Jump to Recipe
I was looking for a recipe to make with my 4-year-old Beatrice this morning (geez, this is an old post I am updating, she is now 6!). I call our Friday morning kitchen classes "Bake School." Last week we did an Amish coffeecake and it was kind of laborious. This week, I wanted something easier but still interesting. And, sure, tasty also, makes a great breakfast, a perfect complement to something savory!
So I gravitated to a recipe for “Amish cinnamon flop cake" that I found in a slender little cookbook that I think I must’ve bought in Arthur Illinois. Because there’s a little price label on the back that says “Beachy's“. Beachy is a common Amish name, but I usually remember where I shop and stop, and I did stop at Beachy‘s Bulk Foods in Arthur, Illinois when I visited a couple of years ago.
It’s only a 40 page cookbook, I would call a booklet, but it has a lot of neat little recipes in it, very traditional Amish ones.
So, the question that everyone always asks is why is it called “flop cake “… After tasting it, I don’t know. It’s anything but a flop, if you’re using the word in the negative sense. Some posters on Reddit have mused that maybe it’s because the cake is sort of “floppy “, between a coffee cake and an angel food cake… I don’t know. That sounds kind of lame. A writer in the Bangor Daily News mused:
the cinnamon sugar mixture will sink to the bottom to create a syrup like layer. When it is done you flop slices of cake upside down so the gooey cinnamon part is on top. That is where the Flop comes in!
I did not flip the cake and it still tasted great. Nor did the instructions say to flip the cake, so I didn't, but perhaps that is why it has the name.
I did use whole wheat flour and that seemed to have no impact on the outcome. The recipe called for 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, but for something called a "cinnamon" flop cake, that didn't seem like enough. So I added in two teaspoons, I do think one teaspoon would have been sufficient. But if you love cinnamon like I do, then, sure, double it.
This cake is one I know a lot of people remember their grandmother or great grandmother making. This is one of these old family recipes for many.. You don't need a mix, it can all be done with a wooden spoon and maybe a whisk.
This cake has very basic ingredients, but, wow, the taste is good!
Beatrice stirring vigorously!
Beatrice said the batter looked like peanut butter
Topping for the cake.
This is the cake before it gets popped into the oven. Now some people say you should bake it and then flip it over and cut and serve. I didn't get the memo, so I didn't do that, but it was still great. A wonderfully cinnamony flavor, and so easy to make. This cake is one of the best bangs for your buck you'll get! And on the pan size, you can use a 9 X 9 cake pan or a 9" pie or cake pan, either will work fine.
You could add some chopped pecans to the Amish Cinnamon Flop cake. Or walnuts. Either would give the cake some crunch. I don't think it needs it, though, this brown sugar-topped cake is perfect as is with its buttery brown sugar! Use a non-stick spray on the pan that you bake this in and a spatula can be used to loosen it from the sides if it sticks. I like a 9-inch pan. Some people do like to add a handful of chocolate chips, but I am not sure it needs that either. This old recipe is timeless!
👩🍳 Amish Cinnamon Flop Cake Ingredients
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 additional tablespoons of butter for topping
- Mix first six ingredients and pour into well-greased pan 9 X 9 pan or round pie pan.
- In a separately bowl, mix topping ingredients until combined.
- Sprinkle the topping ingredients onto the cake, the topping maybe not sink to the bottom and that's fine..
- Bake at 425 for 18-20 minutes, BUT, we are hearing some people say it needs longer, so set your timer for 20 minutes, but be prepared to bake it as long as 40 minutes. Use the toothpick test to determine doneness..
👩🍳 More Amish Cinnamon Recipes
Butterscotch Cinnamon Rolls - So good!
Cinnamon Pudding - Refreshing!
Cinnamon Coffeecake - a great start to the day!
Sticky Cinnamon Buns - sinful
🖨️ Amish Cinnamon Flop
Amish Cinnamon Flop Cake
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup milk
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- Mix the cake ingredients and pour into well-greased pan 9 X 9 pan or round cake pan.
- In a separate bowl, mix the topping ingredients into well combined.
- Sprinkle topping onto cake batter, topping may not "sink" down into the batter, don't worry, it'll still turn out fine if it doesn't.
- Bake at 425 for 18 to 20 minutes, BUT we are hearing reports that some people have had to bake this longer. So set the timer for 20 minutes but if it is still not done, be prepared to bake as long as 40 minutes. Use toothpick test to determine doneness.
Tasted amazing. But .... Tipping should have gone into the cake pan first, spread smooth, then add the batter. Cook .. and FLOP it out of the pan.
Interesting, yeah, the recipe that I posted didn't have that instruction and you do see this with Amish recipes sometimes, they can "mutate" as they get passed from person to person and I think that step was left out, you could do either way, but the way you are describing would explain the "flop."
I baked this Amish Cinnamon Flop Cake and it turned great my family loved it I baked it for 20 minutes and the center wasn't done so I went for 10 more minutes it turned out delicious
Great, thanks for that, Susan, so glad you all enjoy it, we love it also!
Of course it tastes good. It has TWO AND A HALF cups of sugar! That’s way too much for a small cake.
I know, it is a lot, but, wow, it is so, so good...because it is, as you say, a small cake, I think I'd make two next time....
Try using Splenda instead of sugar. Can’t tell any difference in taste. I also used fat free half and half instead of milk. Cake turned out great!
Glad it worked out, Nancy. For me, the cake turned out super, I feel bad some had issues. Glad to know about the Splenda, some of our readers will definitely be interested in that, thanks for letting us know!
Hi Nancy. How much splenda would be needed? Or, does it have a conversion chart on the splenda box? We don't save the box, so I have no clue. Thanks! Denise
I tried making this cake and left it in for 20 minutes, and the middle was uncooked and the edges were. So I had to put it in the oven again. Not a good recipe.
