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Cinnamon Roll Cake

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A simple cake batter, cinnamon swirl, and cream cheese glaze come together in this delicious cinnamon roll cake. Get all of the flavors of the classic breakfast favorite in a fraction of the time!

Two plates, each holding slices of cinnamon roll cake. A glass of milk is visible in the background.

We are all finally back into our routine. My oldest is back to school, we’ve gotten through the holidays and winter break, and I can get back to work.

So obviously that means it’s time for cake! Cinnamon roll cake, to be exact.

Because I loooooove cinnamon rolls, but I don’t always love how much time they take. (Although I do love making cinnamon rolls with heavy cream as a shortcut!)

But this cake? It’s got all the amazing flavors of that famous breakfast pastry without any of the rising time.

Bake, glaze, and eat. It’s totally one of my new go-to recipes.

Slice of cinnamon roll cake stacked on top of other slices, all arranged on a wire rack.

WHAT IS CINNAMON ROLL CAKE?

Cinnamon roll cake is a moist, delicious coffee cake that packs in all of the flavors of classic cinnamon rolls.

The cake is made from a simple batter that contains brown butter and sour cream. It’s not super sweet, which balances perfectly with the cinnamon swirl that runs throughout the cake.

The entire thing gets finished off with a cream cheese glaze, just like your favorite cinnamon rolls. Except, unlike your favorite cinnamon rolls, you don’t have to spend any time letting this cake rise or make a mess shaping anything before it goes in the oven.

I guess what I’m saying is that this cake is everything you love about cinnamon rolls and none of the things you don’t. That’s a real win, right??

Fork about to take a bite from a slice of cinnamon roll cake.

HOW TO MAKE CINNAMON ROLL CAKE

Like so many of my coffee cake recipes – including pumpkin coffee cake and apple coffee cake – this recipe has a few different components but still comes together easily with very little effort.

Ingredients you’ll need

There are 3 parts to this recipe: the cake batter, the cinnamon swirl, and the cream cheese glaze. So the ingredients list on the recipe card looks long, but there are actually quite a few overlapping ingredients.

For all parts of this cinnamon roll cake, you will need:

  • 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cup salted butter, browned and cooled
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature (not browned)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup plus 2-3 tablespoons whole milk
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons) vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
Ingredients for cinnamon roll cake arranged on a beige countertop.

Just like with traditional cinnamon rolls, pretty much everything you need is a pantry or fridge staple, so odds are good that you already have most of what you need!

Helpful resources

  • Before getting started, make sure you know the basics of measuring flour correctly. This will start you off on the right track toward a perfect cinnamon roll cake! 
  • Most of the butter in this cake is browned before using it. I have a whole post dedicated to teaching you how to brown butter – it’s a simple trick you’ll love using again and again.
  • If you ran out of brown sugar, don’t panic. You can make a simple brown sugar substitute to use instead. 
  • If your brown sugar hardened in the pantry, learn some tricks for softening brown sugar and save yourself a trip to the store.
  • I never remember to buy powdered sugar and always run out! Luckily, it’s easy to make a powdered sugar substitute that we can use insead.

Making this cake

Start by making the cake batter. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Set this aside.

In another bowl, whisk together the browned butter and the granulated sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, then add the milk, sour cream, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth.

Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients until no clumps remain, then pour the batter into a greased 13×9-inch pan. Set the pan aside while you make the cinnamon swirl.

In a bowl, whisk together the browned butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour. Add spoonfuls of this mixture all over the top of the cake batter, then use a butter knife or chopstick to swirl it in.

This is a really fun step that my kids love helping with!

Now bake the cake for about 40 minutes. Once baked, let it cool for 5-10 minutes while you make the glaze.

For the glaze, beat the butter and cream cheese together with a mixer until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla and beat for about 3 minutes. Spread the glaze over the warm cake and enjoy.

STORAGE TIPS

If using the cream cheese glaze, store the cake in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 4 days. Let come to room temperature before serving or warm slices for about 30 seconds in the microwave.

