Recipes: Cinnamon Coffee Cake

It’s called a Cinnamon Coffee Cake but the funny thing is that it doesn’t have any coffee in it. Perhaps they called it that because it goes well with coffee? Anyway, I figured it was time to make something for me instead of always something for the boys. I’ve always had a thing for cinnamon ever since I read about the spice melange – the fictional awareness spectrum narcotic from Frank Herbert‘s phenomenal work of fiction – Dune. The spice melange was described as smelling and tasting like cinnamon so I used to imagine that my cinnamon infused nutriments were actually laden with melange instead. I imagine that was how I acquired my taste for cinnamon – during my imaginary days on the planet Arrakis.

Benefits of Cinnamon

Although it doesn’t have the effect of melange in expanding consciousness, it turns out that cinnamon might actually have some health benefits, such as:

  • regulating blood sugar
  • lowering cholesterol (specifically LDL)
  • reducing inflammation
  • fighting bacteria
  • reducing arthritic and menstrual pain
  • improving fertility
  • antioxidant effects and cancer prevention
  • may be beneficial against neurodegenerative diseases

If that’s not enough reason to start acquiring a taste for cinnamon, did you know that cinnamon helps metabolize sugar up to twenty times better than food not eaten with cinnamon? That can be pretty helpful if you’re watching your waistline.

Update! 5 Proven Brain Benefits of Cinnamon:

  1. Cinnamon may delay or reverse cognitive impairment – a study in rats found that cinnamon improved cognition and reduced oxidation in the brain.
  2. Cinnamon may be beneficial for Parkinson’s patients – a mouse study found that cinnamon protected dopamine production systems and improved motor function in Parkinson’s disease.
  3. Cinnamon may curb food cravings – by targeting a brain chemical involved in glucose and cholesterol, eating cinnamon may decrease food intake and help you lose weight.
  4. Cinnamon’s scent can boost memory in a task – a small human study suggests that merely smelling cinnamon can improve performance several types of memory tasks.
  5. Cinnamon is a good source of the powerful antioxidant manganese – 2 teaspoons of cinnamon provides about half the RDA of manganese, a powerful antioxidant that is crucial for brain and body health.

Contra-indications for Cinnamon

Consuming food flavoured with cinnamon is generally not a problem. It should be noted however that excessive consumption of cinnamon is not recommended for children and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Cinnamon Cake

Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Notes: this cake has also been fortified with flaxseed and partial wholemeal flour substitution. Ingredients:

  • 90g butter
  • 110g castor sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 100g plain flour
  • 60g wholemeal pastry flour
  • 30g flaxseed meal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb soda
  • 3/4 c butter milk

Method:

  1. Prepare cake pan. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Mix flaxseed meal with egg and put aside.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients into a mixing bowl.
  4. Add in flaxseed and egg mixture.
  5. Mix on medium speed until well combined.
  6. Pour into prepared pan.
  7. Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until your skewer comes out clean (poke a skewer into the cake and pull it out – check if any cake batter sticks to it).

Cinnamon Crumble Cake Alternatively, you can add the cinnamon as a topping by doing the following: Ingredients for main cake:

  • As above but without the brown sugar or cinnamon powder

Ingredients for cake topping:

  • 45g butter
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 56g plain flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Method:

  • Repeat step 1 to step 6.
  • Combine ingredients for cake topping and mix until well combined.
  • Press the cake topping mixture through a coarse sieve over the cake mixture.
  • Go to Step 7.

Cinnamon cake 2