Baked Cinnamon Sugar Apple Doughnuts

There are a few great things about going apple picking… The scenery, the apples (of course) and the freshly made apple cider doughnuts. The doughnuts are amazing but unfortunately they don’t stay fresh very long. By the following day they are quite hard. Hoping to get that yummy goodness at home I decided to bake my own Apple Doughnuts by tweaking the recipe for the Pumpkin Doughnuts that I made last month that.

The scenery…

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To begin I whisked together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda and set it aside.

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I then peeled and cored three apples – I used the Golden Delicious apples I got while picking – and pureed them in a food processor. While the original pumpkin recipe called for 1 cup of pumpkin puree I decided to use only 1/2 cup of the fresh apple puree (it was essentially applesauce) since it wasn’t as thick as the pumpkin puree and I didn’t want my batter to be too watery.

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To continue with the batter I mixed the apples with sugar, brown sugar, oil, an egg and vanilla extract and then added in the dry ingredients.

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It was then time to fill up my doughnut pans. I filled in each doughnut crevice with a 1/4 cup of the batter.

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I baked them for about thirteen minutes in a 350 degree preheated oven and they were done to perfection. I recently bought a second doughnut pan so I wouldn’t have to wait for my first batch of doughnuts to cool in the pan before using it again.

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And finally I melted 3 tbsp. of butter in one bowl and combined 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 tsp. of cinnamon in another bowl so I could coat the doughnuts in cinnamon sugar. I dipped each doughnut in the butter and then in the cinnamon sugar.

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Final verdict… They were delicious! Doughnuts have quickly become one of my favorite things to bake!

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Baked Cinnamon Sugar Apple Doughnuts

Ingredients

1/2 cup canola oil

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. fine salt

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup fresh applesauce

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Cinnamon Sugar Topping

3 tbsp. melted butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

Directions

1. Heat oven to 350° F. Spray two 6-compartment doughnut pans with baking spray. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside.

2. Peel, core & puree three apples. Whisk the pureed apples with the granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, egg, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined (do not over mix).

3. Spoon 1/4 cup batter into each compartment of the prepared pans. Bake until the doughnuts are golden brown and spring back lightly when touched, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool in the pans for 15 minutes.

4. Combine the sugar and cinnamon for the topping in a shallow bowl. Dip each doughnut into the melted butter and then into the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place each doughnut on a wire rack to cool completely.

Pumpkin Doughtnuts

I recently purchased a Wilton Doughnut Pan and had every intention of making cinnamon doughnuts to try it out but then some other recipes got in the way of that and I kept putting the doughnuts on the back-burner. But then last week I made Tortellini with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce (which was super simple and quite delicious) and I had leftover canned pumpkin and it was only a day or two before that I had come across a recipe for Pumpkin Doughnuts in the recent issue (October 2013) of Real Simple magazine… It was pretty much kismet. I scratched the cinnamon doughnuts and opted for the pumpkin doughnuts instead.

The pan and the leftover canned pumpkin…

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To begin I whisked all of my dry ingredients together: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and ground cloves. (The recipe actually called for pumpkin pie spice which I didn’t have on hand, hence me using cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and ground cloves.)

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In another bowl I whisked together pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, egg and vanilla extract.

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Next up I mixed the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture.

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Then it was time to scoop it into my prepared doughnut pan.

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Per the directions I scooped a 1/4 of a cup of the batter into each doughnut crevice.

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I then baked them in a 350 degree preheated oven for 13 minutes.

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After letting them cool in the pan for 15 minutes I prepped my second batch of doughnuts to be baked. I ran a little short on batter so as you can see one of the crevices was barely filled.

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That small doughnut ended up being my tester and I was quite pleased with how they came out. I let the remaining 11 doughnuts cool properly before trying another one.

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The doughnuts were a hit among my friends and I already received requests to make them again!

