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Cinnamon Roll Cake

Cinnamon Roll Cake topped with a cream cheese glaze

I love recipes that take a well-known, well-loved baked good and present it in an entirely different way. I also love baked goods that are just as good for breakfast as they are for dessert. So, you can imagine that this Cinnamon Roll Cake makes me very happy.

The cake itself is a lovely yellow cake made with one of my favorite cake ingredients – sour cream. A little cinnamon sugar gets partially mixed into that delicious cake. Then, the cake is layered with a combination of brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans. To top it all off, a sweet vanilla glaze goes on top of the baked cake.

slice of Cinnamon Roll Cake

You get all the flavors of a good cinnamon roll with far less effort. You see, I also love simple recipes that produce a fabulous result. This is the rare recipe that gets the great trifecta for me – a twist on traditional, an anytime treat, and a quick and easy recipe!

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Cinnamon Roll Cake

Yield 12 to 16 servings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes

Cinnamon Roll Cake takes all the flavors you love in cinnamon rolls and puts them into a delicious cake!

Cinnamon Roll Cake topped with a cream cheese glaze

Ingredients

For the cake:

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

For the filling:

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped

For the glaze:

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

Instructions

To make the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9- or 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 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.

To make the filling:

  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.

To make the glaze:

  1. Mix the confectioners' sugar, 3 tablespoons of cream, and vanilla until smooth. Add more cream as needed to make glaze pourable.
  2. Drizzle the glaze over cake.

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    66 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. I’d also like to win the digital subscription to KAF.

  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. Hi, Beth! You should see a big box at the end of the post where you can enter. Click on it where it says, “Answer a Question” and follow the directions from there.

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

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

  22. 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!

  23. 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?

  24. 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!

  25. 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!

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

  27. Yum! Love anything cinnamon!

  28. would love to enter the KAF contest for the app.

  29. 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!

  30. 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.

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

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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!

  35. 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 😀

  36. 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 🙂

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

  38. 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!

  39. 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.

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

  41. 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.

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

  43. 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!

  44. Why always unsalted butter?

  45. 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!

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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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