Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Cake

You know the statement, "You learn something new everyday"? Here is a little fact that I learned today. Disney Fairies (as in Tinkerbell and friends) apparently smell like cinnamon. Not like flowers, not like pine trees, or a sunny Spring morning, but cinnamon. Hmm.

I am a cinnamon LOVAH. It's one of my most favorite smells. Except for cinnamon candles. They smell like a bad mix of artificial spices and old ladies. Not a pleasant aroma to the nose.

I really love cinnamon rolls/buns, especially Cinnabon. Some of my favorite memories of dating my husband was introducing him to new foods. I remember this one particular time I made the six hour drive to see him and we went to the mall. (Later learning that he is SO NOT a mall kind of person, but I am appreciative he did those things to make me happy - and still does!) I introduced him to his first warm and gooey Cinnabon along with an ice cold pint of milk. I don't think I've ever seen a man so happy. 

As much as I love them, I find them tedious to make and can't be bothered, unless it's a special occasion or holiday. Until I found this number. It's got the star quality of a cinnamon roll/bun, but simplicity written all over it. 

Kind of like me. Gooeyness included.

Cinnamon Roll Cake
Recipe adapted and slightly modified from the Picky Palate

3 cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1½ cups milk
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
½ cup butter, melted

½ cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
⅔ cups nuts, optional

2 cups powdered sugar
5 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

In an electric or stand mixer mix the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, milk, eggs and vanilla. Once combined well, slowly stir in melted butter. Be warned: Once the butter is added, the batter will creep up the beaters! Have a spatula/scraper on hand.

Pour batter into a greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan. 

In a large bowl, mix softened butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nuts (if using) until well combined. Drop evenly over cake batter by the tablespoonfuls and use a knife to marble/swirl through the cake.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out nearly clean from center. (My cake took the full 30 minutes).

Don't be alarmed if there is some movement when time is up. The first time I made it, I panicked as it was super buttery and looked a mess. This is why I changed the butter portion for the topping from 1 cup to ½ cup butter and that did the trick! As long as the cake portion is baked and the toothpick is clean, it's fine. As the cake cools, the topping WILL solidify.

To make icing, combine powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk until smooth. Drizzle over warm cake.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yields: 12-16 servings.

Happy Baking!

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