Hello, Good News! Welcome to another article where we share with you some of the best recipes for the season. Today, we are going to talk about November cakes, a mouthwatering dessert that will make you feel warm and cozy on a chilly autumn day.
November cakes are also known as gooey orange buns, because they are soft and fluffy yeast rolls filled with honey and butter, and topped with a creamy orange frosting. They are inspired by a fictional pastry from the book “The Scorpio Races” by Maggie Stiefvater, where they are described as “oozing honey and butter, rivulets of the creamy frosting joining the honey in the pit of my hand.”[^1^] Sounds amazing, right? Well, you don’t have to imagine anymore, because we are going to show you how to make them at home!
What You Need to Make November Cakes
Before we get started, let’s go over the ingredients and equipment you will need to make these delicious November cakes. You will need:
- For the dough:
- 1 cup of milk
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon of butter, softened
- 3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour (you may need more or less depending on the humidity)
- 3 teaspoons of active dry yeast (a little over a packet)
- 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
- 2 eggs
- Zest of one orange
- For the glaze:
- 1/4 cup of butter
- 1/4 cup of honey
- 1/4 cup of brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon of orange extract (or more if you like a stronger flavor)
- For the icing:
- 2 cups of powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons of butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons of milk (or more if needed to adjust the consistency)
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Zest and juice of one orange
- For the equipment:
- A large microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl
- A stand mixer with a dough hook attachment (or a large bowl and a wooden spoon if you want to knead by hand)
- A large greased bowl for rising the dough
- A baking sheet lined with parchment paper or sprayed with cooking spray
- A small saucepan for making the glaze
- A small bowl and a whisk for making the icing
How to Make November Cakes Step by Step
Step 1: Make the Dough
The first step is to make the dough for the November cakes. This is a simple yeast dough that doesn’t require much kneading, but it does need some time to rise. Here’s what you need to do:
- In your large microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl, combine the milk, water, oil, and butter. Microwave for 2 minutes, or until warm but not hot. You want the temperature to be around 110°F, which is ideal for activating the yeast.
- When you pull it out of the microwave, crack the eggs into it and whisk well.
- In the large bowl of your stand mixer, briefly pulse together 1 1/2 cups of the flour with the yeast, sugar, salt, and orange zest.
- Pour the warm liquid mixture into the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until well combined.
- Add the remaining 2 cups of flour a cup at a time and mix for about 4 minutes. The dough will be very sticky and wet, but that’s okay. You don’t want to add too much flour or it will make the rolls tough. If you feel like it’s too wet, you can add a little more flour, but not more than 1/4 cup.
- If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can mix everything in a large bowl with a wooden spoon, and then knead the dough by hand on a floured surface for about 10 minutes.
- Turn off the oven and open the door to release some of the heat. You want the oven to be warm but not hot, around 100°F.
- Grease another large bowl with some oil or cooking spray and use a spatula to scrape the dough down the sides of the mixer bowl. Then transfer the dough to the greased bowl and cover it with a clean kitchen towel.
- Place the bowl in the warm oven and close the door. Let the dough rise for an hour, or until it has doubled in size. You can check the progress by poking the dough with your finger. If it springs back slowly, it’s ready.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray it with cooking spray.
- Remove the dough from the oven and turn it out onto a heavily floured surface. The dough will be very soft and sticky, so use plenty of flour to prevent it from sticking.
- Using a sharp knife or a bench scraper, cut the dough into 12 equal pieces. You can make them smaller or bigger if you prefer, but adjust the baking time accordingly.
- Shape each piece of dough into a ball and place it on the prepared baking sheet, leaving some space between them. You can also flatten them slightly if you want them to look more like buns than rolls.
- Cover the rolls loosely with a kitchen towel and let them rest for about 15 minutes while the oven heats up.
- Bake the rolls for 15 to 18 minutes, or until they are golden brown on top and sound hollow when tapped.
- Remove them from the oven and let them cool slightly on a wire rack.
- In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the butter, honey, brown sugar, and orange extract. Stir constantly until everything is melted and well combined.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for at least 2 minutes, stirring frequently. The glaze will thicken slightly and turn a deep amber color.
- Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, butter, milk, vanilla extract, orange zest, and orange juice until smooth and creamy. You can adjust the consistency by adding more powdered sugar or milk as needed.
- Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until ready to use.
- Using a pastry brush or a spoon, generously brush or drizzle some of the glaze over each roll while they are still warm. You can use as much or as little as you like, but don’t be shy!
- Let the glaze soak into the rolls for about 10 minutes before icing them.
- Using a piping bag or a spoon, drizzle or spread some of the icing over each roll. You can make swirls, patterns, or just cover them completely. Again, you can use as much or as little as you like, but don’t be stingy!
- Enjoy your November cakes while they are still warm and gooey, or let them cool completely and store them in an airtight container for up to 3 days. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months and reheat them in the microwave or oven.
