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A Look Inside the Special Edition of Magnolia Journal

by Magnolia
Published on September 28, 2023

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As days grow shorter and cooler weather makes its debut, the hours we spend around a table tend to get longer. In honor of dimming daylight and a season made for gathering, we’re sharing two favored dessert recipes from our first-ever special edition of Magnolia Journal.

From the Thanksgiving table to Christmas morning, this special issue of Magnolia Journal features a compilation of over 70 of our favorite holiday recipes—plus tips to inspire hosting during the most wonderful time of the year. Get your copy here or on a newsstand near you.

For now, here’s a (sweet) peek into what you’ll find within its pages!


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Jo’s Cinnamon Squares

a breakfast treat where the preparation is (almost) as enjoyable as the end result

Freshly-baked cinnamon squares in a pan.
Cinnamon squared with an icing drizzle.


These cinnamon squares have been a holiday favorite of ours for years. When we make them at home, it’s typically all hands on deck because it’s really a labor of love—but I think we all agree that the bit of extra effort required for these cinnamon squares makes them all the more delicious. I think it probably helps that these squares are the best iteration of a cinnamon roll that any of us has ever tasted. It can be hard to get a good balance with cinnamon rolls—they either have too much bread or too much cinnamon. The way I make these, rolling and folding them repeatedly so that the filling is between several thin layers of dough, results in a square that has a perfect amount of both bread and cinnamon, so every bite is balanced.


Top it off with a Favorite Flavor

Three variations of icings in bowls.


After spreading the filling in, sprinkle 1/2 cup chopped dried tart cherries over half of the filling. Continue as directed. For icing, in a medium bowl whisk together 3 cups powdered sugar, 1 Tbsp. bourbon, 1 tsp. vanilla, and enough milk (3 to 5 Tbsp.) to make it easy to spread or drizzle. Drizzle over slightly cooled cinnamon squares.


Substitute walnuts for pecans in the filling. For topping, preheat oven to 350°F. Spread 1/3 cup chopped walnuts in a shallow pan. Coat with canola oil cooking spray. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake 5 to 10 minutes or until nuts are toasted, shaking pan once. For icing, in a medium bowl whisk together 3 cups powdered sugar, 1 to 2 tsp. lemon or orange zest, and enough lemon juice or orange juice (4 to 6 Tbsp.) to make it easy to spread or drizzle. Drizzle over slightly cooled cinnamon squares. Sprinkle with walnut topping.


Whisk together 1/4 cup melted butter, 1/4 cup heavy cream or milk, and 3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup in a medium bowl. Whisk in 2 to 3 cups powdered sugar to make it easy to spread or drizzle. Drizzle over slightly cooled cinnamon squares. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup finely chopped toasted pecans.

Chocolate Bundt Cake

a classic chocolate Bundt cake lightly dusted with powdered sugar

Chocolate bundt cake dusted with powdered sugar.

PREP: 30 minutes

BAKE: 55 minutes

COOL: 1 hour

MAKES: 12 servings

Unsweetened cocoa powder

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped (2/3 cup)

3/4 cup (11/2 sticks) salted butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

3 eggs, room temperature

11/2 tsp. vanilla

11/4 cups water

Powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Generously grease a 10-inch fluted tube pan. Add cocoa powder. Shake and tilt pan to generously coat bottom, sides, and tube; shake out any excess cocoa powder.

2. Stir together flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a small bowl microwave unsweetened chocolate in 30-second intervals 1 to 2 minutes or until melted, stirring until smooth. Cool slightly.

3. Place butter in a large bowl. Beat on medium to high 30 seconds. Add granulated and brown sugars. Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add melted chocolate and vanilla; beat until combined. Alternately add flour mixture and the water to chocolate mixture; beat on low after each addition just until combined. Pour into prepared pan, spreading evenly.

4. Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the cake’s center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes. Remove cake from pan; cool completely on wire rack. Sift powdered sugar over cooled cake. If desired, sift additional unsweetened cocoa powder over cake.

*Parts of these stories and recipes were adapted for clarity.

Here’s to hosting, we’ll see you in the kitchen!

Magnolia Journal Special Edition 2023.