Cinnamon Cake with Maple Espresso Buttercream
25 was good to me.
We welcomed our sweet son into the world. We took a huge step and moved out of the Lake House. We got our first apartment. I started DearDarla.com and began the process of finding my voice. I started working with doTerra essential oils and making a real difference in my own family’s health and the health of others. I ran a half marathon 5 months post partum. I breastfed my second baby and am still going strong. I read plenty of good books, had countless cups of coffee in the quiet, read my Bible and journaled regularly, ran miles and miles as I faced the trials of life, and through it all found time and the heart to play and cuddle and take some deep afternoon naps.
25 was so, so good to me.
Birthdays are hard for me. Maybe it’s because it never lives up to the hype. Maybe it’s because, as Mommy, birthdays are pretty much regular days with regular diapers, tantrums, crayons on the couch and dishes in the sink. Those things don’t really bother me on regular days, but on my birthday, I just pity myself. “Here I am, on my birthday, wiping butts.”
I know, I sound like Eyore. I don’t like it either, so I annoy myself on my birthday. What I do to counteract it is throw a birthday “party” for myself each year. Basically, I ask my family to come over and eat cake even if their on a raw/gluten free/dairy free/fun free diet. I just want to make a weird cake and share it with everyone. I get to see everyone, they get to play with the kids, and I get to make a cake. If you think about it, cake is really impractical. Cupcakes are all the rage for a good reason, but I like making cakes and it’s my birthday so just let me have this one thing and stop making me feel so defensive about it all. (This is how I sound on my birthday. gross)
I debated a while about what cake to make. I almost went with a key lime pie just to “In Your Face” winter, but I didn’t have the stuff and it snowed ten feet and I didn’t want to leave the apartment. So, I went to my latest pallet love affair. Maple, Cinnamon, Espresso.
I Shouldn’t say latest, I used to drink a “French Toast” Latte every week when I worked at the coffee shop and haven’t been able to kick the habit. It’s smokey, it’s sweet and, as a bonus, I’m pretty sure it counts as breakfast.
My gift to myself is to let everything go so I can spend a day selfishly baking a glutinous cake of glory. Here’s how it went.
I prepped and dusted my pans with some parchment circles, butter and flour.
Then, I measured out my dry and wet ingredients and set them aside.
Creamed the butter and sugar until they were light and fluffy and then slowly added each egg mixing in between. (I could have just stopped here and consumed this whole bowl)
I added 1/3 dry, 1/2 wet, 1/3 dry, 1/2 wet and finished with the rest of my dry ingredients and poured it into my pans.
Now, this icing. I needed to start with espresso. You can do this by brewing your own (I cannot say enough about my simple Espresso Machine), or going to a coffee shop and ordering a “Dopio” or double shot, or you could go the strongly brewed coffee route. Whatever makes you happy, because it’s your birthday. 2/3 of this will go into your buttercream and 1/3 of it will go into your espresso cinnamon glaze for the top. I know, it’s sinful.
I made my cake a 3 tier so I made a lot of icing and used it all. It was delicious. I’m going to have some more of it right now and think about what 26 may have in store for me. It feels like one big Choose Your Own Adventure Book…this thing called life. Who could ever guess what is next? Will we move again? Will I finish my cookbook this year? What will life look like when Jordan finishes his masters degree? What kind of adventure is next? I don’t know, but I’m grateful for where I am today and can’t believe how sweet my life is. I’m surrounded my so much love and, I’m anchored in hope and promise for my future.
- 1 cup butter (two sticks) room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp maple extract
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 3/4 cup cake flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 Tbs cinnamon
- Position rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. For cupcakes, fill two cupcake pans wit papers and set aside. For cakes, trace your cake pan 3 times on parchment paper and cut out. Then grease and flour your pans and place the parchment in the bottom and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift the dry ingredients together (flour, baking powder, salt) set aside.
- Measure out the milk and set aside
- Crack your eggs into a bowl and add the vanilla, set aside
- In a stand mixer, use your paddle attachment to cream the butter and sugar until it is nice and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl as needed. This should take a few minutes.
- Add the eggs one at a time and beat for about 30 seconds between each one.
- Next alternately add the dry and wet ingredients, mixing in between each addition. (1/3 dry mix, 1/2 milk, 1/3 dry, 1/2 milk, rest of the dry)
- Pour the batter into whatever you're cooking it in (cupcakes or cake pans) and bake in the preheated oven for 19-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Allow it to cool for 10 minutes before taking it out of the pan and let it cool completely before frosting.
- For the Buttercream
- 2 sticks softened butter
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1 1/2 shots of espresso
- 1 tsp maple extract
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar
- pinch of salt
- For the glaze
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 shot espresso
- 1 tsp molasses
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- a bit of milk to thin it out
- In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese for 2 min
- Add the espresso and maple and beat for 2 minutes
- Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, whisking and scraping the bowl between each addition
- Beat until nice and fluffy, use at room temperature.
- For the glaze
- In a bowl, pour the remaining espresso, cinnamon, molasses, and powdered sugar together.
- Add cream, 1 tsp at a time, until it drizzles.
- Use it after your buttercream is on as a pretty and delicious garnish!