Cinnamon Roll Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

If you love the sweet aroma of cinnamon spice spreading through your kitchen, then you’ll love baking this homemade Cinnamon Roll Cake recipe. A cinnamon roll (also known as cinnamon bun, cinnamon swirl, cinnamon Danish and cinnamon snail) is a sweet roll commonly served in many parts of the world.

But this delightful dessert takes all the beloved flavors of a classic cinnamon roll and transforms them into easy to share cake form. Additionally, you get to top it off with a creamy cream cheese frosting.

There’s something truly special about pulling this treat out of the oven, with its warm and inviting scent adding a homely feel to any gathering. And this cake is really so warm and comforting and is easier to make than you might think! So, tie on your apron and get ready to indulge in a comfy, cozy, aromatic baking adventure! It’s sure to create smiles and bring everyone to the table for a slice of home-baked goodness.

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:

  • 1 ½ sticks softened butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces cream cheese

Note: For the frosting, we share two options. First, keep it simple with a delectable glaze that perfectly complements the cake. However, when your sweet tooth calls for a creamier texture, feel free to incorporate cream cheese into the glaze recipe to create our classic Cinnamon Roll Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Equipment Needed

Before you dive into the creation of this scrumptious Cinnamon Roll Cake, let’s make sure your kitchen is equipped! You’ll need a few basic tools that are probably already at your fingertips. Check off these items:

  • A 9×13-inch baking pan means plenty of cake to go around.
  • Large mixing bowls for combining those cake ingredients and whipping up the glaze.
  • An electric mixer helps to cream that cinnamon filling to perfection.
  • Measuring cups and spoons because of precision = delicious accuracy.
  • Wooden spoon or silicone spatula for mixing. So that you get every last bit of batter!
  • A knife to swirl and create those gorgeous cinnamon marble patterns. Art in the baking form!
  • Wire rack for cooling. Patience is key; it pays off!
  • A whisk or spoon for that oh-so-smooth glaze drizzle—cue the drools.

Got everything? Great! Now let’s bake some joy into that cake!

Step-by-Step Instructions for Cinnamon Roll Cake

Cooking up this Cinnamon Roll Cake is a piece of cake! Follow these steps, and you’re on your way to delighting in its sweet, cinnamon goodness.

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C)—the sweet spot for baking this beauty. While it heats, generously grease your 9×13-inch baking pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients: flour, white sugar, and baking powder. This ensures an even rise for a fluffy cake.
  3. Crack those eggs into the bowl, pour in the milk, and add those 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract for a sumptuous flavor. Blend until the world looks a bit sweeter (aka well-combined).
  4. Take your slightly cooled, melted butter and fold it into the mix. This is your moisture magic touch—it gives the cake that tender crumb.
  5. When your cake mix looks like the promise of a good day, pour it into your prepped pan. Smooth it out like you’re spreading joy!

For the Ribbon of Cinnamon Roll Cake Delight

  1. Beat together the softened butter, packed light brown sugar, flour, and ground cinnamon until smooth.
  2. Spoon dollops of this cinnamon mixture over your cake batter. No need to be shy—every spoonful is a future bite of happiness.
  3. Grab a knife and give it a twirl through the batter, creating lovely swirls of cinnamon. This is the art session of baking—have fun with it!
  4. Pop the pan in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when a toothpick comes out clean.

While the cake cools, let’s talk frosting, shall we?

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

For those who crave that extra oomph of creaminess:

  1. If opting to include cream cheese, take about 4 ounces of it, ensuring it’s softened to room temperature for optimum smoothness.
  2. Whisk the cream cheese until it’s as smooth as silk, then gradually add in powdered sugar and milk. Remember, patience is your ally here—a gradual blend avoids lumps.
  3. Drop in that splash of vanilla extract—because it’s the little things that matter.
  4. Continue to whisk until this frosting is dreamily smooth and ready to hug our cake in a sweet embrace.

Now, for the grand finale: Once the cinnamon roll cake is slightly warm, spread or drizzle that frosting over the cake. It’s like the crowning of a queen, with creamy frosting cascading down her spongy court.

Variations and Substitutions

Whether accommodating dietary restrictions or adding a personal twist to this Cinnamon Roll Cake, some numerous variations and substitutions can cater to everyone’s taste and needs:

  • Gluten-Free: Use a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend in place of the regular all-purpose flour for a gluten-free treat.
  • Vegan/Dairy-Free: Substitute the milk with almond, soy, or oat milk, and use a dairy-free butter alternative for both the cake and the filling.
  • For the Egg-Free: Applesauce or mashed bananas can be used as an egg alternative, with a general rule of 1/4 cup per egg.
  • Sugar Substitutes: For a lower sugar option, try using a sugar substitute like Stevia or Erythritol in the cake, and a sugar-free alternative for the icing.
  • Add-ins: Give the cake an extra flair by stirring in nuts like chopped pecans or walnuts into the cinnamon filling, or sprinkle them on top of the frosting.
  • Cream Cheese Frosting Alternative: If you’re looking for that cream cheese tang without the dairy, look for vegan cream cheese alternatives available in many health food stores.

These suggestions allow you to adapt the recipe to suit a variety of dietary needs or add a special twist that could become your new favorite way to enjoy this classic dessert.

