It’s no secret that I’ve been searching years for the perfect pareve cinnamon bun. When I saw this recipe, for a Giant Cinnamon Roll Cake, mentioned on a facebook group last week, it looked sort of perfect – simple, low-key and kind of pretty, to boot.
I didn’t use the dough recommended in the recipe – I just made my regular challah dough a bit sweeter than usual.
ROLL IT OUT.
Roll it out into a “rectangle” (okay, not exact, but you can tug at the corners gently to make it prettier).
The cinnamon spread was easy, and I was impressed that it didn’t have a ton of margarine in it. I used butter-flavoured. Use fresh cinnamon, if at all possible!
TIME TO STRIP.
Now, you’re supposed to cut the dough into nice, neat strips. Theoretically, the recipe asks you to use a ruler and make sure they’re equal so your “cake” doesn’t look all lumpy and bumpy. My philosophy is that it all tastes the same anyway (probably not true, exactly, because if you have lumps sticking up, they may burn, which then won’t taste the same at all… but anyway). Here are how my strips turned out. (I used my handy-dandy bench scraper to cut the strips sharply – I don’t know if you’d want to run a pizza cutter, as recommended, over any table surface you really liked!)
READY TO ROLL!
Start rolling! From the inside, coil each strip to form the cake, adding the next strip when one runs out. The recipe author says “I always crimp the ends together with my fingers to press them together as I’m coiling.” That is why hers turns out looking so gorgeous. Mine didn’t, but still. Here’s what it looked like when I was done coiling. It sure didn’t look like I had enough to fill the pan.
PROOF SOMEWHERE WARM.
I almost never proof in a warm place. It just feels like cheating. But in this case, I wanted monstrous growth, to fill up the pan, and I was also in a bit of a rush. I had just turned off the oven, aired it a bit so it wasn’t scorching hot, then popped the “cinnamon roll” inside. Tada!
BAKE IT UP.
Don’t ask me for how long. I pulled it out just when I figured it was about to start burning on the parts that were sticking up.
You’re supposed to let it cool for a while before drizzling with frosting, I used icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar) mixed with coconut milk to make the frosting (coconut MILK, not coconut water, as my husband always helpfully suggests!). At first, I made it too thin; you can see that the frosting looks watery on the “roll.”
After I thickened it up a bit with more icing sugar, the frosting was perfect. Yes, it had a bit of a coconut taste, but nothing bad or offensive, and it certainly didn’t clash with the cinnamon of the roll. If I wanted a more neutral flavour, I suppose I could have used either pareve whipping cream or a pareve milk, though my experience with pareve milks and frostings has been disappointing so far.
Mmm, mmm, mmm… Shabbos!
I hesitated to bite into this after Shabbos dinner. I have been disappointed too many times by cinnamon buns that were overly dry, overly bready, or just missing the certain desserty je-ne-sais-quoi. But I am happy to reveal that I was NOT disappointed! Maybe because I was super-generous with the drizzle, but every bite of this was absolutely perfect, and I’m excited not only to recommend this giant cinnamon bun but to try it again sometime soon.
Now. What about me?
I suppose if you’re a longtime reader seeing this, my first post in about seven months, you may wonder what I’ve been up to.
Life has been busy. No, scratch that – life has been CRAZY.
In case you haven’t noticed, we moved to Israel over the summer and haven’t quite bounced back. I don’t know if we’ll ever bounce back… given that there’s no “back” to bounce to. I’m not homeschooling, I’m working full-time as a freelance writer, and have severed so many connections to our old lives that I’m left wondering, most days, what’s left.
I am baking – back to my once-a-week challah routine, and have been for months. The good news is that my sourdough starter made it across the ocean alive! I used it for a while and perfected some nice sourdough challahs, but then it went smelly and got shelved until I had the proper care and attention to give to it. And I never blogged about any of it. Most weeks, there’s only time to bake the challahs… and no time to blog about them.
But I’m coming back. I’m on my way back.
Until I get all the way here, please join me over at…
- My aliyah blog
- My kids’ books writing blog (which has its own facebook page here)
- Or join me on facebook.
Feel free to leave comments letting me know what you’d like to see when I do get back!!! Or just to say, “hi, it’s nice to see you!”