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Cracklin’ Cake

January 18, 2011

I love love love to bake.

Especially for pretty friends.

Especially for pretty friends’ birthdays.

One of my bestest and dearest friends, Sam, my first roommate and friend in college, celebrated her 22nd birthday this past December. Back in Boston, there is a magical frozen yogurt place where you can mix in anything you could ever imagine to make the most perfect softservy goodness. Sam’s favorite mix-in is Cracklin’ Oat Bran. For her birthday, I wanted to channel her cereal love into cake love.

And thus…

Cracklin’ Cake

(aka, Chocolate Cinnamon Loaf Cake)


This cake is beautiful. No actual Cracklin’ Oat Bran is included in the recipe, but the chocolate + sparkly cinnamon sugar topping created this drool-worthy aroma that smelled exactly like the yummy little O’s. Amazing.




Cracklin’ Cake

Inspired by Taste and Tell (


Chocolate Batter
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baknig powder
1/2 teaspoon baknig soda
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Cocoa-Spice Sugar Crust
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Dutch-processed cocoa powder
pinch ground cloves
pinch ground ginger
1/4 cup decorating or sparkle sugar



Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans and line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper.

Make the chocolate batter: In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar with the paddle attachment on medium speed, until light and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating until each egg is completely incorporated before adding the next and scraping down the sides of the bowl several times.

Meanwhile in a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, water and vanilla. With mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture to butter, beginning and ending with the flour and beating just until blended. Divide the batter between the two pans, shake the pans to even the tops and set aside.

Make the cocoa-spice sugar crust: In another bowl, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, cocoa, ginger and cloves. Sprinkle the surfaces of both batters with the cocoa sugar mixture, dividing evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool completely, run a thin knife around the sides to release the breads and remove from pans.


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