Cinnamon Swirl Cupcakes…

I have a mild obsession with cupcakes…I love to bake them and I am always searching for new flavor combinations to experiment with. I had Monday off of work so I went into my kitchen and tried my hand at creating a cinnamon swirl cupcake. Originally I was going to use Dorie Greenspan’s recipe for the Perfect Party Cake, but I was feeling a little daring, so I decided to step outside my culinary comfort zone and try a new recipe for the first time. I opted for a yellow cake recipe from the Culinary Institute of America. This recipe is printed in the fantastic book, Baking at Home with the Culinary Institute of America. Although I have had this book in my possession for months, I have only cracked it open a handful of times. I love cookbooks, but I find myself inclined to turn to the web for recipes more than cookbooks. I think the main reason I browse the web for recipes is that I love to read reviews and sometimes find myself completely enamored with them. I am also a very visual person and like to see photos of recipes before I bake them. In my opinion, most cookbooks do not include enough photographs and that can often be the deal breaker when I am looking to make a purchase.
Okay enough of my cookbook ramblings and back to these Cinnamon Swirl Cupcakes. I am going to keep this simple…make these cupcakes…they are amazing!!!!!!!! Scroll all the way down for the cupcake method.

Yellow Butter Cake from Culinary Institute of America

3 ½ c cake flour
2 c sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 c (2 sticks) butter, unsalted, diced, at room temperature
1 c whole or low-fat milk (divided use)
4 large eggs
2 large egg whites
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350F. Coat two 8” cake pans lightly with cooking spray
Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and ½ cup of the milk. Mix on medium speed until smooth, about 4 minutes, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
In a separate bowl, blend the eggs, egg whites, the remaining ½ cup milk and the vanilla extract. Add to the batter in 3 additions, mixing for 2 minutes on medium speed after each addition. Scrape down the bowl between additions.
Divide the batter evenly between the two pans. Bake until the layers spring back when touched lightly in the center, 35-40 minutes.
Remove the layers from the oven and cool completely in their pans on wire racks. Release the sides and bottom of the layers from the pans with a narrow metal spatula or a table knife before unmolding and finishing with fillings and icings.

3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon cocoa powder

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

2 (8) ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
2 lbs. confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Using a mixer, blend all of the ingredients together until smooth and creamy. Spread cream between layers and on top of cake.

Cupcake Method
(Note-I am anal and these are exact measurements, I am sure winging the proportions will be just fine!)
1. Place muffin liners into a muffin tin. (I then spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray).
2. Place 1 ½ TBS of cake batter into the muffin liners.
3. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon of filling onto the cake batter that was placed in step 2.
4. Place 1 ½ TBS cake batter over the filling; smooth the surface with the back of a spoon.
5. Drag a toothpick through the filled muffin liners to distribute the cinnamon filling.
6. Bake at 350°F for 18-20.
7. Cool completely and pipe on icing.
8. Sprinkle the icing cupcakes with coarse sugar and cinnamon if desired.
Note- This recipe made 30 cupcakes; you may have filling left over so do not panic.

27 Responses to “Cinnamon Swirl Cupcakes…”

  1. M.J. — April 19, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    so pretty!!! they look great as always


  2. Danae — April 19, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    These look fantastic! I’ll have to try them out sometime.


  3. thereddeer — April 19, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    mmmm these look yummy and I bet that filling is a very pleasant surprise when eating on of these.

    I am going to bookmark this :)


  4. Elyse — April 19, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    Jamie, these cupcakes look divine! I love your cinnamon swirl addition. Totally perfect, and of course, the frosting looks awesome. I’ll start a petition for more photographs in baking books, if you like :)


  5. Pat — April 20, 2009 at 6:40 am

    Try using real Cinnamon in your recipe and reduce on the sugar.The Cinnamon sold in the US is actually Cassia.


  6. chocolatecup — April 20, 2009 at 8:20 am



  7. Cathy — April 20, 2009 at 10:26 am

    These look amazing! I have a mild obsession with baked cinnamon anything. I will be trying these!


  8. Debbie — April 20, 2009 at 10:54 am

    Beautiful picture. The cupcakes look wonderful!


  9. oneordinaryday — April 20, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Love that first photo. I’m bookmarking this to try soon. Thanks for a great recipe.


  10. Ingrid — April 20, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    MMMMmmm, those look good. Great job on the swirl. I find that cream cheese frosting can be difficult to pipe as it is often “soft”.


  11. Engineer Baker — April 20, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Wow, those look awesome. Just FYI, the picture on your header is being used here: I don’t know if there’s anything you can do about it now, but I figured you should know.


  12. Eliana — April 20, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    These look so yummy. Can’t wait to try because I have this book at home.


  13. Em — April 20, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    Awesome job! I’m glad you cracked open that CIA book – It’s one of my favorites!


  14. kitchenattempts — April 21, 2009 at 2:38 am

    I adore your blog! Your photos are great and your recipes look so delicious. I just started a blog recently and am inspired by yours. I also found it amusing that our profiles are very much alike :)

    Looking forward to more posts :)


  15. Sara — April 21, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    These look great. I love your blog…everything looks amazing. :)


  16. Pamela — April 22, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    Holy Cow!! They do look pretty darn tempting! Nice!


  17. Mermaid Sweets — April 26, 2009 at 11:40 am

    Wow, these really look great, kinda like a cinnabun cupcakes, sounds delish.


  18. Amanda — February 17, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Hello, I wanted to let you and others know that I gave this cake recipe a try and it was fantastic! I baked the cake in two 9×2 inch round pans and used your cinnamon sugar filling. The texture was so lovely and the cakes rose so high – nearly to the top of the pans. I would caution anyone against baking in 8in pans unless they are 8×3 inch. This is my new favorite yellow cake recipe!


  19. Lindsey — February 24, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Mmm I love cinnamon. Your swirls look perfect. Yum!


  20. These cupcakes were a HUGE HIT at the “Great American Bake Sale” we had at the office this week. Thank you thank you thank you.

    My batch made exactly 30 cupcakes as well. ;-)



  21. Kate — June 12, 2010 at 12:37 am

    OMG! These are delicious. I’ve made them 3 times in the last month and let’s say my kids don’t get their “fairshare”.


  22. Lauren — August 4, 2010 at 9:31 am

    I love this recipe! The cake is perfect! For the frosting, I wanted to change it up a bit to make it more like a Cinnabon flavor, so for 15 cupcakes, I combined 3 oz. of cream cheese, 1 1/2 cups of unsalted butter, 3 cups of confectioners sugar, 1 t. vanilla extract, and 1/4 t. cinnamon roll flavoring (LorAnn Oils). After combining, I transferred 1/4 of the frosting to a small bowl where I added 3 T. of cinnamon. I streaked my decorating bag with the cinnamon frosting, then added the remaining plain frosting. OMG. Please try it! It was wonderful!


  23. becky — September 13, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    You were right… these are amazing! i got rave reviews when i made them for my boyfriend’s birthday party.


  24. Avril — September 13, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Beautifully yummy cupcakes!!!!

    Do you have a special trick for frosting your cupcakes so nicely?


  25. Ruby — August 15, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Would it be ok if I made this in a bundt cake pan? Maybe thin out the frosting and make it a glaze?


  26. Laura — January 14, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    I just finished making these for a get together tomorrow. They are fantastic! Thanks for another yummy recipe Jamie!



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