Cooking the clippings: Simple Cinnamon Cake

Some days I really love my job. Those days are often Mondays, when I get a large pile of Sunday newspapers plonked in front of me, and I’m expected to peruse them all page by page with a cup of tea in hand.Fresh from the oven, endangered!

This process usually leaves me with a pile of clippings that I have ripped out – articles to read later, fashion pages to drool over and pretend I can afford the contents of… and recipes. So many recipes. I have decided to make a concerted effort to actually begin cooking some of these recipes and showcasing them here on the blog.

Our first candidate was actually not actually a newspaper clipping, but a recipe hastily shoved in my pocket while shopping at Sainsbury’s. I think I found it by the butter. It languished in my coat for a few months and has now been baked repeatedly. I give you the simple cinnamon cake.

Not impressed? Read on. The cinnamon cake will not win any beauty contests. But it is the ideal cake to sit unassumingly in a tin over the winter months to be produced with a flourish when guests arrive and deserve more than a slightly crumbly biscuit.

I have only made a single modification to the original recipe – dispensing of mace, because I don’t like it or keep it in the house. I’ve been meaning to scale up the recipe to two sandwich tins and fill it with apple pie filling (don’t judge) and cinnamon buttercream… but for now, enjoy it in its unadorned delightful state.

Simple cinnamon cake
Serves: 8
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

180g caster sugar
100g butter
2 medium eggs
250g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
200ml milk
Cinnamon sugar to make the top all pretty (or use cinnamon and sugar if you prefer!)

1) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Lightly grease a 20cm non-stick cake pan. Or whip out the cake release spray that all sane women have.

2) Cream the sugar and butter together until pale and creamy.

3) Beat in the eggs one at a time. Put some welly into it!

4) Fold in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and milk, making sure everything is combined. Scrape down the bowl a couple of time for good measure. Nobody’s watching.

5) Pour into your prepared cake tin and pop into the oven for about 40 minutes, by which time your house will smell like a bakery and the delicious cake will be coming away from the sides of the tin. Pop it out and sprinkle generously with a couple of tablespoons of cinnamon sugar before returning it to the oven for five minutes to glaze.

6) Remove from the tin and allow to cool on a wire rack. Best eaten within 48 hours and stored in an airtight tin. A slightly stale cake can be revived by a blast in the microwave and a generous coating of custard… but what can’t?

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