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Pumpkin Doughnuts*

Makes 12

Ingredients

1/2 cup canola oil, plus more for the pans

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon fine salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup pure pumpkin puree

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

1. Heat oven to 350° F. Lightly oil two 6-compartment doughnut pans* (or use 1 pan and bake in batches). Whisk together the flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, egg, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined (do not overmix).

3. Spoon ¼ cup batter into each compartment of the prepared pans. Bake until the doughnuts are golden brown and spring back lightly when touched, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

*The original recipe included a Sour Cream Icing which I opted not to put on the doughnuts.

A Quintessential Fall Birthday Cake

A good friend recently celebrated a birthday and a few days prior to it I asked her what kind of cake she would like me to bake for her and she responded with an apple cake. The only apple cake I could recall making was an Apple Walnut Cake that really wasn’t what I would consider to be a birthday cake. So, after a few texts back and forth we settled on an apple cake with walnuts with a cinnamon cream cheese frosting. While her birthday technically falls in the summer according to the calendar it’s unofficially in the fall since it is after Labor Day, hence this cake being the quintessential fall birthday cake. Since I haven’t mastered creating my own recipes I did a few internet searches to find a recipe for the cake and frosting. After coming up empty handed I decided to follow the recipe for my favorite carrot cake and substitute grated apples in lieu of the carrots and for the frosting, I made my favorite cream cheese frosting and added in ground cinnamon in small increments until I reached my desired flavor.

To begin I prepped my Granny Smith Apples…

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First I peeled them…

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Then cored and sliced them using an apple divider…

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And finally grated them using a food processor.

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I started the batter by combining the dry ingredients and setting it aside.

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I then creamed butter and sugar together.

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Once the butter and sugar were mixed together well I added in the eggs and dry ingredients by alternating between the two.

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And them some vanilla extract.

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It was then time to add in the grated apples.

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And finally I folded in some chopped walnuts.

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Once the walnuts were incorporated well into the batter it was time to divvy it up among my prepared pans.

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Once divided I popped them into a 350 degrees oven.

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After baking for 25 minutes the cakes were done.

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I let them cool for a bit in the pans and then inverted them onto cooling racks to let them cool completely.

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After the cakes cooled completely I made the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting by combing cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract and of course cinnamon.

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I spread frosting between each of the layers…

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And then crumb coated the cake and refrigerated it for a bit while I made another batch of frosting to finish covering the cake and for decorating.

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After about twenty minutes in the fridge I finished frosting it…

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And then I added some decorations and scattered some walnuts along the sides of the cake prior to writing a birthday message on it.

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Final verdict: It was a hit… Definitely something I’ll make again!

Apple Walnut Cake
(Adapted from Gigi’s Carrot Cake)
Ingredients
3 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups grated apples (I used Granny Smith apples)
1 cup chopped walnuts
Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray 3 (9-inch) cake pans with baking spray and set aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer. Add the sugar, and beat. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt and mix well.
Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the eggs, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and mix. Add the apples and beat on medium speed until well incorporated, about 2 minutes. Fold in the walnuts. Divide the batter between the 3 cake pans and bake until set and a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest in the cake pans for 10 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, remove from the pans, and let cool.
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Ingredients
2 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Directions
In a medium bowl cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Add in the vanilla extract and then gradually add in the confectioners sugar. And finally mix in the ground cinnamon.

Peach Streusel Cake

I tend to rip recipes out of magazines and file them away for quite some time before actually trying them. I recently made a turkey meatloaf following a recipe from a 2008 issue of a magazine. I wish I had made it sooner… It was quite good. So, when I was looking to make a cake to give as an anniversary treat for a friends’ parents I turned to a Peach Streusel Cake recipe that I had ripped out from a 2011 issue of Food & Wine magazine.

I started the cake by making the streusel. I combined flour, light brown sugar, salt, butter and pecans in a bowl…

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And mixed it together with my fingers to form small clumps with the mixture and then set it aside.

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Next up I whisked together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set this aside as well.

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In a separate bowl I began making the batter for the cake by beating together butter and sugar.

