Cinnamon Dolce Latte Cake

I am one of those people that is annoying to be behind in Starbucks. I may sound like a high maintenance diva when I order my drink but the great thing about Starbucks is that you can order your drink exactly as you like it. And how I like it is “Tall, extra hot, soy, sugar-free cinnamon dolce latte, no foam, no whip”. It started with just getting the skinny cinnamon dolce latte and morphed from there – extra hot means I drink it slower and enjoy it longer, soy just somehow tastes better for most coffee drinks (and for awhile I wasn’t drinking milk), sugar-free to save calories for real sweets, I really hate whipped cream on drinks, and no foam means that you get more of your actual drink in the cup. For those that haven’t had the cinnamon dolce latte before, it is delicious. It is a sweet cinnamon caramel’y type taste. It really is the best drink there!

Look at those layers! Marbled Cinnamon & Latte cake, caramel, latte icing and cinnamon icing on the outside!

I made this cake for a friend’s birthday. He also is a big fan of the Cinnamon Dolce Latte (as is our mutual friend that was organizing the birthday). With the three of us loving the drink, I figured it was safe to try out this cake with them. I started with a basic white cake. Then I removed 1 cup of the batter and mixed in espresso powder dissolved in a little water. To the other half, I added cinnamon extract as well as cinnamon. After putting the cinnamon batter in the pan, I added the espresso batter and swirled them to get a marbled effect. Between the layers of cake I put either homemade caramel or latte buttercream. I covered the whole thing with a cinnamon extract flavoured buttercream. Oh, I almost forgot! Before baking the cake, I put a layer of brown sugar, butter and cinnamon mixture on the bottom of the pan. This kind of gave a bit of a cinnamon bun like texture in the middle of the cake – you know the delicious middle of the bun? I was aiming for that in the centre of the cake. It was delicious. Or at least I thought so. And by the fact that the rest of the cake was gone by the end of the night (there were only 6 of us eating it), I think everyone enjoyed it!

Cinnamon Dulce Latte Cake

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temp
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temp
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cinnamon extract
  • 2 tsp espresso powder mixed with as little water as needed to dissolve
  1. The cinnamon bun like base

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Line pans with parchment paper: either 2-8″ round pans or 1-8 or 9″ square pan (as I did).

  2. Mix together brown sugar, butter and first amount of cinnamon. Spread on the bottom of your pan (or pans) evenly.
  3. In a new bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a regular bowl and use your hand mixer!), cream butter and sugar together for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy
  5. Add the eggs one at a time and continue to beat. Beat in the vanilla.
  6. Marbled Batter! Latte batter swirled into cinnamon batter

    Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the flour alternatively with the milk. Beat until just smooth.

  7. Remove 1 cup of the batter and mix the dissolved espresso powder into the batter.
  8. In the remaining batter, add the cinnamon and cinnamon extract.
  9. Pour the cinnamon batter into the prepared pan(s) and spread evenly. Dollop the espresso cake batter on top of the cinnamon batter using fairly large spoonfuls. Swirl with a dinner knife until there is some swirling but not blending of the batters. I like to bang the pans down on the counter to ensure the batter is spread well and there are no air bubbles.
  10. Bake for 30-45 minutes (timing depends on pan, sorry! I used an 8″ square pan and baked it about 40 minutes I think). It is done when a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean and the edges haven’t started to brown much.
  11. Cool in pans about 20-25 minutes. Carefully remove the cake from the pan by placing a plate (with parchment paper on it) over the top of your pan and flipping carefully. I had trouble with the buttery/sugar/cinnamon mixture sticking to the bottom but I just greased the pan, I didn’t use parchment as I am now suggesting to you! Hopefully it will work better for you!
  12. Allow to cool completely

Homemade Caramel (the nectar of the gods!) (without a candy thermometer!)

  • 1 cup + 2 Tb sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup whipping/heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  1. Put sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved and syrup is clear.
  2. Almost there! You want a little bit darker than this

    Stop stirring & cook until the syrup comes to a boil. If needed (if you see sugar crystals on the side of the pan), brush down sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush.

  3. Boil, gently swirling pan occasionally, until the mixture turns a dark amber colour (a tiny bit darker than the picture! I had to take the picture just before it was ready since I was afraid that I would burn it while taking the picture!)
  4. Remove from heat and slowly pour in cream. Be careful – it spatters and

    Careful when you add the cream, it will spatter and boil!

    bubbles! Stir with a wooden spoon continuously until smooth. Stir in salt.

  5. Allow to cool to room temp. Store leftovers in a glass jar in the fridge. If it gets too solid for easy spreading, you can soften it by putting it in the microwave for 10 seconds at a time (or just remove it from the fridge a couple hours before using it).

Latte Buttercream

  • 1/4 cup butter, room temp
  • Finished Caramel

    1/2 Tb espresso powder (make it to how strong you like it!)

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cups icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp milk/cream/water to thin consistency icing
  1. Beat the butter until creamy and light (at least 3 minutes). Add in the flavourings.
  2. Add the sugar and milk & beat. Add more liquid as needed.

Cinnamon Buttercream

  • 1.5 cup butter, room temp
  • 1 tsp cinnamon extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 6 cups icing sugar
  • 6-8 tsp milk/cream/water to thin consistency icing
  1. Beat the butter until creamy and light (at least 3 minutes). Add in the flavourings.
  2. Add 4 cups of the sugar 1 cup at a time. Add a bit of liquid. Beat in the rest of the sugar. Add more liquid as needed.

The first caramel layer. Make a dam & fill!

Assembly: here is what I did – adjust based on whether you baked it in 1 square pan or 2 round pans.

  1. Torte cake – that means slice it into two layers.
  2. I used a square pan and then made it into a tall rectangle cake, so I then cut my cake in half so that I would have a total of 4, 4″x8″ layers. Keep the two layers with the cinnamon bun crusty stuff for the centre of the cake.
  3. Place bottom layer of cake on plate. Pipe a dam around the outside of the layer. Pour caramel over the layer to fill the dammed in area.
  4. Next layer - cinnamon bun type filling to the middle

    Cover with layer of cake with the cinnamon bun half facing up. Cover with latte icing and then the other layer of cake that has the cinnamon bun filling facing the latte icing.

  5. Pipe another dam around the edge and fill with caramel. Add the last layer of cake.
  6. Cover the whole thing with cinnamon icing & decorations of choice. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the finished cake again!

Layers end up: cake, caramel, cake with crusty cinnamon bun side up, latte icing, cake with crusty cinnamon bun side down, caramel, cake – all covered with cinnamon icing.

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4 Comments on “Cinnamon Dolce Latte Cake”

  1. Shannon says:

    Hi, I’m planning to try this recipe tomorrow. Do you happen to recall if you used cake flour or not? There’s a slight difference in measurement if you used all purpose flour instead. Thanks!

  2. When you say espresso powder, do you mean the instant grounds or the real stuff?


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