Snickerdoodle Cake




It was my friend's birthday over the weekend, and I wanted to bring something special to work, just to say, I think you're amazing and awesome and so much fun.

She knows everything there is to know about pop culture, and I'm trying to soak up some of that knowledge since my own is next to nothing.  I told her she should teach a class to others like me who missed out on pop culture when they were kids, and I would be her best student.










She loves pumpkiny, snickerdoodly, pretty things, so as I contemplated cake flavors, I thought... snickerdoodles.

A cinnamony sweet snickerdoodle cake sounded just perfect.










I remembered how much she loved the Wizard of Oz Cake I made for her daughter's birthday last month, and thought that the moist dense buttermilk cake from that recipe was perfectly suited for a snickerdoodle cake, since the tangy buttermilk would lend that flavor reminiscent of the cream of tartar in snickerdoodle cookies.

A little nutmeg and brown sugar in the cake batter added more of the cookie essence.

Vanilla bean, cinnamon and nutmeg spiced the buttercream beautifully, which nicely balanced the sweetness of the cake.  After piping buttercream rosettes on top of the cake, I sprinkled it liberally with cinnamon, like a snickerdoodle cookie rolled in its cinnamon sugar coating.









For the cookie crunch, I garnished the sides of the cake with pretty Pirouette cookies, and tied it up with a cinnamon-colored sheer ribbon.

I loved how the cake looked like a present, almost too pretty to eat.  But after the first slice was cut, all hesitation over ruining a pretty cake disappeared, and thoughts were on sugar and cinnamon cake.


One Year Ago:   Oatmeal Raisin Muffins
Two Years AgoWaking Up with Vanilla Bean Sour Cream Cake Doughnuts










Update: 9/22/14
Based on feedback in the comments, I've tested this recipe again to ensure that there were no mistakes, and to take some photos of the cut cake so you can see the height and texture.  After re-testing, I've determined that it is perfect as is!  I suppose you could describe the baked cakes as "disks" because they are flatter and more dense than, say a boxed cake mix which is very fluffy, airy and rather dry.  This cake certainly does rise, because I started with about a half inch of batter in each 8-inch pan, and the cakes rose to just over an inch, but they don't have the domed tops you might be expecting, and they're not supposed to.  Remember that if you use a larger pan like 9 or 10 inches, then the cakes will be shorter, because the diameter is greater.

This cake is intended to be dense, like a cross between a cake and a cookie, and is incredibly moist, buttery and rich, because it is, essentially, a pound cake baked in layer cake pans.  I think that if you understand my concept for this recipe, then you won't be disappointed in the results.  Also bear in mind that I live at 5,000 feet, and I write all my recipes for high altitude.  Baking these recipes at sea level may yield less successful results, and may require a little tweaking (on your part) to adjust for lower altitude.

One more thing, this recipe is not for an overwhelming amount of batter, so if you'd like a taller cake, you can simply double the recipe!  However, my frosted 3-layer cake was about 4 1/2 - 5 inches tall, which is plenty for such a rich cake.  Good luck and enjoy!









Snickerdoodle Cake

Vanilla Buttermilk Cake:
·         ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
·         3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
·         1 cup granulated sugar
·         2/3 cup light brown sugar
·         3 eggs
·         2 teaspoons vanilla
·         2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
·         ¾ teaspoon salt
·         ¾ teaspoon baking powder
·         Scant 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
·         ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
·         1 cup buttermilk

Cinnamon Vanilla Bean Buttercream:
·         2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
·         1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped (or 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste)
·         4 cups powdered sugar
·         2 tablespoons meringue powder
·         1 tablespoon cinnamon
·         ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
·         4 tablespoons milk or cream

Garnish:
·         ½ tablespoon cinnamon
·         Pirouette cookies
·         Ribbon


Getting Started:
Preheat the oven to 350.  Prepare three 8-inch or 9-inch round pans by spraying the bottoms only with non-stick spray.

