Wendy Okay, which was milk chocolate chip hazelnut cake with cocoa whipped cream. Okay. And like whipped cream with a snacking cake I think is an exception to like the No, like fancy frosting rule because like it's easy, so easy to whip up some whipped cream and throw it on a cake.

Molly 24:27

Oh, that's that's pushing it for me. Okay, I don't know if I can be bothered.

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:31

What else rhubarb rhubarb crumb cake with sumac crumb, very tasty. And it's probably the second favorite pretty close second after the salty caramel peanut butter cake although it could be recency bias because I ate it this morning was the simple sesame cake it's just a cake with a lot of tahini with in it and toasted sesame seeds sprinkled on top.

Molly 24:50

So I have a question for you. So one of the things that I think is is notable about this book, you know, it's it's really a shame that we don't have the author on the show today.

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:01

But once you want to grill her,

Molly 25:03

one of the things that's really notable is that like, she gives lots of ideas for substitutions and riffs to make use of what you've got on hand, which I think should be kind of a hallmark of a snacking cake recipe. Because you shouldn't have to leave the house to get the ingredients,

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:20

you know, right.

Molly 25:21

I mean, ideally, also, oh, I want to add that I think snacking cakes that I'm biased towards snacking cakes that don't require me to remember to soften the butter.

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:33

Oh, WOTSL asked us to mention that that that's one of the good things about the book is that you don't have to remember to soften butter for hardly any and possibly none of the recipes.

Molly 25:42

Yeah, so it's either melted butter or oil. Yeah. which I love because this possibly makes the snacking cake easier to achieve than a cookie because with a cookie, you usually have to remember to take the butter out. There's not really like a workaround for that with a cookie.

Matthew Amster-Burton 26:01

I do it like my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe uses melted butter, but like in general. Yeah, I can't

Molly 26:07

wait, I have more. I have more more everyday cakes that I I've made.

Matthew Amster-Burton 26:13

Okay, great.

Molly 26:14

Okay, so the first cake that ash ever learned how to make and the only one still that they make with any frequency is Amanda Hester's almond cake from cooking for Mr. latte.

Matthew Amster-Burton 26:27

Oh, which we've talked about before and I said I was gonna make and I still have it.

Molly 26:30

It is a recipe for the ages. It has both almond paste in it and almond extract. I use a little bit less almond extract than the recipe calls for and I love almond flavor. But what I love about it is that you bake it in like a nine inch springform pan and then the center collapses as it cools. So it's got this wonderful fudgy texture probably from The Omen pace.

Matthew Amster-Burton 26:55

Yeah, absolutely see that? That's like a cake. That's gone bad.

Molly 26:59

No, no, no, this is not this way. This is great. Okay, so yeah, Amanda has hers almond cake is an everyday cake in our household. Of course. banana bread in every permutation i think is a cake.

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:11

Yeah, just got I'll buy that. Yeah, no, I know. You don't have to get we're not gonna have a Lincoln Douglas debate on this issue.

Molly 27:17

Oh, okay. Okay, so banana bread. You know, I also want to give a shout out to the hedgebrook cookbook, which was a cookbook published by two longtime cooks at hedgebrook. The women's writing retreat on Whidbey Island Washington. Anyway, for their 20th or 25th anniversary, they published a cookbook. And in it, there's a recipe for a butter cake that you can put any kind of fruit in that you want to and what I like to do is make friend of the host Dana crees, rhubarb compote, and I make this

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:54

we have some of that in our fridge right now I make

Molly 27:55

this this butter cake. You pull up about half of it, maybe a third of know maybe two thirds of it into a square pan and then you dollop rhubarb compote over the rest of the, the butter cake batter on top and bake it and it looks so humble. Like by the time you're done you it's hard to really see that there's a coherent layer of rhubarb in there. But the butter cake and the rhubarb compote Oh, it's

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:22

so good. And that this is so interesting to me. No one else is gonna find this interesting, but that that sounds great. And that thing I realized, like over the course of eating 15 snacking cakes is like my favorite flavor is chocolate. Okay, like in the world, but my favorite snack in cakes are not chocolate like we've tried a couple like the the cocoa yogurt cake with Coco glaze, or the chocolate peanut butter cake, which like, you know, but by the name and picture seemed like Oh, those would definitely be my favorites. And in both cases, I was like, this kind of reminds me of like, why I'm not usually a cake person because I eat this. I'm like, it's fine, but I wish I had a brownie. Whereas non chocolate cake so like, Oh, this is a different kind of thing that doesn't like make me want anything else.

