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Cinnamon Roll Cake

With a gooey cinnamon filling between two moist layers of cake swirled with cinnamon sugar, this Cinnamon Roll Cake tastes just like cinnamon rolls – but in cake form! It brings together the warm and familiar flavors of the classic breakfast pastry, topping it all off with an authentic cinnamon roll icing.

A slice of glazed cake on a plate with a cinnamon and brown sugar filling.

Cinnamon Swirl Bundt Cake With Homemade Icing

I love recipes that take a well-known baked good and present it in a fun new way. I also love baked goods that are just as good for breakfast as they are for dessert. This twist on a beloved recipe makes a great any-time treat! Plus, it’s super easy, giving you all the flavors of a cinnamon roll with far less effort.

The secret ingredient in this cake is sour cream. It makes the crumb incredibly moist and adds a slight tanginess to the yellow cake base. This works so well to balance out the brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans, as well as the sweet vanilla icing that tops it all off.

All the ingredients for Cinnamon Roll Cake laid out on the counter.

What You’ll Need

This cinnamon roll cake calls for many of the same ingredients as traditional cinnamon rolls. Scroll down to the printable recipe card below for the exact amounts you’ll need.

  • Ground cinnamon
  • All-purpose flour – Measure by weight or spoon and sweep. Learn more: How to Measure Flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Vanilla pudding mix
  • Unsalted butter – Softened
  • Vegetable oil – Or use canola oil.
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Sour cream – You can also use unsweetened plain yogurt.
  • Brown sugar – Packed tightly into the measuring cup or measured by weight.
  • Pecans Chopped
  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • Heavy cream – You’ll often see this labeled as heavy whipping cream.
  • Vanilla extract – Use 100% pure extract, not the imitation stuff.
The dry ingredients for Cinnamon Roll Cake being whisked together.

How to Make Cinnamon Roll Cake

First, we’ll go over the recipe for the cake batter, then move on to the filling and icing. Finally, we’ll bring it all together into one sticky-sweet treat!

Prepare for baking. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously grease a 10-cup Bundt pan.

Make the yellow cake base. Whisk together the flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, and pudding mix in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter, oil, eggs, vanilla, and sour cream. Mix everything together well until a thick dough forms.

Cinnamon and sugar being mixed into the batter for Cinnamon Roll Cake with a wooden spoon.

Make the cinnamon swirls. Mix the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and the cinnamon in a separate bowl. Gently fold the mixture into the cake batter. Don’t mix it in too thoroughly. You want to leave swirls of cinnamon sugar in the batter.

Create the first layer. Transfer half of the cake batter to the prepared pan.

Add the filling. Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans all together in a medium bowl. Sprinkle the mixture over the batter in the pan. Scoop the remaining cake batter over the filling and smooth out the top.

Bake. Bake your Bundt cake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck into the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Then flip the cake out onto the rack where it can cool completely.

Make the glaze. Mix the confectioners’ sugar, 3 tablespoons of heavy cream, and vanilla until it turns smooth. Add more cream a little bit at a time as needed to make the glaze pourable.

A freshly glazed Cinnamon Roll Cake on a cooling rack.

Glaze and serve. Drizzle the glaze over the still-warm cake, cut into slices, and serve.

A close-up of the top of a Cinnamon Roll Cake with two cinnamon sticks beside it.

Tips for Success

This cake really does taste just like a cinnamon roll! Follow these tips to maximize the sweet, sticky goodness.

  • Use cooking spray. I highly recommend using a cooking spray with flour, like Baker’s Joy or Pam Baking. These are the best options to prevent sticking.
  • Toast the pecans. Toasted nuts have a much richer flavor and better texture than raw nuts. Since they’re in the middle of your cake, the pecans won’t automatically get toasted as they bake. Spread them out on a pan and pop them in the oven before adding them to the filling to maximize their flavor and give your filling a nice crunch.
  • Don’t wait to ice. While most recipes tell you to wait to add the icing on a cake until it cools completely, I actually prefer to ice this one while it’s still warm. When the icing gets melty and soaks into the cake a little, it tastes just like a real cinnamon roll right out of the oven!
A slice of CInnamon Roll Cake being held up to the camera on a pie server with the rest of the cake in the background.

