BAKING cakes and sweet bakes

Buttery Cinnamon Cake

September 13, 2010


When the Pioneer Woman says it’s the best coffee cake ever, you’ve got to listen. Having bookmarked this recipe ever since she wrote about this super delicious coffee cake, I finally set out to make it today. With lots of butter, sugar, pecans and cinnamon, what’s not to like? (For that matter, anything with cinnamon makes me go weak in the knees.)

I have never made a cake with this technique of folding in egg whites right at the end, so I was very, very curious about how the texture might turn out to be. I’m so pleased to learn that this resulted in a cake that has the softest crumb I’ve eaten in a long time (well, clearly). Biting into the cake, is like having soft, pillowy goodness in your mouth that has the added bonus of having a hint of vanilla in the cake and a heady fragrance of Sri Lankan cinnamon in the crumb topping. And then there is the slightly chewy, almost crispy, buttery brown sugar pecan topping that not only makes for a wonderful topping, but blobs of it sink into the cake that makes the sugary goo so desirable (that’s the part I look for, hoping I can sneak the slice with the maximum goo without anyone noticing.)  It is so buttery, you’re going to have nightmares about your doctor when you make them. But you know, it’s good for you.

Buttery Cinnamon Cake

Will the original recipe makes A LOT of cake; I halved the recipe to fit into a 7 inch square pan. Of course, if you don’t have the pecans you could substitute walnuts or leave them out entirely. I can imagine this cake being so delicious with vanilla icecream, for those who like ice cream. However, I’d much rather have them with caramelised apples. You should make this cake. You really should.

Buttery Cinnamon Cake

Buttery Cinnamon Cake Recipe

Adapted from: The Pioneer Woman (her cookbook)

Yield: One 7 inch square cake. Serves 8.

Note: I have halved the recipe and put down metric measures because cup measures get a little weird (1/2 of 3/4th cup?). If you’d like to see the cup measure for the full recipe, you should check out the link above.


60g egg whites
85g butter, Softened
180g sugar
1 tsp vanilla
180g  flour, Sifted
2 tsp baking powder
150ml whole milk
85g butter, Softened
60g flour
100g brown sugar
1 tbsp Cinnamon
100g Pecans, Chopped

Equipment: 7 inch square pan


  1. Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat egg whites and set aside.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add flour mixture and milk alternately until combined, starting and ending with flour. Don’t overbeat.
  3. Fold in the beaten egg whites with a rubber spatula.
  4. Spread in a 7 inch square pan with high sides lined with parchment paper.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine topping ingredients with a pastry cutter until crumbly. Sprinkle all over the top.
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until no longer jiggly, and a skewer comes out clean.
  7. Eat!


  • Reply Sommer @ A Spicy Perspective September 13, 2010 at 9:54 PM

    It sounds utterly sublime! I’ve been meaning to check out her cookbook!

  • Reply September 13, 2010 at 10:16 PM

    This looks and sounds amazing! The few changes I’d do to make it skinny would be to swap reduced-fat butter for regular and use reduced-fat milk instead of whole milk. My guess is it would still taste very decadent!

  • Reply Bethany (Dirty Kitchen Secrets) September 13, 2010 at 10:37 PM

    After that mouthwatering description- I WILL DEFO MAKE IT! Love the cinnamon pic with the turquoise contrast- my favorite color :)

  • Reply Tweets that mention Buttery Cinnamon Cake -- September 13, 2010 at 10:49 PM

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  • Reply Mandakini September 14, 2010 at 12:51 AM

    Oh!! I have the exact same recipe bookmarked as well! I also LOVE the picture of the cinnamon sticks! Lovely cake huh? Missing my oven!

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  • Reply Priya September 14, 2010 at 1:04 AM

    Gorgeous and elegant cake..

  • Reply Madhuri September 14, 2010 at 2:55 AM

    I know. Stiff eg whites folded into cakes just might be one of my favourite baking techniques.

    Just ran into your blog while I was looking up strawberry butter. Love your recipes!

  • Reply M. September 14, 2010 at 2:05 AM

    anything with cinnamon, please!!!
    seconds and thirds :)

  • Reply arjwiz September 14, 2010 at 12:11 PM

    Haha great description that will make any of us want to have it right now!

  • Reply Pam @ Kitchen Cookware Set September 14, 2010 at 12:44 PM

    I love Ree from Pioneer women and love cinnamon! I put it in many thing, including a few savory dish too, it simply works.

    I love this buttery cinnamon cake recipe, it does feel buttery and creamy.

  • Reply vidya September 14, 2010 at 2:13 PM

    60 gms of egg whites??
    Could you please translate that into number of eggs?
    This one looks like a must-do recipe!

    • Reply The Purple Foodie September 14, 2010 at 2:17 PM

      That would be slightly under two egg whites.. Or two whole egg white, if you’re using small eggs. General rule: 1 egg=50g, 20g yolk, 30g white.

      • Reply Anonymous September 14, 2010 at 10:12 PM


  • Reply Sneha September 14, 2010 at 2:27 PM

    Shaheen, I’ve been an avid follower of your website. This cake looks positively YUMMY! Can’t wait to try it out! It reminds me of the Swedish Tosca Cake which has a butter-almond-sugar topping. YUMM again.