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I then added in two eggs one at a time.

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And then sour cream and vanilla extract.

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Once all of the wet ingredients were combined well I added in the dry ingredients.

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Once the wet and dry ingredients were mixed together it was time to pour it into my prepared pan.

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I started by spreading two-thirds of the batter into the pan.

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I then folded in chopped frozen peaches into the remaining batter. I had to go to about 4 different places to find frozen peaches. Each supermarket I went to had strawberries, blueberries and other frozen berries but no peaches. I ended up finding them at my local Target. It’s always the last place you check that has what you want.

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I then spread this batter on top of the non-peach batter already in the pan.

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And finally I spread the streusel topping on top.

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I baked the cake in a preheated 325F oven for 90 minutes, covering the cake with foil for the last 15 minutes so the streusel topping wouldn’t brown too much. It looked amazing when I took it out of the oven.

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I let it cool for a bit before placing it inside of a tin.

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And although it was meant for someone else, I did end up trying a piece and overall it was quite good, but, I think next time I’ll use fresh peaches instead.

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Peach Streusel Cake

Ingredients

Streusel

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 cup chopped toasted pecans

Batter

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

One 10-ounce bag frozen peaches, coarsely chopped

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 325F and butter flour a 9-inch springform pan.

2. Make the Streusel: In a bowl using your fingers, combine the flour, brown sugar, and salt. Add the butter and mix until smooth. Add the pecans; press the mixture into clumps.

3. Make the Batter: In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar at medium-high speed until light, 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time; beat in the sour cream and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and beat at a low speed until incorporated.

4. Spread two-thirds of the batter in the pan. Fold the peaches into the remaining batter and spoon into the pan. Scatter the streusel crumbs on top. Bake the cake for 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean; loosely cover the cake foil for the last 15 minutes of baking. Transfer to a rack and cool for 30 minutes them remove the ring and let the cake cool completely before serving.

Banana & Chocolate Cupcakes

Normally when I have a few over-ripe bananas I tend to make Banana Nut Bread, but, recently when I had a few bananas that were past their prime for eating in my opinion I decided to make some cupcakes with them instead. Following the recipe Gina’s Banana Cupcakes from the Food Network’s website I made some really moist and delicious cupcakes that weren’t overpowering with the flavor of banana.

I started off by mashing two very ripe bananas.

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I then combined my dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt) and set it aside.

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To begin making the batter I creamed together butter and sugar.

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I then added in sour cream and vanilla.

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And then two eggs, which I added in one at a time.

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At this point I added in the dry ingredients to the wet mixture.

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After mixing it well it was time to finally add in the bananas.

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Once the entire banana was incorporated into the mixture I used an ice cream scoop to fill my prepared cupcake pan.

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The batter was the perfect amount for twelve cupcakes!

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After baking for 18 minutes in a 350 degrees preheated oven they were done and smelled incredible.

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I let them cool for a bit before frosting and since I was running a bit short on time I decided to take a short cut and use store bought chocolate frosting.

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Once they were cooled I frosted them using a piping bag attached with Wilton’s 1M tip to create the 1M Swirl.

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Overall… the cupcakes were absolutely delish!

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Gina’s Banana Cupcakes*

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 stick (4 ounces) butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup sour cream

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 large eggs

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, add the butter and granulated sugar. Beat with a handheld mixer until combined. Add the sour cream and vanilla. Slowly beat in the eggs, one a time. Incorporate the dry mixture and wet mixture together until thoroughly combined. Add the bananas, being careful not to over mix.

Using an ice cream scoop, fill each cupcake liner three-quarters of the way full. Bake in the oven until the tops turn golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the oven to a wire rack and let cool before frosting.

*The original recipe included 3/4 cup walnuts from the batter which I omitted and was paired with a molasses frosting which I opted to replace with a chocolate frosting.

