This sweet and moist Cinnamon Roll Cake with cream cheese frosting has all of the warm, ooey gooey, cinnamon taste you love from a cinnamon roll, without any of the fuss!

If you love the flavors of a Perfect Cinnamon Roll be sure to try my Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls or Cinnamon Applesauce Bread.

Slices of cinnamon roll cake served on a platter.

If you’re looking for a delicious sweet breakfast idea or a yummy dessert, this easy cake recipe fits the bill. It’s a fun addition to holiday brunch, special occasions or parties, and is always a crowd favorite.

How to make Cinnamon Roll Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×8” baking dish.
  • In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, milk, egg and vanilla. Stir in melted butter. Pour mixture into prepared pan and smooth into an even layer.
  • Make the cinnamon swirl topping by combing all ingredients together until smooth.
  • Drop small spoonfuls of the mixture evenly over the top of the cake batter. Use a knife to swirl through the cake and disperse the mixture throughout the cake batter.

Two process photos for adding cinnamon filling to cake batter in a pan and swirling it into the batter.

  • Bake for 32-37 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Drizzle cream cheese frosting over warm cake.

Storing and Freezing Instructions:

Just like fresh baked cinnamon rolls, I think this cake is best enjoyed the same day it’s baked. The soft texture will dry out the longer it sits.

To freeze the cake, allow to cool, cover with a lid or a double layer of aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then rewarm in the oven, or rewarm individual slices in the microwave.

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Recipe

Slices of cinnamon roll cake served on a platter.
Prep 15 mins
Cook 35 mins
Total 50 mins
Add to Meal Plan

Video

Ingredients
  

For the Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or cake flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup butter , melted

For the Cinnamon Swirl:

  • 1/2 cup butter , softened
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons butter , softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1-2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8'' baking dish.
  • In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, milk, egg and vanilla. Stir in melted butter. Pour mixture into prepared pan and smooth into an even layer.
  • Make the cinnamon swirl topping by combing all ingredients together until smooth.
  • Drop small spoonfuls of the mixture evenly over the top of the cake batter. Use a knife to swirl through the cake and disperse the mixture throughout the cake batter.
  • Bake 30-37 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Drizzle cream cheese frosting over warm cake. Serve warm.
  • For the Cream Cheese Frosting, cream the butter and cream cheese together. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and enough milk to make a smooth, soft frosting. Drizzle frosting over the cake with a spoon, or use a ziplock bag and snip a hole out of one of the corners to pipe the frosting on.
  • This cake is best served warm from the oven, the same day it's made.

Notes

Storing Instructions: Just like fresh baked cinnamon rolls, I think this cake is best enjoyed the same day it's baked. The soft texture will dry out the longer it sits. Store leftovers in the fridge.
Freezing Instructions: To freeze the cake, allow to cool, cover with a lid or a double layer of aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then rewarm in the oven, or rewarm individual slices in the microwave.

Nutrition

Calories: 447kcalCarbohydrates: 55gProtein: 4gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 284mgPotassium: 201mgFiber: 1gSugar: 37gVitamin A: 780IUCalcium: 115mgIron: 1.4mg

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I originally shared this recipe October 2017. Updated August 2020.

HAVE YOU TRIED THIS RECIPE?!

RATE and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. Step 5 says to drizzle frosting and then step 6 are the cream cheese frosting directions. Is there another frosting in addition to the cream cheese?

    1. 5 stars
      Yes! This cake can be frozen. I allow the cake to cool completely before slicing into individual servings, though the whole cake can be frozen as 1 piece. To freeze, just wrap very well in plastic wrap such as Seran brand. Any brand works just fine. The cake or cake pieces will keep for up to 2 months without tasting freezer burnt. To de-thaw, place in fridge for 1-2 days, unwrapped but covered to keep moist or on the counter for a few hours. The cake is made with dairy products so it’s important to keep that in mind when de-thawing on the counter. Just don’t leave it out all night long.

  2. 5 stars
    Made this for our church coffee hour it was a big hit going to make it again tomorrow. Make with coconut or almond flour if so what would the measurements be?no

    1. Hi Deborah. I use an 8×8 inch baking dish. You could double the recipe and make it in a 9×13 if you wanted to.

    1. Hi Martha, I’m sure that would work fine–the cake will just be the flavor and texture of whatever cake mix you buy, with a cinnamon swirl in it, and not really a “cinnamon roll” type cake.

