Cinnamon Everyday Cake

I’ve found a quiet spot in this churning, babbling city; it’s called the Poets House, and it’s only two blocks from mine.  There are windows here, big ones that look down onto the green park below, and wooden floors and cushy seats and rows and rows of books.  They make the whole place smell like what I imagine parchment must smell like.  I can bring small slices of cinnamon cake and paper cups of tea inside, and sit by the windows and the rows of books, nibbling cake and burning my tongue with tea, trying to think of what to write.  I like it here.

Today I paraded down a row of poetry books and stumbled upon a section entitled “Cooking.”  I spent the better part of an hour reading from this section — I bet you didn’t know how many bizarre poems about food there are in the world.  Lots.  Poems about peas (I eat my peas with honey,/I’ve done it all my life,/They do taste kind of funny,/But it keeps them on the knife.  – Anonymous) or pies or ketchup, songs against broccoli, odes to Irish stew… I think next time I’ll stick with Robert Frost.

Still, this one sort of stuck with me:

The Search For The Perfect Rye Bread

by Bethami Auerbach

The perfect rye bread

has not been found

but every near-miss

every changeling

emerging from my oven

is savored;

nothing I make

with my own hands

can be all bad.

It’s a long time to be housebound

researching

organizing

measuring

mixing

kneading

rising

baking

cooling

tasting

4 hours at least

sometimes 6

But these are hours

when something is going on in my life,

hours when I might be home

staring at my hands

in terror that nothing is going on in my life.

These are hours of ferment

when, after washing my spoon,

I might grab my pen;

hours of waiting

for a sign

that I can make something

out of nothing.

Cinnamon Everyday Cake

This cake isn’t fancy, rich, or even pretty.  It’s not the cake to waltz out on special occasions, cloth napkins spread and candles alight.  This is the simplest of cakes, to be made on a lazy weekend morning, eaten for breakfast and then quietly slivered away at all day, then the next.  It’s an everyday sort of cake, sturdy-crumbed and laced with cinnamon, perfect with a splash of cream and a smudge of jam, for when a bowl of cereal just won’t do.

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, soft
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Butter a 9-inch cake pan or bundt.

Cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add the lemon zest, then beat in the eggs, one at a time, and vanilla extract.  Scrape the bowl to make sure everything is incorporated.

In another bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Add half of the flour mixture to the butter/sugar bowl, stirring gently.  Add the heavy cream and mix to combine, and then add the rest of the flour mixture, stirring just until the batter comes together.

Pour the batter into the greased cake pan and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Let the cake cool a bit before slicing and splashing with just a touch of extra cream on top – this cake can be served warm or at room temperature, and is great with a spoonful or

Makes 1 9-inch cake.

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2 Responses to Cinnamon Everyday Cake

  1. Emily says:

    what a sweet post!

    officially requesting a fall dinner party menu–can you post about that soon?

  2. Lauren says:

    Take me there.

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