I realized, as I was making this just now, that it is very similar to my great-grandmother Mabel’s recipe for Dutch cake. That’s Mabel of the burned boobs. Dutch cake is a great Depression era recipe (no eggs, because eggs were too expensive), my mom used to make it every year for my birthday, and I would bring Dutch cake muffins in to school for my birthday treat. Full disclosure: all I wanted was yellow cupcakes from a box with chocolate frosting from a jar, but I didn’t want to tell her. Dutch cake has a far more sophisticated flavor than an 8 year old can appreciate, apparently, because I love it now. Sorry, mom. Also full disclosure: I still REALLY love Funfetti cake, pink, with chocolate frosting from a jar. I’m the child of both my parents, that is for sure.
This bread is a nice for the morning, but it’s pretty sweet, so calling it bread is kind of a lie. It’s a coffee cake, really. It would be fantastic as muffins, and it’s really attractive because of the swirl and the pale colored batter. But it’s in bread form, so I think you can still put butter on it. Also it would be DELICIOUS with pecans in or on it, but I didn’t have any, unfortunately.
Cinnamon Swirl Bread adapted from Mangio da Sola
For the swirl:
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
For the bread:
1 cup white sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder (Which, halfway through this recipe, I discovered I didn’t have. The good news is, I had the stuff to make a substitute. For 1 tsp of baking powder, substitute 1/4 tsp cream of tartar and 1/2 tsp baking soda.)
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk or buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
Method- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees, and Pam a loaf pan. Stir together the two sugars and the cinnamon for the swirl part in a small bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. In yet another bowl, whisk the egg, then add the milk, oil and vanilla to the egg. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until JUST combined. The batter should be lumpy, but you shouldn’t see any flour, really. If you overmix, the cake will be tough, so just don’t.
Pour half the batter into the loaf pan, spreading it out, or just banging the thing on the counter like I do. Sprinkle half the sugar/cinnamon mixture on top of the batter, as evenly as you can. Pour in the rest of the batter on top of the layer of cinnamon/sugar, using a silicone spatula to get it all out, and kind of spread it out if you can. Then sprinkle the rest of the sugar mixture on top of that. Using a butter knife, swirl it around the pan, back and forth, gently. You’re not mixing the batter and sugar, you’re trying to draw lines between them so the layers will still be distinct, but will be evenly distributed.
Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned. Look out for the middle sinking- if it’s sunken, it’s probably not done yet, and needs another 5-10 minutes. You don’t want a nice bread outside and uncooked batter inside. It’s okay if the outer parts get pretty brown, that’s mostly just the sugar caramelizing, and it will taste delicious.