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The Perfect Recipe to Make This November

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater is a story about a race of deadly horses (based off of the legend of the Celtic water horse) on a small fictional island of Thisby.  Each November, the water horses emerge from the ocean and the people of Thisby capture these horses for a thrilling race. 


Along with being the perfect November read, The Scorpio Races features many mentions of delicious sounding food, none more mouth watering than the gooey November Cakes eaten in celebration of the races. Lucky for us, Maggie Stiefvater loved her fictional food creation enough to make them a reality and published her own recipe for them! It is a little time consuming and complicated, but totally worth it! Here is how to make this delicious November treat:



For the cake:

1 cup milk

1/2 cup water

1/4 + 2 tbs vegetable oil

1 tbsp butter

3.5 cups flour

3 tsp (one packet) active dry yeast

3 tbsp sugar

1.5 tsp salt

2 eggs


For the filling:

3 tbsp melted butter

1.4 tsp orange extract


For the glaze:

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 tbsp whipping cream

8 tbs butter

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup honey


For the icing:

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tbsp water

1 tbsp melted butter




  1. Microwave milk, water, oil and butter for 2 minutes. Make sure it is not too hot before adding the yeast!

  2. Crack the eggs into the liquid

  3. In a separate bowl, combine 1.5 cups of flour, salt, sugar, and yeast

  4. Add the liquid and stir

  5. Add remaining flour one cup at a time, stirring in between each

  6. Mix dough for 4 minutes on low in a stand mixer with the bread or paddle hook OR knead it by hand for 8 minutes

  7. Put dough into a greased and floured mixing bowl and let rise for one our in a warm place covered with a towel*

  8. Put the dough on a floured cutting board and roll into a rectangle

  9.  Mix the butter and orange extract together to make the filling, spoon it onto the dough to cover the rectangle, then roll the rectangle up

  10. Use a sharp knife to cut the rolled log into about 12 rolls

  11. Place each roll cut side up into a greased muffin tin and let rise (in the same warm place as before) for another 30 min, covered with a towel. 

  12. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit, then bake the rolls for 14 minutes 

  13. Let them cool in the pan for a few minutes, then take them out for the next steps


* The recipe recommends preheating your oven to 100 degrees and turning it off before putting the dough inside



  1. Mix together honey, butter, and sugar in a saucepan

  2. Turn on medium-high heat while stirring constantly and bring the mixture to a rolling boil for 2 minutes, still stirring constantly

  3. Add whipping cream and vanilla and mix well, continuing to stir and heat until mixed through

  4. Spoon the glaze over the buns 



  1. Combine all icing ingredients with enough water to make your desired consistency (thin enough to drizzle)

  2. Give the glaze 5-10 minutes to cool before using a spoon to drizzle the icing in a zigzag pattern over the top

Anna Schultz-Cinnamon Rolls Driping With Icing
Anna Schultz / Her Campus


And that’s how you make November Cakes! They turn out kind of like orange and honey cinnamon rolls and are soooo delicious! Be sure to leave some time for all of the rising and baking! All together, it usually takes me about 3 hours (counting the 1.5 hours of letting the dough rise and 14 minutes of baking time). For this reason, I usually only make them once a year on Thanksgiving morning for a special breakfast. But if you have the time to make them, they are totally worth it! And be sure to check out The Scorpio Races as the perfect book to get you into the November mood!


If you would like to write for Her Campus Mount Holyoke, or if you have any questions or comments for us, please email [email protected].


Acadia Ferrero-Lampron is currently a sophmore at Mount Holyoke College, where she is majoring in International Relations. In her free time, she loves to read books, bake sweets, and try new sustainable products.
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