Cinnamon Roll Cake

By Shiran

This moist cake is swirled with a cinnamon-sugar mixture and frosted with a sweet white glaze that makes it taste just like cinnamon rolls – but without the extra work!

Cinnamon swirl cake that tastes just like cinnamon rolls! |

Days like these remind me of the pure pleasure of having a food blog. It’s not just about baking delicious sweets, but also (actually more) about eating them. My friends usually ask me how I’m able to come up with new recipes all the time. That’s an easy one – I just think of what I’m craving, and the options of it are pretty much endless.

Cinnamon swirl cake that tastes just like cinnamon rolls! |

Much like streusel, a cinnamon-sugar mixture can turn a simple cake into something that makes me really happy. While I used to make this cake without the glaze, once I added it just to make a prettier looking cake, I realized it tasted just like cinnamon rolls!

I’m not going to sugarcoat the fact that this is a sweet cake – the kind of cake that Weight Watchers probably wouldn’t approve of – but I can assure you that it’s worth every single calorie. Besides, what are gyms for if not to burn off the precious, well-deserved calories we had just before we got there?

Cinnamon swirl cake that tastes just like cinnamon rolls! |

This cake is moist with a wonderful taste and delicate crumb from the sour cream. The combination of the cinnamon and sweet glaze is what makes it taste like cinnamon rolls. When making the cake, pour half of the batter into the pan, then sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly on top, and repeat one more time. After that, insert a knife all the way down into the batter and start swirling gently, but don’t overdo it. While baking, the cinnamon mixture sinks slightly and that’s ok.

Cinnamon swirl cake that tastes just like cinnamon rolls! |

Usually I would tell you that you can skip the glaze, but this time, please don’t! The cake is good without it, but ultimately the glaze is what makes the difference between a cinnamon swirl cake and a cinnamon roll cake.

4.7 from 3 reviews

Cinnamon Roll Cake
Yields: 1 loaf

This moist cake is swirled with a cinnamon-sugar mixture and frosted with a sweet white glaze that makes it taste just like cinnamon rolls – but without the extra work!
For the Cake:
  • 1½ cups (210g/7.5 oz.) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick /113g) butter, softened
  • ¾ cup (150g/5.3 oz.) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (180ml) sour cream
For the Cinnamon Filling:
  • ⅓ cup (65g/2.2 oz.) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup toasted* pecans, coarsely chopped, optional
For the Glaze:
  • ½ cup (60g/2 oz.) powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons whole milk or heavy cream
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
  • 1½ tablespoons cream cheese, optional

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 350F/180C. Grease an 8½ x 4¼-inch loaf pan.
  2. To make the cake: In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary. Beat in vanilla extract. Reduce mixer speed to low and mix in sour cream. Add the flour mixture and mix just until combined. Do not overmix.
  4. To make the cinnamon filling: In a medium bowl, toss together sugar, cinnamon, and pecans until combined.
  5. Pour ⅓ of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle half of the cinnamon sugar mixure into pan. Repeat with remaining batter, then cinnamon sugar, then ending with batter.
  6. Swirl gently using a knife, but don’t overdo it to the point that the cinnamon mixture is completely mixed with the batter. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
  7. To make the icing: Whisk together powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon milk, vanilla, and cream cheese until combined and smooth. If the icing is too thick, add more milk; if it’s too thin, add more sugar. The consistency should be thick but pourable. Drizzle icing over the cake.
  8. Store cake at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days or refrigerate for up to 5 days. Cake can also be frozen for up to 2 months. To thaw, leave on the counter, still covered, or overnight in the fridge.
  9. * To toast the pecans, place them in an even layer on a pan lined with parchment paper. Bake in a preheated oven at 350F/180C for about 8 minutes.


23 Comments on Cinnamon Roll Cake

    • Shiran
      May 8, 2015 at 5:13 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you Christin! 🙂

  1. Broome
    May 8, 2015 at 6:47 pm (2 years ago)

    Yummy! I’m salivating now! Looking forward to trying it!

  2. Elena
    May 10, 2015 at 10:41 am (2 years ago)

    The cake is perfect. Although the ingredients and the steps scare me to die, i still love it. I’m going to make it, for sure.

