cinnamon roll cake

Cinnamon Roll Cake on

cinnamon roll cake [ ]

I remember my first recipe very well. I really don’t know how old I was when I made it, maybe… somewhere between 7 and 10 years old? But I remember the day I made it quite vividly. It was for “dough roll cinnamons,” which I creatively spelled “doo roll cinamins,” which consisted of plush Wonder Bread-style white bread, ripped into pieces, rolled into balls, coated in butter, and dipped in cinnamon sugar. Then they were baked in the little toaster oven until heated through and the outside got a nice crunch. I was beaming and proud of my recipe on the day I made it, and though I hope I’ve moved on to a bit more advanced recipes by now, I don’t think I’d balk at eating a few dough roll cinnamons even today.

Here’s my recipe in all its glory, which, bless her, my mom saved:

do-roll cinnamons

In any case, today’s recipe is in a similar vein flavor-profile wise, but I must admit it is much better than a little dough-roll cinnamon. It’s a cinnamon roll cake, which I had to try after seeing the recipe and its gorgeous photos, because it just looked irresistible. It turned out exactly how I’d expected: super soft cake with its insides swirled with cinnamon sugar, and a crackly top that gets a good drizzle of sweet cream cheese icing. It’s certainly decadent, but that’s what this time of year is for, no?

cinnamon roll cake [ ]

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double chocolate banana bread

double chocolate banana bread [ ]

I only have one sub-par picture of this wonderful chocolate banana bread because it was so good we already ate the rest of it. Or most of it, at least. I saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen when Deb posted it in March, and immediately wanted to make it. I finally got around to it this weekend and I am totally in love. Let’s be honest, all banana bread is actually cake, and this one especially fits the bill with its deep chocolate flavor and pockets of melty chocolate chunks.

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cinnamon rhubarb muffins

cinnamon rhubarb muffins [ ]

I first made these cinnamon rhubarb muffins almost 5 years ago (wow), and I only know that because I noticed my old comment sitting at the bottom of Jen’s post where I originally found this recipe. I did definitely remember *loving* the muffins, and how nice it was that they have rhubarb in them but not their usual strawberry counterpart.

The rhubarb really stands out here against a nice simple cinnamony backdrop, and the wonderful sweet yet very tangy taste of the rhubarb comes through in bursts. I am a lover of tangy fruit like citrus, so rhubarb is especially awesome and feels rare since it’s only in season at this time of year.

cinnamon rhubarb muffins [ ]

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banana oat cups with chocolate chips

chocolate banana oat cups [ ]

When baking at home, I am continually interested in recipes that promise to be delicious, healthy versions of traditional baked goods (I had pretty great results with healthy-ing up blueberry muffins recently). Healthy baking recipes don’t always pan out as well as those did, though.

I was initially worried that these banana oat cups would turn out to be bland hockey pucks – no one likes the taste of a raw oat, and the recipe did call for a ton of them. They came out of the oven soft, tender and just the right amount of sweet, though – so I’m surprised to say we are 2 for 2 on the healthied-up baking front.

chocolate banana oat cups [ ]

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banana bread (and banana muffins)

banana bread

Banana bread reminds me of my mom. She’s not a huge baking enthusiast, but when I was little she would bake a loaf of banana bread and wrap it up in tin foil, and I’d open it to find super-moist, delicious, dense banana bread. It’s really more like banana cake.

Here I made a loaf of banana bread and used the rest of the batter to make muffins, some with chocolate chips. I didn’t have sour cream so I subbed plain yogurt. Probably not quite as fatty and tasty, but it certainly does the trick.

banana bread

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
from Use Real Butter

1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups smashed, very ripe bananas
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Mix in the bananas. Combine dry ingredients and mix into batter alternately with the sour cream. Add nuts and chips. Mix well. Pour into two greased loaf pans (8×4 inch), or one bundt pan, or 12 bundtlettes (or anything you want, really) and bake for 45 minutes or until top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean from the center. (Not wet and gloppy, but moist crumbs are okay). For muffins, more like 20-30 minutes.

lemon pull-apart bread

I first found this bread as just a pretty picture on Tumblr. A reallllly pretty picture.  There was no source for the photo (like most things on Tumblr), no recipe, nothing but a photo, and I felt like I absolutely needed to know how to make it because it looked like the most delicious bread in existence.

