Cinnamon Squares Baking With Dorie

This week is my turn to pick in Baking With Dorie.  This becomes a most frustrating time because there are so many recipes, I want to make.  When I finally make my selection, it is a joyous moment because I always love what I have chosen.

These square are homey and warm.  They are simple but with the frosting, become exquisite.  I made these and forgot about them for two days, while they sat out on the dining room table.  I think, they are a little dry because of it.  With the filling and the frosting, one can't really tell.

I made the filling thick so it would show and it made these squares even better.  The cinnamon fragrance wafted through the house and it was calming.

Making the squares was easy.  It was different, adding the margarine, at the end.  I am wondering why it was reversed and what effect it has.  I had some yellow sugar that I sprinkled on a part of the cake since my youngest told me, as I was doing the sprinkling, she did not like anything on the frosting.   For the frosting, I used my handy microwave.  That was a snap to make.
Cinnamon Squares
from Baking: From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan

1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
3/4 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, or 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan and line the bottom with parchment or wax paper. Place the pan on a baking sheet.

To Make the Cake: Stir 2 tablespoons of the sugar, 2 1/2 teaspoons of the cinnamon and the espresso together in a small bowl.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, the remaining 1 1/4 cups sugar, the baking powder, salt and the remaining 1 tablespoon cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs and vanilla. Pour the liquid ingredients over the flour mixture and gently whisk until you have a homogeneous batter. Now, using the whisk or a rubber spatula, fold in the butter with a light touch, just until the butter is absorbed. You'll have a smooth, shiny batter.

Scrape half of the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle the chocolate over the batter and dust with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Cover with the rest of the batter and smooth the top again.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cake is puffed and beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan; a thin knife inserted into the center will come out clean. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and let it rest for 15 minutes before unmolding it onto another rack. Peel off the paper, invert it onto the first rack, and cool to room temperature right side up.

To Make the Frosting: Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and fit the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Cook, stirring gently and often, just until they melt. Be careful not to overheat the mixture so much that it thins out; the chocolate should be smooth, very shiny, thick and spreadable. (If it thins, leave the frosting at room temperature for a bit, until it thickens a little.)

Using an offset metal icing spatula or a table knife, spread the frosting in generous sweeps and swirls over the top of the cake. Allow the frosting to set at room temperature, then cut the cake into 9 squares, each about 2 1/2 inches on a side.

Playing Around
Cappuccino Squares
: If you like the cappuccino flavor combination of coffee and cinnamon, you can easily switch the balance in this recipe by adding a jolt of coffee flavor to the batter. Just mix 1 tablespoon instant espresso into the milk and warm the milk in a microwave oven until it is hot enough to dissolve the coffee. Cool the milk and carry on.

Serving: Serve the cake as is or, if you'd like, with whipped cream, creme fraiche or sour cream.

Storing: Wrapped in plastic, the cake will keep at room temperature for 2 days. It can be frozen for up to 2 months, but it's best to put the cake in the freezer unwrapped and then, when the frosting is firm, to wrap it airtight; defrost, still wrapped, overnight in the refrigerator.

 To see what the other bakers did, check out Baking With Dorie.  

Linked to My Recipe, Your Kitchen


  1. Looks delicious. I bet my family would love that.

  2. I enjoyed this cake. I didn't have chocolate on hand so I made wthout and it was wonderful...I loved it! I served it with whipped cream.

    Your frosting looks so good I may try that next time!


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