Intensely chocolatey with a hint of spice this soft, fudgy Cinnamon Chocolate Cake pairs so well with the piquant, mellow sweetness that is salted honey buttercream. This layer cake is hard to resist anytime of year but is so perfectly in tune with the cooler months.
I am a sucker for a layer cake. Especially when it involves chocolate and buttercream. So to celebrate my birthday a few weeks ago I baked this cinnamon chocolate cake with salted honey buttercream (gasp). It’s been on the cards for a while and I think I’ve shown remarkable restraint right through January by
impatiently waiting for February to roll around along with a good excuse to bake it.
Now the waiting is over I’m jumping straight into the details, beginning with the salted honey buttercream.
What is Salted Honey Buttercream?
Quite simply, salted honey buttercream is a rich and delicious buttercream frosting that has been flavoured with both honey and sea salt.
I always use a deep, amber coloured honey and pound the sea salt to a fine powder using a pestle and mortar so it blends into the frosting well.
Without a doubt, this is the finest buttercream I’ve ever made. Sweet it most definitely is, but it’s also mellow, thanks to the honey. And there’s a slight twang of saltiness to give it a savoury edge. Bundled up with the chocolate and cinnamon spice it is a grown-up topping that is sure please in this chocolate cinnamon cake.
How to Make Cinnamon Chocolate Cake
The actual cinnamon chocolate cake teams its headline flavours up with dark muscovado sugar and buttermilk. The result is a dark, soft and fudgy sponge cake with an intense chocolate flavour and a hint of warming spice. It pairs with the salty-sweet buttercream perfectly. This cake is also easy to make:
Grease and line 3 x 6-inch baking tins with baking parchment and preheat oven 175C/ 325F/ GM3
Put the chocolate into a small heatproof bowl and gently melt the chocolate in the microwave (or over a bain-marie). Set aside
Weigh the flour, cocoa, baking powder & cinnamon into a bowl
In another bowl cream the butter and sugar together using electric beaters until fluffy and paler in colour then beat in the eggs, one at a time
Sieve half of the flour mixture into the batter and blend, stir in the buttermilk, milk and vanilla extract and then sieve in the remaining flour and mix until just combined
Take a heaped tablespoon of the cake batter and quickly mix it into the melted chocolate then quickly blend this mixture back into the rest of the cake batter
Divide the batter between the cake tins, level slightly & bake for approx 25 minutes
Let the cake cool in the tins for 2 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Peel off the baking parchment from the bottom of each sponge cake and let cool completely
Sandwiching the layers together with the salted honey buttercream
This Chocolate Cinnamon Cake is a marvellous option for winter bakes. All of the flavours it includes are homely, comforting and deeply enticing. Cut yourself a slice and snuggle up with a cosy blanket, a mug of steaming tea and a good book.
Just a quick word of warning about muscovado sugar. It has an annoying tendency to harden and form lumps when stored. Do make sure you remove any clumps of sugar. If you leave those lumps in, your sponge cake will be prone to sugary holes (but it will still taste amazing). The Kitchn has some good advice for dealing with these lumps – I went with apple slices in the container and it worked well.
Now go enjoy this Cinnamon Chocolate Cake smothered in salted honey buttercream before the weather warms up.
If you’ve enjoyed this cinnamon chocolate cake you might like my other chocolate layer cakes too:
- Chocolate & Vanilla Malted Milkshake Cake with Italian Buttercream
- Matcha Cake with White Chocolate Mascarpone Buttercream
- Triple Chocolate Layer Cake
Cinnamon Chocolate Cake with Salted Honey Buttercream
- This Cake uses 3 x 6-inch cake tins (see notes for 8-inch cake)
For the Cake
- 180 g/ 3/4 cup butter - softened
- 180 g/ 1 cup dark muscovado sugar (lump free - see tips in main text)
- 180 g/ 1 1/2 cups plain (all purpose) flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 3 eggs
- 6 tbsp buttermilk
- 3 tbsp whole milk
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 125 g/ 1 cup dark chocolate - roughly chopped (I used 65% cocoa solids)
For the Buttercream
- 300 g butter/ 1 1/3 cup butter - softened
- 240 g / 2 1/8 cup icing (confectionary) sugar - sieved
- 3 tbsp runny honey
- 1/4 tsp seasalt
- Ground cinnamon
- Cinnamon sticks (optional)
- Grease and line 3 x 6 inch baking tins with baking parchment
- Preheat oven 175C/ 325F/ GM3
- Weigh the flour, cocoa, baking powder & cinnamon into a bowl
- Put the chocolate into a small heatproof bowl and gently melt the chocolate in the microwave (or over a bain-marie) and set aside
- In another bowl cream the butter and sugar together using electric beaters until fluffy and paler in colour
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time
- Sieve half of the flour mixture into the batter and blend
- Add the buttermilk, milk and vanilla extract and mix
- Sieve in the remaining flour and mix until just combined
- Take a heaped tablespoon of the cake batter and quickly mix it into the melted chocolate then quickly blend this mixture back into the rest of the cake batter
- Divide the batter between the 3 cake tins, level slightly and bake for 22-25 minutes until the sponge springs back when lightly pressed or a skewer comes out clean
- Let cool in the tins for 2 minutes, then remove from the tins, peel off the baking parchment from the bottom of each sponge cake and let cool completely on a wire rack
Make the buttercream
- Use a pestle and mortar to crush the sea salt to a powder
- Using electric beaters whip the butter and icing sugar together - add the icing sugar 1 tbsp at a time
- Beat in the honey, followed by the powdered salt
- Taste - add a little more powdered salt to suit tastes
Assemble the cake
- Lay one chocolate sponge cake onto a board and spread 1/4 of the icing on top
- Place another layer of cake carefully on top of the layer of icing and top with another 1/4 of the icing, spread it out and top with the final layer of cake
- Spread another 1/4 icing on top of the cake and use the remaining icing to pipe rosettes on the top of the cake
- Dust with a little ground cinnamon and decorate with cinnamon sticks if desired
Nutritional Information Per Serving (Approximate)
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