Prepare to fall in love with this Cinnamon Roll Cake! Light and fluffy sour cream cake with a thick cinnamon swirl and cream cheese frosting. All the flavors of a cinnamon roll in a delicious homemade cake.
This is one of my favorite recipes ever, because it is a CAKE that TASTES LIKE A CINNAMON ROLL! All the flavor with a fraction of the work. If you like cinnamon rolls (that’s everyone, right?), then you will go crazy for this recipe. Try our Cinnamon Roll Blondies or Churro Cheesecake, too!
This cake is
- Soft and tender
- Filled with a thick cinnamon swirl
- Topped with cream cheese frosting
- Easier than making cinnamon rolls
- Delicious served for breakfast or dessert
- Perfect for feeding a crowd
Here are the three components of this recipe:
Sour cream cake: The base of the cake is a moist and fluffy sour cream cake. The cake itself is soft and sweet with a tender crumb, and a bit of tang from the sour cream. The easy homemade batter comes together in minutes. Love sour cream cake? Try our White Cake Recipe, too.
Brown sugar cinnamon swirl: This is the star of the cake! A simple mixture of softened butter, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon is added to the top of the cake batter. It gets swirled into the cake batter, creating little pockets of brown sugar-cinnamon flavor all throughout the cake.
Cream cheese frosting: After baking, we spread a generous layer of cream cheese frosting over the top of the cake. This adds the finishing touch to make this cake taste exactly like a cinnamon roll!
Don’t have sour cream? Try one of our Sour Cream Substitutes.
When swirling the cinnamon into the cake batter swirl it down into the cake as well as around the top.
Allow plenty of time for the cake to cool before adding the frosting.
Is your frosting too soft? Pop it in the refrigerator for 20 or 30 minutes.
Store this cake in the refrigerator and bring to cool room temp before serving.
Cinnamon Roll Cake
- 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter , softened
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup full fat sour cream
- 3 tablespoons milk
- ½ cup unsalted butter, very soft but not melted
- ⅔ cup packed brown sugar, light or dark
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 heaping tablespoon ground cinnamon
- couple pinches salt
Cream cheese frosting:
- 6 oz cream cheese, softened
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack in the center. Grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
- In a large bowl whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat sugar and butter until smooth and creamy. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, then vanilla extract, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the flour in three additions and the sour cream in two additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Once combined, add milk and beat until incorporated, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary. Spread batter in prepared pan (it will be thick).
- Mix together all ingredients until well combined (I use a fork or a rubber spatula). Drop small spoonfuls of filling all around on the top of the cake batter.
- Use a thin knife to swirl the filling around and down into the batter.
- Bake the cake for 30-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. When checking for doneness make sure you're checking the cake portion, don't worry about the cinnamon swirls. Peek at the cake around 25 minutes. If it begins to get dark, place a piece of foil loosely over the top. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until combined. Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla. Increase speed to high and beat for 1-2 minutes, until light and fluffy. If desired, you can make the frosting thicker by adding more powdered sugar, or thinner by adding a splash of milk. I like it thicker than a glaze but slightly thinner than a traditional frosting (like what you would see on a cinnamon roll). Spread the frosting evenly over the top of the cooled cake.
Nutritional Information is an estimate based on third-party calculations and may vary based on products used and serving sizes.
** Recipe updated February 2019 to make the cake a bit less thick (so it bakes faster). Cake will be thickness pictured.**