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Brown Sugar Cinnamon Layer

Servings: 12 servings
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Assembly time: 30 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins
This brown sugar and cinnamon layer cake is full of autumn flavor and spice, with moist cake layers and the fluffiest buttercream frosting!
This brown sugar cinnamon layer cake is full of autumn flavor and spice, with moist cake layers and the fluffiest buttercream frosting!
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Ingredients

For the cake layers:

  • 3 cups cake flour , measured correctly (336 grams)
  • 2 cups packed light or dark brown sugar (440 grams)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup unsalted butter , softened to room temperature (2 sticks, 226 grams)
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk , divided (375 ml)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the simple syrup (optional):

  • ¼ cup water (60 ml)
  • ¼ cup packed light or dark brown sugar (55 grams)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the frosting:

  • 4 cups powdered sugar , sifted (640 grams)
  • ½ cup packed light or dark brown sugar (110 grams)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter , softened to room temperature (2 sticks, 226 grams)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup heavy cream (60 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup candied pecans , roughly chopped (120 grams)

Instructions

To make the cake layers:

  • Place oven rack in the center of your oven. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 2 or 3 8 or 9-inch round cake pans (see Notes) and line bottoms with parchment paper.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add the butter and 1 cup of the buttermilk.
  • With the paddle attachment, beat mixture on low speed until moistened and combined. Increase speed to medium high and beat for several minutes until smooth and creamy, scraping down the bowl once or twice.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ½ cup buttermilk, eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the mixer in 3 additions, mixing and scraping the bowl down after each. Mix on medium speed until smooth.
  • Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans.
  • Bake until edges come away from the pan, and center feels firm and bounces back when gently pressed, 20-25 minutes. (Time will depend on size of pan and how many you're using. I recommend only baking 2 at a time on the center rack, if using more than 2 pans bake in 2 batches.)
  • Let cakes cool about 15 minutes in the pan, then turn out to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • I prefer to completely chill cake layers before assembling the final cake. Wrap in plastic and store in the fridge for up to 3 days, or double wrap and freeze for several months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before using.

To make simple syrup:

  • Combine water, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture is smooth.
  • Cool completely. Store in the fridge until ready to use.

To make frosting and assemble cake:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add sifted powdered sugar, brown sugar, butter, salt, cinnamon, heavy cream and vanilla.
  • Mix on low speed until moistened and combined. Increase speed to medium high and beat for 4-5 minutes until smooth and very light and creamy. Scrape the bowl down a few times as needed.
  • Place one cake layer on a stand or plate and use a pastry brush to lightly coat it with simple syrup. Then cover with about ½ cup of frosting. Top with ⅓-½ cup frosting (depending on how many layers you have).
  • Repeat with remaining cake layers.
  • Frost entire cake with remaining buttercream and decorate as desired.
NOTES:
  • This cake can be baked in either 8 or 9-inch pans. You can use 2 or 3 pans, depending on the look you're going for: double layer (2 pans), triple layer (3 pans), or quadruple layer (2 pans, then slice each layer in half). If your 8-inch pans are only 2-inches high, you will probably want to bake 3 or 4 layers in batches to prevent overflow (Mine are 3-inches high).
  • Butter, buttermilk, and eggs should be at room temperature for best results. Just pull them out of the fridge 30-60 minutes before you make the cake.
  • Cake flour produces the tenderest cake. You can make your own if you can't find it at the store.
  • Make ahead: All of the components of this cake can be made ahead of time. Store wrapped cakes in the fridge for up to 5 days, and in the freezer for 1 month or more. Simple syrup and buttercream can be stored in the fridge for a week. Let buttercream come to room temperature and beat with an electric mixer before frosting the cake.

Nutrition

Calories: 861kcal, Carbohydrates: 120g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 40g, Saturated Fat: 22g, Cholesterol: 179mg, Sodium: 444mg, Potassium: 211mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 95g, Vitamin A: 1190IU, Calcium: 134mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Annalise

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