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Homemade Cinnamon Roll Cake (+Video)

This Homemade Cinnamon Roll Cake dessert has all the flavor of a cinnamon roll but in an easy cake with a vanilla icing drizzled on top!

A CINNAMON ROLL IN CAKE FORM

Are you one of those folks whose eyes glaze over when you see a recipe that has more than 5 ingredients? You completely lose interest and skip on to the next one. I know the feeling! It’s kinda how I felt about this one when I first saw this recipe for Cinnamon Roll Cake. But then I heard all the great reviews everyone was giving it and I knew I had to make it! This cake is really so warm and comforting and is easier to make than you might think!

a slice of cinnamon roll cake on a small round white plate.

CAN I SUBSTITUTE WITH A BOXED CAKE MIX?

Yes technically you could but this recipe was not designed for a boxed cake mix. Boxed cake mixes tend to be a little too soft so they have a hard time holding up to a heavier filling like the one below. So please keep in mind your filling may fall straight to the bottom. If you insist on using a boxed cake mix, you could use a vanilla cake mix and then just make the cinnamon roll filling and swirl it around. Then continue with the rest of the baking instructions. I think a butter pecan, white and yellow boxed cake mixes would all work as well.

a slice of cinnamon roll cake on a white plate with a small bottle of milk in the background.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR THE FULL RECIPE)

  • all-purpose flour – I don’t usually sift flour with baked goods but some folks swear by it and think it produces a fluffier cake, so if you have time, then you can certainly sift it. I usually just take a fork and stir the flour a bit in the bowl. Also, do not pack your measuring cup with flour. Use a spoon to full up the measuring cup with flour and shake as you go to level it off. If you pack the measuring cup, you’ll end up with too much flour and your cake will t taste dry and be very dense.
  • granulated sugar – I have not tried this with any sort of sugar substitute so can’t say for sure how that would work.
  • baking powder – it is very important you make sure your baking powder is fresh. Most baked goods do not turn out properly because the baking powder was not fresh or expired.
  • eggs – when making baked goods, it helps to have your eggs at room temperature. It just helps them to mix in better with the better and there is a whole bunch of science on how it helps the cake to rise.
  • milk – if possible, the milk should be at room temperature as well.
  • salted butter – we are not adding additional salt to the cake batter which is usually what you do for cakes so instead, we’re just going to use salted butter. See my post on How to Soften Butter Quickly.
  • light brown sugar – when measuring brown sugar, unlike measuring flour, make sure you pack it into the measuring cup.
app purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, eggs, vanilla extract, milk, salted butter, light brown sugar, cinnamon and powdered sugar.

HOW TO MAKE CINNAMON ROLL CAKE:

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray (I like the kind that has flour in it.) In a large bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer), combine ingredients for cake (except melted butter.)

cake ingredients shown in a stand mixer bowl.

While your mixer is running, slowly add the 1/2 cup melted butter. Mix just until combined – overmixing flour in baked goods can make it tough and rubbery.

slowly adding melted butter to cake batter in a bowl.

Spread this batter evenly into your baking dish.

cake batter shown in a Pyrex baking dish.

Now to make the filling. In a small bowl, combine all your filling ingredients: softened butter, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Stir until combined well.

cinnamon filling shown in a glass bowl being mixed with a silver spoon.

Drop the cinnamon filling by spoonfuls onto the cake batter.

cinnamon batter filling shown dropped by the spoonful evenly over the bake batter.

Now the artistic part. Take a butter knife and make swirly, marble-effect patterns all around the cake. Drag the knife through both the cinnamon and cake batter.

swirled cinnamon filling within cake batter in baking dish.

Bake the cake for about 35-40 minutes (it took about 40 minutes in my oven), until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

fully baked cinnamon roll cake cooling in the baking dish.

While the cake is baking, make the glaze. Whisk together powdered sugar, milk and vanilla extract in small bowl.

making a powdered sugar glaze in a measuring cup.

Pour the glaze over the warm cake.

pouring glaze over baked cake.

The glaze is gonna settle into all those nooks and crannies.

a spatula holding up a slice of cinnamon roll cake over the baked cake in a baking dish.

Serve warm or at room temperature. I think the cake slices up better once it’s cooled down.

a fork being inserted into a slice of cinnamon rolls cake on a white plate.

CRAVING MORE RECIPES?

Originally published: March 2012
Updated photos (not the recipe): June 2023

Cinnamon Roll Cake recipe from The Country Cook.

Homemade Cinnamon Roll Cake (+Video)

This Homemade Cinnamon Roll Cake dessert has all the flavor of a cinnamon roll but in an easy cake with a vanilla icing drizzled on top!
5 from 413 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • ½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, melted (slightly cooled)

For the cinnamon filling:

For the glaze

Instructions

For the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray (I like the kind that has flour in it.) In a large bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer), combine 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup white granulated sugar, 4 teaspoons baking powder, 2 large eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and 1 1/2 cups milk.
  • While your mixer is running, slowly add 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, melted. Mix just until combined (overmixing flour in baked goods can make it tough and rubbery.)
  • Spread this batter evenly into your prepared baking dish.

