Cinnamon tea cake was one of the first things I ever baked. Mum says that I could make it on my own (of course with adult supervision) from the age of four, which I find a little hard to believe but I like to think of my 4-year-old-self baking away in the kitchen without a care in the world. I still love it and it’s one of the only recipes I know by heart and can whip up without even thinking about it.
I can remember in year 12 on a Sunday afternoon I used to bake myself a tea cake for school morning tea for the week. Unfortunately, not much of it ever made it to school. It’s just so delicious straight out of the oven. Nothing beats that first bit into the crunchy end while it’s still warm and the cinnamon and sugar are slowly melting into the cake.
I think learning to love this recipe from such a young age might have given me a little bit of an addiction to anything with cinnamon in it. I put cinnamon on my breakfast, in my banana bread, in cakes, even in chocolate chip cookies. When I saw this recipe for cinnamon circles it reminded me of the crispy ends of my much-loved tea cake. They have the same buttery flavour and cinnamon and sugar goodness and are so easy to whip up. They’re perfect for a Sunday afternoon tea.
Start by beating the butter and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer. I really don’t know what I did without my mixer. I love that I can just turn it on and leave it to do its thing while I do mine.
When the butter and sugar are nice and creamy, add the vanilla and mix it through.
Take the bowl off the stand and sift in the flour and then pour in the milk. Very gently stir the contents of the bowl until everything comes together.
Make a ball out of the dough and turn it out onto a sheet of baking paper.
Shape the ball into a log about 25 centimeters long. There’s no need to get out your ruler but you can if you so desire.
Twist up the ends to make a giant dough candy and then pop it in the fridge to firm up for 20 minutes.
After 10 minutes, pre-heat the oven to 160C fan-forced and line two oven trays with baking paper.
Mix the sugar and cinnamon together ready to coat the dough. I’ll tell you a little secret. When I was little and used to make tea cake I used to sneak a teaspoon of cinnamon sugar into my mouth. It was so delicious I can taste it on my tongue as I write it. So naughty but oh-so-good!
When the dough is done chilling, take it out of the fridge and unwrap the paper but leave the log on the paper.
Sprinkle it in the cinnamon sugar and roll it around until it is totally coated.
Carefully slice the log into 1cm pieces and place them on the lined baking trays leaving a few centimeters between each circle.
Bake the biscuits for 20 minutes or until they start to brown at the edges. Mine were done after 15 so check on them around that time and then keep and eye on them.
Leave the biscuits to rest on the tray for a few minutes. Mine didn’t look all that pretty when they came out of the oven but I might have sliced them a little too thinly. You also need to make sure that the dough is very well chilled. An extra 10 minutes in the fridge will never hurt.
Transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
I think cinnamon circles would be best served aside a nice warm cup of tea just like a crunchy slice of tea cake. Enjoy!
So what about you? What was the first recipe you ever made? Do you still make it?
- 50g (1/4 cup) butter, softened
- 80g (1/2 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 85g (3oz) plain AP flour
- 1 tbsp milk
- 2 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- Place the cinnamon and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat them together until like and creamy.
- Add the vanilla and beat it through.
- Take the bowl off the stand and sift in the flour then pour in the milk.
- Gently stir it all together.
- Make a ball out of the dough and place it on a sheet of baking paper.
- Roll it out into a 25cm log and then roll it in the baking paper. Twist the ends to close them and then refrigerate the log for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 160C(320F) fan-forced and line two trays with baking paper.
- Mix the cinnamon and sugar together.
- Once the dough has finished chilling in the fridge, take it out and un-roll it. Coat the roll in cinnamon and sugar and turn it over making sure that it is completely covered.
- Slice the dough into 1cm pieces and place them on the baking tray leaving a few centimeters between each one.
- Bake the biscuits for 20 minutes or until they start to turn golden around the edges.
- Leave the on the trays to cool for a few minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- The biscuits will last up to 5 days if stored in an air-tight container.
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