Cinnamon Cake

Early in our marriage I used to purchase a Pillsbury mix that made a cinnamon swirl bundt cake.  For many reasons (wheat sensitivities, looking for reduced sugar alternatives and an increased knowledge of using unprocessed products, etc) I no longer use the mixes. However, I saw a recipe from Taste of Home and took it to the kitchen to see if I could make something similar to what I remembered with a healthier slant.

Cinnamon Cake - baked

I am happy to say my family feels I’ve been successful.  I have included the original link to the recipe I modified.  But here are the changes I implemented.  I cut the sugar way back and even used a small amount of pure maple syrup to add sweetness.  I substituted the sour cream for 2% plain yogurt which added additional protein into the cake.


I’ve said it before and I’ll encourage once again – don’t skimp on the type of cinnamon you use.  I am a believer in Vietnamese cinnamon. I purchase mine at SurLaTable Kitchen Store by it can also be found on Amazon.  

This cake isn’t too sweet and is very versatile for breakfast, brunch, a snack or dessert.  I can see several variations – add a small scoop of ice cream, fresh berries or a light layer of your favorite 100% fruit spread on top of a slice.

Don’t want an entire cake around?  Cut a portion and wrap and give to neighbor, friend, coworkers or cut in slices, wrap individually and place in the freezer for a future treat.  I shared a portion with my daughter’s family (aka:  The Workout Mama) and she gave it a two thumbs up.

Cinnamon Cake
A cinnamon swirl coffee cake
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  1. 1 cup butter, softened
  2. 1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
  3. 4 eggs
  4. 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  5. 3 cups of flour - I used white spelt flour
  6. 1 tsp baking soda
  7. 1 tsp salt
  8. 2 cups 2% plain Fage yogurt
  9. 1/4 cup of pure maple syrup
  10. 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  11. Glaze (if desired)
  12. 1/3 cup of powdered sugar
  13. 1 Tbsp milk (your choice) - I used almond milk.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and 1 cup of sugar until light fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
  3. Place yogurt and syrup in a small bowl and mix together.
  4. Combine flour, baking soda and salt and sift together. Add alternately with yogurt mixture, beating just enough after each addition to keep batter smooth.
  5. Combine 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon together in small bowl.
  6. Grease a bundt pan.
  7. Spoon and spread a third of batter into greased pan. Sprinkle a third of cinnamon and sugar mixture over batter in pan. Repeat layers two more times. Bake for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack or baking dish to cool completely.
  8. If glaze is desired - mix a little milk at a time into powdered sugar and drizzle over cooled cake. Yield: 16-20 servings.
Adapted from Taste of Home
Adapted from Taste of Home
Deliciously Inspired
Cinnamon Cake2

Cinnamon Cake-slice

Cinnamon Cake1

As we enter the holiday season, the reality is that we will eat a treat of two. As much as possible let’s intentionally choose treats that have sound ingredients in them to help nourish our bodies.


Traditions – Laura’s 2014 Cake

When my children were small I loved creating traditions for our family.  I wanted them to have Markers and if I’m honest I wanted markers for myself as well.  What are markers?  Markers are the times we return to as we go from past to future.  They are moments that build and edify a person up.  Their value far exceeds the joy of when something is actually experienced because it becomes alive and can strengthen us.  Even if the details aren’t remembered  the truth of how we were loved comes back to us over and over again – like a warm hug.

I want to share a tradition my friend, Laura, does each new school year.  Laura is busy – she is a wife, mother of 4 (3 pictured), works, goes to school and still finds time to make a cake to celebrate her sweeties.  I’ve placed some ideas from my early days of motherhood below the picture – not for you to follow – because each of our lives our different.  But I would encourage you to do a little brainstorming – and create some markers of your own. And one last thing – you’ll find a great giveaway for a yummy nutritious product called the Perfect Bar also. Go ahead and enter to win – open until August 22, 2014.

Laura - 2014 Cake with Children

From Laura…

Hi Debbie, These cakes are a tradition I started about 7 years. Just for something fun to look forward to when the kids came home after the first day of school. This years idea came from a purple calculator my middle schooler got for school that she loved. The color didn’t turn out a very pretty purple but these cakes are definitely more about the memory than their perfection!

Debbie’s Ideas

1.  When your children come home from school – turn off the computer, get off the phone and truly listen to what they have to say.  When I was a young mom – someone told me you want to give your children a standing ovation when they get home – you can’t do that if you are distracted.

2.  New pjs every Christmas.  I was a stay at home mom who knew how to sew so each year I would take my two to the store and they would choose their fabric and I’d sew (thinking of them) new jammies  to wear Christmas Eve night.  (store bought work also)

3.  Notes in lunch boxes or a treat with a special scripture waiting in their room for them.  One time I was cleaning out my daughter’s lunch box and found over 50 of these notes.  I offered to throw them away and she said not to because she wanted to keep them and see how many she could collect – scrapes of paper with a few words from my heart – lasting value.

4.  A make your own pizza party – every year at Christmas time, my son invited 3-4 friends over and they would each create their own masterpiece.  The table was always decorated with snowmen – he loved snowmen at the time.

If you liked this – you’ll probably like What Kind of Mom Your Kids Remember

Thanks, Laura, for sharing.  I look forward to seeing what you come up with next year.

Please share your traditions in the comments – we are inspired by each other.

As promised – here is the information on the Giveaway… My 2 -year-old grandson loves these and so do I 🙂

Perfect Bar 2



Grandma’s Cookbook – Caramel Apple Upside-Down Cake

 It’s time again for the recipe that caught my attention from the 1940 cookbook my Grandma handed down.  This month I saw a recipe for an Apple Upside-Down Cake.  I changed it up a bit and it was delicious.

Apple Cake - finished

Caramel Apple Upside-Down Cake
A twist on a pineapple upside-down cake
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  1. 1/4 cup butter
  2. 1 cup brown sugar
  3. 2 large apples
  4. 1 1/2 cups Spelt flour or flour of your choice
  5. 1/2 tsp salt
  6. 3 tsp baking powder
  7. 1/4 cup butter
  8. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  9. 2 eggs, well beaten
  10. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  11. 1/2 tsp vanilla
  12. 2/3 cup water
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. To make the caramel - Melt 1/4 cup butter in oven proof skillet or baking pan. Add 1 cup of brown sugar and stir until melted. Cool.
  3. Peel, core and slice apples. Place on top of caramel.
  4. Sift flour, salt and baking powder together in a bowl. Set aside.
  5. Cream butter with sugar until fluffy.
  6. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth.
  7. Add sifted dry ingredients and water, alternately in small amounts, beating well after each addition.
  8. Pour over apples and bake for 40 to 50 minutes.
  9. Turn onto a plate immediately. If this is not done immediately the caramel will harden and the cake won't release from the pan.
  10. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
  11. Makes 1 9-inch cake.
Adapted from The Encyclopedic Cookbook
Adapted from The Encyclopedic Cookbook
Deliciously Inspired

Upside down apple cake - caramel
Melt the butter and sugar in an oven-proof skillet or pan. I found my cast iron pan worked well.

Apple Cake - finished caramel
The finished caramel will look like this. Set aside while prepping the apples.

Apple Cake - sliced apples
Peel, core and slice apples and place on top of caramel.

Apple Cake - batter on top of the apples
Place the batter on top of the apples. Now it’s ready for the oven.

Apple Cake - before flip
Flip onto a serving platter or pan when cake comes out of the oven. Be careful – it’s very hot. But this needs to be done because caramel will harden quickly and once it’s hard the cake won’t release from the pan.

I had never heard of apples being used in this type of cake. Has anyone had it before?