Light and airy crumb, the magical aroma of cinnamon and melt in the mouth texture, Cinnamon coffee cake pairs well with hot tea or coffee and is very very addictive.

Weekends are always relaxing. With few worries about deadlines and less running around there is always a lot of spare time for personal work. While lopping the wayward branches of trees, we came across a heap of leaf skeletons. We were enthralled as much as intrigued to see how beautifully the skin had come off revealing an intricate network of veins that make up the structure of the leaf and transporting vital nutrients to the plant. We started picking them up carefully, selecting the ones that were not damaged for using them as bookmarks. 

A good downpour left the surface of Earth wet and sweet smelling. Water collected in the leaves shone like gems as the rays of the Sun fell on them….a strong gust of wind had them all rolling down and falling in unison like a freak meteoric shower.

I made Cinnamon Coffee Cake. The cake has a light and airy crumb. The cinnamon topping makes it magical. The cake pairs well with a hot cuppa.

It can be made eggless by replacing the egg with 1/4 cup of thick yoghurt.

You may bake the cake in one 8-inch round pan or an 8-inch square pan.

You can see the step-by-step instructions on my Instagram  @ambrosiasoulfulcooking.

Recipe adapted from

A simple and lovely cake that is easy to bake and great in taste.

Cinnamon Coffee Cake


  • 2 cups flour
  • ¾ cup unrefined sugar (powdered)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter, cubed
  • 1 large free-range egg, beaten
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons unrefined sugar (powdered)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees C. Grease one 8x8 inches square cake pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. Add cubed butter and mix with hands until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Put ½ cup of this mixture in a small bowl. Stir in 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Keep aside.
  5. Stir egg and milk into the remaining mixture. Mix well.
  6. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Pour melted butter over the top. Sprinkle reserved cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over the butter.
  7. Bake for 30-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  8. Cool on the rack. Slice when cold.

My notes: 1tablespoon of baking powder looked too much to me. But the cake rose very well and tasted very good. The crumb was light and airy.

A jar of flaxseeds was discovered in the kitchen while cleaning the shelf. I remember that they were bought after reading the health benefits of flaxseeds and vowing to incorporate them in diet on regular basis. Having used regularly initially, the jar got pushed back almost out of sight till it was discovered.

 In a bid to consume them while they were still fresh, I baked a healthy bread for breakfast using flaxseeds.

Flowers blooming in our backyard present a lovely contrast to the post monsoon greenery.

Multi Grain Flaxseed Bread
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 cup white oats
1/3 cup flaxseeds
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water
Dissolve sugar in warm water.
Whisk together the flours, yeast, salt and flaxseeds. Add oil. Add ½ cup water and mix. Add more water till dough comes together. Knead dough for 8 to 10 minutes and keep adding water if it feels dry. Knead till dough becomes soft and elastic.
Place dough in an oiled bowl. Turn around so that the dough ball is evenly coated with oil. Cover and keep it to rise till it doubles or for about 1 ½ hours. Punch down the dough and knead for about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the dough to the floured counter.
Oil one 8 ½ x 4½ inch loaf pan. Roll out the dough into a rectangle not bigger than the width of the pan you are using. Roll the dough towards you, tightly. Pinch seams to seal. Place the roll in the greased loaf tin with the seam side down.
Cover it with a kitchen towel and allow it to rise for 50 to 60 minutes or till dough rises ¼ inch above the lip of the pan.
Preheat oven to 190 degrees C. Bake for 40 -50 minutes or till the top turns golden brown and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from the oven and remove from the pan after 10 minutes. Cool in the rack. Slice when cold.

Linking to Vegan Thursday 
Submitted for Yeast spotting 

Yesterday while shopping for groceries, we saw a pile of tutti frutti bread in the bread section. My daughter stood there inspecting the lot with great interest. I could very well anticipate her next move. She came to me with a loaf in her hand and asked me if we could buy it. “How about baking it at home?” I asked. “Promise?” she said. “Done!”

Tutti Frutti bread invokes childhood memories. As kids, we loved the bread with colourful pieces of chewy tutti frutti embedded in the slices. We would sometimes pull out and eat tutti frutti first and then enjoy the slice. Tutti frutti bread tasted best with a generous coating of butter.

I had to keep my promise and my hunt for the recipe took me here and here. I adapted the recipe minimally according to the ingredients I had at home.

