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.

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.

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.

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.