    2. 5 stars
      I used boxed and it worked great! less liquid than box asked for, but for a cake in a hurry it worked and saved me time too! Everyone loved it!

  3. 5 stars
    OMIGOSH! Where has this been all my baking life??!! The bread is soft, moist & has the perfect density (not too heavy, not too airy), the cinnamon is the perfect amount of cinnamonyness (is that a word??) & the cream cheese frosting (while not absolutely necessary) is DIVINE! A perfect combination of sweet & smooth. I cut the powdered sugar in 1/2 & added in 2ish tbsp Fage 0% yogurt to the frosting & it was amazing! I am definitely saving this one for my own recipe book to make again in the future. My husband was impressed. Seal of approval! Thanks for sharing some sweetness!

    1. Thanks so much Amanda! Love your adaptions, and your comment made me smile. So happy it got the seal of approval!

    2. Hi Amber! Did you still use cream cheese in your frosting or omit it and only use the yogurt instead?? Love your idea! I must try that! ; )

    1. Hi Denise,
      It depends a bit how warm you keep your house and how long you leave it out. I would recommend storing it in the fridge, because of the cream cheese frosting 🙂

  4. Was thinking of using this for a three tiered wedding cake. The groom loves cinnamon rolls. My big question is about freezing the layers. I normally freeze wedding cake layers so that I can assemble the cake on the day before (or day of) the wedding. I just made a sample to see how it holds up.
    Any advice about freezing it?

    1. Hi Kathy,
      What a fun idea! I haven’t tried freezing this recipe, but this cake does dry out a little quicker than regular cake. You could try letting it cool completely, freezing it immediately after and then frosting it the day of the wedding. I hope it works out for you!

      1. Just did a trial layer, threw in freezer, but also refrigerated a part of it already iced. Did that on Monday, and pulled out today for tasting–it was great! Very moist. I double wrapped it with saran wrap. It’s a go at this point. Will take the other piece that was frozen (no frosting) and let you know how it did, but I am pretty happy!

  5. 5 stars
    Delicious! Surprised my hubby with this for dessert tonight. He loves cinnamon rolls & this cake was exactly that. It was very easy & I already had everything on hand. I baked it for 35 min & it was perfect. I have a feeling I won’t be making canned cinnamon rolls for breakfast anymore.

  6. 5 stars
    I’ve made this cake twice now since the family loved it and requested another one. It is now a favorite!

  7. 5 stars
    This cake is the bomb! It tastes just like a cinnamon roll and is so easy to make. So delicious and tender! I will
    definitely make this again. Love the way the frosting looks in the video. I need to practice on that. One tip is
    to use a regular ziploc bag for the frosting. Not the bag with the zipper or it will ooze out from the corner. Thanks
    so much for this recipe!

  8. 5 stars
    This is so good!!!! I’ve made it twice, now. I’m gonna make this for Christmas morning. I added pecans and they taste like the Cinnamon and Sugar pecans you get at the fair. It is absolutely delicious!!!

    1. Thanks Marcy! I love the idea of doing this for Christmas morning! So much easier than cinnamon rolls 🙂

  9. 5 stars
    This is crazy good. Quick and delicious! Tastes amazing! I made the frosting in the same bowl as the brown sugar / butter / cinnamon bowl and so I transferred a bit of that flavor 😉

  10. 5 stars
    Hi Lauren,
    I wanted to let you know that for a vegan cinnamon roll cake. You can use to replace a egg: 1/2 mashed banana or 1/4 c yogurt, or 1/3c applesauce.
    For the cinnamon roll cake I used yogurt and it turned out awesome!
    Thanks for all of your wonderful recipes.

    1. Yes, but the volume of batter will probably be more than you need. Fill 8″ at least 3/4 full, maybe you could make a few cupcakes if you have extra batter.

  11. Can this cake batter be mixed up ahead of time? I’d like to serve this on Christmas morning gathering at my daughter’s house and won’t have a lot of time to prepare in the morning. Could it be mixed up the day before and baked in the morning.

    1. Hi Karen,
      I think your better option is to bake the cake, let it cool completely and store it in the fridge until the next morning. At that point you could warm it slightly if you would like!

  12. 5 stars
    Made this today and my family really enjoyed it…I added it to my “keeper” recipes and nothing makes it there unless everyone loves it! Thanks for sharing it and btw, the steps were super easy to follow!!!
    ??

