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Cinnamon Pudding Cake

Cinnamon Pudding Cake is a magical dessert that makes the cake and the gooey sauce all at once in the same pan!

slice of Cinnamon Pudding Cake on a marble surface

We all know that baking is all about science, but there are still times that it just seems magical. Pudding cakes are a perfect example of baking magic. Put cake batter and a whole lot of liquid in a cake pan, and somehow it turns into cake and sauce all at the same time. Magic!

This fantastic pudding cake is flavored with a hefty dose of cinnamon and covered with a caramel-like topping and a sprinkling of toasted nuts. The flavor is just wonderful. And the soft texture is equally lovely.

Cinnamon Pudding Cake on a marble serving tray

I’ve made pudding cakes many times (hello, Chocolate Cobbler!), but I’ve always served them by scooping out cake and sauce into individual servings. This cake changes things up a bit by turning the cake out of the pan and letting the sauce cover the cake. It’s both gorgeous and far easier to serve.

As simple as this cake is to make, there are a couple of tips I can offer to make things go as smoothly as possible. The first is to make sure that you thoroughly grease your cake pan. Don’t be shy. There’s a whole bunch of sticky caramel that will be baked in the bottom of the pan. You want to make sure it comes out of there as easily as possible. (And I highly recommend that you don’t use a dark pan so it doesn’t overbake.)

I feel I must also take a moment to get out my Quality Ingredients Soapbox. Cinnamon is the star here, so be sure to use a good one. Pick a cinnamon with good flavor, or it may get lost a bit in the cake. I mainly use Penzey’s Vietnamese Cinnamon, which has a wonderful, strong flavor. If you’re using a less strong cinnamon, you might consider increasing the amount of cinnamon in the cake.

Cinnamon Pudding Cake topped with chopped nuts

My other tip is for the inevitable bit of sauce that doesn’t freely come out of the pan. I had just a bit of it that didn’t come out when I inverted the cake. But no worries. The sauce should still be plenty warm enough so you can just scrape it out of the pan and put it on top of the cake. Then simply spread the sauce over the cake. Easy fix!

When you get this cake mixed and pour the topping on top, you may be skeptical that what you’re seeing has any chance of becoming the cake you see here. But that odd, sloshy mixture magically transforms into this wonderfully delicious cake and topping. Then you’ll certainly be a believer in baking magic, too!

Find more cake recipes in the Recipe Index!

Cinnamon Pudding Cake

Yield 9 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Cake and sauce that bake at the same time? That's the magic of this delightful Cinnamon Pudding Cake!

Cinnamon Pudding Cake


For the topping:

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (177ml) water
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the cake:

  • 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 & 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (237ml) milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (60g) roughly chopped toasted pecans (optional)


To make the topping:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
  2. Combine the brown sugar, water, butter, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. Set aside to cool.

To make the cake:

  1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture in 3 portions, alternating with 2 portions of milk. Add the vanilla with the first portion of milk. Mix just until combined.
  4. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, and spread evenly.
  5. Pour the topping mixture over the batter.
  6. Carefully transfer the pan to the oven. (The pan will be very full of liquid.) Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the cake is set. The center of the cake should not jiggle when the pan is gently shaken.
  7. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.* Then, invert the cake onto a serving platter. If any topping remains in the bottom of the pan, simply scrape it onto the cake and smooth the top.
  8. If desired, sprinkle pecans over the top of the warm cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.


*This cooling time is fairly exact for the best results removing the cake from the pan, so be sure to set a timer.

Recipe slightly adapted from Cake Keeper Cakes.

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Cinnamon Pudding Cake

Cinnamon Pudding Cake

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    24 Comments on “Cinnamon Pudding Cake”

  1. Oh my gosh, this is the exact kind of cozy dessert that I can’t resist. It looks incredible!!

  2. I want it!! Where do I sign up!? 😉 Pinned for later!!

  3. Only 2 tbsp butter in the cake batter? This looks delicious and I can only imagine the heavenly smell that would fill the house!!! Great for brunch!

  4. This looks phenomenal! I’m a baking addict, so I absolutely adore your site and know to check here when I want to try a new dessert.
    My question is, if you invert the cake after you bake it, doesn’t all the sauce end up on the bottom of the cake and then the top of the cake is bare and dry?

  5. The vanilla is listed in ingredients but not in the instructions.

  6. I just made this cake because my roommate and I couldn’t resist how delicious it looked. Plus we didn’t even have to go to the store because of how simple the ingredients are 🙂 It turned out great, although the sauce topping was still soupy, which surprised me. Still delicious!

  7. I just found your blog after seeing you over on IG and all your delicious looking photos. I have signed up for emails and have pinned this recipe for all winter long. lol. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Hi Jennifer, I’ve got your cake in the oven as I write. The pour over sauce, am I just bringing it to a boil or should I let it cook down some? I had a hard time getting the butter to cream with  2 tablespoons of butter. The butter was half way between fridge and room temperature, so maybe I should have been more patient with getting  it to room temperature. Thanks for the recipe. An easy cake to make with little fuss.

  9. I would like to make this in a 9X13, do you how to figure out the measurements for this? I know if I double it, there is a high likelihood it would overflow.
    Thank you!

  10. Reading the instructions it says to pour the topping mixture over the batter. But in the comments, it says to flip the cake out and the topping will be on top like the photo. Does the topping sink to the bottom them while baking?

  11. I’ve never heard of this cake before today but this came up when I searched for a cinnamon pudding and it was so good! The sauce is very sweet however it is well balanced with the cake and my whole family loved this. I used a circular cake tin as our square tins are not as non-stick and it came out easily just by flipping the tin. I will definitely make this again as it was super easy to make. (Might I suggest adding a rating system as google showed this as having no reviews)

  12. 4. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, and spread evenly.
    5. Pour the topping mixture over the batter.

    Does the topping sink to the bottom while baking? It isn’t like Pecan rolls where the sugar/topping mixture is on the bottom then you invert the pan?

  13. Didnt know what the consistency the topping was supposed to be. I did a runny caramel. In oven now. Hope it turns out ok!

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