If you are using a regular powdered-sugar glaze, you can store the cake at room temperature for up to 3 days.

To freeze slices of the cinnamon roll cake, follow my instructions for how to freeze cake: wrap the slices in plastic wrap and place them in a zip-top bag. To enjoy, unwrap and microwave for 30-60 seconds to thaw and warm through.

Overhead view of slices of cinnamon roll cake on a wire rack.

FAQS

I don’t like cream cheese. Is there another glaze I can use?

Absolutely! If cream cheese glaze isn’t your preferred cinnamon roll icing, I’ve got you covered. Use the glaze from my overnight cinnamon rolls instead! 

I don’t have salted butter. Can I use unsalted butter instead?

This cake can be pretty sweet, so I like using salted butter to help balance the flavors. If you only have unsalted butter on hand, add about ¼ teaspoon salt to both the cake batter and the cinnamon swirl. 

Can I use yogurt instead of sour cream in the cinnamon roll cake batter?

Yes! I prefer to use plain greek yogurt when baking, but regular plain yogurt will work great in this cinnamon roll cake, too.

Two slices of glazed cinnamon roll cake stacked on a white plate.
Two slices of cinnamon roll cake stacked on a plate.

Cinnamon Roll Cake

A simple cake batter, cinnamon swirl, and cream cheese glaze come together in this delicious cinnamon roll cake. Get all of the flavors of the classic breakfast favorite in a fraction of the time!
4.70 from 43 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Cooling Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 16

Ingredients 

For the batter:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup salted butter browned and cooled
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

For the cinnamon swirl:

  • ¾ cup salted butter browned and cooled
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

For the glaze:

  • 2 tablespoons salted butter room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 2-3 tablespoons whole milk

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.

For the batter

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda and set aside. In another large bowl, whisk together the butter and sugar. Add in the eggs one at a time and whisk until fully incorporated. Add in the milk, sour cream, and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Gradually stir in the flour until the mixture is smooth and no clumps remain. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

For the cinnamon swirl

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and flour. Add dollops of the mixture all over the top of the cake batter and use a knife or chopstick to swirl it into the batter.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes. Allow the cake to cool on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes before you prepare the glaze.

For the glaze

  • In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth, add powdered sugar, vanilla and milk and beat for about 3 minutes. If the mixture is too thick, gradually add a bit more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency. Spread glaze over the warm cake.

Notes

Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Let come to room temperature before serving.
You can substitute the cream cheese glaze for the powdered sugar glaze used on my overnight cinnamon rolls.
Helpful resources:
  • Before getting started, make sure you know the basics of measuring flour correctly. This will start you off on the right track toward a perfect cinnamon roll cake! 
  • Most of the butter in this cake is browned before using it. I have a whole post dedicated to teaching you how to brown butter – it’s a simple trick you’ll love using again and again.
  • If you ran out of brown sugar, don’t panic. You can make a simple brown sugar substitute to use instead. 
  • If your brown sugar hardened in the pantry, learn some tricks for softening brown sugar and save yourself a trip to the store.
  • I never remember to buy powdered sugar and always run out! Luckily, it’s easy to make a powdered sugar substitute that we can use insead.
Adapted from msemilyrose11 on TikTok

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 448kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 317mg | Potassium: 105mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 686IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 107mg | Iron: 1mg
The default measuring system on My Baking Addiction is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided as a courtesy; please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.
Card may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Recipe Rating




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Courtney king

Thursday 25th of January 2024

Question i dont have sour cream or yogurt could i just use milk instead

Jamie

Thursday 8th of February 2024

Hi Courtney – Milk won't have the same consistency, so you do need sour cream or yogurt for the batter to turn out the same. Happy baking! Jamie

Teresa

Tuesday 9th of January 2024

Sounds very yummy and before I make it, I need to know if I can sub gluten free flour(Cup for Cup) for the regular flour. Thanks and looking forward to making this asap!

Jamie

Wednesday 10th of January 2024

I haven't tried the cup for cup substitution, but please let me know if you do. -Jamie

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