Special Request: Starbucks Chocolate Cinnamon Bread

Dark, moist cake with a spiced sugary topping

A and I had a girls-only shopping expedition last weekend. Her little powder-blue shoulder bag was stuffed full of gift-card loot from a recent (10 years old) birthday, so we headed off to the mall, one of my least favorite destinations in this world.

It's not that I don't enjoy shopping. I do! It's just that malls have a numbing and dumbing effect on me; I get as overstimulated and disoriented as a wayward bluejay on acid.

I must have been born without the intricate inner GPS system needed to navigate oneself in large public shopping areas, because inevitably I get lost looking for the bathroom or take a right turn out of Bath & Body Works instead of a left, finding myself miles away from the exit that leads out to the parking garage.

So it was good that A was with me. Since were focused on two stores, Limited Too and Gap, we safely pointed ourselves in their direction...right past a Starbucks counter that pulled me over like a dustball succumbing to the strong suck of a Dyson D17. I decided I really needed the fortification of a Grande Green Tea Latte (nonfat, two pump) to get me through the whole mall thing.

While standing in line, we drooled over the Chocolate Cinnamon Bread, a new addition to the Starbucks pastry array, developed by the hot Swedish-New York-Ethiopian-born chef Marcus Samuelsson.

It turns out that other food bloggers tracked down the recipe and baked it at home with good results, including Foodaphilia and Nicole at Baking Bites.

I made A very happy yesterday when I made this cake, and I have to admit it was worth a trip to the mall for the inspiration.

However, despite the word "bread" in the recipe title, be aware that this is not in any way a quick bread, but more like the dark, dense chocolate pound cake of your dreams. The crunchy spiced sugar on top is a nice touch.

Starbucks Chocolate Cinnamon Bread
From the kitchen of Marcus Samuelsson

Chocolate Batter:
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
11⁄4 cups Dutch-processed cocoa (I used Hershey's Special Dark cocoa)
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1⁄4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cocoa-Spice Sugar Crust:
1⁄4 cup granulated sugar
3⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1⁄4 cup white decorating sugar

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pans and line the bottom of the pans with overhanging sheets of parchment paper (this will make it easier to remove the baked cakes.)

Make the Chocolate Batter: In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar with the paddle attachment on medium speed, until light and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating until each egg is completely incorporated before adding the next and scraping down the sides of the bowl several times.

Meanwhile in a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, water and vanilla. With mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture to butter, beginning and ending with the flour and beating just until blended. Divide the batter between the two pans, shake the pans to even the tops and set aside.

Make the Cocoa-Spice Sugar Crust: In another small bowl, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, cocoa, ginger and cloves. Sprinkle the surfaces of both batters with the decorating sugar. Sprinkle with the cocoa sugar mixture, dividing evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool completely, run a thin knife around the sides to release the breads and remove from pans.

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Copyright (c) 2007 FamilyStyle Food


bri said...

Sounds delicious, and I too hate the mall. I so much prefer outdoor mom and pop stores with character, than disorienting, (soul crushing) indoor malls. I may just have to make this bread, since every pastry I've had at Starbucks has been less than stellar. Maybe they are changing their ways.

erin said...

good lord! 3 sticks of butter AND 5 eggs AND 3 and half cups of sugar?!!! it's one thing to treat yourself to a slice at starbucks, but to have 2 loaves of that laying around at home sounds like either physical or mental punishment depending on whether you eat it, or manage to muster the willpower not to. seriously, that sounds more unhealthy than going to macdonald's!

Karen said...

Bri, right on. I probably wouldn't have noticed the cake as much if it didn't have the chef's "hand" on it.

Erin, it is rich. That's why I have kids and neighbors!

Dani Spies said...

Ha...that is so funny...this chocolate cake catches my eye EVERY time I go Starbucks and the last time I was there I saw the the recipe card (the Starbucks I was at just so happened to have this recipe as a give away on the counter). The idea of chocolate and cinnamon together sounds so good!! Maybe I'll try to play around a make a slightly lighter version, because this looks way too good to let slip thru the cracks;).
Thanks Karen!

Farmgirl Susan said...

Oh, Oh, OH that looks good! I'm almost afraid to save it to del.icio.us--I don't have any kids or neighbors and my sheep can't eat chocolate! ; )

Karen said...

Dani, I just served the last of it to my mom/daughter book club group. Whew! ( although one ten-year-old pronounced it "icky".)

Susan, user discretion is advised in your case! I bet you could halve the recipe easily, though.

Dana said...

It seems a sin to call that "icky." I'm going to have to try this (thanks for the recipe).

P.S. The mall gives me migraines.

Emily said...

Bless you for posting this recipe!!!

Liza said...

This looks so good I am afraid to make it. All that butter, chocolate, cinnamon. But I really WANT it!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Karen, one just can't go wrong with chocolate and cinnamon together - I want to try this recipe, too!

Farmgirl Susan said...

Thanks for the suggestion to halve the recipe--I'm so glad I checked back here. I actually feel much better now, since I hadn't realized it made two loaves! Geez, it's practically diet food. ; )

Susan said...

I just saw that recipe the other day too. So, how do you stay that thin and attractive? :)

kitchenmage said...

I had a slice of this recently and I have to lean towards calling it cake. Decadent and tasty cake. I bet it freezes well, so you could make several small loaves and keep some. (um, yeah, right after I get the restraint installed on my chocolate cravings)

S. said...

My roommate works at Starbucks. I have a problem with these confections. Argh.


Karen said...

Dana, I guess we won't be having a shopping day at the mall anytime soon.

Emily, I hope you enjoy it.

Liza, I know. Have a slice and give the rest away! But now I want to do a nutrition profile to discover how *bad* it really is. It does make TWO loaves...that's more than 20 decent servings.

Patricia, I think so too. But, others are so disappointed to have their chocolate so adulterated!

FarmgirlSusan, Ha! That's the ticket.

Susan, miles on the treadmill, baby.

Kitchenmage, yes, absolutely!

Karen said...

S., I wonder if you could bake a vegan version of this? Might take a bit of tweaking.

I agree that the "food" offerings at Starbucks are best avoided. That's why I was happy to get this recipe and make it myself - I know exactly what's in it!

jill said...

the nutritional facts for a very similar recipe are listed on the following site.

Anonymous said...

I am so happy to find this recipe, the only starbucks locally that carried it no longer does. They told me it has been discontinued. I was heart broken. So thank you thank you thank you, from the bottom of my heart, or stomach, LOL

Matt from Texas said...

I am excited to get this recipes and try it out! I ask for this bread at Starbuck's every time I stop in and I was finally told it was a "seasonal" offering.

Thanks for posting this one. Am I the only guy that looks for recipes?