This cinnamon roll cake may just be better than regular cinnamon rolls. It is perfectly sweet, full of warm cinnamon flavors and surprisingly easy to make.
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I have to admit that when I first thought about making a cinnamon roll cake, it sounded a little difficult. Making homemade cinnamon rolls is not an easy task. I am definitely one to just go buy a roll of refrigerated cinnamon rolls and call it a day. Those store-bought rolls are so good!
But I wanted to take the challenge and make a cinnamon roll cake from scratch and I was amazed to find how easy it was! Anyone can make this homemade cinnamon roll cake in just a matter of minutes and it may even be better than my Cinnamon Roll French Toast Casserole!
Cinnamon Roll Cake Recipe
My cinnamon roll cake recipe starts with a delicious brown sugar and sour cream cake batter. The smooth, thick batter is poured into a cake pan and then dotted with homemade cinnamon filling. The cinnamon filling is swirled into the cake batter and then baked. It really only takes about 15 minutes to get the cake into the oven. Then, all you need to do is whisk together a quick frosting, add it to the cake and you are done!
I know I make it sound easy but it honestly is. And the end results are amazing. This cinnamon cake is perfect for almost any occasion. I have even served it as a breakfast which my kids absolutely love. Hey, cinnamon rolls are a breakfast food, right? So a cinnamon roll cake is just a super fancy breakfast food! Give it a try, for breakfast or dessert, and I know you will love it.
If you like this recipe, try my Cinnamon Roll Pancakes, too!
Ingredients for Cinnamon Roll Cake
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Flour – I use all-purpose flour in both the cake portion of the recipe and in the cinnamon filling.
- Brown sugar – I like to use dark brown sugar since it has a stronger taste, but light brown sugar will work as well.
- Baking powder
- Vanilla extract
- Milk – Whole milk is best as it makes the cake nice and rich.
- Sour cream – Use full fat sour cream rather than the light version.
- Butter – This is one recipe where salted butter or unsalted butter will work. There is no added salt in this recipe so salted butter will be okay.
- Powdered sugar
Here are a few substitutions and variations you can try when making cinnamon roll cake.
- Use gluten free baking flour mix to make a gluten free cinnamon roll cake.
- Use almond extract in the cake to give the cinnamon roll cake a nutty taste.
- If you like crunch in your cinnamon rolls, try adding ½ cup chopped walnuts to the cinnamon filling.
How to Make Cinnamon Roll Cake
- Prep your equipment: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9×13 baking dish. Set the dish aside for now.
- Make the cake: Mix the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, eggs, vanilla, milk and sour cream together in a large bowl. Add the melted butter and stir well. Spread the cake batter evenly into the greased baking pan.
- Make the cinnamon filling: Blend all of the ingredients together in a large bowl until you have a thick, sugary mix.
- Add the filling to the cake: Drop spoonfuls of the cinnamon filling across the cake, spacing it evenly. Then, use a knife to gently swirl the cinnamon filling into the cake batter. Don’t mix too much! Just make nice swirls.
- Bake the cake: Bake the cake for about 40 minutes. The top will be golden brown and the cake will be pulling away from the edges. Let the cake cool in the pan.
- Make the glaze: Whisk the powdered sugar, milk, melted butter and vanilla together until thick and smooth. Spread the glaze over the top of the cake.
- Slice and serve: Slice and serve the cake right from the pan!
If you want a thicker frosting for the top of the cinnamon roll cake, add another cup or powdered sugar to the frosting recipe. this will make it super thick and sweet. On the other hand, you can add about 3 tablespoons of extra milk to make it a thinner glaze. Both frosting versions are delicious, it just depends how you like your cinnamon rolls!
How to Store Cinnamon Roll Cake
If you have extra cinnamon roll cake, you can wrap the pan tightly in plastic wrap and store it at room temperature for 2-3 days. You can also keep the cake in the fridge for up to a week. I like the texture of the room temperature cake but it is also surprisingly good when cold, right out of the fridge. You really can’t go wrong with this tasty cake!
No! My cinnamon roll cake will keep at room temperature for about 2 days. You can place it in the fridge to extend it’s shelf life up to about a week. However, the texture is actually best when kept at room temperature.
Yes! You could use a yellow cake mix for the cake portion of this recipe, then dot it with the homemade cinnamon roll filling. I recommend making the cake mix with sour cream which will give it a unique taste and help the cake taste homemade.
You can freeze this cake but I recommend skipping the frosting part. Bake the cake then let it cool completely. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and freeze the cake for up to three months. Thaw the cake at room temperature and, once thawed, then make and add the frosting. The cake will be as good as the day it was made!
Cinnamon Roll Cake
- Large mixing bowl
- Rubber spatula
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoon
- 9×13 cake pan
- Two medium mixing bowls
- Baking spray
- Butter knife
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup milk
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9×13 baking dish.
- Start by making the cake. Add the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, vanilla, eggs, milk, and sour cream into a large bowl. Stir everything together well to form a smooth batter.
- While stirring, slowly pour in the melted butter. Mixing the butter in a little bit at a time will help blend it well without causing the batter to separate.
- Pour the cake batter into your baking dish and spread it into an even layer in the pan.
- Next, make the cinnamon filling. Mix all of the ingredients for the cinnamon filling together in a medium-sized bowl. The mix will look thick and sugary.
- Scoop spoonfuls of the cinnamon filling and drop it onto the cake batter. Put dollops of the cinnamon filling evenly across the surface of the cake batter until you have used all of the cinnamon filling.
- Run a butter knife through the cinnamon filling and cake batter, swirling them together. Try to make a spiral or marble effect as you swirl the knife through the batter. You do not want to over-mix the cinnamon into the batter but keep the defined swirls.
- Bake the cinnamon roll cake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes. The top will be a light golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake will come out clean.
- Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes while you make the glaze.
- To make the cinnamon roll glaze, whisk the powdered sugar, milk, melted butter, and vanilla together in a medium-sized bowl. Pour the glaze over the cinnamon roll cake, spreading it across the entire top of the cake.
- Slice the cinnamon roll cake and enjoy while warm!
- Try making a honey glaze by replacing the melted butter with the same quantity of honey. This makes a delicious, rich cinnamon roll frosting.
- Use two 9×5 loaf pans to make two smaller, cinnamon cake loaves. They are great to slice and serve!