The other day I learned something truly profound.

Let me share it with you.

We were talking about heartbeats in class. What’s normal, what’s not, arrhythmias, murmurs. That kind of thing.

And I could tell that the doctor who leads our small group session was getting antsy. Not only was this not in the realm of his, in my opinion, limited body of knowledge. But we were having the discussion without him. And he’s the type of guy for whom. Not being the center of attention. Does. Not. Fly.

So the whole time we’re talking about this, he’s sitting in front of his computer with this uneasy look on his face. (A mix between constipation and mortal fear. He is so close. Inches away. From realizing that he may not actually be as smart as he thinks he is. Terrifying for someone who is pretty sure that the world revolves around him. Everything and everyone else are just tangential. Periphery. Collateral damage. It was fascinating to watch, really. As he got closer and closer to that moment of epiphany when he would have to accept the fact that. He. Doesn’t. Know. Everything.)

I’m getting excited for the big event. Watching him carefully out of the corner of my eye. Waiting for the sparks to start flying out of his head as his. Mind. Is. Blown.

But then, and this is the crucial moment, so pay attention. There is a lull in the conversation.

And being one to never miss an opportunity to impart to us some little pearls of wisdom. He says. In conclusion. With a tone of total and complete authority. (Listen closely. This is momentous.) “So oftentimes when you see patients, there are variations to the regular. These are called irregular.”
And that was it. Class dismissed.

So I went home. (Thoroughly frustrated with the system.) And decided that to best way to really learn the distinction between regular and irregular (a hard concept to grasp) would be to apply it to my own life. Forge some neural connections. I heard that’s how this whole long term memory thing works.

What I came up with is. A regular med student. Would study for the exam we have on Friday.

But then there are some of us. Who are incapable of sitting in class for five hours. And then going home and studying for an additional five hours. We are variations. (That’s the PC way of putting it. Certifiably insane. Is another.)

So we do the irregular (note – this is me applying the terribly complex and incomprehensible concepts that I have learned. As my future patients, don’t you feel comforted that you are in such capable hands?) Such as decide, instead, to bake a cake.

And it was really a good thing I did. Because this cake was (a) the fluffiest cake I have ever made. And (b) one of the tastiest.

I also probably got way more out of it than I would have had I spent my time studying the difference between regular and irregular (or the anatomy of the heart, lungs, and mediastinum. There really is an upper limit to the amount of learning you can do in a given period of time. Study breaks. And naps. Are life-altering.)
As for the truths and untruths. From the last post.

In no particular order.

I have two siblings. A 20-year-old brother and a 13-year-old sister. My parents were busy from 87-89. Then took a nine year break. Which culminated in the accident of ’96.

I don’t have enough outlets for a nightlight. So thankfully I am not scared of the dark.

Being a New Yorker, I was pretty set on never driving. Until my parents convinced me to get my license after my first year of college. Although I do love it now.

I worked at Express after my senior year of high school. Worst experience ever.

My room is the opposite of sterile. In fact, it looks like a natural disaster at the moment. I blame it on anatomy lab. I can’t think about both cleaning and the innervation of the pericardium. Sorry.

I have had glasses since I was 9 and contact lenses since I was 10. 20/20 vision is but a distant and hazy memory.

Which leaves me with the fact that it is true. I have never broken a bone. Ever. My mom was seriously overprotective. She came close to locking us in our rooms. Many times. And probably would have if we didn’t have bunk beds. Which presented even more of a danger to a bored child than the living room couch.
Cinnamon-Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Cake
Serves 24-ish, adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 stick unsalted butter (4 ounces or 8 tablespoons) at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs, separated
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
16 ounces reduced fat sour cream (I only had 8 oz of sour cream, so I did half sour cream half strawberry yogurt)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

12 ounces chocolate chips
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350Β°F.

In a large bowl, cream butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar, then mix in the egg yolks and vanilla. Sift flour, baking soda and baking powder together into a separate bowl. Alternately add sour cream and then dry ingredients into butter mixture. Beat eggs whites until stiff, then fold into batter. Mix last 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon together in a separate, small dish.

In a greased 9?x13? pan, pour in half of the cake batter. Sprinkle the top with half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture and half of the chocolate chips. Pour remaining batter on top, sprinkling the top with the remaining cinnamon-sugar and chocolate chips.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.

