Cinnamon Roll Cake
This cinnamon roll cake is fabulous! An easy one-bowl, fluffy vanilla cake is swirled with cinnamon and sugar and glazed warm from the oven. So yummy!
I don’t know if there is a cake quite as delicious as this craggy-topped cinnamon roll cake. Warm and cinnamony, it is divine served with a scoop if ice cream!
One Bowl Cake Batter
I know it might feel wrong in a hundred different ways to throw all the cake batter ingredients in a bowl at once, but just go with it, because it works!
There’s no need to cream the butter and sugar together separately. Everything goes in one bowl, and you end up with the fluffiest, softest cake ever.
- baking soda + baking powder + salt
- vanilla + eggs
- sour cream
Mix until the batter is mostly smooth. A few tiny lumps are ok, but there shouldn’t be any dry streaks remaining.
Cinnamon and Sugar Swirl
The soft cinnamon and sugar swirl is equal parts butter and brown sugar, plus a spoonful of flour and a delightful amount of ground cinnamon.
This mixture should be soft and spreadable so that it swirls easily into the cake batter.
Swirling Cinnamon Roll Cake
Dollop the buttery cinnamon sugar mixture by heaping spoonfuls over the cake batter.
Use a butter knife to swirl the cinnamon mixture into the top of the cake batter. Don’t dig the knife all the way to the bottom of the pan while swirling and don’t over mix.
Just swipe through the top of the batter once or twice to create generous loops of cinnamon and sugar.
It is normal for *some* of the cinnamon sugar mixture to sink while baking. There will still be delightful ribbons of cinnamon running throughout the cake. However, to prevent *all* the cinnamon mixture sinking to the bottom, make sure the butter in the cinnamon/sugar mixture is really soft. Also, as mentioned above, only swirl through the top part of the cake batter (and don’t over do it!).
Glaze the Cake While Warm
Let the cake cool for just a few minutes after baking before spreading the glaze over the top.
As a finishing touch, the glaze sinks into the nooks and crannies of the warm, craggy-topped cake enhancing that delightful cinnamon roll vibe.
How to Serve Cinnamon Roll Cake
This cake is unbelievably delicious served warm or at room temperature.
It doesn’t need a lot of add-ons since it is wonderful served on its own, but if you want to level up just a bit, try a piece slightly warm with a scoop of vanilla (or cinnamon!) ice cream. 😍
I’ve been making this cake for years, and it is a family favorite. It has also saved me on more than one occasion when I needed a quick, showstopper dessert. One bowl cinnamon roll cake to the rescue!
Jamie: This was delicious!! I made it gluten-free with Grandpa’s Kitchen Flour and it turned out perfect. It was moist, flavorful, and soooo yummy.
Brenda: Delicious! My husband LOVES this cake! Tastes exactly like a cinnamon roll!
Elizabeth: Oh my goodness! I made this cake over the weekend and it was delicious! I love this type of breakfast cake/coffee cake/cinnamon-y cake and this may be the best I’ve tasted!
Cinnamon Roll Cake
- 2 cups (284 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups (318 g) granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ⅓ cups (302 g) light or regular sour cream
- ⅔ cup (151 g) salted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ cup (170 g) salted butter, very soft (but not melted)
- ¾ cup (159 g) light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2 cups (228 g) powdered sugar
- 4-5 tablespoons milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- For the cake, in a large bowl, combine all the cake batter ingredients and mix well. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.
- For the swirl, in a medium bowl, stir together the butter, light brown sugar, flour and cinnamon until well-mixed and smooth. Dollop the cinnamon swirl mixture by heaping spoonfuls over the cake batter.
- Use a butter knife to swirl the cinnamon mixture into the TOP of the cake batter (don't press the knife all the way to the bottom of the pan – swirl just into the top half of the cake batter). Try not to over swirl or over mix. A few generous loops through the batter should be just fine.
- Bake the cake for 30-32 minutes until the top springs back lightly to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
- For the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth. Pour the glaze evenly over the warm cake.
- Serve the cake warm or at room temperature.
Recipe Source: inspired by a recipe Andreya L. sent me (used the cake recipe from my chocolate chip cake recipe, adapted glaze and cinnamon/sugar/butter mixture slightly from the recipe she sent) – thanks, Andreya!
Recipe posted September 2013; updated May 2023 with new photos, recipe notes, etc.