This is how I made Tutti Frutti Bread
Tutti Frutti Bread 
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons custard powder (vanilla flavor)
5 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons milk powder
1 ½ teaspoons instant dry yeast
½ cup tutti frutti
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
¾ cup warm water
Dissolve sugar in ½ cup warm water. Stir in yeast.
Whisk together flour, custard powder, milk powder and salt. Add butter and oil. Mix well. Add tutti frutti.
Add yeast mix and knead. Add water according to requirement and knead for about 10 minutes. Dough will be hard and sticky, keep adding water and knead till it becomes soft and elastic. It will take another 4 to 5 minutes.
Transfer dough to a greased bowl. Turn the dough so that it is evenly coated with oil. Cover and leave to rise till it becomes double its size. The time for dough to double might vary. It took 3 hours for the dough to double in size.
Knock down the dough on a floured counter. Roll out the dough into a rectangle not bigger than the width of the pan you are using. Roll the dough towards you, tightly. Pinch seams to seal.
Grease one 7 inch x 3 inch loaf tin. Place the roll in the greased loaf tin with the seam side down. Cover and keep it to rise for 1 ½ hours in a warm place or till it rises ½ inch above the lip of the pan.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes till the top turns golden and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. Tent with a foil if the top is browning too fast.
Remove from pan after 5 minutes. Cool in the rack. Slice next day.
My notes – Too much of sugar in dough makes yeast sluggish. The dough took 3 hours for bulk fermentation. Make sure your dough doubles no matter what time it takes. Second rise also took 1 ½ hours. I had to heat the oven mildly and place the dough in the oven to rise.

Submitted for Yeastspotting 


 We woke up to a bright sunny morn this Sunday. This is the best thing that could have happened after three days of incessant rains. Slushy outside, damp and clammy inside. Everything soggy – from biscuits to mood. Too much of anything is not good.

 Buttery flowers of Golden Champa (Michelia Champaca) suffuse the morning air with the heavenly aroma. The tree is in full bloom.

My son stops every time he passes underneath the tree pointing at the grape like fruits. His grapes are actually the fruits of Champa.  Wild bees have made home in the broad leaves of Champa. Some intricate cut work in the leaves indicate the presence of caterpillars that have been gorging on the juicy leaves on their journey to become a moth or a butterfly. We strain our eyes to spot one but in vain. They camouflaged beautifully and perhaps watching us from some corner.

 A rainbow stretched across the sky grows faint while the raindrops sitting on the leaves gleam as the rays of the Sun fall on them. Everything looks so fresh and lively.

During monsoons, light meals suit the system. I made Whole Wheat Yogurt Sunflower seed bread to go with a simple veggie.

 Yogurt makes bread soft and spongy.

Whole Wheat Yogurt Sunflower Seed Bread
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup thick yogurt
¼ cup raw sunflower seeds
2 ¼ (1 package) teaspoons instant dry yeast
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup to ¾ cup warm water
1 tablespoon  flour to sprinkle on the loaves
1-2 teaspoon olive oil to grease the bowls
In a large bowl, dissolves sugar in half cup water and add yeast. Cover and keep for 15 minutes.
Add whole wheat flour, salt, yogurt and oil and beat until smooth.
Add all-purpose flour to get a firm dough.  Turn onto a lightly floured counter and knead till the dough becomes smooth and elastic. This will take about 6 to 8 minutes. Add more warm water if required.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl and turn once so that it is evenly coated with oil. Cover and let rise for one hour or until doubled.
Punch dough down, turn onto a lightly floured surface. Stretch and sprinkle sunflower seeds. Turn and repeat. Cut it into two equal parts. Roll each part into a ball. Roll it till smooth and then stretch and fold the top shaping dough into a boule. Transfer the boule onto a greased baking tray. Cover with a kitchen towel. Leave it to rise for 40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 190 degrees C.
Sprinkle each boule with all-purpose flour. Make a diagonal slash about ¼ inch deep on the surface with a knife or a blade. Keep the blade at 45 degree angle to make slash. Bake immediately after slashing.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or till the top turns golden and bottom sounds hollow when tapped.
Cool in the rack. Slice next day.

Submitted for Yeast spotting 

Recipes that have a history always have an appeal. Don’t we treasure the recipes of our grandmothers and mothers and proudly call them “family recipes”? Each one of us has a treasure trove of family recipes that we pass on to the next generation with great pride. These recipes are precious and need to be preserved.
Recently I came across a recipe – Grandma Margery’s Egg lessChocolate Cake.