Variation Ideas

This recipe is already a twist on the idea of the cinnamon roll, so it’s the perfect place to let your imagination run free. Here are some ideas to get the ball rolling.

  • Swirl the filling. If you want the cinnamon filling spread throughout the cake instead of layered, go ahead and stick a butter knife into the layered batter and give it a quick swirl. Make sure the tip of the knife reaches the bottom of the pan if you want a really cinnamon-infused cake.
  • Switch up the nuts. If you’re not a pecan fan, you can swap out the nuts in the cinnamon filling. Try using walnuts or almonds, too! You can also add some chopped toasted nuts as garnish on top of the glaze for a nice crunch.
  • Change the glaze. I love how the glaze on this cake tastes exactly like the kind you’ll find on a cinnamon roll, but it tastes just as good with different icing. I particularly like to swap in cream cheese glaze, since its tanginess perfectly balances the sweetness of the cake. See my Italian Cream Bundt Cake for a cream cheese glaze recipe.
  • Add a streusel. To really bring this cake to the next level, try adding cinnamon streusel on top. It really ramps up the butteriness and the cinnamon flavor of this cake. Try something like the topping on my Peach Streusel Bread.
Four slices of Cinnamon Roll Cake lined up on a plate.

Storage Instructions

You can store this Cinnamon Roll Cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the fridge up to 4 days with an added layer of plastic wrap. Wrapping the cake and keeping it tightly sealed prevents it from drying out in the fridge. If you want, you can warm it in the microwave in 10-second intervals when you’re ready to eat it, until it gets warm and sticky again.

A glazed Cinnamon Roll Cake on the counter with a slice missing.

Can I Freeze This?

This cake freezes well, although you may want to wait to frost it until after it thaws to keep it from getting soggy. Wrap it tightly in plastic and place it in a double-lock freezer bag to prevent freezer burn. It can stay frozen for up to 3 months. Make sure to let it thaw overnight on the counter or in the refrigerator.

More Moist & Fluffy Bundt Cakes to Try

Cinnamon Roll Cake

Yield 16
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

With a gooey cinnamon filling between two moist layers of cake swirled with cinnamon sugar, this Cinnamon Roll Cake tastes just like the real deal. It brings together the warm and familiar flavors of the classic breakfast pastry, topping it all off with an authentic cinnamon roll icing.

A Cinnamon Roll Cake slice standing up on a plate next to two penans.

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 & 1/4 cups (250g) granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3-ounce (85g) box instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (226g) sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

For the Filling

  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped

For the Glaze

  • 2 cups (220g) confectioners' sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Make the Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease a 10-cup Bundt pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, and pudding mix. Add the butter, oil, eggs, vanilla, and sour cream. Mix well. The dough will be thick.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon. Gently fold into the cake batter. Do not mix thoroughly, but leave swirls of cinnamon sugar in the batter.
  4. Transfer half of the cake batter to the prepared pan.

Add the Filling and Glaze

  1. Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans. Sprinkle over the batter in the pan. Scoop the remaining cake batter over the filling and smooth the top.
  2. Bake 45-50 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Then, flip the cake onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. Mix the confectioners' sugar, 3 tablespoons of cream, and vanilla until smooth. Add more cream, a small amount at a time, as needed to make the glaze pourable.
  4. Drizzle the glaze over the cake.

Notes

Recipe slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour.

  • To Store: Keep in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days or in the fridge up to 4 days with an added layer of plastic wrap.
  • To Freeze: Wrap tightly in plastic and place in a double-lock freezer bag up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight on the counter or in the fridge. Wait to frost it until after thawing.
  • To Reheat: If desired, warm in the microwave for 10-second intervals until warmed through.

