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.
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.
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
- Vanilla pudding mix
- Unsalted butter – Softened
- Vegetable oil – Or use canola oil.
- 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.
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.
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.
Glaze and serve. Drizzle the glaze over the still-warm cake, cut into slices, and serve.
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!
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.
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.
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.