You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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71 Responses to Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Cake

  1. Wow, great looking recipe. I think this was one of the more fun awards to play at. I also have never broken a bone… knock on wood

  2. Looks amazing,love the idea of adding sour cream to it..too good joanne

  3. Holy yummy!! The chocolate chips on top all melty made me hungry!!

  4. oh man. my room is such a mess too!

    hahha today i woke up later because i couldn’t sleep at night. apparently i have weird sleep schedules. sushi? =D
    MEXICAN FOOD all the way!

  5. SnoWhite says:

    that cake looks amazing.

    It’s certainly not a regular cake… more irregular if you ask me πŸ™‚

  6. Faith says:

    Lol, love that regular/irregular story! Your irregular (aka fantastic!) cake is someting I would love to get my hands on! The fluffiest cake you’ve ever made, you say? I’m definitely hooked! πŸ˜‰

  7. Erica says:

    I am drooling here :)those chocolate chips look delicious and the sour cream has make this cake very moist.

  8. The whole time I am reading you post, I am really paying attention to the pictures…you cruel woman!

    My godchild is a caridac-thorasic anesthesiologist at Emroy and has told me that the older guys were made to believe they were god-like. That dog doesn’t hunt anymore, but you have the satisfaction of knowing what a dumb-arse he really is.

  9. Irregular, eh? πŸ™‚ Such a fount of wisdom that fellow is. πŸ™‚ Choosing to cook instead of study was brilliant – and this looks AMAZING! πŸ™‚ Perhaps I’ll have to make it this Saturday as a splurge. πŸ™‚

  10. Paul Wynn says:

    cinnamon and sour? hmm interesting

  11. Bob says:

    Holy crap. I need that cake. Need it.

  12. You are always whipping up the best stuff in your kitchen.

    I can’t imagine learning to drive in the city. It was horrible enough just going through queens.

  13. Kris says:

    I love baking with sour cream and even yogurt! Love the tangy yet sweet taste!

  14. Mo Diva says:

    the suspense getting the recipes was nail biting!

    that cake looks sooooooo good…
    youre my hero for going to med school

  15. HEart irregularities and murmurs…or i love the hearty stories and facts ….but not the ones with heart murmurs n irregs n changes in the c.grams…..

    I love the heart changes and beats that beat faster and knees that go weak…u get that…:-)))

    And as much as that i love ur cinnamon choco chippys sour cream cake….

    Does u class group get a slice too,includin some body who get no attention forget the centre and takes refuge behind the compy screen….???

  16. AppleC says:

    Amazing! That would be a perfect brunch dish but you’d never get anyone to leave until it was gone!

  17. ruchikacooks says:

    Gorgeous choco chip cake J! I am sure after a class like that this cake is the best way to come back to self :). It looks super moist in this click. I read somewhere the docs study what is regular for 5 years and spend their rest of their lives trying to figure out what is irregular πŸ˜€

    I really thought your room would be so clean and didn’t consider that. I was half right then, whether 2 or 5, siblings are siblings and sometimes one lil sis can make you think like you have a 100 πŸ™‚

  18. Pam says:

    I think I’d like to make that cake a regular in my rotation.

  19. Megan says:

    Glad to see you took a break from your “regular” studying to make a delicious cake.

    Did you save a slice for me?

  20. doggybloggy says:

    these looks so great – nice break from the regular or was it ‘subregular’ or ‘superregular’ maybe ‘antiregular’ ‘unregular’ ‘deregular’ ‘proregular’ ok I can stop now!

  21. teresa says:

    i love that cinnamon chocolate combo, i don’t get it near enough! fantastic cake!

  22. Kim says:

    Sounds like your professor is a real piece of work. Maybe you are somewhat bored by him and already feel like you have a grasp on “regular” and “irregular”. I was so sure you used a nightlight, but I’m glad you’re not scared of the dark and I’m even more glad to hear that you’ve never broken any bones:D
    I love the way your cake looks. I don’t think I’ve ever had anything with the combo of chocolate and cinnamon, but I would sure love to.
    I got a really cool cookbook at the library called “feast from the mideast” for the regional recipes roundup. There are a ton of great sounding recipes in there. You would probably like it too if you had a chance to hunt it down. I’m planning on joining up with you.

  23. Debbi Smith says:

    I wonder how much he was paid for teaching you this profound bit of wisdom.

    The cake looks fantastic! I so want a bite. Or half of it.

  24. I fell off my horse and broke both my wrists. You didn’t miss anything so consider yourself lucky! That coffee cake is anything but irregular – it looks wonderful!