Baking Tips and Tricks

three slices of cinnamon roll cake on counter top

Achieving the perfect cake texture and flavor is an art that requires patience and precision. Here are some essential tips and common pitfalls to keep in mind to ensure your Cinnamon Roll Cake, or any cake for that matter, turns out divine:

  • Room Temperature Ingredients: Make sure items like butter, eggs, and cream cheese are at room temperature before mixing. Cold ingredients can lead to a dense cake as they don’t emulsify as well.
  • Do Not Overmix: After you add the flour, mix just until the ingredients are combined. Overmixing can develop the gluten in the flour, resulting in a tough cake.
  • Accurate Measuring: Baking is a science, so it’s crucial to measure your ingredients precisely. Use kitchen scales for the most accurate results.
  • Oven Thermometer: Ovens can often run hot or cold. An oven thermometer can help ensure your baking temperature is accurate, which is vital for avoiding undercooked or overdone cakes.
  • Proper Pan Preparation: Grease your pan well and consider lining it with parchment paper for easy removal. A cake that sticks is a cake that breaks.
  • Toothpick Test: Don’t rely solely on baking times; oven temperatures can vary. Instead, use the toothpick test to check if your cake is done.

Remember, baking is both an art and a science—the more love and attention you give it, the tastier the results will be!

Pairing Suggestions for Cinnamon Roll Cake

Indulging in a slice of our Cinnamon Roll Cake becomes a full sensory experience when paired with the perfect beverage or accompaniment. If you’re savoring this treat as a decadent breakfast or brunch item, consider a steaming cup of dark roast coffee or a chai latte—the robust flavors marry well with the warm spices in the cake. For an afternoon delight, a glass of iced cinnamon tea can add a refreshing contrast while blending smoothly with the dessert’s profile.

In case you’re enjoying this as a dessert after a meal, a dessert wine such as a Riesling or a Moscato d’Asti offers a sweet balance without overpowering the cinnamon’s punch. For a more traditional pairing, a tall glass of cold milk is a classic that never disappoints, providing a creamy texture against the rich cake.

Frosting Techniques and Decoration

When the time comes to add that final touch to your Cinnamon Roll Cake, employing the right frosting technique can make all the difference. Here are various methods to ensure your creation is as visually appealing as it is delectable:

  • Smooth Finish: For a sleek and professional look, use an offset spatula to spread the frosting evenly over the cake. Dip the spatula in warm water periodically for an even smoother surface.
  • Rustic Charm: For a homey, rustic look, use the back of a spoon to create swoops and peaks as you spread the frosting. This method also adds texture and visual interest.
  • Piping Artistry: If you’re handy with a piping bag, select a few tips like star or round to create borders, rosettes, or even write a message. It’s also a fantastic way to personalize the cake.

Creative Decoration Ideas

To elevate your cake’s presentation, consider these creative twists:

  • Caramel Drizzle: A warm caramel sauce drizzled in a zigzag pattern over the frosting adds a gourmet touch and a delicious contrast in flavors.
  • Cinnamon Sugar Sprinkle: Mix a bit of cinnamon with granulated sugar and sprinkle it lightly over the frosting for a sparkly look and an extra pop of flavor.
  • Edible Flowers: For a natural and elegant decoration, consider adorning your cake with edible flowers. Ensure they’re safe for consumption and pesticide-free.
  • Candied Pecans: Caramelized pecans not only add a crunch but also a beautiful visual element when placed around the edge or in the center of the cake.
  • Fruit Toppers: Fresh fruits like thinly sliced apples or oranges can be arranged in a decorative pattern atop the cake for added freshness and color.
  • Chocolate Shavings: Use a vegetable peeler to create delicate shavings from a bar of chocolate, and sprinkle them over the cake for a classic, chic finish.

Use these frosting and decoration techniques to showcase your culinary creativity and serve up a Cinnamon Roll Cake that’s a feast for the eyes and the palate.

Conclusion

In summary, Classic Cinnamon Rolls are always delicious, no one can argue with that. But this Cinnamon Roll Cake is a delightful twist that’s sure to impress. With adaptations for various dietary needs and detailed baking tips, anyone can enjoy creating this delicious treat.

Pair it with your beverage of choice, employ our frosting techniques, and decorate with a personal touch to make the experience truly your own. Whether it’s for a special occasion or a cozy weekend treat, this cake promises to warm hearts and satisfy sweet cravings with every cinnamon-swirled bite.

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Happy cooking and bon appétit!

cinnamon roll cake on a plate

Cinnamon Roll Cake

homemadefoodfromscratch
Cinnamon Roll Cake is a delightful twist on a beloved classic, infusing the comfort of cinnamon rolls into a delightful dessert that's sure to impress. Perfect for all large gatherings.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12

Equipment

  • 1 9×13 dish

Ingredients
  

Cake

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup butter melted

Cinnamon Filling

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Glaze

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350℉ (175 ℃). Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.
  • Mix 3 cups flour, milk, white sugar, eggs, baking powder, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and salt together in a large bowl until well-combined. Stir in 1/4 cup melted butter. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan.

Cinnamon Filling

  • Beat 1 cup softened butter, brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, and cinnamon together in a large bowl until smooth. Drop by spoonfuls over the batter in the baking pan.
  • Swirl the top layer into the bottom layer with a knife to create a marble effect.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out nearly clean, 25 to 30 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting or Glaze

  • Mix confectioners' sugar, milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a large bowl until smooth. Blend in cream cheese.
  • Drizzle or spread over warm cake.

Notes

Nutrition Estimates
Calories: 538kcal | Carbohydrates: 82g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 21g | Sodium: 203mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 56g
Keyword cinnamon roll cake

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