      1. 5 stars
        Made this cake recently and it was so good! It really tasted like a cinnamon roll, plus the frosting was so delicious! It was super easy to make and one of the fastest cakes I’ve made!

  13. 4 stars
    I made this yesterday. Had to use a pie plate to bake it in. We just moved and I do not have all my baking pans yet. No worries the pie plate worked fine. Followed recipe exactly. As I suspected it, it is sweet but then again its going to be. The family enjoyed and I will keep the recipe.

  14. I doubled the recipe and baked it in a 9×13 pan. It turned out great. I did not double the frosting recipe and it eas plenty. I took it to celebrate our 54 wedding anniversary with friends.

  15. 4 stars
    This cake was very tasty in my option. My other half thought it was a little on the dense side so if I made it again I would think of adding another egg to the batter. I like the cinnamon swirls and made my own butter and cream cheese frosting then dusted with cocoa powder. Thank you as I feel this cake is quite tasty and very easy to make. I made in a normal round spring from pan.

  16. 5 stars
    So good and so easy to make! My whole family raved about how delicious it was and I agree! It was gone within days.

  17. 3 stars
    I had so much trouble with this cake. The batter was way too thick, but I only had skim milk at home – I don’t know for sure because a liquid is a liquid. The cinnamon swirl was beyond thick – it did not swirl through the cake. I didn’t go as far as the icing and we just ate the cake as is because I didn’t want to invest anymore money into the cake. Could you tell me how to get the batter and cinnamon swirl into a thinner consistency. I’m great at making icing. I didn’t have any ideas how to thin both out and help would be greatly appreciated.

    1. I made this exactly as the recipe said to and my batter was SO thick!! I had to add more butter vanilla and milk

  18. 5 stars
    Just made this and it turned out delicious. I incorporated a 1/2 cup chopped walnuts to the cinnamon swirl mixture for added flavor and texture. Will definitely make this again!

    1. I would suggest adding raisins to the cinnamon swirl as it is what I am used to with a cinnamon bun. I made this gluten free by using Bob Mills 1 to 1 gluten free flour mix. Also agreed with others that the cinnamon swirl was very thick.

      Note: Baked for 40 minutes until internal temperature was at 200 degrees fahrenheit. Recipe otherwise very good.

  19. 4 stars
    Made it this morning, it came out great my family loves it. I also doubled the ingredients and it was fully cooked it 37 minutes. Bonus it made our apartment smell so good!

  20. The cinnamon topping seemed to have exploded and spilled out from my pan while baking. any idea why this happened?should i add lesser cinnamon topping then?

  21. 5 stars
    I made this cinnamon roll cake for the first time in 2018, for Christmas brunch with my family. It was a huge hit, even with my grown son, who doesn’t really like cake. Everyone agrees it tastes like Cinnabon cinnamon rolls. Needless to say, it’s now on the request list for almost every special occasion.
    I usually double the recipe, & use a 9×13 baking dish. To save time, I also use canned cream cheese frosting. Thanks so much for this delicious recipe!

    1. Sure! Although you’ll need a bigger pan, and then you may want to double the cinnamon swirl and frosting.

  22. I also had a hard time with this. The cake was extremely thick and the cinnamon swirl was very runny. Perhaps I should have reversed the butter amounts. I ended up just mixing the cinnamon swirl through all the batter.

  23. 3 stars
    The initial cake batter looked great, was the right consistency. I was a little worried with the amount of butter going in to the cinnamon swirl and I was right to be concerned. Once baked the cake was a buttery mess. When I check the doneness butter poured out the hole the toothpick left. I knew it was too good to be true.

    1. I haven’t tried it but I can’t see why not :). I’d follow the cooking direction on your box mix.

  24. Hi there. Thank you for the delicious recipe!
    Is there any way I can make this cake more moist? Perhaps substitute sour cream for milk? Would that work?
    Thank you.

  25. 5 stars
    I tried this today and mine came out very moist and delicious. I did bake this is a foil pan and for 42 minutes.

  26. 5 stars
    This is PHENOMENAL. made and served the same morning and it is NOT dry at all. Delicious, moist and love the cream cheese frosting

  27. 5 stars
    I’ve made this several times at this point. Since it only calls for 4 oz of cream cheese I make 2 batches and stick one in the freezer for a later date!

  28. Does anyone know if you can prepare this the night before and bake it the next morning with adjustments made to the cooking time?