Quick Cinnamon Bread – Why? Because I had all the required ingredients! How’s that for a reason to bake a loaf pan of Quick Cinnamon Bread?
In keeping with the tradition, Mom also gave me two Pennsylvania Dutch cookbooks to add to my starter collection of cookbooks from around the world.
During one of our short visits to the United States in the early summer of 1963, my Dad (a Chester County native) decided to introduce his family to Pennsylvania Dutch food.
He lured us to Lancaster County and Amish country with the promise that many of the menu items would be German dishes we would easily recognize and enjoy eating.
It’s a long food story but suffice it to say that summer staples such as grilled hot dogs and hamburgers were not high on our list of “got to have” food during our short and infrequent visits to the USA.
Quick Breakfast Cinnamon Bread
By then, we had already experienced and lived off the day to day cuisine of many European countries, savored the local food during nearly seven years in one Balkan country and gingerly acquired the taste buds of one West African nation.
Many more international cuisines would become familiar but, at the time, the idea of sampling Amish cooking sounded like a real adventure. Good thing he mentally prepared us for the variety of dishes available in their cooking repertoire!
Quick Cinnamon Bread – From our bake oven to yours!
I can still picture the restaurant. It was a huge barn like structure with dining hall style seating. Long tables and benches where everyone sat side by side. I don’t recall ever again eating dinner with so many complete strangers.
I want to say it was the Plain & Fancy Farm Restaurant in Bird In Hand because it was close to our vacation “home” that summer.
Indeed, everything was good and we ate like little piggies that day but the cakes left lasting taste bud memories. Particularly the crumb cakes and cinnamon rolls. Dad wanted to introduce us to Shoofly pie. Although it was his favorite from childhood days, we were less than impressed by the intense molasses flavor.
It would be years before we ate Pennsylvania Dutch food again.
Now, when I bake shoofly pie, crumb cake or cinnamon rolls, I am reliving a little bit of those long ago days. And of course, I’m keeping the family tradition going too! What are the odds that I would eventually marry into a family whose German immigrant ancestors were among the Mennonite, Amish and Quaker founding fathers of Pennsylvania?
Yes, it’s safe to say there has always been a clash of culinary cultures going on in this clan for years now but we look forward to certain dishes set aside for specific celebrations. For everyday menus as well. We’re very proud of our Pennsylvania Dutch heritage!
So on a fall and winter morning, there is nothing more “homestyle” in this family than waking up to the aroma of cinnamon crumb cake or a quick cinnamon bread fresh out of the oven.
It takes mere minutes to get everyone around the breakfast table – even on a weekend.
Make sure you have selection of fresh fruits and fruit spreads. Keep a jar of apple butter in the fridge!
I baked this loaf because all the right ingredients were in the kitchen that morning. As if by magic. Right!
Breakfast? Not really. If there is any left, this is perfect with an afternoon cup of tea or as a grab-and-run snack cake.
- 8 ounces of soft Amish Butter (best way I know to use the remaining roll of butter)
- 2 cups of granulated sugar which I run through the food processor to refine a little)
- 3 jumbo farm fresh eggs
- 2 cups of Lehigh Valley® cream or sour cream. You won’t get the same rich flavor if you use regular milk. Don’t expect any flavor if using 2% or even 1% milk. Might as well use water.
- 4 cups of regular all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons of Arm & Hammer® baking soda
- 1/3 cup of light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup of white sugar
- 1 to two teaspoons of ground cinnamon or apple pie spices.
- Preheat over to 350 degrees.
- Sift the flour and baking soda together to distribute evenly. Set aside.
- Combine the brown and white sugar along with the spices. Mix well and set aside.
- Cream the refined sugar with the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time until well incorporated. The mixture should be light yellow in color, fluffy and completely smooth (no sugar granules to give the batter a grainy texture).
- Add the flour mixture a little bit at a time along with some of the cream, milk or sour cream and blend in well before adding more.
- The batter is heavy (although it will spread easily in the pan) but completely smooth.
- Spray two large loaf pans with Baker’s Joy® baking spray.
- Spoon enough batter into the bottom of each pan to cover evenly about 3/4 of an inch thick. Sprinkle with some of the sugar and spice mixture.
- Spoon remaining batter over the sugar mixture.
- Tap the pans to spread the batter evenly and remove any air bubbles.
- Top the batter with any remaining sugar mixture.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until golden brown on top. Use a cake tester to make sure the batter is cooked through.
- Cool in the pan for about 15 minutes. Run a sharp knife along the edges to loosen the cake from the loaf pan. Allow to cool for another 15 minutes. At this point you should be able to easily remove the cake from the pan.
- Tastes best still warm out of the oven.
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