Cakes/ Dessert/ Holiday

Cinnamon Roll Cake

May 8, 2015

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.

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.

Cinnamon swirl cake that tastes 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?

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.

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.

Cinnamon swirl cake that tastes just like cinnamon rolls! |

4.7 from 7 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 mixture into pan. Pour half of the remaining batter, then the remaining 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.

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  • Reply
    May 8, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    This cake looks totally amazing! Can’t wait to try t!

    • Reply
      May 8, 2015 at 5:13 pm

      Thank you Christin! 🙂

  • Reply
    May 8, 2015 at 6:47 pm

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

  • Reply
    May 10, 2015 at 10:41 am

    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.

    • Reply
      May 11, 2015 at 2:50 pm

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

    • Reply
      May 17, 2015 at 3:34 pm

      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…

      • Reply
        May 19, 2015 at 12:58 pm

        I’m glad you like this recipe, Lee 🙂

  • Reply
    May 11, 2015 at 3:35 am

    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)

  • Reply
    Jess @ Sweetest Menu
    May 11, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    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!

    • Reply
      May 11, 2015 at 5:09 pm

      Thank you so much Jess!

  • Reply
    August 18, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    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!

    • Reply
      August 24, 2015 at 11:31 am

      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! 🙂

  • Reply
    February 16, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    awesome. Is there any replacement for sour cream?

    • Reply
      February 18, 2016 at 11:33 am

      Hi Dalia, you can use plain yogurt instead.

  • Reply
    June 23, 2016 at 4:12 pm

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

    • Reply
      June 24, 2016 at 1:39 pm

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

  • Reply
    September 6, 2016 at 4:16 am

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

    • Reply
      September 7, 2016 at 4:46 am

      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.

  • Reply
    September 7, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    Thank you so much! Will try in loaf pan ?

  • Reply
    September 11, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    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?

    • Reply
      September 12, 2016 at 8:02 am

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

  • Reply
    September 22, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      September 29, 2016 at 7:50 am

      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!

  • Reply
    July 23, 2017 at 3:51 am

    What a scrummy cake, made this for a charity event I was doing at my home, lots of other cakes made. But this one was the most popular! It all went! Lots of people asking where I got it from?
    Wonderful, thank you

    • Reply
      July 25, 2017 at 4:32 am

      I’m glad to hear it was such a success! Thank you so much Jackie!

  • Reply
    August 27, 2017 at 6:31 am

    Looks incredible! Has anyone tried it with margarine and non-dairy sour cream?

  • Reply
    November 5, 2017 at 9:38 pm

    Hi, i want to try and make this. Do you know what i can use instead of eggs? Thank you 🙂

  • Reply
    June 11, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    Finally! now i can stop looking for the perfect cinnamon cake. Here it is . Thank you!!!

  • Reply
    Sharmila Sutaria
    June 13, 2018 at 2:26 am

    Turned out super soft and moist.
    Found the recipe simple to follow.
    Had to bake it for 60 minutes though.
    Thank you

  • Reply
    July 1, 2018 at 6:46 pm

    Hi Shiran,

    Looks delicious; what size loaf pan should be used? I am not sure if you stated it in the directions; I may have missed it. Is a 9X5 loaf pan ok?

    Thank you!!

    • Reply
      July 2, 2018 at 2:48 pm

      Hi Sivan, I use an 8½x4¼-inch loaf pan. You can use the bigger pan if that’s all you have, and the cake will be shorter.

  • Reply
    Tzufit Tropper
    July 2, 2018 at 8:36 am

    This cake is wonderful!! Is there any way to make it non diary?

    • Reply
      July 7, 2018 at 12:00 pm

      Hi Tzufit, replacing the butter and sour cream will affect the cake’s texture and flavor so I don’t recommend it.

  • Reply
    December 22, 2018 at 9:17 pm

    Just made this today, everyone loved it!! I probably have 10 of your recipes so far in my recipe journal. Baking has been easy and fun thanks to you.

  • Reply
    January 30, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    I love this recipe! I’m going to try it! I just want to know what did you mean by pout half of the remaining batter?
    Did you mean pour I just want to make sure?

    • Reply
      February 6, 2019 at 5:19 am

      yes 🙂

  • Reply
    May 23, 2019 at 11:58 am

    I made this today for a school bake sale and even though the batter seemed a little dense before baking it was super fragrant, a change I would wholeheartedly reccomend is a spiced streusel on the top just to add texture to the loaf, as well as adding a pinch of allspice to the batter, otherwise this loaf will be made again.

  • Reply
    Susan Green
    July 1, 2019 at 10:26 am

    Making three loaves now for a Girls Camp
    next week. Planning to wrap with waxed paper and then foil. Will it freeze well?

    • Reply
      July 17, 2019 at 3:08 am

      Yes, it freezes well!

  • Reply
    Katrina Dimaranan
    August 7, 2019 at 6:25 am

    Hi Ms. Shiran , can you please send a video for me how to make cinnamon roll cake. thank you

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