Cinnamon Loaf — much more than coffee cake

I have a small yellow plastic recipe box high on a shelf in my kitchen. It’s stuffed to the gills with recipes on 3×5 cards, bigger cards folded in half and some full sheets of paper folded multiple times like recipe origami. I wrote out most of the cards during slow hours in a boring and solitary summer job in the months before I got married, way back in another place and time. There are cards in that box that I’ve never used, although in those early days I felt I would, or perhaps that I should. And there are others whose decrepitude is evidence of the importance these recipes have had in my family’s life.

Witness the card for Cinnamon Loaf. Stained, torn and rumpled, the cardstock softened by repeated handling over the course of more than 30 years. Why? Well, it’s a good cake, of course. A standard coffee cake, pretty easy to make, great for dessert or a snack or even breakfast on the run (much better for you than a doughnut). More importantly, though, this is an iconic recipe because it was one of my Dad’s favourites. Bless his fussy meat-and-potatoes-hold-the-seasonings-dinner-at-five insistence on food on his terms. He was a sweet man and he enjoyed this cake so much. I often made it for him when my folks came to visit, and now I make it in memory of him. A good recipe can be as much about the emotional experience as the taste. So, here it is. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Loaf

  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c sour milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 c flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tsp baking powder

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Cream sugar and butter. Add beaten eggs and half dry ingredients, then half of the milk. Mix well, add rest. Place half in a bundt pan, sprinkle on half of the topping recipe. Then add rest of batter and the rest of the topping. Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour.

Topping: 1/4 c brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, pinch salt. Mix together and sprinkle as directed above.

 

 

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