So I saved the image and then uploaded it to Google’s Reverse Image Lookup, and luckily found the website it had originally come from- a beautiful blog called Clockwork Lemon. The recipe was there! And when I finally got time I made the bread.

lemon pull apart bread

It involved making a dough, letting it rise, cutting it into a bunch of layers, rubbing orange-lemon-sugar zest mix on them, letting it rise again, and finally baking it.

lemon pull apart bread

It really was exactly what I dreamed it would be, lemony, sweet, really soft with a crunchy top, and the layers pulled apart easily. The recipe includes a frosting for this bread but I knew it wouldn’t need it and I was right. It is way good enough on its own.

lemon pull apart bread

It takes a little time to make this but it’s really not hard at all, and so delicious. The butter does drip out of the pan when the bread expands upward, and this made my smoke detector go off about a million times, so I put a pan in the oven underneath the bread pan.

lemon pull apart bread

Pull Apart Lemon Coffee Cake (Bread)

from Clockwork Lemon & 17 and Baking

Sweet Yeast Dough
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (You might not use all of this)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup whole milk
2 ounces unsalted butter
1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces) water
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature

Lemon Sugar Filling
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Zest of three lemons
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted

Tangy Cream Cheese Icing (I did not use this)
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon whole milk
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Make the dough:

1. In the microwave heat the butter and the milk together until the butter melts. Set aside to cool slightly. While it is cooling Mix two cups of the flour with the yeast and the sugar in the bowl of a mixer. Then add the water to the milk mixture and stir in the vanilla extract

2. Pour the milk mixture over the flour mixer and stir until combined. Turn the mixer on low speed and add the eggs one at a time, mixing each egg until it is combined. Add another 1/2 of the flour and the salt and mix till combined.

3. Sprinkle the dough with 2 tbsp of flour and knead it with the dough hook for 3 minutes. The dough will be sticky but should become soft and smooth from the kneading. Place the dough in a large bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place 45-60 minutes or until doubled in size.

Make Ahead Tip: If you want to make the dough the night before you bake it just gently deflate the dough after its first rise, place back in the bowl and cover it with plastic. Stick it in the fridge overnight (it will continue to rise, but at a much slower rate. Plus you get added flavor in the bread from the benefit of a slow, cold rise) The next day take the dough out and bring it to room temperature before proceeding with the next steps. I like to cover my dough with a damp piece of paper towel and stick it in my oven at the lowest temperature until it is room temp.

4. Mix the sugar, lemon zest, and orange zest. It will draw out the citrus oils and make the sugar sandy and fragrant.

5. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9″x5″ loaf pan or spray it will baking spray

6. Forming the loaf: Deflate the dough with your hand. Flour a work surface and roll the dough into a 20″ by 12″ rectangle. This part is a lot easier with a ruler on hand! Use a pastry brush to thickly coat the dough with the melted butter

7. Use a pizza cutter, pastry cutter, or a sharp knife to cut the dough crosswise in five strips, each about 12″ by 4″ (it might not be this exact size, but try to make the five strips be equal sizes). Sprinkle 1 1/2 tablespoons of the lemon sugar over the first buttered rectangle and gently press the sugar in. Top it with a second rectangle, sprinkling that one with 1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon sugar as well. Continue to top with rectangles and sprinkle, so you have a stack of five 12″ by 4″ rectangles, all buttered and topped with lemon sugar.

8. Slice this new stack crosswise, through all five layers, into 6 equal rectangles (each should be 4″ by 2″.) Carefully transfer these strips of dough into the loaf pan, cut edges up, side by side. it might be a little roomy, but the bread will rise and expand after baking. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until puffy and almost doubled in size, 30 to 50 minutes.

9.Bake the loaf for 20 minutes and then check to make sure that top isn’t browning too quickly. If it is, just cover the top of the loaf with tinfoil and continue baking. My loaf took a little over 40 minutes to bake completely. When done, transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes.

10. Meanwhile, make the cream cheese icing. Beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a medium bowl with a wooden spoon until smooth, then add the milk and lemon juice. Stir until creamy and smooth. Spread over the warm bread (you might want to put some plastic wrap or parchment paper under the bread to catch the drips)

11. Eat!