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cinnamon roll cake slice on white plate with cake behind on platter

Cinnamon Roll Cake

Layer cake that tastes like a cinnamon roll!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cake
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 10 servings
Calories 623kcal
Author Dorothy Kern


For the cake:

  • 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs , room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk*
  • 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon

For the Brown Sugar Frosting:

  • ¼ cup butter , melted
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese , softened
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk


To make the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and flour two 6x3” round cake pans. (This cake will alternatively make one 8” square cake or one 9x2” round.)
  • In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until fluffy, and then beat in sugar and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating well in between each addition. Scrape down the bowl after each egg is added. Beat in buttermilk on low speed and stir until just combined. (At this point the mixture will look curdled.) Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in three batches, mixing until just combined. Spread equally in cake pans. Bang the pans on the counter a few times to remove air bubbles.
  • Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Pour half on the top of each cake round and swirl with a knife. Bake for 35-38 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the side comes out clean. (I waited until the middle was firm and the cake was overbaked.) Cool completely before frosting.

To make the Brown Sugar Frosting:

  • Blend melted butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon with a hand mixer. Add powdered sugar and mix until combined. The mixture will be very crumbly at this point. Add milk and beat until smooth, about one minute. Spread on bottom cake layer, adding more around the edges to level out the cake. Place top layer on top of filling.

To make the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • Beat butter and cream cheese with a hand mixer. Add vanilla. Beat in powdered sugar slowly, one cup at a time. Add milk, starting with one tablespoon and adding more if needed. If frosting is too sticky, chill for 30 minutes before frosting cake.
  • Frost sides and top of cake. I like to do two coats; one for a “crumb” coat and one to make it look pretty. If you don’t want to do pink and purple 6-year-old decorations, large white roses might look nice. :)
  • Store cake in refrigerator.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 623kcal | Carbohydrates: 119g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 355mg | Potassium: 146mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 99g | Vitamin A: 534IU | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 1mg