Make the Cake:
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, cream cheese and sugars for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.  Scrape the bowl down and beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating for a full minute after each addition.  Beat in the vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and nutmeg.  With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour; mix just until combined.

Divide the batter between the pans.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick in the center comes out with moist crumbs but not batter.  Set the pans on wire racks, cover loosely with clean kitchen towels, and cool completely before frosting.  (The cake can also be made one day ahead of time; keep fresh and moist by cooling in the pans for one hour, then turning out the warm cakes onto pieces of plastic wrap.  Wrap each cake individually in plastic wrap and assemble/frost/decorate the following day.)

Make the Frosting:
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter and vanilla bean seeds/paste for one minute.  In a separate bowl, combine the powdered sugar, meringue powder, cinnamon and nutmeg, then with the mixer on low, add by spoonfuls to the butter until mostly combined.  Add the milk or cream and whip on medium high, scraping the bowl down occasionally, for 4-5 minutes until very light and fluffy.

Assembly:
Stack the cakes, filling them with a ¼ inch thick layer of buttercream between each.  Frost all over with a thin crumb coat of buttercream, then chill for 15 minutes before frosting all over with a final layer of buttercream.

Sprinkle the top of the cake with the cinnamon.  Place the pirouettes (cut in half) all around the side of the cake, and tie with a pretty ribbon.

Yields 15-20 servings

Recipe and Design from Curly Girl Kitchen
 

35 comments :

  1. Oh what a STUNNING cake! I would LOVE to have this on my birthday. Love the snickerdoodle flavors and the way you've decorated it truly looks like a present! : )

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    1. Thanks, Anne! I thought the ribbon, even though non-edible, was too pretty not to use.

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  2. That is such a beautiful cake and it sounds delicious too! I love the swirling rose pattern you did on the top.

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    1. Thanks, Audrey! It was definitely yummy.

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  3. This is the most beautiful cake! Could only wish I could pipe roses as well as this!

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    1. Sinead, it just takes a little practice. My first attempt at these looked pretty bad! :)

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  4. This cake looks amazing AND delicious -- I'm definitely going to try this recipe!

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  5. My cake turned out sweet and moist but incredibly dense. Any suggestions?

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    1. It sounds like your cake turned out like it was supposed to. I mentioned in the post that this is a dense cake recipe (it's one I actually developed from a pound cake), so that it's reminiscent of a cookie. Dense cakes are actually quite a hit with the people who request cakes from me. :) If you like a lighter cake, you might try using cake flour instead of AP flour and sub some of the butter with vegetable oil, both of which should make it lighter. I haven't tried either of those things with this recipe, so I can't vouch for the results.

      Usually, when I want a lighter white cake, I make a semi-homemade version instead of completely from scratch and start with a box cake mix and add milk or buttermilk, vanilla, etc, to make it taste homemade. You could try the recipe I made for this lemon cake (link below), and just use all milk instead of the milk/lemon juice. Good luck! :)

      http://www.curlygirlkitchen.com/2013/05/summer-cakes-in-pretty-pastels-dots-and.html

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  7. I was just going to say when i tried this they came out like disks. I thought it was due to the rain? But since they are dense cake, is this recipe not suppose to rise at all? The flavor was great my family said with out the frosting it kinda tasted like eggnogg

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    1. It's definitely supposed to rise, so it's strange that yours didn't. Every oven is different though, and different altitudes can make a difference as well.

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  8. I just baked this cake and it smells wonderful! Mine also turned out like "disks" though. Each layer is about 3/4 inch tall. I followed the recipe exactly, live at sea level, and use an oven thermometer. I did grease the sides of my pan and just noticed you said to only grease the bottoms. Could that be the reason?

