Cinnamon Swirl Cake

Do you ever wish for more hours in the day? More time to tackle your to-do list, more time to spend with family and friends, more time to sleep??

Lately, I’ve definitely been searching for more time. So when I needed to make a cake for a coworker’s going away party, I needed it to be fast. There is a time and a place for extravagant cakes (click here to see one of my favorites!) but this definitely wasn’t the time to spend hours decorating. I had to throw something together that looked presentable but tasted delicious.

Enter this cinnamon swirl cake.

The reason I love this cake is simple…..it’s simple! No crazy ingredients, it can be thrown together in a matter of minutes, AND everyone loved it. Use whatever white or vanilla cake recipe you love, add the cinnamon swirl, bake, and frost with your favorite cream cheese frosting.

The flavor of this cake is like a cinnamon roll but a little less sweet. Best of all, your house will smell amazing as it bakes!

 

Cinnamon Swirl Cake

Makes one 13X9 cake

  • Your favorite vanilla cake recipe, prepared (homemade or from a box)
  • Cinnamon swirl
    • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar, unpacked
    • 1 Tbsp flour
    • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • Cream cheese frosting (canned or homemade)

Preheat oven to temp specified by your cake batter recipe. Line the bottom of a 13X9 pan with parchment paper. Spray sides of the pan with nonstick spray.

Prepare your favorite vanilla cake batter and pour into prepared pan.

In a small bowl, mix butter, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon together until well combined. Drop tablespoons of cinnamon swirl mixture on top of batter.

Using a butter knife, swirl cinnamon mix into cake batter in a figure 8 pattern. Swirl until cinnamon mix is spread around cake (do not mix in completely).

Bake as specified by your cake batter recipe (or by box instructions if you’re using a mix).

Allow cake to cool. Frost and decorate as desired.

 

Here’s how I decorated my version: I sliced the cake into two layers and filled with cream cheese frosting. Then, frosted the entire cake and piped borders along the bottom and top edges. For a final touch, I sprinkled cinnamon along the top border.

 

Another “for special occasions” recipe (aka it isn’t one of my healthy recipes) but great for a quick and easy dessert that will impress a crowd!

Now, off to tackle more of my to-do list…..

Adventures in Cheesecake Making: Take 1

In order to grow as a baker (and a person, for that matter), one must try new things.  OK, so in my life that normally means baking disasters, burns, etc, so I prefer the phrase “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

A while ago, a coworker of mine challenged me to make a cheesecake.  I have to admit, I’ve always been afraid to attempt to make one.  But he was VERY persistent and I finally conceded.  What was the result? This:

No, the “H” in the middle was not some type of decorative touch.  It cracked…..well, ok so it pretended it was the Grand Canyon. The good news is that it tasted fantastic.  The recipe I used must take all the credit because I have NO idea what I’m doing in the way of cheesecakes.

***Note:  If you’re excellent at cheesecake baking, please please feel free to write a comment and share your thoughts.  I am very open to suggestions, and I love getting comments 🙂

What went wrong?? Well, I’m looking into trying it until I get it right.  Next time, I refuse to open my oven door to check on the thing.  Because it was my first cheesecake experience, I was a little afraid it would overflow, spontaneously combust, whatever.

Other thoughts: I’m aware that a water bath helps with even baking and preventing cracking….but water baths freak me out.  I’ve been scalded too many times to want to attempt one. ….Oh! Also, I didn’t like how brown the edges turned out.  Now I know what I’m looking for though!

Stay tuned for future attempts at cheesecake making. For now, try this recipe!!!!! It’s amazing.

New York Cheesecake

Recipe from:  www.allrecipes.com

Makes a 9-inch cheesecake (12 servings)

  • 15 graham crackers, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 4 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 F and grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan.

In a medium bowl, mix graham crackers and butter.  Press mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.

In a large bowl, mix cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Blend in milk, then eggs one at a time. Mix just until incorporated.

Mix in sour cream, extract, and flour just until smooth. Pour mixture into pan over prepared crust.

Bake at 350 for one hour.  Then, turn the oven off and allow the cheesecake to cool for 5-6 hours WITH THE DOOR CLOSED! (This is where I messed up because I opened the oven within this time…which apparently makes it crack)

Chill in refrigerator until serving.

**Note:  When I first read this recipe, it was confusing as to what size graham crackers they meant.  I discerned they mean 15 small rectangles, which translates into a little over 3 1/2 of the large rectangular pieces that typically come in boxes**

I refuse to give up on making the perfect, canyon-free cheesecake. Stay tuned for (many) more attempts to come!