Cinnamon Swirl Buttermilk Pound Cake

27 Apr

…or how am I going to translate this in Greek?


I realize that as this is the English version of my blog I don’t have such problem as if anyone bothers to read this, they will understand what this cake is about.  But as I am trying to write the same posts in both languages, I had to be a bit accurate, at least in the tittles.

As I am not a proffessional pastry chef (not even close), I usually find myself having troubles with the jargon and translating the recipes in Greek. I also have to take into consideration that some techniques or products are non existent, not available or known here  (maybe not so much anymore though, thank you internet),  so I have to go looking for a substitute or a DIY version (you will understand what I am talking about if you keep reading).

I don’t think that the concept of the pound cake exists in this country. As in the type of cake traditionally made with a pound of each of four ingredients: flour, butter, eggs, and sugar.  I guess all cake recipes were imported and adapted from other countries anyway, so it’s all cake to us. And really, it doesn’t really matter if it tastes good, right?

I made this cake for my cousin and her little girl who came over from Italy for the Easter holidays (i am trying to bribe the little one with sugar so she likes me better). And yes, we had a winner. The little one spread crumbles all over the place and she was making  funny sounds while devouring two huge pieces (ok, 1/3 was on the floor). Hopefully by next year she will be able to use the vacuum.


A few words about the recipe:

  • the filling is usually found on top of cakes, as a crumble, but in this case it is put in the center to create the swirl
  • the buttermilk added will provide extra moisture to the cake and a softer texture
  • it is a simple-to-prepare cake. The cardamom really makes a difference, although used in a really small quantity.
  • The original recipe calls for cake flour, which is not sold in Greece, so I went for a DIY substitute* and it turned out alright (if you want to make it with cake flour click on the original recipe at the link below)

Cinnamon Swirl Buttermilk Pound Cake
barely adapted from @Køkken


Cinnamon Streusel Swirl
1/2 cup (60g)   All purpose flour
1/3 cup (72g) firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp.  ground cnnamon
3 Tbsp. (42g) Unsalted butter, melted

2,5 cups minus 1 Tbsp  (304g)  All purpose flour
1 Tbsp.  Cornstarch
1 tsp. Baking powder
1/4 tsp. Baking soda
1/4  tsp.  salt
1/8 tsp.  Ground cardamom
1 cup (227g)  Unsalted butter, softened
2 cups (400g)  Castor sugar (I used 340g and it turned out sweet)
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp.  Vanilla Extract
1tsp. Finely grated orange zest (I used zest from one whole orange)
1 cup (240ml) Buttermilk


Preheat oven to 170C / 325F. Grease the inside of a 25cm/10″ bundt pan with butter  and dust it with flour.

Cinnamon Streusel Swirl
In a small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients of the Cinnamon swirl. Add the melted butter and stir until blended and crumbly.

Sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cardamom into a medium bowl. Whisk to combine and set aside.
Using a paddle attachment, cream butter for 2 mins at medium speed in a mixer until very creamy (2mins).
Gradually add in the sugar and continue beating at medium high speed until pale and light. (4mins)
At medium speed, add the eggs one at a time and mix to incorporate well.
Add vanilla extract and orange zest.
Add in the flour in 3 portions, alternating it with milk (2 additions). Mix until just combined.
Scrape half of the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it into an even layer. Sprinkle the streusel mixture evenly over the batter. Scrape the remaining batter on top and smooth it into an even layer.
Bake the cake for 65 to 75mins, until the cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean (it took  about 65mins in my oven).
Cool the cake for 15 mins before turning out the cake to cool completely.

Judges’ verdict:8 – 9 (my biggest fan has yet to learn how to count)

*The DIY recipe for 1 cup cake flour is:

1 cup all-purpose flour – 2 Tbsp all purpose flour + 2 Tbsp Cornstarch

Measure one cup of AP flour in one bowl and then take out 2 tbsp.
Add 2 tbsp corn flour, whisk to combing and sift.

2 Responses to “Cinnamon Swirl Buttermilk Pound Cake”

  1. Nadia May 14, 2012 at 21:08 #

    Oh, looks so good… How about infusing it with some rum?
    Also, I wanted to ask if I could use regular sugar (that is rather fine here) instead of castor sugar (that is difficult to find and tricky to make right yourself). Thanks!

    • tanja@the green mixer May 14, 2012 at 21:17 #

      I guess you could try using some rum if you like the taste, why not. Go ahead and use regular sugar, that is what I used as well (they only sell one type of white sugar here in Greece). You can also make castor sugar at home. Place granulated sugar in a food processor or blender and Pulse until it reaches a super-fine, but not powdery consistency.

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