Cinnamon Roll Cake

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.

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

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!

Cinnamon Roll Cake

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 16-20 servings

Cinnamon Roll Cake


    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


To make the cake:

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9- or 10-cup Bundt pan.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, and pudding mix. Add butter, oil, eggs, vanilla, and sour cream. Mix well. Dough will be thick.

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.

Transfer half of the cake batter to prepared pan.

To make the filling:

Mix brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans. Sprinkle over the batter in the pan. Scoop remaining cake batter over the filling and smooth the top.

Bake cake 45-50 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Then, flip the cake onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze:

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


Recipe adapted from The Baking Sheet.

The recipe comes to us from King Arthur Flour’s The Baking Sheet. A few years ago, I decided to be brave and let most of my magazine subscriptions, including The Baking Sheet, expire. Honestly, I was just too busy with work and blogging to read them. My recent trip to KAF’s Blog & Bake™ coincided with the new availability of The Baking Sheet in digital format. Now, I have my subscription back plus all the recipes I missed!

The Baking Sheet from King Arthur FlourI am enjoying my digital subscription so much, that I’m offering THREE of you your own digital subscription! I think you’ll love it. With over 3500 baking recipes available on your smart phone, tablet, or desktop, it’s hard not to love.

Please read all the details below. This contest is only open to U.S. residents. The app can be downloaded through iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon. Be sure to read the details about the digital version at King Arthur Flour to make sure you can use the app on your device. You will also be able to access it on your desktop. You’ll have access to King Arthur Flour’s fantastic baking recipes everywhere – from your phone to your tablet to your computer!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: King Arthur Flour provided me with a digital subscription to The Baking Sheet as part of my participation in Blog & Bake™. UPDATE: Thanks to King Arthur Flour for providing the subscriptions for this giveaway.

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  1. Amanda May 1, 2013 Reply

    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. jennifer May 1, 2013 Reply

    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. JEP May 1, 2013 Reply

    I do love cinnamon rolls but struggle with yeast dough anxiety. This cake will be the best solution.

  5. sara May 1, 2013 Reply

    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. Mr. & Mrs. P May 1, 2013 Reply

    What a lovely moist and delicious cake!!! Gotta try this!

  9. Kaathy May 1, 2013 Reply

    I need to try this real soon!

  10. stacie May 1, 2013 Reply

    I think my family would love this recipe, thanks for sharing!

  11. Tahnycooks May 1, 2013 Reply

    There is nothing better then smelling cinnamon baking yummmm, thanks for sharing!

  12. LB May 1, 2013 Reply

    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. Beth Kennett May 1, 2013 Reply

    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. Linda Moyer May 1, 2013 Reply

    This sounds great. Will try it this weekend. I’d also like to win the digital subscription to KAF.

  15. Joanne May 1, 2013 Reply

    That swirl in the center has me giddy!

  16. Kat May 2, 2013 Reply


    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

    • jennifer May 2, 2013 Reply

      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. Carol May 2, 2013 Reply

    That is one delicious looking cake for sure. I think it’s time to dust off the Bundt pan!

  18. Beth Kennett May 2, 2013 Reply

    Not sure how to sign up to win the KAF app? would LOVE to!! would truly use it!!

    • jennifer May 2, 2013 Reply

      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.

  19. Emily Swantner May 2, 2013 Reply

    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!

    • jennifer May 2, 2013 Reply

      Hi, Emily. Yes, the butter is softened.

  20. Kathy May 2, 2013 Reply

    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. Wendy May 2, 2013 Reply

    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. Cheryl May 3, 2013 Reply

    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. jennifer May 3, 2013 Reply

    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. Sarah May 3, 2013 Reply

    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. Dalton May 5, 2013 Reply

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

  27. Jules May 5, 2013 Reply

    Yum! Love anything cinnamon!

  28. Beth Kennett May 7, 2013 Reply

    would love to enter the KAF contest for the app.

  29. Lisa May 12, 2013 Reply

    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. Hannah June 3, 2013 Reply

    What a woderful blog!
    Did I understand correctly – no need to use a stand mixer?

    • jennifer June 3, 2013 Reply

      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. Nelly June 11, 2013 Reply

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

  32. Jessica Swint October 14, 2013 Reply

    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. Morven Walker August 5, 2014 Reply

    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. NRS October 16, 2014 Reply

    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. Kendall Stark November 1, 2014 Reply

    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. stacey December 12, 2014 Reply

    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. Xiomara November 17, 2015 Reply

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

    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry November 17, 2015 Reply

      I usually use a cooking spray with flour, like Baker’s Joy or Pam for Baking.

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