Chocolate Cinnamon Bread

Chocolate Cinnamon Bread

I don’t know about you, but I was a little disappointed recently when Starbucks changed their baked goods selection with the acquisition of La Boulange bakery.  Nothing against patisseries, but I really prefer a nice quick bread or cookie or loaf cake with my drink than a croissant.  One of my favorite baked goods that disappeared recently was the chocolate cinnamon bread.  It was a fine crumbed, dark chocolate pound cake type loaf with a hint of cinnamon in the cake and a lovely crunchy and sparkly cinnamon and spiced sugar crust.  Originally a holiday item, it was popular enough that my local Starbucks carried it regularly until the bakery switchover.

When I searched for a similar recipe online, I was delighted to come across the recipe on the Starbucks website.  The recipe makes two very large loaves and I very nearly halved it.  I’m glad I didn’t, because the loaf is fantastic.  It’s just as good as I remembered, perhaps even better because it was fresher.  I think I will slice it up and freeze individual slices so I can take them to Starbucks myself to enjoy with a drink the next time I go.  I didn’t change the recipe at all, but I’m going to include it here anyway just in case Starbucks decides that they have to remove it from their website as well as from the store.

Just one note – I wasn’t expecting the sugar topping to crackle the way it did, so don’t be surprised.  It slices just fine and any little bits that flake off are a cook’s treat!

Chocolate Cinnamon Loaf

Chocolate Cinnamon Bread
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 loaves
Fine crumbed dark chocolate pound cake with hints of cinnamon covered with a crunchy spiced sugar topping.
  • Chocolate Batter
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1¼ cup dutch processed cocoa
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Cocoa Spice Topping
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp dutch processed cocoa
  • pinch ground ginger
  • pinch ground cloves
  • ¼ cup sparkling decorator sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two 9x5x3 inch loaf pans with parchment paper.
  2. Mix the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and creamy, about 5 minutes. Then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until each is fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, water and vanilla.
  5. With the mixer on low, begin adding the contents of each bowl (starting and ending with the wet ingredients) to the butter mixture, alternating between the two until the mixture is fully blended but not overly whipped.
  6. Split the batter between the two loaf pans. If the batter is uneven, lightly shake the pan to even out the top.
  7. Make the topping by combining the granulated sugar, cinnamon, cocoa, ginger and cloves. Evenly layer the decorating sugar over the batter, followed by the spice mixture.
  8. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. The sugar topping may crack, so don't be alarmed.
  9. Let the bread cool in the pans on a wire rack. Gently lift the loaves out of the pans using the parchment paper.

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