When I was young, my Great Grandma Krusch had a special recipe for Cinnamon Bread. Every Christmas she would bake several loaves of this special bread for our family. We would anxiously await receiving our loaf and sneak little bits of buttery crumble off the top! Grandma Krusch made the best cinnamon bread!
I convinced her to share her recipe with me when my sister and I had our bread business. I remember her explaining to my nine year old self, all of the steps to making a perfect loaf of her cinnamon bread. There was the milk to sour and the sugar to measure, shortening to be cut into the flour and pans to grease. I loved baking, so I listened intently and set about to fill my mother’s kitchen with dustings of flour once again.
I have pulled out Great Grandma’s recipe throughout the years, especially at Christmas time. I can hear her talking to me in her Dutch brogue accent. The smell of the loaves baking reminds me of how soft her hands were when she would place this baked treasure into my own hands. This bread has memories woven into every morsel.
I have been thinking about my Great Grandma a lot lately and decided to give her recipe a Paleo makeover! This has taken me a few tries to get just right. My family has done some serious taste testing for me along the way, but I finally got a perfect replica of Great Grandma’s cinnamon bread! Taking a beloved family recipe, leaving out all the grains, gluten, dairy, unhealthy fats and sugars, expecting to have it taste like you remember is not a task for the faint of heart!
While the original recipe was made into loaves, I decided to make a round coffee cake instead. I got a new cake stand and I just wanted to use it!
Just looking at this makes me all nostalgic…
I started by souring the milk, just like Grandma said…except I used coconut milk and it worked out great!
Next I made up the batter and spread half of it into the bottom of my round cake pan…greasing it with coconut oil and lining the bottom with a round cut out of parchment paper…
After mixing the cinnamon with palm sugar, I sprinkled half of that all over the top of my batter, like this…
Next, I spread the remaining batter over the top, making it look like this again…
I finished off the top of the coffee cake with the remaining cinnamon and sugar, mixture mixing in some melted coconut oil. It just tasted more like the real deal with the coconut oil mixed in.
If you make a bit of a sugary mess like I did, just smile and call it authentic baking… that’s what I do!
Now it’s time for the all important knife swirl! Sounds daring doesn’t it! I didn’t get a picture of that part cause I couldn’t swirl my knife and use my camera it the same time. I suppose I could have gotten out the tripod but I didn’t think of that….I had cinnamon coffee cake on the brain…case closed!
To make the swirl, just get yourself a butter knife and start at one side of the pan, going back and forth the length of the pan in slow, even strokes, you are kind of making a wave. You can do it! It’s not hard at all!
Put your coffee cake into a preheated 350 degree oven, grab a cup of coffee and reminisce of your own Great Grandma for a bit!
Once the delicious, cinnamony smells have gotten the better of you, about 25 to 30 minutes later, take your coffee cake out and allow it to cool a bit before transferring it to a cooling rack.
After it cools you can place it on your favorite cake stand (that you just scored on clearance at Target…hey, Great Grandma Krusch was Dutch, she would totally be proud)!
Serving this for Mother’s Day brunch would be a wonderful way to build a tradition of your own that you can pass on to an eager little baker one day, just like my Great Grandmother did for me.
Remember those who have made an impact on your life and honor them today! Now, go get to baking this beautiful display of nostalgic deliciousness!
- For the batter -
- 3 cups almond flour
- ½ t baking soda
- ¼ t sea salt
- ¼ cup coconut milk (see this website for recipe)
- 1t apple cider vinegar
- 1 t cinnamon
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 3 eggs
- For the Swirl -
- 1 T cinnamon
- 1 cup palm sugar
- 2 T coconut oil, melted (Leave this out for the middle layer of the coffee cake. You will just need to add it to the half of the cinnamon sugar that goes on the top.)
- For the Glaze -
- 1T coconut oil, not melted
- 2T coconut cream (the cream that rises to the top of canned coconut milk)
- 2T maple syrup
- Pour the coconut milk into a small bowl or glass and add the apple cider vinegar. Allowing the vinegar to sit in the coconut milk for a few minutes will start a curdling process, giving you a buttermilk flavor.
- In a mixing bowl, blend the almond flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and mix until blended.
- Add in the melted coconut oil and vanilla.
- Mix in the eggs and blend until well incorporated.
- Grease the bottom and sides of a round 9" cake pan and line with a round cut out of parchment paper.
- Take half of the batter and spread it evenly on the bottom of the cake pan.
- Mix together the cinnamon and palm sugar for the swirl. Make sure to leave out the coconut oil at this point.
- Take half of the cinnamon sugar mixture and sprinkle it evenly over top of the batter.
- Spread the remaining batter over top of the cinnamon sugar layer.
- Melt 2T coconut oil and mix into the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Top the coffee cake with the cinnamon sugar and coconut oil mixture.
- Starting at one end of the pan, take a butter knife and go back and forth through the batter in long even strokes. This will create a nice swirl in the middle of the coffee cake.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. The cake will be done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Allow to cool before transferring to a wire cooling rack.
- While the coffee cake is cooling, prepare the glaze by mixing the coconut oil, maple syrup and coconut cream in a small bowl. Set aside and drizzle over the top of the coffee cake once it has cooled.
- *NOTE: I have made this cake with both Bob's Red Mill and Honeyville almond flours. Using Honeyville almond flour gives the best results. While you can use Bob's Red Mill, you will have a coffee cake that is a wetter consistency.