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    1. Stephanie, the reason I don't grease the sides of the pans is because I find that cake batter rises better when the sides are ungreased. I compare it to the difficulty of trying to climb a slippery wall. It should be noted that I live at 5,000 feet, so all of my recipes are written for high altitude. It's likely that yours didn't rise well since you're at sea level. At high altitude, cakes need slightly more flour and liquid, with slightly less sugar and leavening. Cake batter rises faster at high altitude, causing the cake to collapse on itself if there is too much leavening. So for sea level, you probably need to add a little more leavening to the recipe to get a better rise. That said, when I bake cakes, I tweak the recipes to yield the flattest cake possible (of course, it still rises, just evenly across rather than higher in the middle), because I hate wasting cake by trimming off domed tops. If you're used to cakes that have very rounded tops, you might think you've done something wrong if it's flatter. At any rate, I will test my recipe again soon and share the results of the cake unfrosted, for comparison.

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  9. I have re-tested the recipe and noted my comments above, in the update above the recipe.

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  10. Thanks for the update! It tasted great and everyone loved it. It was just a bit on the short side, but not too bad once I filled with 2 thick layers of frosting. It must just be the elevation difference. I will definitely make it again and experiment with it to get a little more rise. I love dense cakes. I tend to gravitate to the rich and dense recipes too!

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  11. Could you substitute the vanilla bean for vanilla extract?

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  12. Amazing gift! I love the swirling roses on top, could you tell me which tip did you use to make ?

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    1. got that, thank u so much! Hope to see more lovely cakes :x

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  13. I am so excited to make this for my Hubby for Valentine's Day, as his favorite cookie is snickerdoodle :) Is the meringue powder essential to the frosting? Is there any substitute for it? Thanks!!
    -Caitlin

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    1. I like adding the meringue powder because it adds a little more stability to buttercream, but it can definitely be left out. Happy valentines! :)

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  14. I made this for my mother for her birthday because she loves Snickerdoodles and it turned out AMAZING! It took a bit of work to make but it paid off it was moist and delicious and the best cake I've ever made.

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  15. I love the look of the cake and would definitely try it out, hope it turns out good. Just wondering, can i bake them in one tin instead of 3 as my oven would not let me bake 3 tins at a time, max 2?

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    1. That's totally up to you, but you'd need to increase the baking time since you'd have more batter in the pan, and the cake may end up more dense, so I couldn't vouch for the results.

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  16. I've made and assembled my cake (all but the Pirouette cookies!)but am serving it for a birthday party tomorrow so haven't tasted it yet. I will say that I'm not normally a fan of buttercream frosting but the addition of the cinnamon is amazing! Can't wait to have a whole slice!!

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  17. I just discovered your blog and am so excited to try out these recipes. This cake look amazing! DO you have suggestions for replacing nutmeg? For some reason my husband and I are not fond of that flavor. I think I usually just put in more cinnamon but wanted your opinion. I am in Mississippi so I am hoping I can figure out some of the altitude issues on my own. I read some of your other comments and will google it. I just want it to come out 1/2 as good as yours :)

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    1. Jenny, it's not a problem to just leave out the nutmeg since cinnamon is the main spice in snickerdoodles. You might add a pinch of ground cloves to replace the nutmeg, if you like cloves.

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  18. I wanted to thank you so much for this beautiful recipe!I made this for my son's wedding as a grooms cake couple of years ago. It outshined the wedding cake. No lie. I made another and decorated it differently for my younger son's wedding a year later. Today it has been requested that I make it for my daughter-in-law's birthday. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the memories you have enabled me to create.

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    1. Lisa, I'm thrilled the cake went over so well with your family and friends, and what an honor that you made it for your sons' weddings! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience with the recipe.

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  19. I wanted to thank you so much for this beautiful recipe!I made this for my son's wedding as a grooms cake couple of years ago. It outshined the wedding cake. No lie. I made another and decorated it differently for my younger son's wedding a year later. Today it has been requested that I make it for my daughter-in-law's birthday. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the memories you have enabled me to create.

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  20. I made this for my daughters birthday and she loved it

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