Tender lightly spiced cake coated with a layer of cinnamon sugar!
Song giving me life: Malo – Suavecito
Warm spring, longer days. I shed a layer, transition to my leather jacket and flats.
Trees of a green so bright your eyes need days to adjust to the dazzling green. A green you never get quite used to. Winter seems so long.
Spring makes me crave cake. I emerge from a self-imposed hiatus and fire up the oven. I’m in the mood for Snickerdoodles, yet I’m craving cake.
Can I combine the two? Yes, oh yes!
Cinnamon sugar in a bowl, a quick sniff. Warm. Cinnamon smells warm. Cozy. Like a hug from your favorite person, cozy.
I measure flour, baking powder, and salt. Cinnamon. More cinnamon. I can’t get enough of the warmth of cinnamon.
The stand mixer comes to life, surprised at first – I haven’t used it in so long. The whir of speed 7 fluffing sugar and butter, incorporating air.
So much air.
Vanilla paste, flavoring.
I lower the speed and alternate flour and buttermilk.
Buttermilk makes this cake tender, so tender.
A layer of cinnamon sugar covers the bottom of the pan. I pour the batter and bang the pan several times on the counter. I ignore the dirty looks. I’m making magic, here!
I sprinkle the final layer of cinnamon sugar over the batter. I pop the pan in the oven. I tap my heels impatiently for the length of a song. I give up. I can’t tap for 25 minutes, so I keep myself busy doing other things.
I devise a plan to become a millionaire, but only win $2 on a scratch off. I wonder if the state lotto has been sued over their ‘Dollar and a Dream’ slogan. My house is starting to smell like cinnamon and cake.
My plants are dry. As I finish watering and talking to plant number 9 – The timer goes off. I pull the cake from the oven, careful not to get burned. I take a deep sniff.
I can’t wait to dig into this bad boy.
It takes forever to cool.
I cut it into squares and three hands grab a piece. Then another. Where did they come from? Where were they when I was mixing up this situation?!
I grab my piece before I am left without a taste.
It is everything. The sugar has caramelized and hardened slightly. The crunch gives way to a tender, lightly spiced cake.
Now I wish I had eaten my piece faster.
There is none left.
- For the cinnamon sugar
- Granulated sugar - 1/2 cup
- Ground cinnaon - 2 tablespoons
- For the cake
- All-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup then leveled - 1 1/2 cups
- Baking powder - 1 teaspoon
- Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- Ground cinnamon - 1 teaspoon
- Unsalted butter - 1/2 cup (1 stick)
- Granulated sugar - 1/4 cup
- Light brown sugar, tightly packed - 3/4 cup
- Eggs - 2 large
- Vanilla bean paste - 1 tablespoon
- Buttermilk - 1 cup
Preheat the over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray an 8-inch square pan lightly with vegetable spray and line the pan with two cris-crossing pieces of parchment paper, leaving an overhang. Add the sugar and cinnamon to a small bowl until combined and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon until combined. Set aside. In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in the vanilla bean paste. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add in the flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour. Mix until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Give it a couple of folds to combine. Sprinkle half the cinnamon sugar mixture on the prepared pan. Pour the cake batter over the cinnamon sugar mixture and even out using an offset spatula. Sprinkle remaining cinnamon sugar mixture over the batter. Place in the oven and bake for 25-32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove cake from oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes, then invert it onto a plate or wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, cut into squares. Makes about 16 snack cake squares.