Molly 29:07

I think you're you're you're building to a thesis here, Matthew, and I think

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:11

I might be

Molly 29:12

and if I may try to guess what it is.

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:15

Are we gonna do like a galleon synthesis?

Molly 29:18

I don't even know what that is. I think that I think that a snacking cake maybe is a state of mind.

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:26

so to speak. Okay, we know that

Molly 29:29

a snacking cake is ideally a non chocolate product or if it has chocolate in it, it's going to be in the form of like chunks or chips. Yeah. What do you think about this?

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:41

I think there are people who would violently disagree with that possibly even the author of the book snacking cakes because there are a bunch of chocolate cakes in that book, but to me, I do agree that that's like the kind of snacking cake that I want to eat. Like an example like there's there's a great book by Lauren Chapman that we also have on our shelf called cake keeper cake. From 2009 back when back when I was doing spilled milk solo, someone telling listening is going to believe that this is a real thing I did and not a joke. Yeah. Cake keeper cakes, which has a snacking cake section and there's a recipe in there for like a graham cracker cake with chocolate chips that I don't even remember if we've made or not, but I keep like opening to that page. I'm like, can you please make this one next?

Molly 30:22

You know, it's interesting because I love chocolate. But I think that when it comes to baked goods, always my preferred baked goods have like actual pieces of chocolate in them if they're gonna have chocolate at all, so even a brownie? I like well, I like all kinds of brownies. I mean, I think a brownie is a perfect food. There we go. I said it. But I think a brownie with chunks of chocolate in it is really where it's at.

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:53

Oh, yeah. Like if I'm going to buy the ghiradelli double chocolate.

Molly 30:58

Oh, yeah. Okay, so as I continue to talk about, like what snacking cakes I've made, I'm realizing there's like no chocolate in here, except for the occasional chocolate chunk in banana bread.

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:10

So okay, that's and that's the name of your new cookbook, the occasional chocolate chunk.

Molly 31:14

And the last one that I want to mention is from from a book called Southern cakes by Nancy McDermott. Yes. Nancy McDermott, lovely human. And her book Southern cakes. Gosh, it came out over a decade ago. I've had it for a long time. And there is a recipe in there that for me is worth the price of the book and it is her sweet potato pound cake. Okay, I'd particularly like to make it with the the yellow fleshed sweet potatoes. Yeah, that makes it almost like creates this flavor that is hard to pinpoint. Because it doesn't scream you know, it's not bright orange. Anyway,

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:55

it was a sweet potato cake they might not know and just say this is like this cake has like an interesting undertone. That is correct. You know what I'm realizing is that are all pound cake snacking cakes. It seems like it I mean, they're like because because yeah, in the stacking cakes book like she does talk about like, you can bake many many if not all of them in a loaf pan. So it's not that they have to be flat. That's correct. That's right. Yeah, like if there's a if there's a pound cake sitting on the table and like you went off and cut a slice of any thickness no one would think that was a weird thing to do. And that makes it a snacking cake. Yeah, I mean we make your your pound cake bear it like very pound cake from homemade life. Right? Gosh, that's

Molly 32:38

a snack.

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:39

Is that a snack? It seems like it it's a snack on it when it's around. Me too.

Molly 32:43

I haven't made it in ages. Oh my gosh. I love that you mentioned it.

