July 9, 2008

my love affair with cinnamon

It's no secret--even sporadic readers of my blog should know how strongly I feel about cinnamon. I can't get enough, and I'll add it to just about any recipe if it's not there in the first place and bump it up if it is.


Further, if you've ever made anything topped with cream cheese frosting, chances are good that I've left a comment confessing my adoration of it. So as you can imagine, when cinnamon and cream cheese frosting are combined in one sensational dessert, I quickly become a useless (and completely satisfied) excuse for a human being (with a mess of sugar and spice all over my face).

This is quite possibly my favorite cake and frosting combination. I know that there are a lot of possible combinations out there (approximately 834,392,621, give or take 15), but for me, this one takes the cake (insert rim shot here).


(look at those beautiful speckles of cinnamon!)

The abundant amounts of cinnamon in both the cake and icing may be too much for some, but I think the balance is just right. The orange peel packs a refreshing punch that really shouldn't be skipped--I've gone without it and been left wanting. Be forewarned: It's a dense cake, but the texture is fabulous and the degree of moistness is pretty near perfect. The thick layers of that sweet and tangy frosting complete this fabulous creation.


Cinnamon Cake with Cinnamon-Cream Cheese Frosting
(or, Just How Much Cinnamon Can One Mouth Handle?)
(based on this cake and this frosting)

Cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
4 large eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Frosting:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9-inch cake pans. Sift first 4 ingredients into small bowl. Stir milk and butter in small saucepan over low heat just until butter melts; set aside.

Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar in large bowl until thick enough for batter to fall in heavy ribbon when beaters are lifted, about 5 minutes. Beat in orange peel and vanilla. Add flour mixture; beat just until blended. Add warm milk mixture; beat just until blended. Divide batter between prepared pans.

Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean and cakes begin to pull away from sides of pans, about 24 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks 20 minutes. Cut around pan sides and turn cakes out onto racks. Turn cakes right side up.

For frosting, mix the butter and cream cheese together with an electric mixer until very smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing. Add the vanilla extract and cinnamon and mix. Slowly add the powdered sugar. Keep adding until you get to desired sweetness. Spread one cup of frosting onto first layer. Top with second layer. Smooth the rest of the frosting onto the top and sides using your preferred technique. I like to use my tongue.

64 comments:

Dana said...

I'm resisting the urge to lick my computer screen. That looks SO GOOD. I'm a huge cake person, and I love cinnamon and cream cheese frosting...

Cathy C said...

I could not agree with you more - Cinnamon and I have been having a love affair for years... In fact there are times that 3 of us are involved, my other "partner" nutmeg... Great recipe.

Cheers
Cathy
www.wheresmydamnanswer.com

Sarah said...

holy macaroni that looks good!

Tabby said...

okay...now I REALLY want some cake!

Elle said...

Ooooh, I want some! It looks perfect.

Lisa said...

Your cake does look good. For some reason I am always putting cinnamon in chocolate cakes but never think to make a lighter cinnamon cake. Maybe I should give it a try...

Deborah said...

I don't think it's possible to have too much cinnamon. And that first picture with the icing - YUM!

Rebecca (Foodie With Family) said...

Mmmmmm. Cinnamon. I order (and use) a 1 lb bag of Korintje cinnamon per month. You're not alone.

That cake looks amazing! I'm definitely making that soon. With all the cinnamon in it it's healthy enough for breakfast. (Don't tell me otherwise- I insist.)

Thank you for the beautiful recipe!

kimberleyblue said...

omg - sounds like my kinda cake! i love cinnamon and cream cheese frostings - and the orange in the cake makes the whole thing quite original!

gonna have to put this one on the to-bake list.

eatme_delicious said...

Omg I want to lick the screen a little bit. That icing looks so good and perfect. And I love dense cake! And cream cheese anything! Yummmmmmmm. Though I don't know if I'd like the orange but if you say it should be there....

Lorraine E said...

I love the main picture with the icing-it looks ready to be licked! I love cinnamon too, but we tend to eat it with apples and pies and cakes but I'm not as fond of the "red hot" cinnamon.

Bunny said...

ohhhhh grace!! it's lovely, absolutely lovely!! i would do back flips for a hunk of that right now!!

