Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake

I’m on the cross country team at school, the members are probably my favorite people. Personally, I think cross country is the toughest sport, you need mental discipline, you need optimism and you need to push yourself. You can only run if you’ve got those traits, and with the help of people supporting you, it’s definitely possible to improve. Runners are the best. They push you and they motivate you. I also love the spirit- every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for two hours after school, we push ourselves despite the aching limbs, the stomach cramps and the blisters and smile while we do it. We cheer each other on. Running may be a tough sport, but it’s definitely worth it, and then you can go and reward yourself.

 Last year, the team would go on long runs every weekend, then we’d go to our head coach’s house and indulge in her homemade cinnamon rolls. Gooey, warm, buttery and delicious. The perfect start to the day. She left this year, and we miss her. But her cinnamon roll runs live on today. We had our first one last weekend and I volunteered to bake them. This year has started out pretty rocky- there’s a larger workload in comparison to last year, and I know the IB students will rebuke me for saying this- they’ve got tons more to do. And cinnamon rolls take quite a bit of time to make from scratch- there are three different elements- and the dough must be left to rise several times.

So I was very fortunate to have come across this recipe for cinnamon roll cake. Nothing beats cinnamon rolls. Except this. It’s better, and so much easier. For one, the cake is light and fluffy, the cinnamon mixture adds a rich, buttery, fall flavor and the sweet, tangy cream cheese glaze is the perfect topper. The flavor is magical. I applaud the person who came up to this recipe, it’s so good, I might cry. Please eat it warm and savor every bite. You’ve earned it after an hour long run.

Recipe adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything who adapted the recipe from Picky Palate

 Combine the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder in a bowl

 Add in the eggs and milk…
Add in the butter and stir to combine. The batter really comes together 
at this stage: thick, creamy and smooth.
Pour the batter into a greased baking dish.

In a small bowl, combine some brown sugar, flour cinnamon and butter.
I really like the contrast between the color of the rust-like cinnamon and light brown sugar

Fold in your nuts- if you plan on using them…

Place dollops of the mixture onto the surface of the cake
and swirl with a butter knife. 
Lovely :) Bake for 25-30 min.
In a smaller bowl, combine some cream cheese and butter.
Alternate with powdered sugar and milk. 

Nice and smooooth. 
Drizzle the mixture onto the warm cake,

And dive in!

Ingredients

Cake

3 Cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 Cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ Cups milk
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup melted butter
Cinnamon mixture
1 cup softened butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2/3 cups nuts (optional)- I’ve used walnuts
Cream cheese glaze
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp cream cheese
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350 F or 180 C
1. Whisk together the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, milk, eggs and vanilla. Once combined well, Add in melted butter. Pour batter into a greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
2. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the cinnamon mixture: the butter brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nuts (they taste great!) until well combined. Drop mound fulls of the mixture onto the surface of the cake. With the tip of a knife, swirl the mixture with the cake batter.
3. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the center is no longer jiggly and a toothpick comes out nearly clean.
4.Cream together the  cream cheese, butter and vanilla.
5. Alternate with the sugar and milk, stirring until nice and creamy. Drizzle over the warm cake- serve while still warm!

Feel free to 1/2 the recipe and make it in an 8×8 inch pan… but it’ll be gone before you know it!

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