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:47

I think that's like SILOTSW's all time favorite cake. Really? I think so. I don't want to say lots w but

Molly 32:54

oh my gosh I want to tell my mom that's a recipe she's been making for an age

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:59

Oh that's great. Okay Matthew to move on to segments yeah but the segments have to be rectangular great was filled mail we don't have any this week get in touch contact at spilled milk podcast calm ask us a question. And if we want to answer it, we will

Molly 33:13

our cute animal that you should now

this week I'm really pleased to present the golden snub nosed monkey eating berries.

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:28

Oh the GSN M.

Molly 33:31

So you got to hear the sound he makes. So number one this monkey looks like a kid in a Halloween costume.

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:38

Oh, I love that. This is 20 seconds long. Okay, huh? This monkey looks like a kid in Halloween. I can't believe this is real

Molly 33:44

right? Look Look at his nostrils he also kind of looks like like a day of the dead skull.

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:50

Are you sure this is real? Do monkeys stand up like this?

Molly 33:53

I don't know. Look at this thing. Anyway, look at his nostrils there's also something about his face that is so like human skull like am I right?

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:03

Yeah, he

Molly 34:04

looks like like a sculpture of a human skull.

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:06

I feel like he's about to talk right?

Molly 34:08

Oh my god. Look at him. Look can we reach us for the berries? And what is up with the loud noise his mouth makes?

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:14

I mean do my monkeys don't have manners? That's one of the great things about being a monkey Matthew like this monkey like like as soon as the person stops giving giving the monkey berries a monkey to me like where Why did you stop what the fuck is going on?

Molly 34:29


Matthew Amster-Burton 34:30

Oh man like to make a face that implies that I mean literally say it just like I did.

Molly 34:34

Yes. Yes.

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:35

Great pack.

Molly 34:36

Thank you. Thank you. I also just wanted to mention Matthew Did you look at his nostrils? They're like perfectly like they're like they're so narrow

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:47

it looks like like you know if you were like learning to draw you would like draw this if you like no like this isn't quite doesn't quite look like a real monkey. It's like to like the lines are too well defined. It's too silly looking at that. And then it comes to life. So

Molly 35:01

it's a real monkey. So anyway, yeah, that's the golden snub nosed monkey eating berries available on YouTube. This week I get to do now but wow, ready?

This week, I am happy to spread the word about a book that I'm almost finished reading that I bought an eternity ago and let's sit on my bookshelf, and I can't believe it's taken me this long. The book is how we fight for our lives by Saeed Jones.

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:35

I'm St. John's. He's great.

Molly 35:37

Yeah, I think that I first like heard his name, like on a podcast. I think that that he was an interview doing an interview or something. Anyway, I heard about this book. And basically, it's, it's a memoir, and it is his story of growing up in Lewisville, Texas, which is not far outside of Dallas as a black boy who is slowly understanding that he's gay, and how this impacts not only his relationship with his grandmother, but his mother, and how he makes sense of who he is as a black gay man in America. Yeah, it is fantastic. It's also really a great length. I think it's under 200 pages, which makes it like bite sized and it hits hard. So highly recommend. That's how we fight for our lives by Saeed Jones

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:31

and say Jones is also a great follow on Twitter at the ferocity.

Molly 36:35

Oh, nice. That's such a good handle, isn't it? Yeah, really good.

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:39

All right. I think that's it our producers Abby Cerquitella, please rate and review us wherever you get your podcasts chat with other people who listen to the show@reddit.com slash are slash everything spilled milk. Until next time, I've been a snake this whole time. Surprise, surprise. weisenberg and I'm snake guy.

We have we have a cake that now actually we no longer have a cake.

Molly 37:10

Yeah. We almost we almost no longer have a cake and I just finished baking it at like 4pm yesterday.

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:19

And this is our and we almost no longer have the cake episode.

Molly 37:23

Hi, Molly.

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:24

I'm Matthew and this is spilled

Molly 37:26

milk. The show where we cook something to what

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:28

we just start over. Sorry, fine. I Matthew No.