Cinnamon Roll Cake

I think everyone needs therapy. We all are a product of our upbringing, whether bad or good. Every single thing that happens in our life shapes us as a person. I’m not saying you have to see a professional, but thank goodness for good friends to go through life with. By understanding where we come from and what we’ve experienced, we understand more why we are who we are today. I realize this more and more as I get older. Like why I have a phone phobia or why every single time I go grocery shopping I have to start on the right side of the store and work my way around to the left.

Okay, so maybe I’m still trying to figure those out…

When I first met my husband I was burnt out on the whole dating scene. As we started hanging out I told myself I was just going to let go…be the quirky, goofy person I was right off the bat and if he didn’t like it…see ya buddy…no more time wasted. So then I did exactly that. I said things you probably shouldn’t say when you first getting to know someone (if you actually want them to like you) and told stories that included me doing impersonations and a couple of funny dances to go with them. Then I looked over to see what probably should’ve been a horrified look in his eyes and instead I saw the opposite…adoration. It was so refreshing. He liked me. He liked the goofy me. He liked that I could do the Moonwalk. I could be, say, or do whatever I wanted without constantly worrying he was going to judge me. I told my friends it was like free therapy.

Baking is also therapeutic for me. That’s how this cake came about. I was having a stressful day. I swear sometimes I feel like there’s a camera on me and I’m being Punk’d. My husband knowingly said, “Why don’t you go bake something so you can relax.” You’re right.

This cake is yummy and actually lighter than I was expecting. I loved the smell of it baking in my oven.


Cinnamon Roll Cake



  • 3 cups flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) real butter, melted


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) real butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans, (optional)


  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In an electric or stand mixer mix the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, milk, eggs and vanilla. Once combined well, slowly stir in the 1/2 cup melted butter. Pour batter into a greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the 2 sticks of softened butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and pecans until well combined. Drop evenly over cake batter by the tablespoonfuls and use a knife to marble/swirl through the cake.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out nearly clean from center. You want to make sure it’s done. I like most things underdone but cake is not one of them.
  5. Place powdered sugar, milk and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk until smooth. Drizzle over warm cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Source: adapted slightly from Picky Palate

Speak Your Mind



  1. Just delightful – really looks light and we will be making it this afternoon!

  2. I agree on the therapy thing. I think the smartest people are those who recognize that 🙂

    I ALSO think that everyone needs some of this cake. it looks to die for.

  3. Oh wow! Does this look good. Have to try it – soon.

  4. Oh I love this post and this cake doesn’t hurt things either. I’ve seen a similar cake that was make with a cake mix, but this eppeals to me so much more.

  5. I have someone coming to look at my “For Sale” home today, and this is going to be in the oven! Thanks for a fun new recipe, and have a happy holiday.

  6. I think we all have some sort of therapeutic creative outlet! I love that you post about yours…this cake looks amazing! Thanks for sharing.

    Here’s to a stress free, relaxing Labor Day!

  7. This looks so light and airy, almost. Just delicious.

  8. I’m so glad I checked your blog this morning. I was wondering what I was going to make for our Labor Day picnic with friends. You’ve made my day less stressful! Thank you!

  9. That cake looks delicious!
    If I had butter in the house today I would so make it.

  10. @Kirsten,
    No butter! I have a couple of pounds you could borrow if you lived by me…

  11. It looks delicious and I bet it smells devine!

  12. I just had to say again how much I adore your blog! Alot of hubbys favorite recipes are ones I found here! So, he and I thank you!


  13. Looks so YUMMY! I wish my husband would eat sweets!

    • Oh no………..I have only one thing to say. All the more for you! Lucky you! If my hub likes something sweet,
      I have to hurry to get another piece. That includes this recipe. If I’m silly enough to want yet another piece, I have to hide it. So enjoy your hub not eating them. No sharing (unless you want to).

  14. SO yum!! I will have to make this for breakfast…you can eat cake for breakfast, right?!

  15. yum this looks so good!!

  16. I am making this tonight for my brother’s birthday tomorrow. In my family we always have cake in the morning, so this is a Great cake recipe for Birthday morning cake! Thanks for the recipe you are the BEST!

  17. I made this the night you posted and it is DIVINE! I love your blog, and you are quickly turning me into a girl-who-eats-everything 🙂 🙂

  18. @Amy,
    I’m sorry. I’m a bad influence. 🙂

  19. What temp do you bake this at?

  20. @Holly,
    Yeah, kind of important information. Sorry. Bake at 350 degrees.

