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Spice It! Cinnamon Swirl Pound Cake

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Amy's Original Recipe

I love “talking food” with other moms. In my cinnamon quest, one of those moms was local pastry chef Amy Dunphy. She is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education and has been baking professionally for 10 years. Dunphy has also been the pastry chef at Mardi Gras Fine Foods in Verona since 2007.

When she told me about this recipe, I was immediately interested because my husband loves pound cake and cinnamon bread so this sounded like something perfect for him. Of course my brain went into fast forward and I considered adding chocolate or chocolate chips but first needed to make the bread to see how that would all work. As luck would have it, on the rainy day I went to make this, I realized I was out of flour.

Amy’s Cinnamon Swirl Pound Cake

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Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups sugar (separating out 1/2 cup)
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil

What’s Next:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray two loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl mix the reserved 1/2 cup sugar with the 4 teaspoons of cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. Into a large bowl sift flour, baking powder, salt and remaining 2 cups sugar.
  4. In a separate bowl combine eggs, milk and oil then add to flour mixture.
  5. Pour half of the batter into prepared loaf pans.
  6. Sprinkle half of the cinnamon sugar mixture into the pans. Pour the remaining batter into the pans then top with the rest of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Using a skewer or knife swirl the batter around being careful to reach the bottom layer so that you will have a nice swirl pattern when sliced.
  7. Bake for 45-50 minutes checking with a toothpick because ovens vary.

Notes from my experience:

In my cinnamon/sugar mixture I used only 3 teaspoons of cinnamon with the 1/2 cup sugar. There were two reasons for this. The first, I was running low on ground cinnamon (go figure) and the second, after 3 teaspoons it really looked like enough cinnamon. Considering my earlier mishap, I was very comfortable sticking with the 3 teaspoons.

For the record, I have never been very good at judging the correct amount of “half the batter” which is why I don’t make layer cakes. This recipe was no exception. HOWEVER, lucky for me, this recipe was very forgiving. My top layer for both loaf pans was so thin it could hardly count as a layer. The good news- I sprinkled more cinnamon/sugar, swirled, and sent my pans to the oven. Once baked, one would never know about my measurement issues.

My version with chocolate

A final note. Because I am a chocolate lover, I had talked with Amy about adding chocolate chips. She was concerned about the batter not being dense enough and the chips all falling to the bottom.  Not being one to give up, I grated a 1 ounce square of bittersweet chocolate (with a microplane grater) and added it to half of the cinnamon/sugar mixture. One of my loaves became a chocolate cinnamon swirl pound cake. YUM! Both were delicious and I’d make it again in a heartbeat. Thanks Amy!!!!

This series was inspired by the gift of a large amount of cinnamon my mother-in-law brought me from Ecuador. It includes recipes from Verona chefs and chefs with Verona connections. You can follow this series and all of my cooking adventures on Twitter: @TracyCooksIt

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