Sour Cream – Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

This past week I went to dinner at a friend’s house and offered to bring dessert. I decided to bring a pound cake of some sort and remembered that I had a cookbook with different variations of the traditional pound cake. I tend to get cookbooks, mark off a few recipes that I like but then seem to never make them. Cookbooks are not my first go-to when I want to make something new and different. I got this recipe from Elizabeth Alston’s Best Baking cookbook which offers numerous recipes for pound cakes, angel food cakes, chiffon cakes, coffee cakes and tea breads.

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To start off here are the ingredients: sugar, cinnamon, unsalted butter, vanilla extract, eggs, sour cream, baking powder, baking soda, salt, flour and semi-sweet chocolate-chips.
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I began by preheating my oven to 325 degrees and prepping my loaf pan by spraying it with baking spray, lining it with aluminum foil so that it would hang over the sides for easy removal of the cake and then spraying the foil with more baking spray. I also made the topping of the cake by mixing 2 tbsp. of the sugar with 1/4 tsp. of the cinnamon. I set these two things aside then and got to making the cake.
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I started making the batter by mixing together the butter, which should be at room temperature but I took a short-cut on this and warmed it up in the microwave for about 15 – 20 seconds, and the sugar. Unfortunately I wasn’t at home while making this cake so I didn’t have the advantage of using my stand mixer but my hand mixer works just as well with double, or maybe triple, the time. I mixed the butter and sugar until the mixture was pale and fluffy, per the directions.
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Next I beat in the four eggs one at a time.
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Following that I added in the sour cream, baking powder, baking soda, salt and the remaining cinnamon.
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And then I added in the flour. Up to this point the batter was pretty smooth and thinned out but once I added in the flour it became quite thick and heavy.
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Once the flour was incorporated I stirred in the chocolate chips.
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I then spread the batter out evenly in my prepared pan and sprinkled the cinnamon sugar mixture on top and put in the oven.
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My baking time was off in comparison to the directions. According to the directions it should take about 70 minutes, but, after 70 minutes my cake was still not fully cooked in the middle so I lowered the temperature to 300 and baked it for an additional 15 fifteen minutes which did the trick. After letting it cool in the pan for thirty minutes I removed it from the pan and let it cool for another hour or two on the wire rack. I was thinking that the cinnamon-sugar mixture was actually going to be bake into the cake but it just seemed to sit on top which I wasn’t too happy about. After it was fully cooled I wrapped it airtight and let it sit at room temperature for optimal flavor, per the directions. This actually helped the cinnamon sugar topping sink into the cake a little which was good.
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I would make this again but I would lower the oven temperature so that it could bake longer without sacrificing the moisture of the cake. While the cake was good I found it to be a bit dry and I am sure that had to do with the extra baking time.
Sour Cream – Chocolate Chip Pound Cake
From Best Baking by Elizabeth Alston
1 cup plus 4 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 1/2 Tsps. ground cinnamon
14 Tbsps. (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 Tsps. vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup sour cream
1 Tsp. baking powder
1/4 Tsp. baking soda
1/4 Tsp. salt
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
9 x 5 x 3 – Inch Loaf Pan
Heat the oven to 325F. Grease the pan and line with foil; letting it hang over the sides. Grease the foil.
Mix 2 tablespoons of the sugar with 1/4 teaspoon of the cinnamon, and set aside to use for the topping.
Beat the butter, the remaining 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, and the vanilla with an electric mixer on high speed, until pale and fluffy.
Reduce the speed to medium. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each.
Beat in the sour cream, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the remaining 1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon. Scrape the sides of the bowl often.
With the mixer on low, stir in the flour until nearly incorporated. Add the chocolate chips and stir until the batter is well mixed.
Spread the batter (6 1/2 cups) in the pan (the pan will be very full). Sprinkle the reserved cinnamon sugar over the top. (It will look like too much topping, but it isn’t.)
Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for about 30 minutes. Life the cake from the pan by the foil. Let cool completely on the wire rack. Remove the foil. For best flavor, wrap airtight, being careful not to disturb the sugar topping more than necessary, and store 1 day at room temperature before serving or freezing.