I don’t often develop and post baking recipes and there are a few reasons why. First and foremost, my wife is the baker in the family. She does it so well that I find it unnecessary to try and come up with anything else. Secondly, culinary school is typically divided up into two tracts: savory and baking / pastry. Every culinary student gets the savory lessons, along with a handful of courses in baking and pastry. However, if you want to expand your baking knowledge, you can choose additional classes on that path. I chose to focus on savory but I learned a lot about baking and pastry in the several semesters of classes that I had to take. The baking classes I took taught me the principles of the bake shop and more importantly, about ratios.
Baking is often referred to as a scientific equation and in almost all instances, it is. Savory cooking allows you more freedom to create as you go, which is what I prefer. Baking is more precise as the ingredients all act and react off of one another.
In addition, most professional baking is done by weighing the ingredients as opposed to measuring them in typical measuring cups. Weighing the ingredients ensures a more consistent product time after time.
Armed with this knowledge, I decided to come up with a breakfast pound cake the other day. I am always trying to feed my kids something new for breakfast and I thought this Cinnamon Swirl Pound Cake would be perfect. For one, I know the ratio for pound cake is equal parts: butter, sugar, flour and eggs. It is one of the simplest ratios out there and hard to screw up. However, with pound cake being so sweet and dense, I felt bad serving it to my kids for breakfast. So, I added some cinnamon and cream cheese frosting and somehow, that made it seem more breakfast like.
The results were a smashing success. The cake was luxurious, yet felt light and appropriate at breakfast. Before serving a slice, I warmed it up in the microwave so the bread was warm and the frosting got a little runny. It was like a cinnamon roll on steroids!
Cinnamon Swirl Pound Cake
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 8 ounces (by weight) sugar, plus a 1/4 cup of sugar divided
- 8 ounces (by weight) egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 tsp. cinnamon, divided
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 8 ounces (by weight) flour
- ***For the Icing***
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ounce cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp. milk
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat butter and 8 ounces of sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- After all the eggs have been added, stir in vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, mix together 1 tsp. of cinnamon, salt and flour.
- Gradually add flour mixture to eggs and butter, mixing until just combined.
- In small bowl, mix together remaining sugar and cinnamon.
- Pour 1/3 of the batter into the loaf pan. Cover batter with half of the cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Repeat with remaining batter and cinnamon sugar mixture, ending with a layer of batter on top.
- Bake for 45 – 50 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and let cool.
- ***For the Icing***
- Mix together butter and cream cheese.
- Add milk and vanilla extract.
- Gradually whisk in the powdered sugar to form a frosting.
- Frost cooled cake and garnish with additional cinnamon and sugar.
- Can be served room temperature, tastes best if warmed slightly before serving.