Full Recipe

Gooey Cinnamon Cake

For our birthday last Friday we had planned to serve Christmas cake (the ones we were selling) with the bubbles. However on Thursday morning a customer bought all our cakes so we had nothing. After an initial panic I asked Lou if he could make something. But what?

I subscribe to David Lebovitz’s blog from Paris and I’d just read about a cake he’d made which he’d taken from ‘The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook’. It sounded good so Lou had a go. It looks like a plain sort of cake and with your first bite you think it is. Then, you hit the gooey and sugary cinnamon part and it’s hard to stop having another piece. So many of you tried it and loved it that I decided to pass it on.

  • Ingredients – Cake Base:
  •  1 1/2 cups (190g) flour
  •  2 teaspoons baking powder
  •  1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  8 tablespoons (115g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  •  3/4 cup (150g) sugar
  •  1 large egg, at room temperature
  •  1/4 cup (60ml) whole milk
  • Soft Gooey Layer:
  •  1/4 cup (60ml) golden syrup
  •  1/4 cup (60ml) whole milk or heavy cream
  •  1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  •  12 tablespoons (170g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  •  1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225g) sugar
  •  1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  1 large egg, at room temperature
  •  1 1/4 (155g) cups flour
  • Cinnamon Topping:
  •  2 tablespoons sugar
  •  1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


1. Line a 9- by 13-inch cake pan with foil, leaving an overhang on all four sides. (I overturn the pan, shape the foil over the bottom, remove it, then flip the pan over and ease the foil into the pan.) Spray the foil in the pan with nonstick spray or brush with melted butter. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

2. To make the cake base, whisk together the 1 1/2 cups (190g) flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Beat the 8 tablespoons (115g) of butter and the 3/4 cup (150g) of sugar in the bowl of stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or by hand, until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.

3. Add the egg and the milk and mix in, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Stir in the dry ingredients, until fully incorporated. Put the mixture in the cake pan in dollops (it’s too thick to spread if you add it all in the same place), and spread it into an even layer with an offset spatula. (You don’t need to clean the bowl; you can reuse it for the next step.)

4. To make the soft gooey layer, in a small bowl, whisk together the golden syrup with the milk or cream, and vanilla.

5. Beat the 12 tablespoons (170g) of butter with the 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225g) of sugar, and salt until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, scraping down the sides of the bowl.

6. Add one-third of the 1 1/4 cup (155g) flour, then half of the milk/golden syrup mixture. Add another one-third of the flour, then the rest of the milk/syrup mixture. Then stir in the remaining flour. Dollop the batter over the unbaked cake layer and spread evenly.

7. Mix together the 2 tablespoons of sugar and cinnamon, then sprinkle it evenly over the cake.

8. Bake the cake for 25 minutes, or until the cake feels slightly damp, but gently set in the centre. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. When cool, lift out the cake using the overhang of the foil, and cut the cake into 3cm squares.

Sprinkle with a little icing sugar if you like.