Cinnamon is one of those spices that can bring a smile to your face. It’s instantly recognizable, and we all have fond memories attached to those attractive aromas.
Cinnamon is precisely what makes the coffee cake we’re making today extra special; it’s beautifully fragrant and sweet and the perfect partner for cappuccinos, flat whites, lattes and macchiatos. It just feels right.
Every nice coffee cake has a streusel topping, those buttery crumbles crowning the moist cake to add a crunch to every bite. We’re making a streusel topping too.
For our cake, we’re using a few baking staples: flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, eggs, butter, oil, vanilla extract and milk. These are pretty standard ingredients, and I’m sure you already have them at home. The final component is cinnamon.
Make sure you get real cinnamon. Two main spices taste and smell similarly, Ceylon cinnamon or ‘real cinnamon’ and the less-expensive cassia cinnamon. If you have the chance, get the real stuff; it’s more fragrant!
For this cinnamon cake, I use an 8-inch square pan, but you can use a similarly sized loaf pan. You also need three mixing bowls, two large ones and a smaller one for the streusel. I use a stand mixer, but you can use an electric hand mixer as well.
The truth is, coffee cakes are pretty noble, and they always turn out all right. They don’t have to be the prettiest cakes; they’re all about the flavor and texture, and this one excels in both!
For the streusel:
Preheat the oven at 350°F and grease an 8-inch square pan.
In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients: sugar, flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
In a second mixing bowl, combine the wet ingredients: oil, eggs, vanilla and milk.
In a stand mixer, combine the dry and wet mixtures. Pour the batter into the cake pan.
For the streusel, use a small bowl to combine the sugar and the cinnamon.
Use a fork to mash the butter, slowly adding the sugar mixture to form crumbles.
Cover the cake pan with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes; carefully remove from the oven, uncover and top with the streusel mixture.
Bake uncovered for another 10 minutes.