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Brown Sugar Cinnamon Popovers


Oh, popovers.  How we do love them.  They’re ever so scrumptious with their custardy center and crispy exterior, and they look so cute when you open the oven door to see them all puffed up and pretty.  If only you never had to take them out of the oven. 

Before I get to that, though, I must tell you that these are some of the best-tasting popovers you will ever have the pleasure of meeting.  Just a hint of brown sugar and vanilla and scented with cinnamon and quite honestly, I could eat several at one sitting.  The recipe says to sprinkle them with a little powdered sugar when they come out of the oven, which is a bit like gilding the lily, and perhaps more appropriate as a dessert popover than breakfast, but that’s just me.   I felt they needed no embellishment, but the powdered sugar looked sort of pretty.  They really are very special and you will want to make these for yourself to see just how special they really are.

…But.   Yes, we have to start this paragraph with “But”.  But… they are not beautiful.  I’ve made these three times now, and the first time I made them exactly as stated in the recipe.  The second time I made a couple of modifications.  The third time I tried using little ramekins instead of my popover pan.  But none of my sweet little popovers turned out like the photo on the Relish website.  I think they cheated and inserted some other popover photo because these popovers are not pale and delicate as shown in the photo.  No sir, these are brown sugar cinnamon popovers and they are ruddy- complected and rather earthy-looking and I just thought I should warn you. 

And then at the end of the recipe, it says to “serve immediately before they deflate.”  That is hilarious!  I mean they start deflating the moment you open the oven door, continue to deflate as you remove them from the oven, deflate further when you remove them from the pan and deflation intensifies as they cool.  You get the picture…  deflated, shriveled popovers.  Oh, but they’re so good.  I described these to my Cousin Katie the other day as soothing.  Simple, warm, soothing and oh so good.  And did I mention easy to make?  Two bowls and just a couple minutes of mixing and they're in the oven, so these definitely qualify as breakfast food.

After doing a little research, I’ve learned that perhaps using whole milk will prevent shriveling (I used 2%), and/or extending the baking time to 40 or 45 minutes will set the popover so it doesn’t shrivel or deflate quite as much, but that would also set the interior and we might lose our squishy center.  I'm pretty sure that the addition of brown sugar adds something to the mix that keeps them from holding their shape as they cool.  The addition of a little more flour might provide a bit more structure.  I may work on this some more, but to be honest, I’m afraid to mess with the recipe much more for fear of losing its textural personality which we so dearly love.  So I’ll leave it to you to decide.  If you like your popovers slightly sweet, crisp and custardy, and don’t find the site of a shriveled popover bottom abhorrent, these may just be the popovers for you.  Here’s the recipe…

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Popovers

Click here for a printable recipe

These really are amazingly good and just right for breakfast or a mid-day snack.  But as I mentioned in the blog post, they aren't beautiful.  If you can get past their appearance (serving them in little ramekins helps), you're in for a very tasty treat.  Also, I've made these in popover pans and in ceramic ramekins. They didn't rise as well in the ramekins, so I would stick with the popover pan or muffin tin.  If cooking them in a muffin tin, I would reduce the cooking time to about 10 minutes (after you turn it down to 350). Depending on how hot your oven runs, just watch them so they don't get too dark.

Recipe adapted from Relish.com 

1 cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons powdered sugar 


Preheat oven to 450 F.

In a bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, brown sugar and salt. In a large glass liquid measuring cup or bowl, heat milk until just lukewarm, about 30 second in the microwave. Whisk in butter, then vanilla and eggs. Gradually whisk in the flour mixture.

Place popover pans or muffin tins in preheated oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and spray liberally with cooking spray. Divide batter among cups, filling until half full. Bake 10 minutes; reduce heat to 350 and bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden. Remove from pans and sprinkle with powdered sugar, if using. Serve immediately before the popovers deflate.  :)

Makes 6 full-size popovers or 12 muffin-size popovers.

Click here to ask a question or leave a comment

Reader Comments (16)

I love popovers! Can't wait to try these, they sound so great!

January 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

Super awesome sounding popovers, girl! Might just have to give these a try. I've only had traditional popovers, so this would be fun!

January 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDarla's Eats

I'll try any kind of popover you throw at me. We are a popover-loving household here and these are definitely going on the list. They sound de-lish!

January 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDiana

I've had this same issue with popovers and I do think that adding a little more flour to your batter will them hold their shape when you take them out of the oven. I'm going to give that a try. I'd love to taste these.

January 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKerrie Jorgensen

I'm thinking you're probably right, Kerrie and I'll be trying that too. Let me know how yours turn out. Nice to hear from you!

January 28, 2014 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

I think your popovers are very cute! And I'm sure they taste wonderful. I just love that photo at the top. Can't wait to give these a try, I think my kids will love them.

January 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSammie

My husband loves popovers and I make them all the time without any shriveling. I think your additions are causing the problem, but I'm going to make these this week and see how they turn out. I just love the sound of them!

January 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVanessa Webber

Look and sound great!

January 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHank

From Alton Brown, I learned it's best have all ingredients at room temp for popovers. I also use a very sharp knife and put a slit in the tops AS I take them out of the oven. So far it's working on all my other recipes. Hope it helps with this one too.

January 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNana

Yummm! I hadn't experienced popovers until Tom introduced me to the Dutch Baby (which I consider the ultimate, giant, popover). I am so going to try these this weekend with some fried chicken eggs! Emmett will love anything cinnamon-sugar.

January 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSophia

Thanks for that tip, Nana. I'll give it a try. I'm sure Alton knows his way around a popover!

January 29, 2014 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

Let me know what you think, Sophia. We love them! And they really are very much like the Dutch baby, which we also love and make regularly.

January 29, 2014 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

I tried your popover recipe today and mine shriveled up too. I cooked them in my muffin tin and they looked really nice, but when they started to cool they really sank in. But I have to tell you that they tasted amazing. We just loved them. I sprinkled powdered sugar on them for the kids and they each ate 2. I guess I'm not really bothered by how they ended up looking. I'll definitely be making them again.

January 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay P.

I'm so glad you liked them, Lindsay. I'm still working on the recipe to see if I can find a way to reduce shrinkage. In the meantime, like you, we're just enjoying how good they taste. Nice to hear from you.

January 31, 2014 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

Just pulled a batch of these popovers out of the oven. I think they're kinda cute all shriveled up. It adds a lot of character to this delicious little popover. Definitely making these again and again.

February 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCousin Katie

So glad you were able to see past the possibly homely appearance of these little popovers, Katie. I guess they are sort of cute. In their own special way. :) Thanks for checking in!! You're the best!

February 1, 2014 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

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