Step 2: Let the Dough Rise
The next step is to let the dough rise until it doubles in size. This will take about an hour, depending on the temperature of your kitchen. Here’s what you need to do:
Step 3: Shape and Bake the Rolls
The final step before glazing and icing the November cakes is to shape and bake them. This is where you can get creative and make them as big or small as you like. Here’s what you need to do:
How to Make the Glaze and Icing for November Cakes
While the rolls are baking, you can make the glaze and icing for the November cakes. These are what make them extra gooey and delicious, so don’t skimp on them! Here’s what you need to do:
Step 1: Make the Glaze
The glaze is a simple mixture of butter, honey, brown sugar, and orange extract that you cook on the stovetop until bubbly and caramelized. Here’s what you need to do:
Step 2: Make the Icing
The icing is a simple mixture of powdered sugar, butter, milk, vanilla extract, orange zest, and orange juice that you whisk together until smooth and creamy. Here’s what you need to do:
Step 3: Glaze and Ice the Rolls
The final step is to glaze and ice the rolls while they are still warm. This will make them soak up all the goodness and become even more moist and flavorful. Here’s what you need to do:
A Table Breakdown of November Cakes Recipe
To help you visualize the process and the ingredients of making November cakes, we have prepared a table breakdown for you. You can use this table as a reference or a checklist when you are making these delicious treats. Here it is:
Step Ingredients Equipment Time Make the dough Milk, water, oil, butter, flour, yeast, sugar, salt, eggs, orange zest Microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl, stand mixer with dough hook or large bowl and wooden spoon, greased bowl, kitchen towel 10 minutes + 1 hour rising Shape and bake the rolls N/A Floured surface, knife or bench scraper, baking sheet with parchment paper or cooking spray, oven 15 minutes + 15 to 18 minutes baking Make the glaze Butter, honey, brown sugar, orange extract Small saucepan, stove, pastry brush or spoon 5 minutes Make the icing Powdered sugar, butter, milk, vanilla extract, orange zest and juice Small bowl, whisk, piping bag or spoon 5 minutes Glaze and ice the rolls N/A N/A 10 minutes + cooling time (optional)
FAQs About November Cakes Recipe
What are November cakes?
November cakes are soft and fluffy yeast rolls filled with honey and butter, and topped with a creamy orange frosting. They are inspired by a fictional pastry from the book “The Scorpio Races” by Maggie Stiefvater.
Why are they called November cakes?
They are called November cakes because they are eaten during the month of November in the book “The Scorpio Races”, which is set on a fictional island where every year in November, people race on deadly water horses. The cakes are a symbol of comfort and celebration in the midst of danger and uncertainty.
Can I use fresh or frozen yeast instead of active dry yeast?
Yes, you can use fresh or frozen yeast instead of active dry yeast. However, you will need to adjust the amount and the temperature accordingly. For fresh yeast, use about 30 grams (or one ounce) and dissolve it in warm (not hot) liquid. For frozen yeast, use about 20 grams (or 0.7 ounce) and thaw it before using. You may also need to reduce the rising time slightly.
Can I use other citrus fruits instead of oranges?
Yes, you can use other citrus fruits instead of oranges for the zest and juice in the dough and the icing. You can try lemon, lime, grapefruit, or even a combination of different fruits. However, keep in mind that some fruits may be more sour or bitter than others, so you may need to adjust the amount of sugar accordingly.
Can I make the dough ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze it?
Yes, you can make the dough ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze it. To refrigerate it, place it in a greased bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. You can keep it in the fridge for up to 24 hours. When you are ready to use it, take it out and let it come to room temperature before shaping and baking the rolls. To freeze it, place it in a freezer-safe bag and squeeze out as much air as possible. You can keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you are ready to use it, thaw it in the fridge overnight and then let it come to room temperature before shaping and baking the rolls.
Can I make the glaze and icing ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze them?
Yes, you can make the glaze and icing ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze them. To refrigerate them, place them in airtight containers and keep them in the fridge for up to a week. To freeze them, place them in freezer-safe bags and squeeze out as much air as possible. You can keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you are ready to use them, thaw them in the fridge overnight and then reheat the glaze on the stovetop or in the microwave until bubbly, and whisk the icing until smooth.
How do I store leftover November cakes?
If you have any leftover November cakes, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the fridge for up to a week. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months. To reheat them, you can microwave them for 10 to 15 seconds, or bake them in a 350°F oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until warm and soft.
Can I make November cakes vegan or gluten-free?
Yes, you can make November cakes vegan or gluten-free with some substitutions. To make them vegan, you can use plant-based milk, oil, butter, and honey alternatives, such as almond milk, coconut oil, vegan butter, and maple syrup. You can also use a flax egg instead of a regular egg by mixing 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water and letting it sit for 15 minutes before using. To make them gluten-free, you can use a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend instead of regular flour, and add 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum to help with the texture and elasticity of the dough.
Can I add other fillings or toppings to November cakes?
Yes, you can add other fillings or toppings to November cakes to make them even more delicious and customized. For example, you can add some chopped nuts, dried fruits, chocolate chips, or sprinkles to the dough before shaping the rolls. You can also add some cream cheese, jam, nutella, or peanut butter to the glaze or icing for extra flavor and creaminess.
What can I serve with November cakes?
November cakes are great on their own as a snack or a dessert, but you can also serve them with other dishes to make a complete meal. For example, you can serve them with some hot chocolate or tea for a cozy breakfast or brunch. You can also serve them with some soup or salad for a light lunch or dinner. Or you can serve them with some ice cream or whipped cream for a decadent treat.
We hope you enjoyed this article on how to make November cakes, a delicious and cozy treat for fall. These soft and fluffy yeast rolls filled with honey and butter, and topped with a creamy orange frosting are sure to make you feel warm and happy on a chilly autumn day. They are also easy to make with simple ingredients and equipment, and you can customize them with your favorite fillings and toppings.
If you try this recipe, please let us know how it turned out in the comments below. We would love to hear from you! And don’t forget to check out our other articles for more amazing recipes for every occasion.
Thank you for reading and happy baking!