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Sincere Acts of Sweetness

June 3, 2008

Chocolate Cinnamon Bars with Fudge Frosting

One of my all time favorite desserts from my childhood is chocolate cinnamon bars. Not this recipe, but one my mom made, especially around the holidays. My mom's recipe is very simple and more of a cinnamon blondie with chocolate chips sprinkled across the top (due to the number of requests I've received for this recipe, I've added it to the very bottom of this post). I imagine she probably found it on the back of a bag of chocolate chips or something.
About two weeks ago I purchased Dorie Greenspan's glorious book, Baking: From My Home to Yours. On the day I received it, I started reading it like it was a novel. I brought it to bed and read it until my eyes felt heavy with the urge to sleep. However, I perked up when I turned to page 210 and saw this recipe. I knew instantly this was one I would love. It was like chocolate cinnamon bars 2.0!

In my last post, I mentioned how I made a cake for the baseball parents as a "thanks for being here no matter what" gift. Well, that day our team won and one of the moms said it was because of my cake and I need to keep it going. I couldn't let the team down! After all it was the playoffs. So I decided making this cake would be both a perfect choice for the spectators and a great way for my son to get a slice (or two, or three).

Looks like I'll be making something for the game on Friday... we won again!

Cinnamon Bars
Yield: I doubled the recipe and made it in a 9x13 pan and was able to get 16 good sized pieces.

by Dorie Greenspan

1 1/4 cups + 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee/espresso powder (if you don't have this, skip it. It will still be yummy without it)1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
3/4 cup milk
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips or 3 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

6 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 1/2 tablespoons butter, soft

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter an 8-inch square cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Place the pan on a baking sheet and set aside.

In a small bowl or glass, combine 2 tablespoons of sugar, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, and the espresso powder. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, remaining sugar, baking powder, remaining cinnamon and salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, and vanilla. Pour the wet mixture over the flour mixture and gently whisk until you have a well combined homogeneous batter. Using a whisk or a rubber spatula, fold in the melted and cooled butter, just until the butter is absorbed. Your batter should be smooth and shiny.

Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan, being sure its spread evenly (I find that if I hold onto the sides of the pan very firmly, while pushing against the counter, and make small circles with the pan, but batter will smooth out like magic.)

Sprinkle the chocolate over the batter and then top with the cinnamon sugar. Top with the remaining batter, spreading it evenly.

Put the baking sheet and the baking pan into the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes at 350F, just until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and remove the parchment. Turn it out again onto another rack so it is right side up.

For the frosting, put the chocolate and butter into a heatproof bowl and fit the bowl over a pan of simmering (not boiling!) water. Stir until the chocolate and butter have completely melted and it is super shiny and smooth (If it gets too thin, let it stand for about 10 minutes and it will eventually thicken up). Spread on the top of the cake and allow the frosting to set up before serving.

My Mom's Chocolate Cinnamon Bars

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels + 1/2 cup for sprinkling on top
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan.

Mix flour, baking powder, and cinnamon together in a bowl using a fork or whisk. In another bowl, blend butter, shortening, and sugar together until combined. Add eggs and mix well until combined. Add 1 cup of chocolate chips and all the walnuts and blend with a wooden spoon.

Spread batter into the pan (it will be thick) with a spatula. Scatter chocolate chips over the top. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool and cut into bars.


  1. Ooooh, they look gorgeous! And you're right--I have everything to make these on hand already. Nice rainy day snack. Thanks!

  2. i really, really enjoy the combination of cinnamon and chocolate, so these look and sound outstanding! good for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack. :)

  3. Gosh that frosting came out perfect. Such a great photo. I know I will be making these soon...looks like a keeper. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Your photo has me drooling! And it sounds like your baking is quite lucky!

  5. AnonymousJune 04, 2008

    I do love cinnamon and choc together so I think this is for me!

    Great site!

  6. I have been thinking of these lately. I have to say yours looks wonderful, just like the one on the book!

  7. AnonymousJune 04, 2008

    I have the Dorie book but I haven't yet made these. Your drippy chocolate frosting has me ready to drop everything and make these! Lovely!

  8. AnonymousJune 04, 2008

    Wonderful photos of absolutely mouth watering bars! Never tried cinnamon and chocolate together, this recipe entered my "to do" list, thanks!

  9. Yummy! What a perfect treat!

  10. These look delicious! I'm a big cinnamon fan. I need to make more things from that cookbook.

  11. I love cinnamon and chocolate! Looks like they will expect lucky goodies for every game. :)

  12. oh my holy moley! these look good! i love cinnamon and chocolate together, though... that's my favorite combination to get at the geloti store near my house. yumm

  13. AnonymousJune 05, 2008

    These look so delicious! Your photos speak a thousand words!

  14. Those cinnamon and chocolate bars looks really good!

  15. I'd love to see the other recipe too, if you have the time to post it :)

  16. linda - thank you! I owe all the credit to my camera... it makes it easy!

    elle - thank you! I hope they turned out okay.

    grace - yeah, apparently I'm in the minority on the whole chocolate cinnamon combo thing. I'm really think you'll like these

    dawn - the frosting was basically just melted chocolate -- nothing wrong with that! thank you for the compliment!

    deborah - yeah... they won again too! thank you for the compliment!

    noble pig - if you love choco and cinnamon together, you'll really enjoy this. Thank you for stopping by!

    patricia - thank you for your kind words!

    joy - isn't her cookbooks great?! I don't think I've ever liked so many recipes in one book.

    miri - thank you so much for your compliment! I think you should give these bars a go and try them. I don't think you'll be sorry :-)

    my sweet & saucy - thank you!

    bakeorbreak - you will not be disappointed by these beauties. thanks for stopping by!

    megan - I know, right? Good think I waited until the end of the season to start baking!

    heather - yay! well these are for you them. I'm embarrassed to say that I've never tried gelato. I need to do that this summer...

    farida - thank you!! I think taking the picture while the frosting was still wet was kismet. :-)

    kevin - thank you!! they tasted as good as they looked

    sarah - here's my mom-in-law's recipe (thanks for stopping by!)

    2 cups flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 cup sugar
    3 teaspoons cinnamon
    1/2 cup softened margarine
    1/2 cup shortening
    2 eggs
    1 cup semi sweet chocolate morsels
    1/2 cup nuts (optional)

    Prehead oven to 350F. Grease a 9x1 pan.

    Mix flour, baking powder and cinnamon together, set aside. Blend margarine, shortening, and sugar together. Add eggs and flour mixture to the butter mixture until blended together well.

    Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle chocolate morsels over the top and bake for 25 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and cut into bars. Store in an airtight container.

  17. AnonymousJune 09, 2008


  18. AnonymousJune 10, 2008

    I really shouldn't be looking at this right now. It's just too gorgeous!

  19. AnonymousJune 10, 2008

    We made these tonight and they were delicious (especially still warm from the oven). Thanks for sharing.

  20. AnonymousJune 12, 2008

    My god woman, you're killing me here with this recipe. These look SOOOO good. I'm terrible with baking, but I might have to try these.

  21. I made these yesterday and I'm just in heaven! I think you have convinced me to go buy Dorie's book. Yum!

  22. You know, chocolate and cinnamon don't strike out at me at first either but I see this photo......
    OH dear lord! You know I'm going to make these!! Thank you for posting it, I think I gained weight just looking......

  23. I have made these twice now, as cupcakes and mini-bundts. In both cases I did the cappuccino version listed in the book, and my husband gobbled them up greedily. It is really a fantastic recipe, and I'm glad to see I'm not the only fan! Lovely photos.


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