Pennsylvania Cinnamon Flop: Cinnamon Flop, from Edna Eby Heller’s 1968 The Art of Pennsylvania Dutch Cooking.; sixties; 1960s; Pennsylvania Dutch; cake; recipe; cinnamon

This is the recipe that convinced me to start a photo file of recipes to make while traveling. It is the very first photo in my “Cookbook recipes” collection on my phone and tablet. It’s so old that I didn’t have a good photo of it, which is why it comes so late in the Padgett Sunday Supper Club rotation!

Technically, I made it again in order to get a good photo, but I don’t need an excuse to make this very simple cake. I can’t find a definition of “flop” cake anywhere, but if this cake is an indication, it’s a very cinnamon-roll-like cake where the topping leaks down into the cake, and the cake itself flops back down as it cools.

The original recipe calls for “sprinkling” the brown sugar over the top, but with a full cup of brown sugar in an 8x8 area, you’re covering the top with a lot of brown sugar. That plus the butter causes it to seep deep into the cake, as you can see in the photo. It can be eaten warm or cold, and is very good with milk, coffee, or tea. It would also go great with last week’s maple peanut ice cream!

While I normally make it with “sweet” milk as the recipe calls for, in this case I had some sour milk in the fridge and used that. Like most baked goods that call for milk, sour milk will work great, causing it to rise a little bit more and, in this case, to make the flop a little more pronounced in the middle! Soured milk almost always makes a special cake, cookie, or brownie just that much more special.

The recipe also doesn’t specify the amount of cinnamon. It really is to taste, but, like the brown sugar, you want to blanket the top with it. I just keep shaking until it’s covered. If you don’t like cinnamon, try it with a spice you do like. I have made it without any flavoring, with just the brown sugar and butter on top, and it isn’t nearly as good. But I’d think it would be great with aniseed, fennel, and many other bright and spicy spices.

In fact, just writing this makes me want to make it again with fennel, despite having eight pieces left in my fridge.

Drop in again soon for another vintage recipe! I’ll have a different recipe every Sunday afternoon throughout the year. Keep an eye on this page or subscribe to the RSS feed for further details. You can also browse past featured Club recipes as well as some of the vintage promotional cookbooks I’ve used as sources.

More recipes:



Having a problem keeping all those phone numbers handy? Instead of throwing out a faded window shade, neatly print your names and numbers on it alphabetically, and hang the shade in a nearby inconspicuous area (like a closet door). It can also be used over a kitchen counter-top for recording recipes. When not in use, the shade is merely rolled up and zipped out of sight. — Hesperia Community Kitchens