P&Q: Cinnamon Squares

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45 thoughts on “P&Q: Cinnamon Squares

  1. 10 tablespoons of butter in an 8-inch square pan…no, it isn’t dry.

    I actually thought the texture was great – light, tender, moist, but not too delicate. The flavor was very good too, although I’m glad I increased the salt quite a bit.

  2. Frosting: does this stiffen as it dries? I picture hardened, melted chocolate on top of cake – or does the little bit of butter help it stay smooth? Can’t wait to try it – cinnamon + chocolate = a great combo!

  3. @mike: I let my squares sit in the fridge overnight after frosting the cake, it does stiffen but it’s not like a rockhard layer of chocolate. Now the squares are sitting in the freezer, waiting for my birthday to arrive!

  4. Did anyone find these too cinnamony? I’m not too adventurous when it comes to spices… I’ve never used more than 1 tsp of cinnamon before and find that I’m always reducing it in recipes. I don’t want to reduce it this time because these are cinnamon squares, but did you guys think it was too cinnamony,

  5. I love cinnamon, although I’m not a fan of cinnamon and chocolate, so I was trying to think of alternatives to the chocolate. Any ideas? I would love to get my hands on some cinnamon chips, but I’ve never seen those in my area.

  6. this isnt related to the cinnamon squares, but a msg for Vibi – Vibi, every time i go to your blog to read and comment, my browser says that there is a bug and wont let me view – just thought I would let you know that I am not ignoring your blog, just cant seem to get through to it!

      • If I leave a comment and get off her blog quickly, I’m fine. If I look away from the screen for a moment, that website multiplies until I have to reboot. Such a shame because I want to spend more time there.

  7. Amy, you could always try white chocolate instead, I’ve had success with white chocolate and cinnamon in the past.

    Or, switch it up entirely and do a fruity filling with a cream cheese or butter cream type frosting.

    Just some thoughts off the top of my head.

  8. Mine is in the oven right now and its taking a long time to cook. Its been in there over 40 minutes now and the centre is still quite wet. The top and edges are getting really brown so I’ve covered it with a foil tent. Did anyone else have this problem?

  9. @Steph: there’s no such thing as too cinnamony ;-) I love cinnamon and usually add more cinnamon than stated in the recipe. I didn’t now and thought the squares weren’t too cinnamony

  10. I left mine out overnight on the counter and the frosting stayed beautifully shiny and appealingly soft. It also stayed deliciously moist (though I’ll admit mine was underbaked a bit in the middle, even though I cooked it quite a bit longer than Dorie specified).

    Let me just say, also, that I’m not usually a fan of cinnamon and chocolate. In fact, I made a half and half on this cake: half with chocolate frosting and half with cinnamon crumb topping. My conclusion: trust this recipe exactly as its written. It’s delicious. And addictive. And I hope it doesn’t have too many calories because I couldn’t stop myself from eating it for breakfast in the morning and dessert at the end of the day, every day until it was all gone.

  11. I made the extra-espresso variation. To avoid my 8 x 8 pan, which is Pyrex, I used a very large loaf pan and a mini loaf. I made the mini with a pecan streusel topping (and pecans instead of chocolate inside). Will frost and serve the large cake this evening. The batter was delicious!

  12. I don’t know if I’m that keen on making this. I love cinnamon but the chocolate icing is putting me off. It this ok plain, or does it really need the frosting?

  13. Im going to pass on this one. I have a race coming up and I really don’t need anything heavy sitting in my stomach slowing me down. If it’s in my house I WILL eat it!!
    I do think Cinnamon chips would be good in this one!

  14. Now that I’ve tasted mine, I can give a little report: the chocolate icing was fantastic with the cake, and I’m usually not a big fan of cinnamon + chocolate. I added the extra espresso powder that Dorie suggests and it was soooo good. With part of the batter I made a mini loaf and subbed toasted pecans for the chocolate chips, and on top I put a streusel topping. It made almost as big a hit with my tasters as the chocolate version. My recommendation – if you’re on the fence, give it a try. If you can’t do the chocolate, the cake is worth making with streusel or another type of frosting. I can see that it would be good plain as well. Oh, and I subbed plain yogurt for 1/3 of the butter, which worked really well.

  15. I hate recipes that list the ingredient amounts (as per the cinnamon filling) and you “quickly” read the steps without noticing that you are only supposed to use “1 of the 2 tablespoons” or “1/2 of the 2 teaspoons”. :) I used up all my espresso powder in the filling – since I added the recipe’s entire amount of cinnamon for the filling (rather than the 2 tsp – or whatever it was). So much for trying to do things ahead to save time! I can just hear my mother…. ‘now, you weren’t paying attention!”. I’m glad (most) everyone is enjoying the chocolate/cinnamon combo – what the heck, I’m going to give it a try!

  16. Thanks everyone for your comments so far. I am going to make this today I think. I do have a bag of cinnamon chips I’ve been meaning to use up, so I may use those, still need to read through the recipe. Cinnamon chips are out of this world, but I’m also a huge fan of chocolate frosting. After reading it, I may attempt both :)

  17. I just took mine out of the pan and all of the chocolate looks like it sunk to the bottom!! What did I do wrong? Oh but it smells amazing- I don’t know how I’m going to wait until tonight to eat it!