For the filling:

  • In a small bowl, combine 3/4 cup salted butter, softened to room temperature, 1 cup packed light brown sugar, 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour and 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon. Stir until combined well.
  • Drop the cinnamon filling by spoonfuls onto the cake batter.
  • Take a butter knife and make swirly, marble-effect patterns all around the cake. Drag the knife through both the cinnamon and cake batter.
  • Bake the cake for about 35-40 minutes (it took about 40 minutes in my oven), until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

For the glaze:

  • Whisk together 2 cups powdered sugar, 5 Tablespoons milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a bowl. If you want it thicker, add more powdered sugar and if you want it thinner, add more milk.
  • Pour the glaze over the warm cake. This cake can be served warm or at room temperature but I think it's easier to slice if you allow it to cool first.

Video

Notes

  • I think you could get away with only using one stick of butter in the cinnamon/sugar filling mixture.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 538kcal | Carbohydrates: 82g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 21g | Sodium: 203mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 56g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating




186 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this today and it is awesome!’ I’m going to make it for my ladies breakfast at church on Monday !!

    1. I’m not familiar with dairy free baking or cooking. You would also have to figure out a substitute for the butter as well since that is a dairy product. I’m sure there are dairy free options out there, I’m just not familiar with them – sorry!

    2. I am lactose intolerant so I use Lactaid milk or almond milk in all my cooking and baking since I cannot use anything like milk. I also use the lactaid cottage cheesem, and sour cream with great results in other recipes.

  2. 5 stars
    Absolutely loved this recipe, I made it into muffins it turned out fabbb
    Notes for those that plan on doing the same: fill the cupcake paper thingys most of the way up, I’d say about 3/4, try layering or sort of sandwiching the cinnamon mixture in between for a more structured finish otherwise it will boil over and make the tops not so pretty, cook time at 350 deg. Is only about 20-25 min depending on your oven of course

  3. 5 stars
    Delicious!!! I wanted to bake this in an 8in round pan so I just halved the recipe and baked for 25-30 minutes. Came out so moist and fluffy, lots of cinnamon flavor! Super easy to throw together and quite forgiving (I eyeballed most measurements). I’ve already made it twice!

  4. 5 stars
    Delicious!! As a non-baker its level of difficulty is a 3/5 since I’m not the best at measurements, and anything baking related lol. FYI the cakes texture is spongy almost like a tres leche consistency, but the flavors sooo good! Overall 8.5/10!

  5. 5 stars
    Hands down the best homemade cake I have ever made or eaten in my life. Took it to a church potluck and I had to hand out your recipe to no less than 20 people! So good – thank you so much!

  6. 5 stars
    Love this cake recipe! Quick and easy with ingredients I always have on hand. First time making last week I used almond milk and Country Crock subbing the butter since I’m in a low saturated fat diet per my cardiologist. This cake was so moist and full of that wonderful cinnamon flavor. I’m in the process right now of making this cake again since I didn’t bring the eggs and milk to room temperature first time around. I’m also experimenting by adding ground walnuts to the top swirl? Oh!! It’s going be delicious!!

  7. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! I think this is the first cake I made from scratch that wasn’t as dry as the dessert. LOL – so good and a huge hit!

  8. 5 stars
    My husband loves when I make this cake! Great recipe that stays moist for days! It actually tastes better the longer you let it sit in my opinion.

    1. Hi Sherry – thanks so much! Unfortunately no you couldn’t. Once you’ve mixed the baking powder in, it becomes activated and it can’t just sit in the fridge overnight or the cake won’t rise properly when you go to bake it.

      1. Hi,
        I’m excited to try this recipe! Do you know how long it stays fresh at room temperature?

        Thanks!
        Jennifer

      2. Hi Jennifer, as long as you have it properly covered, it can stay good for about 3 days. Just don’t pop it in the fridge or it will dry out lie most homemade cakes 🙂

  9. 5 stars
    I made this in a half batch today. It is very good and about the perfect size for just me and my husband to have for the rest of the week!

  10. 5 stars
    I made this cake tonight for the first time and my son and I loved it. He’s already talking about having it again sometime soon.

  11. 5 stars
    I’ve made this cake about five times, each for a friend’s birthday and it’s always so well received. Amazing recipe, for this next one (that’s in the oven right now) I added a dash of ground cloves, nutmeg, and extra cinnamon for a friend who dearly loves fall…and so far from what I’ve tasted it adds more warmth to it! Super excited. Will experiment with a cream cheese frosting for the next one. Happy baking and thanks for such a lovely and universal recipe!