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    64 Comments on “Cinnamon Roll Cake”

  1. I can’t find the actual cake recipe (which looks delicious!) help?

  2. Ahhhhh this recipe looks so delicious! Cinnamon roll cake? whaaa?! yesss

  3. Hi, Amanda. As soon as I posted this, I realized I never finished adding the actual recipe. It’s there now. Sorry for the brain freeze!

  4. I do love cinnamon rolls but struggle with yeast dough anxiety. This cake will be the best solution.

  5. That cake looks AMAZING. I have been pulling out my bundt pan a lot lately for making cakes, and this looks like a great next candidate!

  6. Mmm I too love new takes on traditional things. Especially when they look this good!

  7. Oh my…what a feast for my eyes. That moist cake, cinnamon-pecan sugar middle and luscious glaze! I gotta have some of this!

  8. What a lovely moist and delicious cake!!! Gotta try this!

  9. I need to try this real soon!

  10. I think my family would love this recipe, thanks for sharing!

  11. There is nothing better then smelling cinnamon baking yummmm, thanks for sharing!

  12. This is my favorite coffee cake – my mom calls it Sunshine Cake 🙂 We don;t put glaze on it (though it looks delish!!)

    It tastes best heated up with a little butter melted on it. Yum!!

  13. Adore the cinnamon roll cake recipe! My mother is coming from Maine, so will use it this week! Thank you for your kind words about our Cabot Creamery Cooperative at the Bake and Blog!!

  14. This sounds great. Will try it this weekend.

  15. That swirl in the center has me giddy!

  16. Hi

    I love making cinnamon rolls and this cake sounds fab. What is instant vanilla pudding mix is it just cake mix?? asking from Ireland where I have never heard of it. Thanks

    • Hi, Kat! Vanilla pudding mix is a dry mix used to make instant pudding. I’ve never made a substitute for it, but I’ll see what I can find and email you.

  17. That is one delicious looking cake for sure. I think it’s time to dust off the Bundt pan!

  18. To clarify, the butter is softened and not melted, right? Will make this weekend. One of my favorite cafes here in Santa Fe makes one and I ALWAYS have to have a piece!

  19. I enjoy making cinnamon rolls but this sounds like a fun variation!

  20. What a great idea. I’m also not good about working with yeast so something like this takes that hurdle out 🙂 Looks delicious.

  21. This is the bundt cake of my dreams. 🙂 I love cinnamon rolls but they are way too time consuming. To have all that cinnamon roll flavor in a cake is perfect! Thank you!

  22. My family absolutely will love this! Pecan’s are a big hit. Serve this warm and voila, enjoy :). Which is the better oil to use, Vegetable or Canola? Would a coconut oil work?

  23. Hi, Cheryl! I used canola oil because that’s what I normally have on-hand. I have never used coconut oil, so I can’t really offer any advice on that. If you try it, please let me know how it works!

  24. Looks great! I wonder if a cream cheese glaze would be good? I love that with cinnamon rolls, so it seems like a good fit!

  25. These look great! I can’t wait to try to make them. I love cinnamon rolls.

  26. Yum! Love anything cinnamon!

  27. Just made this and by accident left out the oil — it is still moist and absolutely delicious (must be the pudding)! I reduced the sugar in the cake to 3/4 cup as well. With the glaze, it is plenty sweet. Really a great recipe! Thank you for posting!

  28. What a woderful blog!
    Did I understand correctly – no need to use a stand mixer?
    Thanks!

    • Hi, Hannah! You don’t necessarily have to use a hand mixer or stand mixer. The cake batter is a bit thick, so a little electric mixing help may be welcomed.

  29. I love the recipe, im sure my family will love the cake once I prepare it, thanx

  30. I made this cake for my boyfriend’s birthday. I got to use my homemade vanilla extract (Four vanilla beans from Fresh Market split and scraped into a mason jar with a half pint of Skyy vodka, aged since March.) It was so easy and he keeps raving about it! Every day he comes home from work and eats a piece! Thank you for the great recipe.

