Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Cinnamon Cake...

For the Weekly Wednesday Treat Day, I had thought about a cookie I've been meaning to make, but before I asked Jeff's opinion, he jumped in and wanted to know if we could make a cake this week. I was down for that, but what type of cake? Randomly, Jeff said "Sour cream something!" So, I had a start at least... sour cream, which lead to this Cinnamon Chip Sour Cream Cake.

The preparation of this cake could be contrived as being odd, in the fact that it is worked together almost in reverse order - let's go over this so you see what I mean. Rather than creaming the butter and sugars together, the granulated sugar used in this cake was whisked into the dry ingredients, which was simply flour, baking powder and salt.

In what might be considered a normal cake, once the butter and sugar was beaten until light and fluffy, the eggs are added one at a time, with plenty of time in between each, working in extra air with the beater. For this cake, the entire amount of eggs, a bit of sour cream and vanilla were first beaten together until the mixture was cohesive, creamy and thick. A scoop of this combo was then added into the dry ingredients, along with plenty of softened butter (nope, not creamed first either!), to be incorporated in. The rest of the egg-y sour cream was added in and the ingredients were bashed around until they lightened up and had a fluffy consistency.

Usually, as soon as the dry ingredients are added, the batter is mixed as little as possible to prevent gluten from forming, leaving you with a tough cake riddled with holes. However, the fat in the butter and sour cream added in last works in a manner to keep that from happening, leaving you with a familiar cake batter that is a bit quicker to make. How does this really effect(affect) the texture? We'll get into those interesting results in a minute - let's finish this up first! You'll notice there is no ground cinnamon added into the cake, so where does it come in? In the form of those intense tiny bombs known as cinnamon chips! Dusted with flour to help them distribute through the cake, they are folded in at the last minute.

Once baked and cooled, the immediate difference I noticed was the cake didn't seem to rise as high as a cake using the traditional creaming method. It was only a slight difference though. Which got me thinking what it was going to look like on the inside... hmm, was this such a good idea? Sliced into with my trust serrated knife, I pulled a wedge out and let out a relieved sigh as I saw what I had hope.

This golden cake had weaved itself a tight, pale yellow crumb, pretty evenly studded with cinnamon nuggets. Jeff and I split a piece, and we both commented on how we loved the fact that it practically seemed to melt in our mouths - so downy soft! The next bite revealed that the cake was velvety smooth, dense and quite moist, with a tangy zing of a finish thanks to the sour cream. I'll take that over the little volume loss any day!

A dusting with confectioners' sugar over this cake was an attractive way to deem the cake completed (I'll do that in the morning), but after we tried out our pieces, I thought the cinnamon glaze from another favorite bundt cake would be a smashing way to add another cinnamon dose in a different form.


  1. This was like an Alton Brown approach to cake baking.... I loved it. Sometimes I tend to forget the chemistry involved in baking. And... I want your bundt pan.

  2. Wow! That looks delicious. And the fantastic design makes it look even more like art =)

  3. What a killer cake!

    Mark made his first chocolate cake this week. I was impressed that I said, "wonder what it would take to make a chocolate cake?" and he figured it out. Gonna have to pass this recipe on. What if we don't don't have a bundt pan?

  4. That looks divine. I vote you send Wednesday Treat Day to Ohio :)

  5. Mags - I love this pan!

    TannyP - Thanks!

    Rachel - I'm impressed! How did the cake turn out? You could probably do this in any kind of tube or cake pan, just make sure the pans are not too full and watch the baking time. I bet they would do well in muffin tins too.

    Josie - Wish it would be that easy!

  6. What a treat. I love cinnamon chips but can't find them anymore in Canada. In which store do you find yours?

  7. Helene - I find them in local markets. You can order them on Amazon.