Peter M said...

What say I? I say, I say I'm all for Cinnamon. Why, I think this cake would be just grand whilst listening to Neil Young's Cinnamon Girl.

What say you? ;)

Angela, Table for One said...

I'm not a fan of frosting (it just gets in the way of the cake), but you could slather cream cheese frosting on cardboard, and I'd eat it with glee.

Marilyn (Simmer Till Done) said...

Hello Grace! I start the day with cinnamon on my cappuccino, pop cinnamon Altoids all day and frequently stir cinnamon into banana bread "just because." So believe me when I say I love this cake and the whole cinnamon shebang. Lovely blog!

Ann said...

Dear gawd, that photo has me salivating! I want some of that cake NOW!

Haley said...

We would like to feature this recipe on our blog. Please email haleyglasco@gmail.com if interested. Thanks :)

Haley

http://blog.keyingredient.com/

Melanie said...

Your posts and clever recipe titles always leave me smiling, not to mention the fact that this cake looks absolutely divine! How did any of the frosting make it on the cake? I would have devoured it in the bowl, I am sure.

Katie B. said...

I love the warm speckles the cinnamon provides - and I just cannot wrap my head around the 4 teaspoons you use - must smell heavenly!

Mrs. L said...

My husband does not like cinnamon so I don't bake with it often. I, on the other hand, love cinnamon flavored stuff so I will be the one drooling over your cake!

steph said...

Oh yeah, that sounds good.

Leslie said...

I love love love cinnamon! I put it in with my coffee grounds in the am so my coffee is strongly infused w/ cinnamon!
mmmm This looks great!

Vera said...

Grace, I share your love! The cake is so tempting! It is certainly glorious!

noble pig said...

Oh good gawd woman bring over a fork and we'll discuss our love of the same spice. Can we share the love....I have to make this..HAVE TO!

Just the frosting alone with the cake...foodgasm here.

farida said...

I love cinnamon too! What a great looking cake, I am sure it's full of cinnamon flavor too:)

cookinpanda said...

wow awesome I can imagine few more desirable combos!

descentintodessert said...

all that cinnamon sounds amazing! and the first cake picture is stunning!

Jaime said...

mmmm that cake looks delicious! have you ever made (ground) your own cinnamon from cinnamon bark? i have been anxious to try it, as my mom gave me some from vietnam recently...

dobetter said...

Grace, that looks amazing! I love the way the frosting looks. Great photos

giz said...

I'm trying to watch my carbs and you just blew everything out of the water. Who could possibly resist this combination. Great photo too

sher said...

Oh! That picture! The little peak of frosting on the edge of the cake is driving me crazy!

The Blonde Duck said...

I'm not even a cake fan, but I'm a cinnamon fan and that looks fantastic! I'm drooling into my keyboard. How do you bake all this and not weigh 400 pounds? I'd have to have a forklift drive me around! (But it looks like it would be worth it!)

Pam said...

I am not a huge cinnamon fan, but that cake is amazing!

Mike of Mike's Table said...

Oh that cake looks spectacular--that first photo won me over before you said anything. While I don't use cinnamon quite as much, when I have something cinnamony, I love it in great amounts and this cake looks like it would absolutely nail this.

Kim said...

That is one good looking piece of cake and I am so a cake person. Great pic.

Katie said...

Cinnamon Is my Absolute Favorite spice. I always put more than you need in recipes and this cake sounds great!

Rachel said...

tell me about it..this spice has so much of flavour..hmmmm!!!

Albany Jane said...

That last photo says it all. It looks so moist, I would have eaten it all!

Katie said...

YUM! I'm hungry now.

The Blonde Duck said...

I've got another vote on my blog about Missing Wings! Help!

Sarah said...

Now, THAT'S a cake! I include cinnamon in my chocolate chip cookies, my coffee, my muffins, even my greens (ever had a pinch of cinnamon in wilted spinach? Be still my heart). Thanks for sharing the mother of all cinnamon recipes! Can't wait to try it out!

Kevin said...

That cinnamon cake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting looks and sounds amazing!

Vicarious Foodie said...