  18. I ended up following the recipe to the T, but I haven’t made the frosting yet. The cake is in the oven right now and smells amazing. The timer just went off at 35 minutes and it’s pulled away from the sides but still jiggly in the middle. I’m adding another 5 minutes and we’ll see how it does.

    it’s funny, I was looking at the photo and thought how did they get that filling to swirl like that? My layer was flat when I put it in but it looks like it melted a bit and has that swirled affect.

    Something else I noticed. I wanted the layers to be even, so I poured all the cake batter into a 4 cup pyrex measuring cup. It came to 3 1/3 cups. So I put about 1 3/4 cups in for the bottom layer, then added the chocolate and cinnamon sugar and then the rest of the batter. I am using a Pyrex 8×8 pan so I can see the sides and was worried because the top layer is much thinner that the bottom layer. Then the “duh lightbulb” went off and I realized that the bottom portion of the pan is not as wide as the top portion.

    However, after reading that a couple of you had your chocolate sink, I guess it’s good that the lower layer is higher as mine didn’t do that.

    I am still trying to decide if I should make half cinnamon/chocolate frosting and just chocolate for the other half…

    Hmm, do I get a prize for the longest comment on this post???? LMAO

  19. Ok, mine was dry on the outer edges and not done in the middle. Poo. A bit too dry too, but I’m sure my kids won’t have a problem wolfing it down LOL

    • What pans do you use? Whenever I bake with Wilton pans, that’s what happens. I switched to Chicago Metallic and the baking is more even.

      • I used a glass pyrex 8×8. It was a flop, sooooo dry, yuck. Kids wouldn’t even eat it, my Insinkerator had it for lunch :(

        BUT if I have time tomorrow, I am thinking of trying it again, this time in a springform pan. We’ll see.

  20. I remember in previous posts people had discussed not wanting to use espresso for various reasons. This time, I couldn’t use it, so I infused my milk with chai tea instead. It went in the cake part rather than the cinnamon sugar part, but it still upped the complexity of flavors and was really delicious. I’m sure you could find a decaf tea that would work too. Just a thought to throw out there!

  21. This one’s a beta version.
    I don’t have an 8×8 pan, so I increased the recipe by 50% and used my 9×13. It’s in the oven now, so we’ll see how long it takes. I didn’t have mini-chips either, so I used regular ones. I hope they don’t sink right to the bottom.

  22. Wow I just tasted mine and it is so delicious!! I know everyone has been saying this, but do not skip the chocolate frosting- I too was skeptical about the chocolate/cinnamon combo but it is unbelievably good! Oh and even though some of my chocolate did sink to the bottom, I could barely notice it when I actually cut it up and ate it. I will make this one again and again!

  23. What is the rule of thumb regarding temperature of ingredients? I know when I make a cake my eggs and milk should be at room temperature. But some recipes call for cold ingredients and I always get confused if it doesn’t state it in the recipe. THANKS MENTORS!

    • Make! Make! I did the cappuccino version, and it was so yummy! This was an easy recipe, even the frosting had only two ingredients that you just have to melt together.

  24. Hm… I chopped my chocolate really fine and sprinkled it between the layers. It still (along with the cinnamon sugar) drifted to the bottom. I think the key is to not half the batter, but possibly do 3/4 batter, mixture, 1/4 batter, or just throw it all on the top and bake. :) It came out nice and evenly baked. I used a 9″ square cake pan and did a water bath. Don’t ask why – don’t those baths help cakes, etc. bake more evenly? Or is that just cheesecakes… :)

      • It turned out great – nice and flat, evenly baked. I forgot to mention I baked at 325 degrees for about 50 min., if that makes a difference.

        That might be the “dry” problem folks are having with glass baking dishes. I always heard non-stick or “dark” pans and glass pans should be baked 25 degrees lower? I only do because it seems you can control the process a little better. Or maybe it was just a fluke! :)

  25. Mine is in the oven and has been there for almost an hour. Is it me or have cooking times been off on the last few things we’ve baked. I’m beginning to look at my oven suspiciously, like it’s mocking me and my desire to bake!

    Batter was tasty and house smells heavenly. I sure hope these turn out.

  26. I’m so thankful for these posts. When my cake was soft in the middle and done around the edges, because of these posts, I knew not to keep baking. I pulled the cake from the oven and cut out the center, making a square bundt cake of sorts! Unfortunately, I used a Pyrex dish to bake the cake, but my experience has given me reason to purchase good baking pans.
    The cake itself was delicious. I didn’t add the frosting because of the baking fiasco, but it would have been delicious either way. Without the frosting, it was more of a breakfast cake. I’ll be making this again WITH a better pan.

  27. I, too, am thankful for these posts. I really goofed though! I was watching the baking time, took it out of the oven and then decided it needed 5 more minutes. I had turned oven off and set it again, without using my reading glasses, to 550! Fortunately, I checked it in about 3 minutes – it was definitely done with the top “nicely” browned. I let it cool and cut off the dome – frosted it – we will see how it is. The chocolate did not come to the bottom. I filled 3/4 full as another baker did, then added chocolate/cinnamon. It looks good

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