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Andrew assures me that every baker worth his or her salt has all the ingredients to bake this Cinnamon Crumble Breakfast Cake on hand. “Like one big cinnamon roll”, as its inventor described it, here’s the list: Cinnamon, Flour, Butter, Milk, Brown, and Icing sugars.  Its most obvious place at the table is to serve it with coffee or tea. The cinnamon scent fills the kitchen and the cake’s bound to impress anyone who stops by for a visit.  The original recipe is from Marie Rayner, a Canadian woman who confesses to being a complete Anglophile. She’s so taken with “English Cookery”, as she calls it, that she writes a widely read blog about it. Here’s the link: https://www.theenglishkitchen.co/ She’s even written a cookbook devoted solely to British Baking, aptly titled “The Best of British Baking: Classic Sweet Treats and Savory Bakes” (Rockridge Press 2021).  Marie confesses to being a cinnamon lover. And after a bite of this cake, you will be too.


The Spice Routes

One of the oldest known spices, Cinnamon has been highly valued for its aroma, flavor, and its medicinal properties.  Cinnamon is derived from the bark of the Cinnamomum tree.  The tree is native to Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) and parts of Southeast Asia. It’s not just been used for cooking or medicine.  Ancient Egyptians used cinnamon in their embalming process. In Greece and in Rome it was used in religious rituals.  Along with pepper, cloves, and nutmeg, cinnamon was highly sought-after along the Spice Trade Routes connecting the Far East to the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe. These spices were so valued, they spurred European explorers like Vasco de Gama and Christopher Columbus to seek out new trade routes to the “Spice Islands” of Sri Lanka and Indonesia.  Today it can be found in many tropical regions of the world and it’s now cultivated in India, Vietnam, and Brazil.


The dough is covered with cinnamon, brown sugar and butter.
Put the first ‘roll’ in the center of the pan and proceed to fill the pan.
Gently press the top of the dough down so that it fills the pan.
Just before it goes into the oven, sprinkle the top with the crumble. Bake!

The genesis for Marie’s recipe was a post that used store-bought refrigerated cinnamon rolls baked together to make one cake.  Marie used her mother-in-law’s tea biscuit recipe for the pastry.  The pastry is rolled out onto a sheet pan and then formed into a rectangle. The pastry is covered with the cinnamon, sugar, and butter mixture. You then cut the dough into one-inch strips using a sharp knife or pizza cutter. Roll the first strip tightly into a roll and put the first one in the center of a nine-inch buttered baking tin. Then you just keep adding rolled strips around until the pan is filled. It will look like a giant cinnamon roll.  Make the crumble next. Sprinkle the crumble over the cake and bake.  Make the glaze while the cake bakes.  Below is the full recipe. And after it, some other dishes where Cinnamon plays a starring role.

Cinnamon Crumble Breakfast Cake

July 31, 2023
: 8
: 15 min
: A very easy cake to make.

The perfect Coffee Cake, this comes together in no time. That's likely why it is one of our most requested recipes ever.


  • For the Cinnamon Roll Base
  • 280g of plain flour (2 cups)
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 75g of butter, cut into bits (1/3 cup)
  • 160ml of milk (2/3 cup)
  • 100g of soft light brown sugar
  • 1 TBS ground cinnamon
  • 4 TBS butter melted
  • For the Crumble Topping:
  • 70g of plain flour (1/2 cup)
  • 50g of soft light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 TBS softened butter
  • few drops vanilla
  • For the Glaze:
  • 130g of icing sugar, sifted (1 cup)
  • 1 TBS cream cheese
  • few drops of vanilla
  • milk to thin
  • Step 1 Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Butter a nine-inch round baking tin really well. Set aside.
  • Step 2 For the Cinnamon Roll Base
  • Step 3 Sift the flour into a bowl along with the baking powder and salt. Drop in the butter and then rub it in with your fingertips until you have coarse crumbs. (Use a snapping motion.) Stir the milk in with a fork to make a soft dough.
  • Step 4 Knead gently a couple of times then turn out onto a lightly floured board and pat out gently to a large rectangle which is approximately 10 inches by 13 inches and about 1/3 inch thick. Put the dough on a rimmed baking sheet so any run-off of the syrup can be used to top the cake before adding the crumble. Make the syrup by mixing together the light brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter. Sprinkle this over top of the dough evenly. Press it gently to help it adhere.
  • Step 5 Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut it into 1-inch strips. Roll one strip into a tight roll. Place this in the middle of the buttered baking tin. Add the remaining strips, wrapping them around the center, and moving to the outside, until you have all of the strips used up. (It will look like a large cinnamon roll) Press it out gently to fill the pan.
  • Step 6 For the Crumble Topping
  • Step 7 Make the crumble topping by mixing together the flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Drop in the butter and rub all together until crumbly. Add a few drops of vanilla. Only enough to give you a mixture that clumps together slightly. Sprinkle this in clumps evenly over the top of the biscuit base.
  • Step 8 Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes until risen and nicely browned and cooked through. If you think it is getting too dark on top, cover it lightly with a piece of aluminum foil.
  • Step 9 Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool to just warm.
  • Step 10 For the Glaze
  • Step 11 Meanwhile whisk together all of the ingredients for the glaze, only using enough milk to give you a thin drizzle of glaze mixture.
  • Step 12 Drizzle this over the top of the cake while the cake is just warm. Let set for a few minutes, then cut into wedges to serve.





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