The Classic Cinnamon Roll Cake You Can’t Live Without

Revel in the delicious warming flavors this cinnamon roll cake recipe brings to brunch. No one will blame you if you reach for a second slice!

There’s nothing like the ultra-comforting flavor of cinnamon. It’s the edible equivalent of wrapping yourself in a toasty throw and settling in next to a roaring fire. If you love cinnamon as much as we do, then this cinnamon roll cake recipe needs to be on your radar. It’s great for when you’re in the mood for sweet snack with an afternoon cup of coffee or tea and makes a perfect treat to pack in a lunch bag.

The beauty of this recipe is that you can tinker with it to suit your tastes. Just add some icing to jazz it up, use pecans instead of walnuts or leave out nuts altogether. You can make this recipe completely your own. One thing we promise—it’s sure to become a family favorite!

No Nuts? No Problem

Not keen on nuts or know someone with a nut allergy? Skip ’em. You can replace them with raisins, dried cranberries or your preferred dried fruit. Of course, no one would complain if you swapped nuts for chocolate chips!

You Won’t Believe the Secret Ingredient

It’s sour cream. Why? Using sour cream creates a richer cake that stays moist. It also adds a subtle hint of tanginess to the cake, acting as the perfect foil to the sweetness. The final bonus of using sour cream is that it takes the place of higher calorie ingredients like oil. If you’re watching your waistline but don’t want to totally cut out your favorite baked goods, sour cream is a killer substitute. (Here are more surprising swaps.)

How to Make Cinnamon Roll Cake

The original recipe comes to us courtesy of Eleanor Harris in Florida. It makes 20 servings.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2-3/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Instructions

Step 1: Cream butter and sugar

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Break out a large bowl and cream together the butter and 2 cups of the sugar until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. Next, add the eggs one by one, making sure to beat them well after each you add to the mixture. Finally, add the vanilla extract.

Editor’s Tip: You can scrape the pulp from a fresh vanilla bean for that next-level vanilla flavor.

Step 2: Mix in your dry ingredients

Mix the flour, baking soda and salt together. Add these dry ingredients in alternately with the sour cream, beating just enough after each addition to keep the batter nice and smooth.

Step 3: Bake

Spoon a third of the batter into a greased 10-inch tube pan. (Here’s exactly how to grease that pan.) Then, combine cinnamon, nuts and remaining sugar. Sprinkle a third of this mix over the batter in the pan. Repeat layers two more times. Bake for an hour or so or until you can insert a toothpick into the center and it comes out clean.

Editor’s Tip: Two tablespoons might seem like a lot of cinnamon, but trust us, this rich cake can handle it!

Step 4: Be patient

Be sure to let it cool for about 15 minutes before removing the cake from pan. Transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely. The aroma will make it hard to resist a warm slice!

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Camille Berry
Part of the third generation in a family of restaurateurs, Camille was born with a passion for cooking and food. She embarked on a career in hospitality where she excelled as a sommelier and wine director. This hospitality experience has given her a wealth of first-hand knowledge about how to pair all manner of drinks with food—plus some serious kitchen skills. These days, she's hung up her wine key in favor of a pen and covers all aspects of food and drink.