This Easy Cinnamon Squares Recipe is moist, flavorful, and decadent. It’s baked to perfection and has espresso to give you the best flavor ever. Topped with a chocolate frosting, these cinnamon treats are ideal for curing that sweet tooth. They are lovely for a dessert or even as a snack.
Easy Cinnamon Squares Recipe
Moist and tender cinnamon cake with a cinnamon-coffee-chocolate swirl running through the center makes for a sweet breakfast or a tasty dessert! These cinnamon squares remind me of a coffee cake, except it is topped with a rich chocolate ganache instead of a crumb topping. This delicious cake is really easy to make, which is a welcome change from many of the cakes that I tackle in my kitchen.
There is no cutting of layers or decorative piped icing. In fact, you don’t even need a mixer! Just mix by hand, spread half of the cinnamon batter into an 8-inch square pan, sprinkle with chocolate and cinnamon chips, and a mixture of cinnamon, sugar, and espresso, then top with the rest of the batter. After it has baked and cooled, you add a simple two-ingredient chocolate frosting on top and enjoy! Pair with a steaming hot espresso next to a warm fire, and don’t be surprised if this cake mysteriously disappears, it tends to do that! 😉
Do I Have to Add Chocolate Icing?
No, it’s not required to add the chocolate ganache to the top of the cinnamon cake. I feel like the ganache takes it from scrumptious to an entirely new level of awesome! However, I know that some people aren’t a fan of chocolate or can’t eat it due to dietary restrictions, and I totally get that. So, if you don’t want to add the chocolate icing, that’s not a problem.
Can I Add Nuts to My Cinnamon Squares?
Of course! It’s a great idea to add nuts to these cinnamon squares, and they are absolutely scrumptious if you do. We have tried pecans and walnuts, and both of them are so yummy. Some more options would be almonds and hazelnuts. You can make the cinnamon squares; however, you want them to give you the results you love.
As you will see, there is a set of ingredients for the cake itself and for the decadent chocolate ganache topping. Don’t worry; they are all simple ingredients that you shouldn’t have any trouble working with.
For the Cake:
- Granulated white sugar
- Ground cinnamon
- Instant espresso powder
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- Whole milk
- Large eggs
- Pure vanilla extract
- Unsalted butter
- Mini chocolate chips
- Cinnamon chips
For the Frosting:
- Bittersweet chocolate
- Unsalted butter
How to Make Cinnamon Squares
When these cinnamon squares are baking, you will be hit with such a delicious aroma, it’s hard to wait! Don’t worry; they are worth every second of waiting because they are irresistibly good.
First Step: Warm the oven up to 350 F. Prepare an 8-inch square baking pan by greasing it with butter. Then line the bottom with parchment paper. Place the baking pan on a baking sheet.
Second Step: Start preparing the cake batter by stirring two tablespoons of the sugar, 2 1/2 teaspoons of the cinnamon, and the instant espresso together in a small bowl; set aside.
Third Step: Combine the flour, the remaining 1 1/4 cups sugar, baking powder, salt, and the rest of the cinnamon in a small bowl; set aside.
Fourth Step: Combine the milk, eggs, and vanilla in a small bowl. Slowly pour the liquid ingredients over the flour mixture. Use a whisk to combine the batter until it’s smooth. Fold in the butter carefully using a spatula, until the butter has been absorbed. The batter should be smooth and shiny when it’s done.
Fifth Step: Use a spatula to scrape half of the batter into the baking pan and smooth out the top. Add the chocolate and cinnamon chips on top of batter. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture on top. Add the rest of the batter and smooth the top again.
Sixth Step: Put the pan in the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. When it’s done, the cake will be puffed and begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. To test, insert a thin knife into the center, and it should come out clean when done. Place the cake on a cooling rack and let it rest for 15 minutes. Take off the paper, invert it onto the first rack, and cool to room temperature right side up.
Seventh Step: Prepare the frosting by putting the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl. Then fit the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir gently and often, until the chocolate has melted. It’s important not to overheat the mixture so much that it thins out; the chocolate should be smooth, very shiny, thick, and spreadable.
Eighth Step: Using a metal icing spatula, carefully spread the frosting in generous sweeps and swirls over the top of the cake. Let the frosting set up at room temperature, then serve and enjoy!
Now, remember to save this recipe on Pinterest for later 🙂
For the Cake:
- 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup cinnamon chips
For the Frosting:
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan and line the bottom with parchment or wax paper. Place the pan on a baking sheet.
- To Make the Cake, stir 2 tablespoons of the sugar, 2 1/2 teaspoons of the cinnamon and the espresso together in a small bowl; set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, the remaining 1 1/4 cups sugar, the baking powder, salt and the remaining 1 tablespoon cinnamon; set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs and vanilla. Pour the liquid ingredients over the flour mixture and gently whisk until you have a homogenous batter. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the butter with a light touch, just until the butter is absorbed. You will have a smooth, shiny batter.
- Scrape half of the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle the chocolate and cinnamon chips over the batter and dust with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Cover with the rest of the batter and smooth the top again.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cake is puffed and beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan; a thin knife inserted into the center will come out clean. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and let it rest for 15 minutes before unmolding it onto another rack. Peel off the paper, invert it onto the first rack, and cool to room temperature right side up.
- To Make the Frosting, put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and fit the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Cook, stirring gently and often, just until they melt. Be careful not to overheat the mixture so much that it thins out; the chocolate should be smooth, very shiny, thick and spreadable. (If it thins, leave the frosting at room temperature for a bit, until it thickens a little.)
- Using an offset metal icing spatula, spread the frosting in generous sweeps and swirls over the top of the cake. Allow the frosting to set at room temperature before serving.
Source: adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
Cakes are some of my favorite desserts, just like these cinnamon squares. We can’t wait for you to try them as well as these yummy desserts:
- Coffee Lover’s Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake – This is one of the best cakes I have ever made! You are sure to love this one if you are a coffee and chocolate fan.
- Nutter Butter Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake – I will admit that I have a large affection for anything that combines chocolate and peanut butter. This is one of my ultimate favorite cakes ever.
- Old Fashioned Orange Cake – This cake is absolutely lovely and offers a sweet orange flavor that’s unforgettable. We love to take this to potlucks because it’s something fun and enjoyable. Everyone loves the flavors and texture.
- Layered Cannoli Cake With Chocolate Chips – You will be smacking your lips and drooling after you taste this irresistible cake. It’s filled with lots of chocolate and closely resembles traditional cannolis.