Fluffy Cinnamon Cakes

I love cinnamon. There are even lots of great reasons why cinnamon is good for us. Unfortunately, the boys don’t share my enthusiasm for it. The last time I made cinnamon cake, I had the following conversation with G2 –

G2: Mama, what’s that smell?
Me: *thinking he thought it smelled as heavenly as I did, I puffed up my chest and replied* My cinnamon cake! Would you like some?
G2: *shakes his head vigorously* It smelled un-good.

Hmpft.

It’s been a while since I’ve tried making anything with cinnamon in it, but I was hankering for it recently and decided I was going to make some even if it meant I had to eat it all by myself. This recipe is even better than the one I made last time. To my surprise, G1 asked to try some and guess what? He loved it!

Ingredients:

  • 125 g butter
  • 200g castor sugar
  • 150 g self-raising flour
  • 50 g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 60 ml milk

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180 C. Prepare cake tin.
  • Combine all ingredients into a mixing bowl. Beat on medium until smooth and changed in colour.
  • Spoon into prepared pan.
  • Cupcakes – bake for 25 minutes. 20cm cake pan – bake for 50 minutes.
  • Stand for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and dust with icing sugar when cool.

Recipes: Easy Healthsome Carrot Cake

Carrots are good for you:

  • they reduce your risk for developing heart disease
  • they help prevent cancer
  • they’re good for your eyes
  • they protect your liver
  • they’re anti-inflammatory
  • they’re useful for managing cognitive dysfunctions

So far, the only way the boys will eat their carrots is when I add it to their juice. After reading that cooking carrots may actually enhance their nutritional content, I’ve been looking for a way to encourage the boys to eat their carrots cooked. Carrot cakes have been a little hit and miss – largely miss – because many recipes contain spices and nuts which the boys don’t fancy. Here’s a workable recipe that not only passed the taste test but is healthy, too! Definitely better than the Peanut Butter Carrot Muffins from the Sneaky Chef.

Carrot cake

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 30g flaxseed meal
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 150g brown sugar
  • 150g wholemeal flour

Method:

  • Combine eggs, flaxseed meal, soda, cinnamon and carrots in a processor and process until the carrots are finely chopped.
  • Add butter and sugar and process until combined.
  • Stir in flour
  • Pour into a prepared pan and bake at 180C for 45 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.

See also:

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

Recipes: Cinnamon Raisin Bread for the Bread Maker

I couldn’t hack the gluten-free cinnamon raisin bread from Bob’s Red Mill so I went looking for another recipe. Most recipes were too large for my Lebensstil Bread Maker so I had to modify one that I found. It turned out okay, except that I reckon it needs more raisins. I also need to figure out how to make it “fluffier” and less dense. According to the tips from the Lebensstil bread making manual, there are several reasons for this:

  • salt mixed with yeast
  • liquids too hot
  • not enough yeast (in this case, I don’t think this was it because I used slightly more yeast than the recipe called for)

Regardless, I think the texture is still much lighter, softer and fluffier than the gluten-free version, so I’m okay with it even if I never figure the secret to the fluffiest cinnamon bread ever. Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Ingredients

  • 150g plain flour
  • 75g whole wheat flour
  • 50g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 5g yeast
  • 80ml warm milk
  • 50g soften butter
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt (might try omitting this next time)
  • 30g raisins (I think we need to add more)

Method

  • Mix ingredients into a dough.
  • Place into mixer.
  • Use whole wheat bread setting.

According to the Lebensstil bread making manual, the dried fruit should be added after the beep for the second rise. I didn’t follow this because I usually ignore the bread maker once it starts going so chances are, I’ll forget to add it altogether.