Few things get me more excited than Cake. Seeing Murray might be the ONE thing that gets me more excited than cake! So this baker’s priorities are Love and Cake. For the love of cake, I baked this Apple Ring Coffee Cake. Here’s a little history on where this recipe came from and my life as an Overnight Baker at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, CO:

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Garden of the Gods, Colorado

The curriculum at the CIA has a 4 month period for externship and The Broadmoor was my choice. I’d never been that far from the East Coast or from home itself and wouldn’t it be the BEST idea to arrive in Colorado Springs on a cold winter day in February? (Note the sarcasm). Colorado Springs was an adventure and The Broadmoor was my home for those 4 months. Externships are normally rotations and so I rotated: pastry for 3 weeks and then bakery for 3 months. I’m a baker at heart, with no patience for cakes. I wanted to be covered in flour, kneading dough for hours and shaping the perfect baguettes, rolls and more. You get what you wish for, right?

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Easy way out when making thousands of Kaiser Rolls and not having to really shape them into the braid

My 3 months were spent doing overnight baking and let me tell you a little about that. You get to work at 10pm (hopefully you’re working with another baker and if not, it’s just you and the radio). You’ll scale challah, mix sourdough, glaze and fry doughnuts; you’ll eat your employee meal at 3 in the morning and head back to work. At 3:30am other bakers roll in and you keep working to set up all the buffets and restaurants with breads and breakfast pastries. You’ll have about 5 cups of coffee during each shift. You’re skin will tingle because it’s sleepy. Your eyes will be puffy. Your social life is non-existent. You keep working, kneading, mixing. In a perfect world, by 6am you were out of work. But, who lives in a perfect world? Not bakers. 9am came and went you were helping the other bakers with their prep; if the rolling machine broke down, you’d be rolling bread rolls by hand. Thousands of bread rolls that would be devoured in mere seconds.You were normally out by 10am-Noon. You’d rush home, had a snack, a shower and fell asleep at around 1pm. You’d sleep until 6-7pm, until the world got too loud for you to sleep through it. You’d wake up, shower, have another snack and watch some TV. You’d leave for work at 9.30pm and repeated for 3 months.

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How I survived those 3 months, I have no clue. Some people are overnight bakers for 9 years and they don’t even know how they made it. Working overnight leaves no time for friends, family or even reading a book. It teaches you to live on necessities, which are food, showers and sleep. It teaches you that the human body is strong and can withstand whatever the world throws at it. I ate a lot of bread during those 3 months. warm, fresh out of the oven cheddar biscuits (on a side note, I one day set a pound of butter on my station and by the end of the day, I had consumed HALF a POUND of butter. Because, of course I was slathering butter on those cheddar biscuits!). 

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Coffee Cake was my other sin and it’s the best coffee cake you’ll ever have. Simple ingredients, a few apples and cake. Make this and you’ll love me as much as I love cake. Head on over to Honest Cooking for a look at how it turned out!

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  1. How did I miss this post?! Oncredible glimpse into your and a baker;s life. Thank you for sharing Nelly!! Heading over for the recipe.

  2. Honestly as crazy as this sounds…Your overnight shift still sounds fun! Maybe because it was baking fun:-) I loved your cake, looks sooooo yummy! Hugs, Terra

  3. Great story Nelly! Looks like a beautiful place to bake, but I’m pretty sure I couldn’t handle those nighttime hours! Hope to hear more of your culinary adventure stories! Will check out the coffee cake recipe too 🙂

  4. I want that Kaiser roll thingy. Please. For Goober? :–)