  21. voted another keeper! It was a great FHE treat and leftovers were perfect for breakfast this morning!

  22. Made this last Saturday for a girls movie night and they are asking me to make it again! Just one question, with the cinnamon topping, I followed the directions and swirled it but the weight of it went through the cake layer and so all the cinnamon/butter/sugar layer was on the bottom. How did you keep yours from doing that? Thanks!


  23. @Melissa,
    I have no idea why it did that? Make sure you don’t swirl it too much but I’m not sure what happened there. Sorry.

  24. This was so super good. I even feed it to my hometeachers. Thanks for posting this recipe.

  25. I just made this tonight and it was AH-MAZING! So good…and it would be great for a brunchy type thing too! Delicious warmed up!

  26. I just made this cake and everybody in my family loved it!! Thanks for posting all of your recipes!!

  27. Yum! I think I need to make this too! I just love cake these days.

    Baking is definitely therapy. I have decided that it is because when you are having a stressful day or everything else is going crazy and uncontrollable, you know that you can go into the kitchen, mix up some butter, sugar, flour, a bit of baking powder and a bit of chocolate ( and whatever else) bake for 20 minutes and always end up with something delish.

  28. Well, look at that! Someone else came up with a cinnamon roll cake recipe too 🙂 I made one up about 5 years ago and we love it. Mine is a bit different from yours but I’m sure yours is great too!

  29. all i can say is…WOW! 🙂 Esther

  30. This looks amazing. I am making this as soon as my butter softens. Question, do you think you can make this in a cupcake pan? I don’t see why not but just wanted to ask in case you have tried before and it didn’t work out. I like the idea of individual servings and not having to cut it out of the pan. I am going to give it a go tonight.

  31. I made this today, and it words cannot describe how good it was.

  32. Cristy, do you use unsalted or salted butter in this?

  33. @NRS,
    I would use unsalted since we are adding salt to the recipe already. I like to always use unsalted butter when baking.

  34. This cake is amazing! Do you think it would work in a bundt pan?

  35. @Star, Great question. I have no idea 🙂 I don’t see why not right?

  36. Made this today. So so so so yum! Hope it stays just as yum tomorrow. What has your experience been storing this? Thanks so much for the recipe!

  37. @NRS,
    Never had a chance to store this because it always gets eaten!

  38. I’ve made this twice. I’m not impressed. I think the cake is dry and the cinnamon “filling” sinks to the bottom. If you pan isn’t greased well, it will be a little hard to get out of the pan. The second time I made this I put the filling in a bag and pipped it on top so it wasn’t to thick, it still sank to the bottom. I also added King Arthurs cake enhancer and it really helped with it being dry but not enough for me to ever make this cake again. Just my two cents

  39. Made this tonight to test it before we get company from out of town for Thanksgiving. Had to give it to our neighbor. My husband and I are on diets and this is just too lethal to keep around. It is delicious!!! My filling did not to sink to the bottom. It was marveled throughout the cake and some on the top. Don’t know what would cause it to sink. Maybe you didn’t swirl it enough with a knife.

  40. Your photos are to die for! Everything looks amazing!

  41. i see a lot of recipes where butter is used. These recipes call for salt also. do i use salted or unsalted butter?

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      I usually always use unsalted butter when baking. If the recipe calls for salt then for sure use unsalted butter.

  42. The cake looks beautiful but when I made it (exactly as the recipe calls), my husband and found the cake to be very dry. The smell of the house was great but the cake was a bit crumbly.

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      @Ann Marie,
      Every oven is different and it should not be dry at all. I’m thinking you might need to bake it for less time and it would be better.

  43. Love this site!! I made this cake for my husband and I and cut it in half. this is the lightest cake I have ever eaten. I have passed the recipe on to my family. My husband thinks he doesn’t like pecans but he all but licked the plate! I did chop the nuts a little finer than I would have just for myself. Keep up the good work.

  44. I’ve always made homemade cinnamon roll’s from scratch, but have a hard time as I have problem’s with my hand’s so this will be a perfect way to have the flavor of homemade cinnamon roll’s. Can’t wait to make them.

  45. Cant wait to make this afternoon. Looks absolutely yummy! Everything on your site looks delicious!
    Thanks for all the recipes.

  46. I have just found your Cinnamon Roll Cake it just sounds so yummy. I wan’t to try A.S.P.

  47. I recently discovered you and your site and I am so impressed! You and so talented, so creative, so beatiful, and I am so happy I found you!

    Looking forward to more of “you!”

