Baking Bliss

Cinnamon Swirl Cake

Another photo of the cinnamon swirl cake

Is there a better smell in this world than fresh baked cake? I highly doubt it. Well, fresh baked bread comes very close. But if I had to choose between cake or bread, I’d definitely go for the cake. I blame my sweet tooth.

On Sundays We Eat Cake

Sometimes I just have to give in and I start baking. Muffins, brownies, CAKES! Especially on the weekend, because what kind of German would I be if I didn’t have coffee and cake on Sunday afternoons. It’s a tradition for a reason, everybody loves cake and it’s a nice way to sit together and talk about all kinds of things. Last weekend, we had soup for lunch and as we were hungry a couple hours later, I decided it was the perfect time for cake. Warm cinnamon, butter and plums are a great combination for fall. Even though I feel like everyone is very into pumpkin-spiced everything, I’m still a big fan of cinnamon.

So these cinnamon swirls are basically a combination of cinnamon rolls and challah bread. They also happen to look adorable and are super easy to eat. You don’t even need a fork. You can basically eat it right when it comes out of the oven (if you’re careful and make sure you don’t burn your tongue), or wait a little bit until it has cooled down. However, I must say that it tastes best when it is warm. Plums are in season right now and as I had some at home anyway, I decided to cook some up with a little bit of red wine, vanilla and more cinnamon. It was a great idea, and I’m only a little ashamed to admit that we ate the whole cake in a day. Oops.

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 Add Something Fruity

This cake doesn’t necessarily need a compote, but it adds some flavor. It basically works with whatever fruits are in season. Here it’s plums, but an apple spiced with some cinnamon would be perfect too. Or blueberries…or strawberries…or cranberries. You get the point.As this cake is usually a huge hit, I was thinking about working out a savory version. After all, the dough is quite versatile and it could work out pretty well. I’ll keep you updated on here. Here’s what you need to make this cinnamon swirl cake.

Cinnamon Swirl Cake

1 hr, 15 Prep Time

1 hrCook Time

2 hr, 15 Total Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


    For the dough:
  • 200 ml milk
  • 100 g butter
  • 500 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 package of active dry yeast
  • 1 package of vanilla sugar (or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 3 tbs sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg + 1 egg white
  • For the filling:
  • 5 tbs butter, melted
  • 4 tbs sugar
  • 1 tbs cinnamon
  • For the plums:
  • 500 g plums
  • 3 tbs red wine (or water)
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 package vanilla sugar (or 1/4 tsp vanilla extract)


  1. Warm up milk and butter in a small pot on the stove until butter is melted.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and yeast. Add all other ingredients, including the warm butter/milk mixture. Knead well (at least 5 minutes) until a smooth dough is formed.
  3. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and place it in a warm environment. Let the dough rise for about an hour. It should have doubled in size after 60 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 170°C/330°F, grease your baking pan with butter.
  5. Melt butter, add sugar and cinnamon.
  6. Remove dough from mixing bowl. Spread a little bit of flour on your kitchen counter. Roll out the dough into a rectangle (about half an inch/1 cm high).
  7. Pour butter/cinnamon mixture on the rolled out dough. Spread evenly, add more melted butter if you think it's necessary.
  8. Cut into strips. They should be half as wide as your pan is deep.
  9. Roll up the strips so you have what looks like big cinnamon rolls.
  10. Place into baking pan. They don't need to sit tightly, as they will rise more in the oven.
  11. Bake for 50-60 minutes, cover with aluminum foil after 30 minutes if necessary.
  12. In the meantime, cut plums into medium-sized pieces. Add all ingredients to a small pot, cook on low for 15-20 minutes, depending on how soft you want the plums.
  13. Serve both cake and the plums warm.

Tip: Glaze with more butter, sugar and cinnamon right before you put the pan into the oven. It adds a little crunch to the top.