- Whisk together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and cinnamon. Set aside.
Cinnamon Swirl Cake Layers
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C. Line three 8″ pans with parchment rounds and grease with Baker’s Joy®.
- Whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Mix the shortening slowly into the dry ingredients on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, oil, molasses, and vanilla extract.
- Slowly mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients on a low speed until just incorporated.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then beat on a medium speed for 1 more minute to make sure everything is properly mixed.
- Add about 1 cup (250g) of cake batter to each of the prepared pans and spread into an even layer.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar swirl mixture over the cake batter, adding about a third of it to each pan. Leave a 1-inch ring around the edge of the cake uncovered so that the swirl doesn’t go to the edge of the pan.
- Pour the remaining cake batter evenly between the three pans. It’s easiest to drizzle the cake batter over the cinnamon sugar mixture, then spread with a small offset spatula.
- Bake for 34-47 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs. Allow the pans to cool for 10 minutes, then run a small offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan. Flip the cake layers onto a wire rack to cool.
- Use a serrated knife to level the tops of the layers once they’re fully cooled.
- If you make these cake layers in advance and freeze them, let them thaw for about 20 minutes before making your cake. The cake layers should still be slightly cold to the touch, which will make it easier to assemble your cake.
Browned Butter Buttercream Frosting
- As the cake layers bake and cool, make the browned butter buttercream.
- Place 1 cup (or 2 sticks) of unsalted butter into a large skillet and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- Once the butter has fully melted, stir frequently to prevent the butter solids at the bottom of the pan from burning. It should begin to bubble up a bit and look foamy on top. Let the butter continue to cook until it becomes an amber color and begins to smell nutty.
- Once it reaches this stage, remove from heat, and pour into a heat proof bowl. Set aside to allow the butter to come to room temperature but not completely solidify. This usually takes about an hour.
- Beat 1 cup or 2 sticks of room temperature butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment or hand mixer, until smooth.
- Mix in the cooled brown butter, vanilla extract, and salt on a low speed.
- Slowly mix in 7 cups of powdered sugar on a low speed. Halfway through mixing, add in the heavy cream to make the frosting easier to mix.
- Beat on low until the ingredients are fully incorporated and the desired consistency is reached.
Cinnamon Streusel Filling
- Next, make the cinnamon streusel filling. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
- Pour the melted butter into the dry ingredients and stir together with a fork or whisk to make some nice, big crumbles. You should end up with a bowl of what looks like wet sand with some pea-sized chunks. Set aside.
Assembling this Layered Cinnamon Coffee Cake
- Stack and frost the cinnamon cake layers on a greaseproof cake board or flat plate using a dab of frosting to help stick the first cake layer to the board.
- Spread an even layer of browned butter buttercream on top of the first cake layer. Sprinkle about 1/3 of the cinnamon streusel on top of the frosting. Top with the next cake layer and repeat.
- Add a thin coat of frosting around the cake that fully covers the cake layers. Smooth using an offset spatula and/or bench scraper, then chill the cake in the fridge (20 minutes) or freezer (5 minutes) until the frosting is firm to the touch.
- Remove the cake from the fridge or freezer and cover the cake in a thicker second layer of brown butter buttercream. Smooth using an offset spatula and bench scraper.
- Gently press the remaining cinnamon streusel around the base of the cake. Place the remaining buttercream in a small piping bag fit with a star tip and pipe buttercream swirls around the top of the cake.