Cinnamon Bun Cake

Oh boy… this cake is sinful. And comforting…can something be sinful and comforting at the same time? If this cake is any indication, then yes….It’s like a warm hug from your great, great aunt…followed by a slap in the face…does that make sense? Or maybe I have that backward…

The cake is fluffy…like a pancake, but the cinnamon swirl adds pretty marbling and buttery goodness…enough buttery goodness to satisfy old school Paula Deen. The frosting is just the right amount of sweet and creamy.

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This is what cake looks like when you frost it before it cools because you’re running late…

Sidenote: This was actually made as a sample dessert…my amazing friends are getting married at the end of the summer and I am lucky enough to be doing their wedding dessert (cake wasn’t the only option).

I followed this recipe… mostly. I didn’t have any cupcake liners, so I used two 8 inch rounds, I also cut the sugar in half, made a couple of ingredient additions and substitutions and used my own frosting recipe (which has drastically less sugar).

The frosting recipe is a little more complicated than a regular frosting, but it is so worth the extra step or two. Trust me.

Also, please see my notes on the frosting regarding quantity and sweetness.

I had to show you another picture of this...

I had to show you another picture of this…

By popular demand, here is my version.

Cinnamon Bun Cake

Adapted from Every Craving, via Tasty Kitchen (see link above)

Ingredients:

FOR THE CUPCAKE:

  • 2-½ cups All-purpose Flour
  • 2-½ teaspoons Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked Salt
  • 1 stick Unsalted Butter, Softened
  • 1 scant cup sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract

FOR THE CINNAMON SWIRL:

  • 1/2 stick Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 1/3 cups Brown Sugar
  • 1-½ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoons Salt

*NOTE: I followed the original recipe instructions for the swirl, but it made too much… so I am cutting it in half to save your insulin levels.

FOR THE FROSTING*:

  • 8 oz (I think) Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 8 oz. Mascarpone, room temperature
  • 8 ounces Cream Cheese, Softened
  • 3/4 cups Confectioners Sugar**
  • A splash Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Tbsp. Maple Syrup (please use the real stuff to avoid breaking my heart!)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

*Note: This makes more frosting than you’ll need. I would suggest dividing your frosting into two dishes then adding the maple syrup and cinnamon to one, saving the other half for a different dessert (mixed with crushed up Newman O’s, or on red velvet cake? Anyone?)… OR you can just half this recipe…I know mascarpone is a bit fancy for a regular old cake, but trust me, it’s worth it.

**Second Note: You’ve probably figured out that I am not a huge super sweet frosting fan..so adjust to your taste.

What to do:

Pre-heat oven to 350. Grease two 8 in round cake pans and set aside.

Make the Cinnamon Swirl

  • Melt butter in a small-medium sized bowl over double-boiler. Once melted, remove from heat.
  •  Stir in cinnamon, sugar and salt until smooth. Set aside.

Make the cake

  • Combine dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
  • Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl (I use my trusty pastry blender for this…you can also use a mixer).
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time (If using the pastry blender, switch to a solid serving spoon or rubber spatula for beating).
  • Stir in vanilla and sour cream.
  • Beat in milk and flour mixture, adding a little of each at a time until all ingredients are well incorporated.
  • This is going to make a pretty thick batter. That’s okay, don’t panic.
  • Divide half of the batter into each of the prepared pans.
  • Give the cinnamon swirl a quick stir and lightly drizzle 1/3 of it over batter.
  • Divide the rest of the batter into each pan and, using a rubber spatula, spread evenly. Drizzle 1/3 of the cinnamon swirl over the top.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean. Remove them from the oven and let them cool completely before frosting.

Make the Frosting

  • Whip cream to soft peaks, place in refrigerator/set aside.
  • Place mascarpone and cream cheese in stand mixer with whisk attachment and beat on medium speed until combined and smooth.
  • Beat in vanilla and add in powdered sugar, a little at a time, until completely incorporated.
  • Fold in whipped cream by hand (I use a rubber spatula)
  • *Refrigerate until ready to use. *See note above.
  • Right before frosting, add in remaining ingredients.
  • Frost your cake, top with remaining cinnamon swirl.

Happy Wednesday!

PS. How to use up the leftover frosting, two ways:

Crushed up oreo and creamy dreamy goodness... sigh...

Crushed up Oreo and creamy dreamy goodness… sigh…

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Fruit, cookie and whipped frosting parfait


Whiskey Cookies? Whoa.

I know what you’re thinking. I spent yesterday’s post talking about how I was so sick of cookies and how much I love veggies and how I was getting back on track…and now I am going to tell you about another cookie?! What kind of sick person am I?! Awkwaaaard.

But in all seriousness, I need to tell you about these. They are…in my opinion, the perfect cookie. Chewy but not crunchy, soft but not mushy, with just a hint of healthy. Oh, and did I mention the whiskey-chocolate-pecan combination? Yum.

Check out that texture.

Also…I made these on Monday. So… that makes it okay.

I got the original recipe from the Serious Eats 2010 Cookie Swap but have made a few changes. It’s a pretty basic recipe. The whole wheat flour and the flax seed meal add a nutty texture and instead of being uniformly flat like most cookies, they are a bit puffed up…I love this, it gives them major character. When I make these, I usually use Red Stag, which gives a lovely cherry tone but this time I used some sort of Jack Daniels Black Label Specialty… whatever you have on hand.

Whiskey Cookies: 

*adapted from Rachel Heise Bolten via Serious Eats*

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (I use the unbleached stuff)
  • 1 cup stone ground whole wheat flour (Bob’s Red Mill is my favorite brand)
  • 2 tbsp. ground flax seed meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks butter, room temp.
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 oz. (Or about half a bag) bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans *I’m lazy, so I usually just break the pecans up in my hand before I throw them in)

Preheat oven to 375.

In a small mixing bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix butter, sugar, vanilla and bourbon until creamy. I use my trusty pastry blender to do it by hand, but you can also use the paddle attachment on your KitchenAid.

Add your eggs in one at a time. Mix until combined.

Add your dry ingredients to the butter mixture. I added half, mixed and then added the rest.

Once your dry and wet ingredients are nicely combined, stir in your chocolate chips and pecans with a spatula.

*The original recipe calls for letting the dough sit in your refrigerator for at least three days, because I significantly increased the amount of whiskey, I don’t believe this is necessary. However, if you’re looking for a bit more whiskey flavor, stick it in the fridge for a couple of hours.* 

Drop cookie dough by the (large) spoonful onto an ungreased cookie sheet-use parchment paper for super easy cleanup.

Bake until edges are golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.