While it might look like your run-of-the-mill coffee cake at first, let us tell you, this cinnamon flop cake is so much better! If you haven’t heard of a flop cake before, it’s a spinoff of Swedish flop cake (a cream-filled, powdered sugar-topped cake) that skips the cream filling and focuses mainly on the buttery brown sugar topping. The topping is just three ingredients, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter, and you mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together, then cut in the butter to make a crumbly topping that you sprinkle over your homemade cake.
The crumble forms a sort of crust over the cake, while also sinking down and forming little pockets of cinnamon joy in the middle of the cake. One thing to note: there’s a fair amount of brown sugar in the topping, so you need to keep an eye on it while it bakes, making sure it doesn’t burn and covering it with tinfoil, if necessary.
Because of the butter in the topping (that subsequently drops down into the cake), your dough doesn’t need much butter at all, keeping it flavorful, but not too rich; that buttery sweetness of the topping is our favorite part of this dessert – it’s perfectly balanced out by the lightness of the cake and hits just the right chord!
Serves 9-12; 1 hour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole milk
- Preheat oven to 425º F and lightly grease an 8x8-inch baking dish with butter or non-stick spray.
- Start with making the topping by cutting butter into brown sugar and cinnamon until mixture is crumbly.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, then set aside.
- In a separate bowl or mixer, cream together butter and sugar until mixture resembles snow, then beat in egg and vanilla extract.
- Alternate between adding the dry ingredients and the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
- Transfer batter to greased baking dish, then sprinkle brown sugar topping over the surface.
- Place baking dish in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with white crumbs (it won’t come out fully clean, because of the topping).
- Let cool 15 minutes before serving, then slice, serve and enjoy!