I’m a huge fan of trying new things, at least when it comes to baking. In my head I have this list of my baking conquests, so when I bake something I haven’t made before it’s so satisfying to tick it off that imaginary list. Even if I do make something for a second or third time, I like to vary it a bit, perhaps by adding something to it like choc chips or cinnamon, just to experiment. When I do bake the exact same recipe over and over again, however, it’s usually because…
A) People really, really, really love that specific dish and don’t get to have it very often except when I make it.
B) I’ve promised to bake something for a special occasion/event and the recipe in question is quick, easy and hasn’t failed me in the past.
C) It’s so super delicious that everyone needs to eat as much of it as possible otherwise the universe will implode.
D) All of the above.
I would say that “D) All of the above” is where this Teacake recipe fits in. The original recipe I adapted it from is from a old issue of a recipe magazine, and I don’t even remember when the first time I baked it was; all I recall is that 80% of the time when my Grandmother comes over to our house for the day, I bake this cake for her. The recipe is simple and easy, it doesn’t take too long, and it uses ingredients that we always have on hand.
The cake itself is soft, crumbly and not overly sweet, with a slight vanilla flavor, and has a crunchy cinnamon-sugar topping. It’s perfect to serve with tea or coffee, and it can also be made into muffins or cupcakes if you’re into that sort of thing (you’ll just have to cook it for 15-20 minutes rather than 25-30).
Classic Cinnamon Teacake
(adapted from Super Food Ideas)
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup self-raising flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk
25g butter, melted
1/4 cup caster sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar, egg, lemon juice and vanilla essence until smooth and creamy. Sift in half the flour, salt and cinnamon, then half the milk. Repeat with remaining dry ingredients and milk. Mix together until smooth and just combined. Pour into a small cake tin and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top springs back gently when touched and/or a skewer inserted unto the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Meanwhile, for the topping, melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan, and brush over the top of warm cake. Mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle over the top of the cake before transferring to a wire rack to completely cool.
Serve warm either on its own or with cream and jam, or alternatively, wait until cool before slicing.