  31. This popped up in my Facebook feed. I thought I’d give it a try despite not being able to get pudding mix in New Zealand and sed a local version of instant dessert mix instead. My cake ended up more yellow looking and the glaze also had a yellowy tinge (probably due to NZ cream) but the flavour was amazing. It received rave reviews from my American friend who said it tasted just like a cinnamon roll. Imagine that! Thanks for a delicious recipe.

  32. Jennifer, looking forward to making this. I’m thinking I may use my stand mixer. Did you use a mixer or do by hand? Thanks!

  33. Made this cake for a lunch get-together at the boss’s house today, and I had three servings! So good, and moist! Everybody raved about it 😀

  34. wow wow WOW!!! took it to a potluck yesterday and let me tell you, this cake is amazing! i mixed things a bit differently than the recipe described, since the method in the recipe seemed a bit unconventional to me. and i think either the cake was too warm when i frosted it or my frosting was too thin cuz a lot of it just ran off onto the place. oh well, it was incredible nonetheless! my hubby even said that this might be one of the best cakes I’ve ever made ….. which is a big statement given how much i bake 🙂

  35. Can’t wait to finally try this! Just wondering, what do you use to grease the pan?

  36. This looks amazing! I’ve made several of your recipes in the past couple years, and they’ve all been delicious. I’m really enjoying your website! It’s a go to when I need inspiration for something to bake!

  37. Don’r have a bundt pan, can I use a tube pan instead, and would the bake time be the same?
    Thanks so much, can’t wait to hear from you.

  38. Would it be possible to mix this up the night before and then bake in the morning?

  39. Hello Jennifer

    In your recipe, you mention 13 ounces of vanilla instant pouding!
    . Is it rather 1 package of 3 ounces. And can I use 9X9 cake mold Thank you. Pauline from Québec

    • Hi, Pauline. The recipe lists 1 (one) 3-ounce package, not 13 ounces. I think there will be too much batter for a 9″x 9″ pan. Ideally, I’d use a Bundt pan, but it might translate to a 9″x 13″. I’ve not tried making it that way, so I can’t offer any firsthand advice.

  40. This is lovely Jennifer. I’m impressed that there’s no need of stand mixer. Once more, thank you so much.

  41. I think I will try this for my women’s group! May use maple extract instead of vanilla as I love maple glazes cinnamon rolls! Thank you for the recipe!

  42. Why always unsalted butter?

  43. I made this Sunday morning for Father’s Day. Thanks to my daughter’s friends, it was gone Sunday night! Fabulous. The texture is just like a cinnamon roll. They want me to make it again, and I will!

  44. Such a lovely cake. I did reduce the sugar in the cake mixture as I don’t have a very sweet tooth and in the UK I couldn’t get pudding mix so used Angel delight and could only get that in butterscotch flavour. None of changes ruined the cake, it was absolutely delicious. Can’t wait to try more of your recipes.

  45. Thank you for the recipe, one question, can I replace the vanilla pudding mix using other ingredients? Because in my country we can’t find that. 

    • Hi, Mia. I’ve not tried any of them, but there are lots of DIY pudding mix recipes out there. Do a Google search for “DIY pudding mix” and you’ll find several. Most of them use dry milk powder, sugar, and cornstarch. You might be able to substitute milk or sour cream, but I can’t say how much without trying it myself.

  46. Ola Mia, I live in another country and I am in doubt regarding  vanilla’s pudding mix  amount. I do not understand if 1 3 corresponds to 1/3 or 1.3. I know that the American pudding box comes with 96 grams which depending on the nomenclature above the weight would vary from 36.7 or 32 respectively. Google understands as 1/3. Thank you so much for your attention. 

    • Hi, Monica. It’s a 3-ounce package of vanilla pudding mix, which is 85g. There are some different size packages of pudding mix available from different brands, but you just need 3 ounces for this recipe.

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