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Cinnamon Breakfast Cake

Let’s have cake for breakfast with this Cinnamon Breakfast Cake!

overhead view of Cinnamon Breakfast Cake on a blue plate

Cinnamon Breakfast Cake

Some mornings before school, my mother would serve me cake for breakfast. I don’t mean coffee cake or some other lightly sweet cake that might possibly be considered a morning treat. No, I mean straight up cake. Frosting and everything.

This Cinnamon Breakfast Cake, however, is actually meant to be served as a special breakfast treat or as a sweet way to wrap up a weekend brunch. It has just the right amount of sweetness and a lovely, delicious swirl of cinnamon running through it to make it a fantastic morning meal treat for a holiday, special occasion, or just because.

If you’re on the fence about ingesting the occasional slice of cake in the morning, just think about how this cake is quite muffin-like in flavor and texture. You just skip the part where you portion and make individual muffins. That alone should help you justify having cake for breakfast. If you’re still not quite sure, one bite is sure to change your mind!

overhead view of slices of Cinnamon Breakfast Cake on color-rimmed white plates

Of course, all this cake-for-breakfast talk doesn’t mean this isn’t a perfectly lovely cake to serve for dessert. It’s not over-the-top sweet, so it would definitely be a great candidate for a simple dessert. Or how about an afternoon snack? Just imagine a slice of this with your tea or coffee break. Basically, this is an all-day-long cake, and that makes me love it even more.

Tips for Success

  • Generously grease the Bundt pan. My preferred method for this is a cooking spray with flour, like Baker’s Joy or Pam for Baking. Don’t let the spray sit too long in the pan before you add the batter, or it can settle toward the bottom.
  • Use a light-colored, non-reflective pan. Dark pans will bake the outside faster, making for over-baked edges and a potentially under-baked middle.
  • Measure accurately. This is true in all baking recipes, but it bears repeating. If you have a scale, always use it if you can.
  • Use a good quality cinnamon. If you bake with cinnamon often, you’ve likely learned that not all cinnamons are the same. The cinnamon flavor in this cake will reflect the quality of the cinnamon you use.
  • Feel free to substitute another nut. I prefer pecans for most recipes, but other nuts will work here, too. Try walnuts, hazelnuts, or almonds.
  • Don’t skip the sifting! I don’t often recommend sifting, but confectioners’ sugar is one of my two exceptions. Taking a few minutes to sift it will make your glaze nice and smooth.
  • Store tightly covered at room temperature for 2-3 days. The sugar in the glaze will help keep it from spoiling. If you have any concerns about leaving it out, then refrigerate the entire cake, or keep the glaze separate and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving. For longer storage, refrigerate or freeze.

Whether you’re considering this cake for breakfast, for snacking, or for dessert, I think you’ll love how it celebrates simple flavors in an easy-to-make cake. It’s just the kind of recipe you’re likely to find yourself making again and again!

Cinnamon Breakfast Cake

Yield 10 to 12 servings
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

This Cinnamon Breakfast Cake is a terrific sweet treat for a special breakfast or brunch!

overhead view of slices of Cinnamon Breakfast Cake on color-rimmed white plates


For the cake:

  • 3 tablespoons chopped pecans
  • 3 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 & 1/4 cups (250g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (237ml) buttermilk

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup (110g) confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


To make the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease a 10-cup Bundt pan.
  2. Stir together the pecans, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  4. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, mix the butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until thoroughly combined.
  5. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture in three portions, alternating with two portions of buttermilk. Mix just until combined.
  6. Scoop about a third of the batter to the prepared pan. Sprinkle the pecan mixture evenly over the batter. Scoop the remaining batter over the pecan mixture.
  7. Bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan 15 minutes. Then transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze:

  1. Stir together the confectioners' sugar, 1 tablespoon buttermilk, butter, and vanilla until smooth. If necessary, add the remaining buttermilk, about a teaspoon at a time, until the glaze is the desired consistency.
  2. Pour or spoon the glaze over the cooled cake.


Recipe inspired by Southern Living and MyRecipes.

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    11 Comments on “Cinnamon Breakfast Cake”

  1. you know i love this, and you know i’d put a little extra cinnamon in that luscious glaze. 🙂

  2. Alexis from A Day in the Bite here.

    This cake looks delicious and I could eat the pictures!

  3. Cake for breakfast? Best mom ever!! Love this pretty coffeecake, too!

  4. that cinnamon swirl and the glaze totally put me over the edge! This is the perfect breakfast treat!

  5. Jennifer,
    This cake would be great for breakfast.
    Happy Easter.

  6. OMG!!! I made this cake for Easter breakfast. It was a huge hit…super moist and delicious. This will definitely be a recipe I keep around and pass on!!! Thanks!!!!

  7. I love anything with a glaze, so will definitely try this. All
    your recipes are the best.

  8. This breakfast cake looks delicious. I am going to make it for Christmas morning. I just love cinnamon and this cake with a glaze makes me hungry just looking at the picture! Thanks

  9. My all-time favorite breakfast is cherry pie. My mother asked our doctor and he thought it actually sounded good and didn’t consider it especially unhealthy.  #2 is really good chocolate cake.

    I think I would love this cake. I’ll be trying it soon.


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