Thursday, May 11, 2017

Cinnamon Pound Cake with Cinnamon Glaze

Cinnamon Pound Cake with Cinnamon Glaze - made April 9, 2017, modified from Baking by Flavor by Lisa Yockelson (original recipe called Caramel Chip Cake)

Cinnamon Pound Cake with Cinnamon Glaze

The Caramel Chip Cake version - didn't come out of the pan very well
The original recipe from Lisa Yockelson’s Baking by Flavor calls this a caramel chip cake because it uses the addition of caramel-flavored chips. I only recently found caramel-flavored chips at Target so I was pleased I could finally try this recipe as Lisa Yockelson intended. But, alas, you can see from the pictures that how mine came out is probably not how she intended. That’s the downside of using chips in a Bundt cake. Despite dutifully tossing the caramel chips in a bit of the flour mixture which is supposed to keep the chips evenly suspended in the batter while the cake bakes, the chips still sank to the bottom and clung stubbornly to the pan when being up-ended to turn out the cake, despite the pan being properly and generously greased. Bah.

.My patchy Caramel Chip Cake
I might’ve been able to forgive it for that if I had liked the taste but I belatedly remembered after I took a bite that I just don’t like nutmeg in baked goods. This one only held half a teaspoon and I used my trusty, high-quality Penzey’s nutmeg but to no avail. I just don’t like the flavor of nutmeg. I don’t mind it in savory food but I don’t like it in baked goods. And it was pretty dominant in this cake, half a teaspoon or not. Strike three for this cake is I didn’t like the caramel-flavored chips in there either. They were too sweet and added a jarring note to the cake. 
Caramel Chip Cake - texture was good but I didn't like the nutmeg
Normally, with three strikes I would consider the recipe a failure, document it and move on. But the saving grace for this cake is I really liked the texture. It had a perfect pound cake texture, dense but soft, moist and chewy. So what do you do if you like nothing about the cake except its texture? Naturally, you tweak the recipe.
Cinnamon Pound Cake before the glaze
My tweaks were rather minor but made a world of difference. I made the cake again but this time I omitted the caramel-flavored chips entirely and instead of the nutmeg, I substituted the same amount in cinnamon. Vietnamese cinnamon from Penzey’s if you want to know since I don’t bake with any other cinnamon anymore. Half a teaspoon of cinnamon doesn’t go as far in terms of flavoring an entire cake as half a teaspoon of nutmeg does so to amp up the cinnamon flavor, I made up a cinnamon glaze. It’s a basic royal icing glaze with powdered sugar and milk but I added a teaspoon of cinnamon to the powdered sugar to flavor it.
Cinnamon Pound Cake
Lo and behold, my tweaky tinkering worked. It still didn't come out cleanly but it wasn't as patchy-looking at the original cake. I still loved the texture of the cake but this time I also liked the flavor. Forget the Caramel Chip Cake; this just became my Cinnamon Pound Cake with Cinnamon Glaze.
Cinnamon Pound Cake
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsifted bleached cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (I used Penzey's Vietnamese Cinnamon)
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
1/3 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, whisked well

Cinnamon Glaze
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-4 tablespoons whole milk or more as needed to achieve desired consistency
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 10-inch Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Sift the all-purpose flour, bake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together. 
  3. Cream the butter in the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer on moderate speed for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the brown sugar and beat for 1 minute; add the granulated sugar and beat for 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, blending well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla extract.
  5. On low speed, alternatively add the flour mixture and the buttermilk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Scrape down the sides of the bowl frequently with a rubber spatula to keep batter even textured.
  6. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
  7. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until risen, set and a wooden toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Let the cake stand in the pan on a cooling rack for 5 to 8 minutes. Loosen sides and center with a small rubber spatula before inverting onto another cooling rack. Cool completely.
  8. Make icing: whisk together confectioners' sugar and cinnamon. Add vanilla and the first 2 tablespoons of milk. Keep adding milk gradually, whisking smooth, until icing is desired consistency. Pour over Bundt cake.

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