  48. DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME AND MONEY MAKING THIS!!!! The cake was tasteless, there was too much filling so you had to bake the cake about 15 minutes longer and the glaze was gross. SORRY

  49. G’day! Theses look YUM and are going “on the list” too!LOVE your photo!
    Cheers! Joanne
    What’s On The List?

  50. I’ve made this recipe before, twice, only it was called ‘Cinnamon Roll Swirl Cake’. While it does taste very much like a cinnamon roll, the texture leaves something to be desired and the cake dries out quickly. Won’t waste the ingredients for a third try!

  51. Christy what type of flour did you use?

  52. OMG!! I made this today and it was absolutely delicious!!! Thank you SO much for the recipe, I will definitely be making this again soon!

  53. Good

  54. OHHH my word this was delicious! We added diced apples to our batter and it was really really good! Thanks so much for sharing!

  55. :(. I tried it. Don’t know what I did wrong. Looked NOTHING like your picture and I’m an avid baker 🙁 :(. How long should I have mixed the ingredients, before and after adding the melted butter? I think that’s where I fell short 🙁 I NEED to perfect this recipe!

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      Oh no! What did it look like? You should just mix in the butter until combined.

      • It was leaden! Combined the dry ingredients with the eggs and milk in the mixer, and mixed for about 3 minutes or so. The mixture looked thick and ‘heavy-ish’ Not very cake like… So I added the melted butter thinking it might ‘loosen’ up a bit, but no 🙁 I even added a 1/2 cup apple sauce. Not much difference. And it took forever to bake. I knew the results would not have been good. BUT, it smelled really yummy 🙂 So I really don’t know where I went wrong.

  56. Lisa LaMunyon says:

    As I read your instructions about how to measure nuts… 3/4 cup chopped pecans, (optional) (always measure the nuts and then chop them. My understanding is if you want the nuts measured first and then chopped , the recipe would read 3/4 cup pecans chopped. If you want them chopped before measuring then you use 3/4 cup chopped pecans. Do I have that wrong?

  57. I made this cake, my husband usually likes anything sweet. He told me I need to go back to my usual honeybun cake. We did not like it. My son told me he could not eat it. So sorry, will not make again.

  58. I just pulled this cake out of the oven and topped it with the icing about a half an hour ago and now I’m sitting down to enjoy a piece (or two). It’s DELICIOUS!!! Thank you for the recipe! A glass of milk is going to go great with this 🙂

  59. I made this yesterday. It was very dense and dry, almost kike I used bisquick. Seems like it needed either more fat, eggs or less flour. It tasted good though. I think I will add another egg to see if it makes a difference.

  60. This is my favorite cinnamon roll cake recipe! It is moist and delish and everyone’s favorite. The only thing I do differently is use a cream cheese frosting instead of the glaze. I’m getting ready to make this in 2 9″ pans and add a layer of NY style cheesecake between. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  61. I made this cake for a nerdy parents book club and ended up sharing the recipe with everyone who had some. 🙂 Of course, I’d forgotten to bookmark it, so I googled what i remembered and ran across this, dated three years after your post:
    Looks a bit familiar, doesn’t it? 😛 Ahh. Imitation, flattery, etc.

    At any rate, this cake is delicious, and I’m totally making it again right now. Twice. 😀 Thank you!

  62. Made the Cinnamon Roll Cake tonight and it smells awesome in my kitchen. I find baking in my kitchen the best therapy as I create many new recipes. This one is almost done and a keeper…. Thank you….:)

  63. My husband is the manager of a state park. I made this for the work crew. The guys called it a piece of heaven on a plate! Thanks for the recipe!



  65. I made it this morning. My bake time at temp you said was almost 40 mins. I wasn’t impressed at all. I love your site and super disappointed in this. I scrachted my head thinking geez did I forget something in this, and I didn’t. I won’t be making this again, and I will keep searching for the perfect cake.

  66. Cake was wonderful! Light, fluffy, tasty, topping was evenly spread out on and in the cake. Everyone loved it. Don’t understand the negative comments at all…… Remember when you point blame at others for your failure you are pointing three fingers back at yourself….. Love this cake!!

  67. This cake was somewhat disappointing. It was just an ok recipe, but nothing amazing, and definitely not worth the cost of the large amounts of the ingredients that went into it. Filling was difficult to swirl into the batter because it was solid in form, and it all sunk to the bottom of the cake. Took 10 full minutes longer than the 25 minutes as directed in the instructions. Really didn’t taste like a cinnamon roll, in my opinion. First piece warm out of the pan was ok, but I will be interested to see what it is like after it cools.