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Homemade Cinnamon Roll Cake: A Simplified Delight for Weekend Bakers

I’ve always found that the scent of cinnamon and the warm, gooey texture of homemade cinnamon rolls evoke a sense of nostalgia. Recognizing the effort that goes into kneading and rolling dough, I’ve turned to a simpler yet equally comforting alternative: the Homemade Cinnamon Roll Cake.

This delightful twist on classic cinnamon rolls captures the essence of the beloved pastry but with the ease of preparing a cake. Whether for a family breakfast or as a dessert for guests, it offers the irresistible cinnamon flavor in a form that is straightforward and satisfying to bake.

My adventure in baking a Cinnamon Roll Cake begins with gathering the right ingredients for the batter—a blend of pantry staples like flour, milk, eggs, and sugar. Paying close attention to the mix of cinnamon and brown sugar ensures that the cake maintains the signature flavor profile of its roll-shaped counterparts.

The process of swirling the cinnamon filling throughout the batter feels almost therapeutic, resembling the pattern of a cinnamon roll, but without the need for rolling and cutting. Drizzling the cake with a creamy vanilla icing adds the finishing touch that brings it all together, much like the icing on traditional cinnamon rolls. Each bite offers a reminder of why we cherish these flavors: they’re a simple pleasure, an homage to tradition, wrapped up in the comfort of home baking.

Ingredients You’ll Need

To create the perfect homemade cinnamon roll cake, you’ll need an assortment of ingredients that come together to form that classic, cozy, cinnamon-infused flavor we all love. Let’s get started on what I usually gather before beginning:

For the cake batter:

  • Flour: The foundation of our cake, I recommend all-purpose flour for the best structure.
  • Sugar: Just the right amount to add a touch of sweetness.
  • Baking Powder & Salt: These are crucial for the cake to rise and to balance the flavors.
  • Milk & Eggs: They add moisture and richness to the cake batter.
  • Vanilla Extract: A splash enhances the overall flavor.
  • Butter: Melted, this adds a deliciously rich and tender crumb.

For the cinnamon swirl:

  • A mix of:
    • Cinnamon: For that signature warmth.
    • Brown Sugar: It creates a lovely caramel-like undertone.
    • Optional: Nuts: If you enjoy a bit of crunch and nuttiness.

For the cream cheese frosting (optional but recommended):

  • Cream Cheese & Butter: I like them soft, for a smooth and creamy frosting.
  • Powdered Sugar: For the sweetness and structure of the frosting.
  • Vanilla Extract: A bit more for an aromatic frosting.

I always feel like a kitchen alchemist, bringing these simple components together to create a treat that reminds me of lazy Sunday mornings. If you’re ready, grab your apron, and let’s turn these ingredients into a delightful cinnamon roll cake that’s bound to make your kitchen smell amazing!

How To Make Cinnamon Roll Cake

To start, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and prepare a 9×13-inch baking dish by greasing it well. Now, for the cake base, you’ll want to whisk together the dry ingredients—flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder—in a large bowl.

Next, add the milk, egg, and vanilla into the dry mixture. Combine these by stirring gently, and then pour in your melted butter. Mix until you achieve a smooth, consistent batter, then pour it into your greased baking dish, using a spatula to spread it evenly.

For the cinnamon swirl that gives this cake its signature appeal, mix together brown sugar, cinnamon, and softened butter in a separate bowl until it’s creamy and well-combined.

Dollop this cinnamon mixture over the cake batter. Then, with a knife or the end of a spatula, swirl it through the batter to create those beautiful cinnamon streaks that mimic the inside of a cinnamon roll.

Bake the cake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

While the cake is baking, I like to prepare the cream cheese frosting. Beat together cream cheese, softened butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla until it is creamy. Once the cake is done and still warm, spread this frosting all over the top, letting it melt into the cake slightly.

This cinnamon roll cake is a delightful twist on traditional cinnamon rolls, offering the same flavors but in a form that’s perfect to share at gatherings. Enjoy it fresh and warm for the most comforting experience!

Tips For The Best Homemade Cinnamon Roll Cake

When I make a Homemade Cinnamon Roll Cake, I focus on a few key tips that guarantee delicious results every time. First and foremost, accurate measurements of ingredients are essential. I always use a kitchen scale for dry ingredients and clear measuring cups for liquids to ensure precision.

  • Preparation: Preheat your oven as the first step. This allows sufficient time for it to reach the necessary temperature.

Here’s a quick rundown of my top tips:

  • Cake Batter:

    • Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly before adding the wet ones.
    • Incorporate the melted butter slowly to achieve a uniform texture.
  • Cinnamon Swirl:

    • Combine the cinnamon topping until smooth, avoiding overmixing to prevent it from becoming too runny.
  • Pan Prep:

    • I can’t emphasize enough the importance of greasing your baking dish. Use a non-stick cooking spray or butter for best results.
  • Layering:

    • Pour half of the cake mixture into the pan, add a layer of the cinnamon swirl, then top it with the remaining batter. I find a knife or a toothpick perfect for creating swirl patterns.
  • Baking:

    • Don’t open the oven door too often; this can cause the cake to fall.
    • Start checking the cake a few minutes before the recipe’s suggested time to prevent over-baking.

By sticking to these guidelines, I’ve managed to bake a Cinnamon Roll Cake that’s always a hit at gatherings or even just for a cozy family dessert.

What To Serve With Homemade Cinnamon Roll Cake

When I whip up a batch of delicious Homemade Cinnamon Roll Cake, I love to think about what to pair it with to make it an even more delightful treat. Here’s my go-to list:


  • Coffee: A classic choice, a hot cup of coffee complements the sweetness perfectly.
  • Tea: Whether it’s black, herbal, or chai, tea offers a soothing balance.
  • Milk: Cold milk is a comforting pairing that’s always a hit, especially with kids.


  • Fresh Berries: Blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries add a tart contrast and a splash of color.
  • Sliced Apples: With a sprinkle of cinnamon, they echo the cake’s warm spices.


  • Whipped Cream: A dollop on top can make it feel extra special.
  • Ice Cream: A scoop of vanilla ice cream is a decadent addition that turns the cake into a sumptuous dessert.


  • Toasted Pecans or Walnuts: They add a delightful crunch and nutty flavor.


I always suggest matching the cake with something that contrasts in texture or temperature to excite the palate. Whether it’s a morning treat or a dessert after dinner, choosing the right accompaniment can turn a simple piece of cake into a memorable indulgence.

How To Store, Freeze & Reheat Homemade Cinnamon Roll Cake

When it comes to storing my Homemade Cinnamon Roll Cake, I’ve found that the key to keeping it fresh is proper sealing. At room temperature, I keep it in an airtight container for up to two days if it’s unfrosted. If it’s frosted, or if I need to store it a bit longer, I refrigerate it, which extends its life to about four days.

To Freeze:

  • Before Rising: I wrap unbaked rolls tightly in plastic wrap to freeze.
  • After Baking: For fully baked rolls, make sure they’re completely cool before wrapping them in both plastic and then foil.

To Thaw:

  • Unbaked Rolls: I transfer them from the freezer to the fridge the night before, letting them thaw and then rise.
  • Baked Rolls: I leave them at room temperature for a few hours or overnight covered.

To Reheat:

  • Oven: Preheating the oven to 350°F and warming the cake for about 10 to 15 minutes usually does the trick.
  • Microwave: Individual slices can be heated for 30 seconds for a quick fix.

I’ve found that this method of freezing unbaked cinnamon rolls works wonderfully. For storing baked rolls, however, I follow the advice from Always Eat Dessert on sealing and storing options.

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