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Sep 25 2013

Chocolate Cinnamon Bread: Warm Spices of Fall

Have you heard? Starbucks launched their new pastries from La Boulange this week! I stopped by my local shop on Tuesday–conveniently across the street from where I work–and was greeted with pink banners and bows, a celebration for the occasion. Honestly, I knew it was coming and I was thrilled to find it happening so soon. I figured those of us on the East coast would have to wait longer. This is one time I’m happy I was wrong!

Chocolate Cinnamon Bread

What’s the big deal about La Boulange? It is an artisinal bakery in San Francisco with a reputation for quality going back to 1996. As much as I love my occasional stops at Starbucks–a treat I infrequently allow myself–the pastries were sometimes meh, especially the morning buns. They could have been great if they were fresher, but they often tasted like they’d been sitting around for a week.

Chocolate Cinnamon Bread

On Tuesday I sampled the chocolate croissant–I have been waiting for this! Imagine my surprise when I wasn’t handed my highly anticipated delicacy immediately, but was instead informed that it would be warmed for me. In fact, all baked goods would now be heated before consumption, freshening them up a bit to better resemble hot-from-the-oven-goodness. The croissant? Crisp on the outside, soft on the inside, and the melty chocolate was amazing. So much better! Today, I opted for the Ham and Cheese Savory Square. It’s like an updated version of my ham and cheese croissant sandwiches that I make at home and heat up in the toaster oven. So far, so, so, so good!!! I look forward to eating my way through the case of La Boulange treats!

Chocolate Cinnamon Bread

What was missing? Chocolate Cinnamon Bread. It’s officially Fall now and the absence of this spicy, chocolatey cake was definitely felt, even with my complaint about stale baked goods. Lucky for us, Starbucks has shared the recipe for this treat on their website! I made some tweaks to better suit my needs–I didn’t want to bake 2 loaves at a time and the sugar was way too high, plus I used white whole wheat for a teeny bit of a nutritional boost–and now I can make this any time I miss it. It’s the best of both worlds!

Chocolate Cinnamon Bread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Quick Bread
Serves: 1 loaf
Ingredients
Chocolate Batter
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • ½ cup (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, softened
  • 1¼ cups organic sugar
  • 3 large cage free eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • ⅔ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ Tablespoon (1½ teaspoons) ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
Topping
  • 3 Tablespoons organic sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • dash ground ginger
  • dash ground cloves
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease the bottom only of a 9x5x3 loaf pan, line it with a parchment paper sling, and set aside.
  2. Measure out the buttermilk and stir in the vanilla bean paste. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, coconut oil, and sugar, beating until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes.
  4. Beat in the eggs one at a time, waiting until the first is fully incorporated before adding the next. Scrape the sides as needed.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
  6. Alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk in 3 additions, starting with the flour and ending with the buttermilk.
  7. Beat until just incorporated, then remove bowl, scrape the sides, and stir a couple times, just to be sure there are no dry spots.
  8. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared loaf pans.
  9. In a small bowl, whisk together the topping ingredients.
  10. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the top.
  11. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  12. Cool on wire rack before removing from the pan carefully, so as not to dump off any excess topping.
Notes
The type of pan you use will change your results. I recommend stoneware, if you have it. If baking in a glass or dark metal pan, you should reduce the temperature by 25 degrees and watch the time at the end.

Which La Boulange treats are you looking forward to trying?

Disclosure: I was not compensated for, nor has Starbucks endorsed, this post. All opinions and photos are my own.

About the author

Carrie @ poet in the pantry

Carrie is a home baker and amateur photographer who dabbles in writing and poetry.

6 comments

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  1. Deanna Segrave-Daly

    Swoon – I didn’t know about the La Boulange connection with SBUX but girl, I’d take this any day over what they are offering! Pinning right now – can just imagine the aroma this gives off when baking away….

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      Thank you! The house smelled amazing while it was baking–though it was a little funny the next day when I tried to make dinner and the oven still smelled so cinnamony. :)

  2. Caitlin

    I heard about La Boulange and my coworker tried one of the savory offerings! She was disappointed that it had too much dough and not enough toppings though. She was hoping for more tomato. I would probably go with a sweet La Boulange offering if I was going to get one. Warming up baked goods never fails to make them awesome. I love the idea of chocolate cinnamon bread! So fun.

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      I’m so sorry to hear that! I’ve been so excited about this since I heard the announcement in August. And yes–no better way to make a baked good seem more special than to warm it up first. :)

  3. Beth @ bethcakes

    This looks so, so good! I haven’t tried any of the new Starbucks baked goods. I don’t go there often because there isn’t one conveniently located on my morning drive, but I don’t think I really need to stop there. I can just make this yummy-looking chocolate cinnamon bread. :)

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      I probably shouldn’t go as often as I do. Eek! But it’s better when you make the treats at home, right?

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