Cinnamon Cake

My mom has a wooden recipe box full of handwritten recipes.  She also has a cupboard full of cookbooks and food magazines and stacks of loose recipes.  You know those stacks?  They are from the pre-Pinterest days.  The days when a friend would serve you something so good you had to write the recipe down before you left her house.  The days when you tore recipes out of magazines with determination to add new meals to the weekly rotation.  Anyway, I love going through my mom’s recipe stacks not only for inspiration but because there a little bits of history and a lot of memories that come along with the papers.  Sometimes I come across Sheri’s Jiffy Rolls or Linda Kendrick’s Chocolate Chip Cake or recipes handwritten by Tina Walz describing how to make the Cinnamon Twists she always brought to church in a basket.

As I went through the stack again this week I spotted a recipe I hadn’t noticed before.  It was hand written by my mom but had no notes to tell where or who she had gotten it from but it looked good and it was a cake!  A lonely Cinnamon Cake recipe that had been waiting for years to get picked up.  We were a perfect match.

Mom's handwritten Cinnamon Cake Recipe

Mom’s handwritten Cinnamon Cake Recipe

Mom had neglected to make a note of the size of pans, baking temperature and time so I found a very helpful guide for Baking Time and Batter Amounts on the Wilton website.  That site is bookmarked for future use!  I should have used our two slightly different, round cake tins but I had just found a gorgeous 10″ square tin with a removable bottom by Master Class at Winners.  The Wilton chart said that two 8″ round tins should be filled with 3.5 cups of batter each and a 10″ square should hold 6 cups.  This recipe makes about 5 cups of batter so I felt safe using my new pan.  I baked at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, checked it at 35 and 45 minutes and it was finally done at about 55 minutes.

I was being such a good mom until Max started throwing flour around!

I was being such a good mom until Max started throwing flour around!

I am so happy with this cake, I almost made it again in a bundt pan today to see if I could add prettiness to the delicious factor.  With 2 full tablespoons of cinnamon in the batter it is pleasantly spicy without overpowering and the cream cheese icing is a nice touch on top.  Josh asked for seconds so I think this cake will make it into his favorites at the end of this #52Cake Challenge.   I think this cake could even stand alone without the icing.  It’s that good.

I just had another piece straight out of the fridge--it's so good!

I just had another piece straight out of the fridge–it was like a cinnamon roll in cake form!

Cinnamon Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Nicely spiced with a light and fluffy texture. Perfect to serve with a cup of coffee or tea. Refrigerate after icing.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 16
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons good quality cinnamon (I use Kirkland brand Ground Saigon)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • 1 package cream cheese, 8 ounces, softened
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3¾ cups powdered sugar
  1. Prepare warm water and set aside.
  2. Mix baking soda, cinnamon and flour in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. Cream together butter, sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl until light and creamy.
  4. Add dry ingredients and slowly add warm water while mixing until all ingredients are combined.
  5. Pour into a well greased and floured 10" square cake pan.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 45 - 50 minutes or until toothpick insterted comes out clean.
  7. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing cake to cool completely before icing.
  1. Beat butter and cream cheese together until completely mixed and fluffy.
  2. Add vanilla, mix well.
  3. Gradually add powdered sugar until incorporated.


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