Hi, Dee, see my comment above the egg, apologies if this was the problem
I found it doughy in the middle also after 20 mins. Came in here to read comments to see if I was the only one. I turned down the temp to 375 and cooked it for 5 mins at a time until 20 more mins had passed. Then it was fine. Yummy.
it is interesting to read the difference in outcomes. After 20 minutes mine was on the cusp over being overdone, so I took it out of the oven....so I guess the takeaway here is it may well take more than 20 minutes depending on your oven
Not sure hat I did wrong..but my cake ended up in the garbage. 20 minutes at 425 and it still was soup..Left in for another 20 minutes..cake done, however the topping was baked hard as a rock. The cake part was bland..needed some salt, I think. Would love to try it again..need some better instructions
Just to let you know, I really love your emails and the recipes that you share with us.
Thank you for all your wonderful insights into the Amish world.
Hi, Ruthann, I am sorry to hear this, we loved the cake! BUT, I am wondering something....for about two hours after the recipe was posted yesterday, the egg was missing from the ingredients, if you didn't add an egg, that might explain the problem. I apologize if this this error on my part was the problem. - Kevin
Make the cake loved the flavor but had a few problems. The topping didn't sink and l cooked it 25 minutes and the middle was was still raw when l cut it 20 minutes later. What did l do wrong . Also cooked in a 9x9 pan at 425.
Melanie A Davis
4/18/21 I printed this recipe and made it for Sunday breakfast. I did it exactly as it was written. Looked so easy...disappointed in baked product though. After 20 the middle was soupy and the topping was turning dark and burning. Turned to heat down to 375° and baked 15 more minutes. Top was very dark and burned around the edges. We tried to eat it...it had no taste...needed some salt I think. It looks like others had same problem. Why is there not an updated recipe? And take this one down.
Keven..Ruthann here,,I did add 1 beaten egg to the cake ingredients. After reading one of the comments above, I wonder if putting the topping on the bottom would have been the way to go! I do think the correct name for this cake was "Flop Cake" because that is exactly what it was! It was fun though, picking the cake out of the rest of the hardened topping!
Thanks again for all your hard work..you can't get it right all the time!
My husband first saw this recipe and we both concurred it looked yummy and decided to try it.
I am sad to say that I had the same issue as most of the reviewers, in that the cake was nowhere near done after twenty minutes. I had to bake the cake for 40 minutes at 425 degrees before it looked done enough in the center to pull from the oven. I lightly covered edges of cake with foil to keep from over browning.
My initial thought is that 425 degrees is higher than the typical oven temp when baking a cake, and twenty minutes is shorter than the average baking time.
The cake has an amazing flavor and the topping was delicious, especially the part that sinks into the cake! Cake did not last 24 hours!
Will make it again and try tweaking time and temp. I am wondering if a different size pan might also improve cooking time.
From looking at your recipe, your cake seems to have come out perfectly. When times vary by ovens, it is usually only by a few minutes. So, curious as to the cause most of our cakes didn’t get done within 5-15 minutes of suggested bake time.
If not for baking issues, I would have rated five stars.
Thanks, Andee, I am going to go in and change the baking time to something with more flexibility...I agree with your comments, just so strange because mine was perfect at 20 minutes.
Just an FYI to anyone who tries this recipe, I did go ahead and revise baking time, hopefully that'll cover most ovens!
Carol J. Miller
It certainly is a flop cake! Never got done in the middle. Went to the garbage! Are you sure you have the correct recipe?/
It was fantastic, but I did make some modifications to the original recipe:
- Added 1/2 tsp salt (it needed it)
- Added 1/2 tsp cinnamon to cake batter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Had to bake for the full 40 minutes (no idea where 20 came from, would have been raw in the center)
Next time I make this, I'm going to add chopped pecans. Think that would be a nice addition.
Thanks, Michelle, those are super insights and suggestions..glad you liked it and I bet it would be great with pecans!
Congrats on your weight loss. Very smart not to give up the one coke daily. How is the running coming with winter. Any inside treadmill?
Keep up the good work. Your goal is in sight.
Thanks, Don, I'm trying!
Hi Kevin, I loved your column today. Flip Flop is an old family favorite. I use my mom's recipe though: added more batter, cinnamon, dashes of nutmeg & a tiny bit of cloves. She also melted lots of butter in baking dish topped with a good amount of brown sugar and "flopped" it over when done--350F until done. Lasts a day in our house...lol On the note of Oz & Fetterman all signs I see in my NE PA rural neighborhood near Wilkes-Barre and Scranton (Biden's) home town are Oz signs.I'm in a bellweather county so mainstream news visits often for elections. My county near Biden's old county went red the last two elections. Hope it keeps up! Residents historically here are democrats but are tired of inflation, 2nd highest US state gas taxes and a "rain" tax...crime from NY, NJ & Philly visitors...along with national security, other rights and some anti-right to life proposals. I even lived near Wilmington, DE & went to church at Biden's church every Sunday when impressionablely young. Will prayer for you with the ADHD issue. My grand-daughter has it, too. Take care & good luck with school. Sorry for the wordiness!
Thanks, Cecilia, yes, you're part of PA is probably among the most "Bellwethery" parts of the USA!
re: wondering about the pa. senate race, I am from pa., and don't care for either of the candidates. Given the crime increase, Fetterman's ideas on the criminal justice system are just plain scary and given his record while he was mayor of Braddock he doesn't strike me as being capable. And then there is the issue of his health, we certainly don't need anyone who is going to make this state worse. As for Oz, how much does he know about the needs of the state since he isn't from here. In my opinion, this is a hold your nose and vote election in pa.
Sounds like no real good choices in PA!