When you say "Birthday", I say "Cake"! No seriously. Any time someone says birthday I think of cake. And I feel like I'm not the only one out there am I right.
SO When I was given the opportunity recently to make not one BUT TWO cakes for a friend's birthday party I was like HECK YEAH!
This is the story of the first cake. (Second cake coming soon!)
I was given the memo that said friend really really likes cinnamon buns and wanted a "cinnamon bun cake... what ever that is". It was my job to figure out "what ever that was" and turn cinnamon bun into cake form.
I thought about just making one big ass cinnamon bun.
But there is something about birthday parties and layer cakes that are just such a great combination... I could not resist!
This is a dessert that has all the physical properties of a layer cake, but all the flavours of the classic breakfast treat. Cinnamon spiced vanilla cake, sandwiching a layer of cinnamon sugar filling, all coated in a cream cheese frosting. And decorated with lil' mini cinnamon buns. Cuz, CUTE!
If you like cinnamon buns, and you like cake, then this is a keeper for you! The birthday friend approved. As did the birthday party goers!
Cinnamon Bun Cake
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 cup butter
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups milk
Preheat oven to 350F, butter two 8" round cake pans with butter, dust with flour and tap out excess flour.
Sift together both flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time beating until each is incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches alternating with the milk, beating until combined after each.
Divide the batter evenly between the two tins and give the tins a firm tap on the counter to let any air bubbles escape. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and tops are springy, about 30 minutes or so.
Let cakes cool for at least 10-15 minutes in the tins before removing them. Let them cool completely before filling/frosting them. At this point, you can wrap the cakes individually in plastic wrap and keep them in the freezer until you need them (up to one month). Fun fact! Frozen cakes are actually way easier to frost than room temperature ones.
1/4 cup melted butter
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
2 ounces (1/4 cup) softened butter
4 cups sifted icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Cream the cream cheese and the butter together. On low speed, gradually add the icing sugar and mix until fully incorporated. Mix in the vanilla extract. Beat on high for a few minutes to create a light and fluffy frosting. Like the cake, frosting can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 1 month.
Place one cake layer onto desired serving platter or cake stand. Spread the top of this cake with the cinnamon-sugar filling. Spread a layer of the cream cheese frosting over top of this layer. Place the second cake layer on top. Spread a thin layer of cream cheese frosting over the top and sides of the cake, using an offset spatula to make it as even as possible. This is just the base layer of frosting, so it can be quite thin (called the "crumb-coat"). Place the cake in the fridge for about 30 minutes to let the crumb-coat firm up a bit. This will make it easier to frost later.
Take the cake out of the fridge and frost with the remaining cream cheese frosting, swirling and spreading as you wish. Garnish the top with halved mini cinnamon buns!