    Which brand of oven do you use to bake all these lovely goodies?

    • Reply The Purple Foodie September 16, 2010 at 2:39 PM

      I use a Nova oven and a Morphy Richards.

      Thanks for the kind words. :)

  • Reply bergamot September 14, 2010 at 6:02 PM

    Loads of cinnamon in this cake…love it

  • Reply Sanjeeta kk September 15, 2010 at 5:37 PM

    Perfect texture and a delicious cake. Love the cinnamon flavors.

  • Reply Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction September 16, 2010 at 4:40 AM

    That cake looks incredible! I have seen the recipe in the cookbook, but never gave it a try. This was the inspiration I needed!

  • Reply Piyu September 16, 2010 at 12:19 PM

    Dude, I love your and Pioneer woman’s recipes and I so so want to try them out, but I don’t have an oven. Can you suggest one for a novice?
    I do have a micro-wave though, can this cake, and the other recipes be made on that?

    • Reply The Purple Foodie September 16, 2010 at 2:46 PM

      Hey, You can’t make this in a microwave. You should buy a small OTG oven.. it’s relative inexpensive (a small one for 2-3k at Alfa) Buy a Nova or a Morphy Richards.

  • Reply madge @ vegetariancasserolequeen September 18, 2010 at 1:31 AM

    Ooooh la la! Looks beautiful! Might have to try this for breakfast this weekend. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Amanda September 19, 2010 at 10:35 PM

    Looks and sounds to die for!

  • Reply Kulsum at JourneyKitchenu September 20, 2010 at 2:18 AM

    Hey Shaheen,

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I’m obsessed with the color Purple,if I had a choice I would have stolen your website name;) And if PW says a cake is good and then the Purple foodie says the same who can debate that? Just that Ree’s obsession with butter scares me. For some people it doesn’t always go to the right places you see;)

    Loving your blog and following you on twitter!

  • Reply Karly September 20, 2010 at 2:27 AM

    That looks so yummy! I’ll definitely have try this one!

  • Reply PreeOccupied September 20, 2010 at 3:11 AM

    This combination of cinnamon, pecan and butter made me go weak everywhere! I am a little lost though, is it possible for you to translate your measurements in cups, numbers, etc. How much would 60 grams of egg white be?

  • Reply Judy September 20, 2010 at 7:07 AM

    I’m so apprehensive about baking (can’t use a measuring spoon to save my life)… but this just might change my mind! Buttery, crumbly… sends shivers down my spine!

  • Reply Miss Stovetop September 21, 2010 at 2:55 PM

    Where do you get pecans from in Bombay?

  • Reply ingrid September 25, 2010 at 10:15 PM

    I want that bite!

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  • Reply Grace July 31, 2011 at 10:43 AM

    Ah, yes, I hate awkward “What’s a third of 2 1/4 c. of flour?!?!” situations too. But I kinda figured out how to make it simpler (because I despise weighing things even though I shouldn’t). So how I break things down for cups at least, is I convert pretty much the whole recipe to tablespoons, 16 tablespoons to a cup, and ex, 2 1/4 c. of flour would be 36 tablespoons and a third of that is 12, so that’s 3/4ths of a cup. 3 teaspoons=1 Tablespoon, and when you get down to things that small, they’re usually spices and I personally like rounding up or down as I please XD. And I suppose this would be torture for people who can’t do math in their head, but just an fyi for the people who think it’s worth it :)

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  • Reply Stephanie October 3, 2011 at 1:00 AM

    Making this right now…your recipe has vanilla but hers does not? I want to add it in, so I will after I cream butter and sugar and hope for the best!

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  • Reply rekha January 11, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    I read through Pioneer Woman’s recipe for this cake and it says 11/2 stick butter for the cake and again 11/2 sticks for the topping….you have halved this recipe but yours says 85g for the cake and 185g for the topping….please clarify.

  • Reply Cinnamon Vogue October 5, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    Glad this recipe uses Ceylon Cinnamon or Sri Lankan Cinnamon. Good chefs know that using Ceylon Cinnamon is a must for sophisticated desserts. It’s subtle and sophisticated and does not over power the dessert.

  • Reply Yatri Vitekar December 15, 2012 at 4:36 AM

    Have been reading up your stuff n it’s really helpful….. Esplly the baking in Bombay section….. But have been too lazy to write..
    But it’s all changed this morng when I tried this recipe of yours! It’s mind blowing!
    Looks like u will make fabulous bakers out of us enthusiasts!
    Thanx a ton for the recipe. N thanx a trillion tons for simply being here……

  • Reply Nikita Sanyal August 12, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    Hi Shaheen,

    i tried this recipe today. and it turned out great, just that when i made the topping it was too wet and not crumbly enuf to sprinkle so i added more flour to the mix.

    Is there any other way to resolve this?

    • Reply Shaheen August 18, 2013 at 3:58 PM

      The topping for this can get more paste-y that crumbly in a warm weather – use chilled butter.

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