    • Shiran
      May 11, 2015 at 2:50 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks Elena 🙂 Don’t let it scare you! I was scared at first, too, but it’s so simple once you get it!

    • Lee
      May 17, 2015 at 3:34 pm (2 years ago)

      Elena – do not be afraid of the ingredients, make sure you have everything measured out for each step you are doing, and it will go smoothly. I’ve made this 2times now and its a big favorite for sure…you will be so happy you made this…

      • Shiran
        May 19, 2015 at 12:58 pm (2 years ago)

        I’m glad you like this recipe, Lee 🙂

  3. Winnie
    May 11, 2015 at 3:35 am (2 years ago)

    זאת עוגה מאדדדדדדדדדדדדד מסוכנת עבורי, כי אני “חות” קינמון. זה פשוט לשבת ולישר את העוגה….
    עשית לי חשק להכין אותה לארוחת ששי (אני רק צריכה לפרוות אותה)

  4. Jess @ Sweetest Menu
    May 11, 2015 at 4:28 pm (2 years ago)

    Wow this loaf cake looks wonderful. I love cinnamon rolls or anything with cinnamon really, so this would totally be my type of thing. Beautiful photos too!

    • Shiran
      May 11, 2015 at 5:09 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you so much Jess!

  5. Taylor
    August 18, 2015 at 2:26 pm (2 years ago)

    I just made this today, and it is MAGICAL. Totally easy to put together, and it baked evenly and nicely. I love it when a baking endeavor works out so well, as it doesn’t always happen with me, hah. 🙂

    The only ingredient I didn’t have was sour cream, so I used yogurt instead. It still tastes amazing, so if people want to make that substitution, it works! I also used a mix of walnuts and pecans, just because that’s what I had.

    This is also the first time I’ve tried to toast nuts without them burning up on me. So, success all the way around. 🙂 Thank you!

    • Shiran
      August 24, 2015 at 11:31 am (2 years ago)

      This is such a sweet comment, Taylor, thank you so much! Yogurt works here as a substitute, so you did great, and I’m glad it was a success! 🙂

  6. Dalia
    February 16, 2016 at 7:21 pm (1 year ago)

    awesome. Is there any replacement for sour cream?

    • Shiran
      February 18, 2016 at 11:33 am (1 year ago)

      Hi Dalia, you can use plain yogurt instead.

  7. babycakes5
    June 23, 2016 at 4:12 pm (9 months ago)

    Cant wait to make this! Did you use a metal or glass loaf pan? Did you butter the pan or use baking spray?

    • Shiran
      June 24, 2016 at 1:39 pm (9 months ago)

      You can use metal or glass pan, and butter or cooking spray. They’re all ok!

  8. Tanisha
    September 6, 2016 at 4:16 am (7 months ago)

    Hi! Can we make this recipe in a bundt pan?

    • Shiran
      September 7, 2016 at 4:46 am (7 months ago)

      Hi Tanisha, bundt pans are bigger than loaf pans in volume, so you’ll need more ingredient. Also, this is a very moist cake, so it might not release smoothly from the pan.

  9. Tanisha
    September 7, 2016 at 12:55 pm (7 months ago)

    Thank you so much! Will try in loaf pan ?

  10. babycakes5
    September 11, 2016 at 5:41 pm (7 months ago)

    Made this cake to bring to a brunch–it got rave reviews and not one slice was left! One question: The recipe doesn’t mention dividing the filling. How much should be saved for the top? Half?

    • Shiran
      September 12, 2016 at 8:02 am (7 months ago)

      Yes, half 🙂 I made another little change in the recipe, so please check it out.

  11. Hannah
    September 22, 2016 at 2:40 pm (6 months ago)

    This tasted amazing! It turned out a bit dense but could that be because I over mixed it maybe? Any tips would be welcome.
    I will definitely be trying it again though, until I get it right.

    • Shiran
      September 29, 2016 at 7:50 am (6 months ago)

      Hi Hannah, the batter should be quite thick so that the filling won’t sink to the bottom during baking. That’s why it’s a bit dense, but shouldn’t be too dense. Try to mix as little as possible next time anyway, and I hope it would turn out better!


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