[Recipe] Cinnamon Cake with Chocolate

Today is a good day.

I am a baker. I love spending time in the kitchen to do anything except the dishes, but my most favourite thing to do in the kitchen is bake. It really tickles two parts of my psyche – the people-pleaser and the scientist.

My husband is the man found roaming in and out of the kitchen as I bake… “Whatcha makin’? What’s that?” This is kind of a trick though since my husband is not actually a fan of many things of the sweet variety, and while baking isn’t always sweet, it quite often is.

The fact that he doesn’t like a lot of sweet things makes my husband my harshest critic. But not today. I woke up early this morning, and went straight to the kitchen to make this cinnamon and chocolate cake. Our house was filled with the smell of a cake baking by 9am. By 10am, I knew I had him. He was drifting in and out of the kitchen while I was making the frosting, asking when he could try it.


If you need something to please the “I’m not a fan of sweet stuff” person in your life, try this cake.

[Recipe] Cinnamon Cake with Chocolate

Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Cinnamon Squares
Serves 9


1 1/4 C plus 2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp plus 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder or instant coffee
1 3/4 C all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
3/4 C buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C plus 2 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled
3/4 C chocolate chips


6 oz semisweet chocolate chips
3 Tbsp butter
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8-inch square pan with butter and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Mix 2 Tbsp of sugar with 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon and the espresso powder. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together.

In another bowl, whisk the wet ingredients, except the butter together.

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients, whisking until incoporated.

Finally, whisk or fold the melted butter into the batter.

Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips and cinnamon sugar mixture over the batter.  Add the remainder of the batter and smooth the top of the cake.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow the cake to cool to room temperature before frosting.

To make the frosting, melt the frosting ingredients in the top of a double boiler until smooth. Do not cook past melting. The chocolate should be smooth, shiny, and easily spreadable. Spread frosting over the cake.

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