Holy yum. These puppies are so good! It’s a Smitten Kitchen recipe I came across on pinterest… they’re a cross between snickerdoodles and coffee cake. Sweet and moist cake with a gooey top layer and a sparkly cinnamon sugar dusting.
I know, right?
A fellow pinner named this “snickerdoodle crack.” ! I don’t know about that, but I can say that they disappeared awfully fast. It’s not so decadent that you feel guilty having it for breakfast, but it’s sweet and gooey and just right for dessert as well.
It took me two tries to get this cake right. The first time I was running around outside and wasn’t keeping a close eye on the timer. It didn’t burn thank heavens, but there was no sticky top layer and the edges were a little dry. I wanted the ooey gooey version! So, I really had no choice but to make it again. SIGH. The things I do for you.
Gooey Cinnamon Squares
Lightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Soft Cookie Base
- 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 c (1 stick) butter, room temperature
- 3/4 c sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 c milk
Gooey Top Layer
- 1/4 c light corn syrup
- 1/4 c milk
- 1 T vanilla extract
- 12 T (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup plus 2 T sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Prep your pan. You need a 13 x 9 in pan, lined on the bottom with parchment, allowing the ends to hang over at least 2 inches. Coat pan and parchment with cooking spray. (If you don’t feel fancy, just spray your pan with cooking spray. Just as delicious, but trickier to remove if you want perfect squares.) Set aside.
Now it starts to get good. Beat together your butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
While that’s mixing, get a medium sized bowl and combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Set this aside.
When the sugar mixture is fluffed, add the milk and egg, then your dry ingredients. This is gorgeous.
You will want to taste it, just to be sure.
mhmm yes, it is very tasty indeed. Especially after one has played in the sprinklers all afternoon. Really works up an appetite. If you can help yourself from eating the entire bowl, move on to the next step:
Spread the batter into a prepped 1 3x 9 in pan and set aside. As you can see, I did not feel particularly fancy this day. No parchment paper here. (note: buy parchment paper)
Time for the Gooey Layer. I can tell you’re excited. You should be. You are basically making the same thing you just made, only with a few tweaks. But don’t hate- you don’t have to wash anything! It tastes so similar you don’t need to worry about cleaning any bowls, paddles, or measuring spoons. Let’s roll with it.
Whisk together the corn syrup, milk, and vanilla in a small bowl and set aside. I actually took some pictures of this but it wasn’t very impressive. It’s thick and vanilla tinted. You will be tempted to put some in your coffee.
In an electric mixer cream butter, 1 cup sugar and salt until fluffy. Now add the egg and beat until combined. Add the flour and corn syrup mixture until incorporated.
Look any different? It’s a little gooier looking I think.
Dollop over the cookie base and spread into an even layer. At this point it kind of looks like you are spreading the same thing on top of the bottom layer, but trust me. The extra sugar + corn syrup make a difference in taste/texture, if not appearance.
Mix together the remaining 2 tbsp sugar and cinnamon (you know me, I like to be generous. Give yourself heaping spoonfuls if you want); sprinkle over the gooey layer.
Bake until edges have set and center is still gooey, 25-30 min.
Let cool completely, about 3 hr (OR spoon from the pan immediately. Ya know, whichever). Lift from pan using the parchment; cut into 1-inch squares if you FF (Feel Fancy). Can be kept covered at room temperature for 3 days although not likely to last that long.
These gooey delicious treats will make you FF no matter how you serve them, even if the presentation is just how it looks as it travels from the plate to your mouth.
True confession: I found this post in my drafts from last year.. All that work, temporarily forgotten! Well, the recipe is still delicious, although that spoon licking boy looks much bigger now!