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Cinnamon Sugar Cake with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buttercream

Cinnamon Sugar Cake with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buttercream

We are creatures of habit.

Good habits, bad habits, healthy habits, poor habits—we have them all. Some we are proud of, like our ability to be someplace on time or flossing our teeth before bed each evening. Some we are ashamed of, like the amount of books we don't make time to read or how often we bite our nails. Some are hard to keep and others are hard to lose. We have hundreds of little habits and, whether we like it or not, they help to define us. They help us through the day.

Cinnamon Sugar Cake with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buttercream

I originally sat down to write a post about my cravings to have a sweet ending with every meal, but I soon realized I wrote about that exactly one year ago. Since I've been trying to eat healthier in the new year (as I attempt every year), I often feel my sweet cravings hold me back from my fantasy health food diet. I plan on eating carrot sticks and quinoa, but cake finds its way into my daydreams instead. Sweetness has become a habit, much to the chagrin of my dentist.

I have a few good habits I'm proud to share. I make time to exercise every week. I eat breakfast every morning. I try to find the positive in every situation. I also have a few habits I would like to break. I wish I had the motivation to be more productive. I wish I made more time for the people I care about. It is as easy for me to be cruel as to be kind.

Cinnamon Sugar Cake with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buttercream Cinnamon Sugar Cake with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buttercream

It's easy to be hard on ourselves when we struggle to break our bad habits. Sometimes we actually change them and it's a true moment of self celebration. More often than not, however, we find our habits too difficult to alter, despite our best intentions. Does this make us bad people? No. Habits are habits for a reason—they are extremely difficult to change. Some are so ingrained in ourselves, our souls, that they have almost become involuntary.

Accepting our habits, for better or worse, is something we all must come to terms with at some point in our lives. Wanting to change our bad habits and turn them into positive ones is honorable. Realizing that these habits make us who we are, the big and the small, the significant or insignificant, may be the most important revelation of all.

Cinnamon Sugar Cake with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buttercream Cinnamon Sugar Cake with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buttercream

This Cinnamon Sugar Cake is frosted with a sweet Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buttercream. The cake is made with sour cream, which lends a moist texture to the final product, but the cake itself is not very sweet. The brown sugar buttercream, however, is the perfect complement to the cinnamon sugar cake. The brown sugar addition gives the buttercream a slight grit, which is reminiscent of a warm piece of cinnamon sugar toast. This cake is an everyday cake to sweeten up your daily moments.

One Year Ago: Chocolate Salted Caramel Cookies

Cinnamon Sugar Cake with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buttercream

Yields 8-inch 2-layer cake

Cinnamon Sugar Cake
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease 2 8-inch (or 9-inch) cake pans and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in sour cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla extract.

Gradually add in cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat until smooth. Batter will be very thick.

Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and spread out batter until level. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in pans for at least 10 minutes before removing cake and allowing to cool completely on a cooling rack.

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buttercream
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons heavy cream

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Beat in the ground cinnamon and salt. Beat in the powdered sugar slowly, adding the cream gradually. If frosting is too thick, add a small amount of cream until desired consistency is achieved. If frosting is not thick enough, add powdered sugar until desired consistency is achieved.

To Assemble
Place a cake layer on a cake plate. Top cake with 1/3 of the frosting and spread evenly. Top with second cake layer and the rest of the frosting, spreading it evenly across the top and down the sides. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon for decoration, if desired.

Reader Comments (25)

