This is a similar type of cake as the chocolate pudding cakes of new years eve, in the sense that you make a cake batter, sprinkle it with a sugar mixture, dot with butter, and then pour boiling water over it. It's the type of cake that doesn't make any sense, yet is so delicious and magical when it's done. I make this cake every year for Christmas, and a few times in between, because I love caramel, it is a forgiving recipe, and this is a fairly easy cake to whip up. It doesn't require anything I don't have in my kitchen already, which is how it ended up being a Christmas cake - when I'm baking in someone else's kitchen, this is something that can be whipped up with no fancy ingredients (besides flour mix) and no special equipment, and baked in pretty much any pan (even ramekins or mugs).
I am fairly sure this can be made with an egg replacer, and omit the butter and you have a vegan holiday cake!
Self-Saucing Brown Sugar Spice Cake
I have posted this recipe before, with a rum variation, but this version has more sugar, which I like better since there is more sauce as well. Serve with a good plop of barely sweetened whipped cream, or some vanilla ice cream. Next time I might cut the spices and just use cinnamon, making a brown sugar and cinnamon cake.
Original recipe from Nigella Lawson's Nigella Express
1 c flour mix
1/2 t xanthan gum
2 c brown sugar, divided
1 t baking powder
2 t ginger
2 t cinnamon
1 t vanilla
2 t nutmeg (you may use less if you like)
pinch of salt
1/2 c milk (I used vanilla Silk)
1/4 c veg oil
6-8 pats of butter
2 c water
Preheat the oven to 400 and put water on to boil. Mix together your flour mix, xanthan gum, 1 c brown sugar, baking powder, 1 t ginger, 1 t cinnamon, 1 t vanilla, 1 t nutmeg, pinch of salt, milk, oil, and egg until combined. Spread in your pan (I used an 8" casserole dish with high sides - you need walls on your pan that are at least 2 1/2 " high). Combine the remining cup of brown sugar, 1 t each of ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg and spread the sugar mixture evenly over the batter in the pan. Place pats of butter on top, gently pour boiling water over, and bake 35-40 minutes. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream, making sure to scoop up the sauce as well as the cake when serving.