  25. Elra says:

    That is seriously fan fact about you Joanne. I think I am probably like your mom, the only different is that she did well, and I didn’t. My son had surgery on his knee doing kempo, fell down here and there from snowboarding, You see, maybe girls suppose to be easier to manage, boys are just wild, at least my boy. Anyway, this cake really cheer me up. Want to make it, but using quark instead of sour cream, sound good?

  26. Julie says:

    That looks like something I’d like to sink my teeth!

  27. Danielle says:

    Very enjoyable reading….and this cake looks like the answer to everything. My craving for something sweet and chocolately and I dunno what else…but I’m sure it’s the answer. Now I have to check the list of ingredients cuz I might have to stop at the store on my way home tonight.

  28. Baking delicious cakes is always an acceptable alternative to studying. Brilliant insight from yuor professor there. Sometimes doctors can be a bit cocky.

  29. Sippity Sup says:

    This is really wonderful. But I can see I nedd to go back and read the previous post too. GREG

  30. Baking cakes like this is a necessity – it’s good sustenance for studying! It really looks irresistible. I could never drive in the city – it just looks mad crazy! And so dangerous.

  31. Mireya says:

    Loved this story!

    This cake looks great! I especially love the cinnamon/chocolate combo.

  32. Julie says:

    our rooms are the same. maybe we should hang out clean our rooms & bake that luscious cake? because oh my god does it look good.

    ugh working in retail sucks major

  33. Cristie says:

    Well, I’m pretty irregular. Sorry you are paying a fortune to have to listen and then be tested on this stuff. Love your cake, I’m sure the sour cream made it moist and wonderfully delicious!

  34. katecooks says:

    omg please stop it girl. your desserts are getting better and better. i want a piece right now. seriously, i have half your posts starred to bake one night when i want to eat a pan of cake. because no way can i eat once piece.

    and i believe you that working at express was awful…i never had the pleasure, luckily πŸ™‚

  35. The cake sounds amazing with cinnamon and chocolate chips, must make this!

  36. PJ says:

    LOL! By the way, you are sure the doctor leading your group does not read your blog, right πŸ˜‰

    The cake is divine and almost to die for!

  37. chrystad72 says:

    omg girl. You did it again. You always make the most amazing food ever and take the most gorgeous pictures of it. Such a talent! I cant even imagine how awesome that made you whole place smell. Amazing Im sure.

    Interesting you worked at Express! Besides restaurants I worked at Victoria’s Secret during college. Oh the crazy stories from that place! So I totally understand..Ha! Anyways sweetie I hope you have one fabulous night.

  38. That cake was exactly what you needed to feed those blown neurons. Good call, doc.
    I wonder what words of wisdom he will have today?

  39. imac says:

    What a brill and interesting post Joanne.
    My DW is into Art and Mixed Media and I’m into Photography (both hobbies) so you can guess where we fit in with your

    The cake sounds most enjoyable and tasty.

    Thanks for visiting my blog and your most kind comments and pleased you enjoyed the theme.Look in next week as its Circles from Martha.

  40. SE says:

    hey nice recipe…I’ve got some sour cream…will give this a try today ! good to know the true facts about you !!!

  41. Joanne,
    Reading this post hit close to home and made me laugh as always; one of my brothers is an interventional cardiologist so I am very familiar with the “doctor know-it-all” syndrome. He married a nurse (real cute too) who will never ever contradict him. (sigh). You should have blurted out to your professor ” Sir, you have such an amazing grasp for the obvious!”
    P.S The cake looks and tastes great (with that sour cream, sure thing!)
    I am gonna look for your event, I AM interested!

  42. Jen says:

    scrumptious! ;P never broke a bone? I am the biggest klutz, broke my arm playing kick ball, go figure!

  43. Amy says:

    For some reason, this story reminded me of the whole Clinton “depends on what you think the meaning of ‘is’ is” debacle.

    Maybe next semester you’ll study the difference between equilibrium and dis-equilibrium. Haley (turning 4 next week) is backwards.

    And I got the question wrong, dammit! I’ve never broken a bone, either. Knock on wood.

    Anyway, this cake? YES, PLEASE.

  44. comfycook says:

    How could you make this delicious looking cake when I am thinking of baking, baking a nice plain cake. No, you have to cause dissension in the house. Hubby does not like chocolate and I love it and I would love this cake but I am in control…..I am. Off to make that plain cake.

    All that chocolate is great. Has to be good.

  45. Mari says:

    OMG I loved this post…and I love the fact that you are irregular =) regular is boring in my book….

