Heat, pillowy dough rolled up with a sticky-sweet spiced filling and slathered generously with thick cream cheese frosting is sufficient to entice nearly anybody, however cinnamon rolls maintain a particular place in my pastry-loving coronary heart. As somebody who didn’t eat loads of sweets rising up, it felt like a subject day when my mother would purchase me a cinnamon roll (at all times the Basic one) from the Cinnabon at our native mall. The candy, heavenly aroma wafting from the shop, the person Tiffany-blue takeaway field, the primary euphoric bites of the frosted roll itself — the entire expertise was a deal with, particularly as a result of I may get away with having dessert for dinner, a uncommon feat on the time.
Quick ahead to now, and I nonetheless can’t resist ordering any cinnamon roll I come throughout on a brunch or bakery menu. Making them, nonetheless, is a special story — irrespective of how simple and hassle-free a recipe purports to be, cinnamon rolls have at all times fallen into the “undertaking baking” class for me. The kneading, resting, and meeting concerned can really feel intimidating if you happen to’re brief on time or vitality, or simply don’t love working with yeast (*raises hand*). And so pushed by equal elements curiosity and laziness, I questioned a couple of doable various, particularly: may the basic cinnamon roll be became a cake? Not for the primary time, what started as a random thought quickly led me down a scrumptious rabbit gap.
Including cinnamon to each the cake batter and frosting was a begin, however I needed to search out methods to extra totally translate the holistic expertise of a cinnamon roll right into a cake. In that vein, I experimented with utilizing a portion of complete wheat flour (to echo the roll’s breadiness) and incorporating cream cheese and buttermilk into the batter (to enrich the frosting’s slight tang). Although it doesn’t look like a cinnamon roll, the ensuing two-layer cake does justice to the unique inspiration taste-wise, particularly when it’s topped off with a decadent cinnamon-spiked cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with toasted pecan bits (a easy layered look impressed by this Smitten Kitchen quantity). Because the cake perfumes the kitchen because it bakes, it envelopes the whole lot it touches within the heat, uniquely comforting aroma of a cinnamon roll.
Although it’s onerous to beat the unique, this cake captures the essence of the basic and makes for a beautiful back-to-school deal with. A slice is a foolproof approach to indulge my nostalgia — even when I nonetheless really feel a slight compulsion to stress-buy a field of cinnamon rolls each time I come throughout a Cinnabon store within the wild. And better of all, as a self-proclaimed grownup, I can now have dessert for dinner each time I need.
Cinnamon Roll Cake
Yield: one two-layer, 8-inch spherical cake
For the cake:
¾ cup (105g) all-purpose flour
½ cup (70g) complete wheat flour
1 teaspoon floor cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick (113g) unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces full-fat cream cheese, softened
½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
½ cup, packed (100g) gentle brown sugar
2 giant eggs, at room temperature
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¾ cup buttermilk, at room temperature
For the cream cheese frosting:
4 ounces full-fat cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2 ¼ cups (250g) powdered sugar
For the filling and topping:
Chopped toasted pecans
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 levels. Calmly grease two 8-inch spherical cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bottoms with parchment rounds and grease the parchment.
Step 2: In a medium bowl, whisk collectively each flours, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Step 3: In a big bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese with an electrical hand mixer or in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment till easy. Add each sugars and cream the combination till gentle and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Step 4: Add within the eggs one by one, beating after every addition till mixed. Scrape the bowl as soon as extra, then beat within the vanilla.
Step 5: Add half of the dry substances to the butter combination and beat simply till mixed. Fastidiously beat within the buttermilk, then add the remainder of the dry substances and beat simply till the batter is easy.
Step 6: Divide the batter between the 2 pans and easy the floor with a small offset spatula. Place the pans on a baking sheet. Bake the desserts for 25-Half-hour, rotating the baking sheet midway by way of, till a toothpick inserted within the middle comes out clear and the highest is about and golden.
Step 7: Let the desserts cool within the pans for 10-Quarter-hour, then gently run a small offset spatula across the edges of the desserts to loosen. Fastidiously invert the cake layers onto a cooling rack.
Step 8: Make the cream cheese frosting: Utilizing an electrical mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter in a big bowl till easy. Beat within the salt and cinnamon. Regularly add within the powdered sugar and beat till the frosting comes collectively.
Step 9: When the cake layers are utterly cool, assemble the cake. Place one cake layer on a big plate or cake stand, unfold with half of the cream cheese frosting, and sprinkle with chopped pecans. Place the second cake layer on prime and unfold the highest of the cake with the remaining frosting. Garnish with extra pecans.
Pleasure Cho is a pastry chef and freelance author primarily based in Brooklyn. After shedding her pastry prepare dinner job firstly of the pandemic, Pleasure launched Pleasure Cho Pastry, an Instagram enterprise by way of which she sells her gem desserts to the New York Metropolis space.
Molly J. Smith is a photographer primarily based in Portland, Oregon.
Recipe examined by Deena Prichep