cinnamon coffee cake

September 19, 2011

This is a simple cinnamon coffee cake – a great way to ease into Autumn baking and remind yourself of all those scents that evoke chunky wooly sweaters and rust-coloured leaves.

Normally I dread this time of year. Yes, I enjoy the changing colours and gorgeous crisp days as much as the next person but more than anything, Autumn tends to remind me that just beyond it is Winter, and I really don’t love Winter.

“To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring”

This year feels a bit different. I’ve been thinking about the sentiment above a lot and trying to remind myself to love this season for what it is rather than what it might usher in.

I’m letting this coffee cake be a simple sign of good things to come. It’s the kind of coffee cake that Dan can get behind (it might surprise you to know that I’m the sole proprietor of the sweet tooth in this house): fragrant but not too sweet. Unadorned really. Light. An honest-to-goodness great thing to have curled up with a cup of coffee.

Cinnamon Coffee Cake
adapted from Martha Stewart


  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus 2 tablespoons, melted for topping
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan. In a medium bowl, combine flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Put 1/2 cup of the mixture in a small bowl, stir in remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon, and set aside. Stir egg and milk into remaining flour mixture.
  2. Spoon batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the surface. Pour melted butter over the top. Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture evenly over the butter. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. This cake will keep at room temperature for up to three days or frozen for three months.
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