  46. Barbara says:

    That is a KILLER cake!

    What a supreme disappointment that your doctor/teacher still probably thinks he imparted important information to his class. (there is no epiphany with people like that.)

    I have broken 5 bones. I am NOT bragging.

    I have a heart murmur. Does that make me irregular enough?

  47. wow sour cream! adds a nice flavour and I bet it’s super moist!

  48. Pam says:

    You are a great writer.

    The cake looks amazing – I love all the chocolate chips on top.

    I’ve only broken my wrist…I hope it stays that way.

  49. Gulmohar says:

    That looks divine..wish I could grab a piece πŸ™‚

  50. redkathy says:

    Great doc story! I met many who treat their patients that way. I can fully understand your frustration, my son went through the same. Difference is he’s not so tolerant, so controlled. Called me ranting and raving, of course that was after he walked out on the guy! Your cake looks absolutely wonderful. I’d eat a piece right now if I could! BTW – Thanks for the visit today.

  51. theUngourmet says:

    I have never broken a bone but I have torn all of the ligaments in my foot. I stepped on my son’s toy on the stairs and it was all over! Boy, did that hurt!

    I love reading your fun stories and your cake looks amazing! I love sour cream in cakes! Yum!

  52. Profound – this recipe is profound and so are you! Me? I’m irregular – and I’m just talking in general. I like it that way πŸ˜‰

  53. Michelle says:

    I love the tangy flavor sour cream adds to baking, and I love chocolate! Can’t wait to try this!

  54. gaga says:

    Yum, that looks amazing! I’m sure I would love this.

  55. Danielle says:

    I made this last night (just like I knew I “had” to) and brought them to work (so I wouldn’t eat them ALL!!!) and got nothing but raves! It tastes wonderful…nice and moist and everyone loved it!! just thought you’d like to know

  56. Debinhawaii says:

    I love your irregularity–OK, wait that didn’t come out right did it? LOL!

    The cake looks both decadent and yummy!

  57. Katy ~ says:

    LOL on the regular/irregular discussion. Your education dollars at work.

    But this cake…well, now that’s something worth talking about!

  58. Karine says:

    Cooking an baking are indeed always a great alternative to studying. And Professors that think they are so smart and possess all the knowledge of the world are very annoying.

    I think I have never tried the combo cinnamon-chocolate but is seems delicious!

    I broke a foot right before my 18th birthday (which in the province in Canada I used to live allows you to be able to go to bars).

  59. Just found your blog and I love it! That cake looks amazing. I’m close to NYC and want to move there after I graduate in May!

    Keep up the good work πŸ™‚

  60. Zoe says:

    OMg. I need this in my life.

  61. Mimi says:

    Damn! I got caught up in a lie!

    Damn!! That cake looks so good!

  62. Andreas says:

    I understand how you feel about that professor.
    Sometimes the Dilbert-esqueness of life gets creepy. πŸ˜‰
    But baking always helps.

  63. Kerstin says:

    Mmm, what a sinful coffee cake – I think sour cream should be a required coffee cake ingredient!

    I think the smartest people know what they don’t know and freely admit that. I would be annoyed with that professor too!

  64. Michelle says:


    Oh you bring back so many memories of when I was in school. OH yes the wonderful instructors, usually during labs, that would announce they’re going to check their mail and never return to class. Do you have any of those?

    Gorgeous cake!

  65. Graziana says:

    I never break a bone either, could you ask to your teacher if I am regular? : )
    Anyway, your cake looks like an incredible treat!

  66. Natasha says:

    I don’t know how I missed this on Smitten Kitchen. It’s so very similar to the University of British Columbia’s Ponderosa cake, which is timely, actually, given that the Winter Olympics have just started. UBC, Vancouver…get it? I’m craving it now – too bad it’s 7:30pm and I don’t have any bananas or sour cream!

    Fantastic blog, by the way, and your story (losing 50lbs, keeping it off, running a half marathon, grad school etc.) is SO inspirational. Where do you even find the time to cook?!

  67. Kevin says:

    This cake looks and sounds so good!

  68. Judy says:

    Oh, yes, my kind of cake. Sour cream and yogurt go well together in a cake.

  69. Sweet Side says:

    Oh My Goodness! I need to make this cake … I need a reason other than it looks and sounds freaking amazing!!!

  70. Sweet Side says:

    Oh My Goodness! I need to make this cake … I need a reason other than it looks and sounds freaking amazing!!!

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