I love cinnamon too. I don't get enough of it in the summer--it seems to stay in hiding until Fall. Great to see this cake--it looks awesome.

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

Wow that looks all kinds of delicious! I think I could eat the frosting right out of the bowl

Paula said...

That looks soooo good. I bet it smells heavenly, too! Yum!

Emiline said...

Have I told you how much I like you? Ha ha.
Your cake and frosting look sooo good. I love lots and lots of cinnamon.

canarygirl said...

OMG Yum! Cinnamon and cream cheese? I think I'm in love.

Gigi said...

I love the speckles of cinnamon in the icing! ...mmm! Gorgeous photos Grace!

Sophie said...

I am right there with you when it comes to cinnamon! I put it on everything, and in anything! I especially love pairing it with some sugar and sprinkling it on cookies before baking them. What a lovely recipe, Grace -- and I really like how decadent it looks. YUMMY!! :)

Stef said...

I would love this cake topped with some cinnamon ice cream!

Krysta said...

need this now!

Krystal P said...

I stumbled here and nearly dropped dead at the picture of this cake. I didn't even read the title or description when I screamed to my hubby about this amazing Cream Cheese Cinnamon cake... Reading the description I was so excited to make this cake... Tho I do have to wait until grocery day (dang!)

I too LOVE cinnamon, it gives me wicked heartburn but I don't care. I happily heap 3-4 times more cinnamon than the recipes call for, and add generous amounts recipes without.

Thank you for this cake, cannot wait to make it.

Krysta said...

hey grace, I'm hoping you get this comment. could you mail me? i've got a question. evilchefmom@aol.com

jodycakes said...

That is a BEAUTIFULLY Moist looking cake there...and sounds delicious.
Thanks for sharing for the world
j~

Ingrid said...

Okay, first that was pretty hilarious ...you like to use your tongue! I got a totally weird look from Joe after I laughed out loud!

Recently I've made a lot of Snickerdoodle desserts and at the same time found out that my children REALLY like cinnamon. I'm gonna print this one out and add it to my must make list.
~ingrid

Anonymous said...

I made a half recipe in my 8 x 8 pan, and used granulated sugar in the frosting (out of powdered). It reduced the baking time by 6 min, and I think the granulated sugar bulked up the frosting more than the powered would. Came out a lovely pale cafe au lait color, not the speckled cream in your photo. It smelled so good during mixing I almost hesitated to bake it up! The cinnamon flavor just blooms in the frosting, a great fix for cravings if ever there were one!

joycelyn said...

this looks amazing! Any thought on adding a few more spices and making it a spice cake? I would appreciate any suggestions :-)

grace said...

you could absolutely vary the spices, joycelyn! lower the cinnamon and slip in some nutmeg, ginger, and cloves, and you've got a dreamy fall spice cake. :)

Anonymous said...

Hope you don't mind...I am pinning this for later use. Looks and sounds so yummmy! :)

Jackie

grace said...

@Jackie: of course i don't mind--i'm flattered you asked!

Rachel Carpenter said...

I attempted to make this cake a couple of nights ago for my husband's birthday. I'm not exactly sure what went wrong but my cakes didn't rise. Flat and sad.:(

My baking powder was fresh. I did substitute 1 of the cups of all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour and Splenda for the sugar, but I wouldn't think that should matter. The only other thing is that I don't have a stand mixer so I had to beat the egg/sugar mixture by hand which took much longer than 5 minutes to get the right consistency.

I REALLY want to have this cake! What do you think I could do different the 2nd time around? Use self-rising flour instead?

grace said...

@Rachel Carpenter: i have very little experience baking with splenda, but i suspect that it might be the culprit. are you able to try maybe half splenda and half granulated sugar? you might try adding a little extra baking powder as well. it's kind of a unique cake recipe in that the butter and sugar aren't creamed together, but i'm still stumped as to why yours didn't work. it really is delicious and i hope we can figure this out!

Anonymous said...

My fiance and I are using this for our wedding cake next weekend!!! The "taster" cake we made before finalizing the decision was AMAZING!!!

grace said...

@Anonymous: how incredible! you've made a terrific choice; in fact, i've been keeping this one in the back of mind for my own wedding cake one day! congrats to you both. :)