This cake is stunning. The name alone makes me know I would like this without even seeing the recipe! haha But after close inspection or the recipe I confirmed my thoughts - this cake sounds awesome!
Wow, this sounds sooo satisfying and delicious! I only wish my hubby liked cinnamon.
01.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSamCyn
I will have to agree with your post on so many levels... Except one "It is as easy for me to be cruel as to be kind" - I don't get that vibe from you. You are so introspective that it would be impossible to be cruel - all that makes you, you, would object to that :)
Take care and culture your good (and bad) habits this year.
And if I find a magic way to give up my sweets, I will definitely share it with you. Meanwhile, I'll just print this recipe so I can try it over the weekend :))
01.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterCristina
I know exactly what you mean about something sweet after if something sweet is in the house and i have a meal it just calls to me i have a hard time dealing with it but if get rid of whatever is sweet or the option of getting it i can just about deal with it :/ that my habit that I’m trying to kick :D
01.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca
When my children started inquiring about what was for dessert during dinner at other people's houses, we realized we had to stop (sigh) having something sweet after every meal. Their behavior was always especially embarrassing when dessert wasn't on the menu. Can't wait to make this cinnamon cake for a "treat" night.
01.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne
I looovee cinnamon. Although many people tend to disagree. This cake sounds tasty!
This looks lovely! I love the combination of cinnamon and brown sugar. And don't sweat it about the sweet tooth; I try to eat as healthy as I can, but I always save room for the sweet stuff.
01.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBecca
I can imagine eating this with apples... delicious!
01.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth
You are so right - habits define who we are! And I think they are the only things that we can hold on to, since everything that we do based on habits we do unintentionally (even though it's a bad habit)...
And the cake is just stunning! I guess I will have to make it :) do you think sweet marshmallow frosting/filling would go well instead of brown sugar cinnamon buttercream. I have too much of it and I am desperately trying to find a right place to use it :))
01.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMigle
This cake looks simply beautiful! I also have to say that your blog is beautiful as well. I love the layout and the combination of pictures and "text pictures".
Katrina-- Thank you! I hope you give it a try.

Cristina-- Thank you so much. Your words are so lovely.

Rebecca-- Maybe we can try to kick the habit together?

Suzanne-- Oh my goodness! I imagine my future children will have a very similar problem. You may have to give me tips on how to handle it!

Becca-- Ha! So glad I'm not the only one. :)

Migle-- You could always give it a try! Since the cake is not terribly sweet, the sweet marshmallow frosting may go very well with it.

Jenn-- Thank you so much!
01.14.2012 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
I've been following your blog for a while and love so many things about it. I love the pictures, awesome recipes, and your honesty. I also love that you post regularly. I tried the chic pea recipe last week and we loved it. We are also trying to eat healthy and create some new good habits...but I may have to fall off the wagon with this cake. I looks so good. This post made me feel so good because I also always feel the need to follow up a meal with something sweet and am often nosing through the snack drawer and cupboards for a little something before the dishes are even cleaned up. So chin up! I love sweets too!
01.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMandy
That cake is gorgeous! I bet that would be awesome with an apple filling in the fall, too!
01.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterCasey
I try to eat healthier this year too. It won't last long, but so far I manage to keep myself from a cake baking. I award myself with banana smoothies. I look for recipes that are both healthy and delicious. Good luck with New Year's resolutions.
01.15.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMagda
Amazing pictures.
I love cinnamon (like I put it in almost everything..) and I can't wait the get a chance to try this recipe out.
01.15.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRayna
This looks divine, I love cinnamon and I love cake! I will be making this soon.
You had me at brown sugar cinnamon buttercream. This looks and sounds amazing.
01.16.2012 | Unregistered CommenterFresh and Foodie
A delightful cake with aromatic spices than remind me of our childhood snack of cinnamon toast. Just lovely!
01.16.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDeb
just frosted the cake...i can't wait to take a bite. great post, great cake! thanks!
01.22.2012 | Unregistered Commenterkatelin
The recipe calls for salt in the frosting but the directions don't say to add it. I have never put salt in a buttercream frosting. So is it mistake in the ingredients list
06.3.2012 | Unregistered CommenterShawnee
Shawnee-- So sorry I forgot to add that in the directions! It's been fixed. The salt is in the buttercream to cut out some of the sweetness, giving it a more balanced flavor instead of a rot-your-teeth-out sweet.
06.3.2012 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
I just made this into cupcakes and they rose with perfect domes. I added extra cinnamon and used 1.5 cups of brown sugar in the cake batter. I put a pinch of nutmeg and more brown sugar into the icing as well. I don't have sour cream where I live so I used creme fraiche instead. They are super moist and delicious.
07.17.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKristen
I made this cake on Saturday and it cooked in about 35 minutes, which seemed too soon but I didn't want it to burn. It was in 2 9in round pans. The cake is really dry. The batter was incredibly thick-almost hard to spread in the pans. What did I miss? Not sure if it needed extra sour cream or something else for more moistness. I will definitely include the salt in the frosting next time-it was a bit too sweet but still tasty. Might try this as cupcakes next time.
07.22.2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura
1. You're awesome.
2. Salted or unsalted butter? Does that matter?
08.14.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKendall
Kendall-- Truthfully, I use unsalted butter and salted butter interchangeably. I cannot really taste the difference in salt.
08.14.2013 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau

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