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Cinnamon Roll Cake

Cinnamon Roll Cake: a cinnamon-packed cake filled with a rich, cinnamon-sugar French buttercream and covered with a creamy cinnamon cream-cheese frosting. With cinnamon-sugar infused into each component of this cake, every single bite will remind you of a delicious cinnamon roll. You will undoubtedly want this cake for breakfast!

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The Cinnamon Cake

What makes this cinnamon cake exceptional is the use of both cinnamon sticks and ground cinnamon to make the cake batter. Boiling cinnamon sticks and a plump vanilla bean in whole milk infuses an incredible amount of flavor into this cake; so much that the cake is good enough to eat on its own!

The Cinnamon-Sugar French Buttercream Filling

While I absolutely love all components of this cake, I truly think this cinnamon-sugar French buttercream filling is what makes it truly unique! Similar to Swiss Meringue Buttercream, French Buttercream is an egg-based buttercream that carries more of a subdued sweetness. This allows the other ingredient components to shine (in this case, it’s the richness of the butter and egg yolks and the warm, cinnamon spice!).

French buttercream is made by gradually pouring a heated sugar-syrup into a bowl of whipped egg yolks. For this cinnamon roll cake, a warm cinnamon sugar-syrup will cook the eggs, making them smooth and glossy. The buttercream cools as it whips before butter is gradually added to make a rich and beautifully shiny buttercream frosting.

The Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

This cinnamon roll cake wouldn’t be complete without cream cheese frosting! This frosting is studded with ground cinnamon and nutmeg and is extraordinarily creamy.

Cream cheese frosting in a bowl of a stand mixer.

Prepare in advance

Set out the following ingredients to bring to room temperature:

  • The Cinnamon Cake:
    • 3 large eggs (150 g)
    • 170 g unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • The Cinnamon-Sugar French Buttercream Filling:
    • 255 g unsalted butter (2 1/4 sticks)
    • 6 large egg yolks (120 g)
  • The Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:
    • 113 g unsalted butter (1 stick)

Equipment Needed for this Cinnamon Roll Cake

  • (3) 6-inch cake pans – Alternatively, you can use the quantities of this recipe to fill (2) 8-inch round cake pans
  • Candy thermometer – To measure the temperature of the sugar syrup for the Cinnamon-Sugar French Buttercream filling
  • Wilton’s Adjustable Cake Leveler (optional) – to slice the cake into thin, even layers

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Cinnamon Roll Cake

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  • Author: Amy @ The Pastry Blog
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x


This recipe calls for (3) 6-inch cake pans. Alternatively, you can use the quantities of this recipe to fill (2) 8-inch round cake pans, allowing an extra 1-2 minutes of baking time if needed.


Units Scale

For the Cinnamon Cake:

  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 270 ml whole milk
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 281 g unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon (yes, an entire tablespoon!)
  • 2 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 170 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 300 g granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs (150 g), at room temperature

For the Cinnamon-Sugar French Buttercream:

  • Yolks of 6 large eggs (120 g), at room temperature
  • 188 g granulated sugar
  • 4 tbsp water (60 ml)
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 255 g unsalted butter, at room temperature

For the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 250 g confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 226 g full-fat cream cheese
  • 113 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract


For the Cinnamon Cake:

  1. Grease and flour (3) 6-inch round cake pans, lining the bottom of the cake pan with parchment and greasing and flouring the parchment as well.
  2. With a small paring knife, cut the vanilla bean horizontally, scraping out the seeds.
  3. In a medium saucepan combine the milk, cinnamon sticks, and vanilla beans and vanilla pod over medium heat. Once boiling, reduce to low and let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let seep for 20 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  5. Pass the milk mixture through a fine-mesh strainer, scraping all of those precious vanilla seeds from the pan and discarding the cinnamon sticks and vanilla pod.
  6. Sift the flour, ground cinnamon, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
  7. In the bowl of a stand mixer using a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the sides after each addition.
  8. Add the sifted dry ingredients alternately with the milk mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.
  9. Divide the batter evenly into (3) 6-inch pans and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake inserted into the center comes out dry.
  10. Remove from the oven and allow the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack.
  11. If baking the cakes one day in advance, cover the cake pans with cling film and store at room temperature. Prior to making the buttercream, use a cake leveler to level the top of each cake, then horizontally slice each cake into two even layers.

For the Cinnamon-Sugar French Buttercream:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer using a whisk attachment, whip the egg yolks on medium-high speed until pale in color, for 2-3 minutes.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat the sugar, water, ground cinnamon, and vanilla extract until it reaches 240°F with a candy thermometer.
  3. With the stand mixer on low speed, gradually pour the cinnamon-sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the egg yolks. Once added, continue to whip for 3 minutes on medium-high speed
  4. If the base of the bowl is still warm to the touch, chill the bowl in the refrigerator for 10 minutes
  5. Once fully cooled, set the mixer to medium-high speed and gradually add the butter to the yolk mixture 2 tablespoons at a time, waiting until the butter is fully incorporated before adding more.

For the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioner’s sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer using a paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  3. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the confectioner’s sugar, followed by the vanilla extract.
  4. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to incorporate any hiding ingredients. Mix on medium speed for 1 minute or until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
  5. Refrigerate in an airtight container until assembly.

To assemble the cake:

Important assembly tip: The Cinnamon-Sugar French buttercream is very soft until refrigerated. This can cause the cake layers to easily slide during assembly. If slicing each cake layer in half horizontally to make a thin-layered cake, it is best to set all 5 layers out on a sheet of parchment and frost them each individually with your measured-out portion of buttercream. You can then very carefully stack all 5 layers on top of each other, then topping with the final cake layer before chilling in the refrigerator. Assembling the cake this way prevents the cake layers from sliding and will avoid a lopsided cake!

  1. Measure the weight of the French buttercream and divide to calculate the amount to spread onto each layer (5 layers if slicing each cake in half, or 2 if you don’t).
  2. Place a layer of cake onto a cake stand. Spread the French buttercream across the cake with an offset spatula to make an even layer.
  3. See the assembly tip above. Assemble the cake by layering the cake and French buttercream, topping the cake bottom side-up with a final cake layer.
  4. Chill in the refrigerator for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the French buttercream filling has slightly hardened and is stable.
  5. Using a rubber or offset spatula, frost the outside of the cake with the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting.
  6. Store the cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator until use.
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes

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