 I loved the fact that it is a family recipe. And the fact that it is eggless turned out to be a bonus. I baked this cake with some changes. I used whole wheat flour. I did not have chocolate chips. I used chocolate chunks instead. The cake was delish. It was moist and full of chocolate chunks. It tasted great on the second day.

I baked the cake in a regular square tin and one very small one in a bowl for my daughter to take to school.

This is how I made Eggless Whole Wheat Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Chunks

Eggless Whole Wheat Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Chunks


  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (level)
  • 1 ½ cups unrefined cane sugar (adjust sugar according to taste)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup buttermilk*
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chunks (chop two dark chocolate slabs into small pieces) or chocolate chips.
* if you do not have buttermilk, take 1 cup of milk, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar and stir. Let it stand for 15 minutes. Use. 


  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Grease and line one 7 ½ inch x 7 ½ inch square cake pan.
  2. Whisk together whole wheat flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and sifted cocoa powder.
  3. Take butter and sugar in a big size steel bowl. Add boiling water and cover for 5 minutes. Stir till sugar dissolves. Add vanilla extract. Add buttermilk.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix till well incorporated. Do not over mix.
  5. Fold in chocolate chunks/chocolate chips. Reserve some to sprinkle on top.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chunks/chips.
  7. Bake at 200 degrees C for 12 minutes. Lower the temperature to 180 degrees C and bake for another 45 to 50 minutes or till a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and remove it from the pan after 5 minutes.
  8. Cool in the rack. Slice next day.

A quick trip to the hills happened last week. Hills become heaven during monsoons. Springs spouting forth and becoming gurgling streams and murmuring brooks dot the beautiful landscape. We saw a small shop selling local produce. I could not resist buying coarse cornmeal crushed in a watermill. Water mills were so common some years ago. Now it is a rarity to spot one. Water mills still exist in the interior and remote villages. On our way, we were amused by the kids bathing their buffaloes in a large water body fed by a spring.

Having bought fresh corn meal, I baked Broa – The Portuguese bread
Broa is regarded as the National Bread of Portugal. Broa is unlike American corn bread in that it uses yeast as the raising agent. Broa is made from a mixture of corn meal and wheat or rye flour. The word Broa comes from the Gothic word “brauth” that means bread. The bread has a hard chewy crust and dense soft crumb. Broa is traditionally had with Caldo Verdo (potato, kale and sausage soup)
We had it with sweet corn mixed vegetable soup.

Broa – The Portuguese Bread

1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup warm milk
¾ cup hot water
2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
Take corn meal in a bowl. Add hot water and milk. Stir. Cover and let the mixture cool to lukewarm.
Whisk together all-purpose flour and salt. Add olive oil.
Add to the lukewarm cornmeal mixture. Add honey and knead for 6 to 8 minutes to get a smooth and sticky dough. Transfer to an oiled bowl and turn it over so that the dough is coated with oil. Cover and leave to rise for 1 ½ hours or until double in size.
Turn the dough out onto the floured counter and knead it lightly. From a ball of the dough and place it onto a greased baking tray sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover with a kitchen towel and leave it to rise for 45 minutes or until very puffy.
Preheat oven to 232 degrees C. Spritz the loaf with water and make four slashes about ¼ inches deep on top. Slide the baking tray inside the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
Lower the temperature to 204 degrees C and bake for another 15 minutes or till the top turns golden brown. Remove from the oven. Remover from the tray after 5 minutes and cool in the rack.
Slice when cold or next day.

Submitted for Yeastspotting 

It’s a cool and silent night with incessant rains over the weekend. Ears are now attuned to the pitter patter of the rain on window glass, ledge and on leaves. The murmur of water spouting out of the drainpipe is soothing and sleep inducing like a lullaby. Eyes heavy, we turn off the lights to retire for the night. Barely had we slipped into the sweet slumber when the boisterous croaking of frogs shredded the silence of the night. “Must be a bull frog”, muttered my daughter, miffed up at being disturbed.
Next morning we discovered a multitude of toad spawn firmly and safely enclosed in a jelly in our pond. Bare stems of a curry leaf plant close by revealed some fattened caterpillars and some more butterflies in the making.

 Warm aroma of leaf mold suffuses the air as we carefully tread on the wet ground to check the movement perceived behind the bushes  and lo!……..we discover a majestic crow pheasant foraging in the mound of leaves and multifarious  vegetation that springs up after rains.

 This is the second Crow Pheasant sighting of the year.

The yeasty aroma of freshly bread makes me rush back to the kitchen where my Rustic Potato Loaves are being baked for the dinner.

Rustic Potato Rolls
The recipe is from Leslie Mackie, from the book Baking with Julia. I have adapted the recipe from here.
In the recipe, the rolls are baked in a baking stone. I have used my baking tray. The recipe has a spoonful of dill added to the dough. I have added oregano. Loaves have to be transferred to the baking tray with great care. They should be placed seam side up.

4 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
3 medium size potatoes (Boiled, cooled and mashed)
2 ¼ teaspoons instant dry yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
½ cup warm water plus a little more (reserve water from boiling potatoes)
1 teaspoon dry oregano or mixed herbs or fresh herbs of your choice
Dissolve yeast in ½ cup warm water. Add mashed potatoes, oil and salt.  Add flour 1 cup at a time. Knead well. Keep adding water if required. The dough will feel dry initially but will come together soon. Knead for 8 to 10 minutes till supple, soft and slightly sticky but not wet.
Place dough in an oiled bowl. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. It may not double in size, but will rise noticeably.
Preheat oven to 190 degrees C.
Punch lightly and cut the dough into two equal halves. Take one half, flatten, start rolling from one end until almost to the other end, stretch gently, dust its edges with flour and finish rolling. Roll back and forth to taper the ends. Repeat with the other piece.
Place dough on a parchment paper, seam side down. Cover with a kitchen towel, leave to rise for 20 minutes.
Before placing the baking tray in the oven, throw three ice cubes onto the oven’s flour, shut the door.
Roll the dough onto greased baking tray carefully, seam side up. Slide in the baking tray. Throw in some more ice cubes. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or till the loaves turn golden brown. Turn the loaves so that they are evenly browned.
Remove from the oven and cool in the rack.

Linking to Vegan Thursdays  and Yeastspotting and Twelve Loaves
This baking adventure of bread and summer herbs is for our #TwelveLoaves August challenge!


One of the best elements of home baking is the freedom and scope of trying out breads from different parts of the world. It is like an adventure…trying out different ingredients, flavours, tastes and textures. Every baking sessions leaves you enriched and also with a craving to try out more….. During one such baking adventures, I baked Scali Bread.
Scali bread is a long braided bread, covered with sesame seeds, traditionally made with a preferment. The bread has a soft white interior with a chewy brown crust. Pronounced as “skah-lee”, this bread, is ideal to serve along with dinner or have it with stew or soup. The credit for this bread goes to the Italians who settled into Boston’s North End where it is sold and enjoyed as a daily bread.

Recipe adapted from kingarthur’
I used milk wash in place of egg wash. The bread had soft crumb. Sesame seeds added crunch and nutty flavor.

This is how I made Scali Bread
Scali Bread
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup cool water to make a ball of dough
A pinch of instant yeast
All the starter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon milk powder
2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
2/3 cup warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
Milk wash (heat 2 tablespoons milk till very hot. Dissolve 2 tablespoons sugar in milk. Use when cool)
1/3 cup sesame seeds
Mix all the ingredients of starter and knead a stiff dough. If the dough feels too dry, add more water. Cover and let rest at room temperature overnight.
Prepare dough by combining the starter with the ingredients of the dough. Knead for about 8 to 10 minutes till you get soft elastic dough.
Place dough in a greased bowl. Cover and let it rise for 1 ½ hours or till the dough doubles.
Deflate the dough and divide into three equal parts. Shape each piece into a log. Make three logs and let the logs rest for 10 minutes. (This makes logs easier to roll as gluten in the dough gets a chance to relax)
Grease your hands and roll each dough into a rope about 24 inches long. Brush each rope with milk wash. Roll the ropes in sesame seeds.
Take one end of each rope and squeeze them together firmly. Braid the ropes. Tuck the ends under. Sprinkle the braid with remaining sesame seeds.
Place the braided loaf on a greased baking tray. Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise for another 1 ½ hours or till very fluffy.
Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C. Bake the loaf for 25 to 25 minutes or till the top turns a beautiful golden.
Remove from the oven. Cool on a rack.

Submitted for Yeastspotting

NewerStories OlderStories Home