Scratch Cinnamon Roll Cake

Scratch Cinnamon Roll Cake. So quick and easy (no mixer) and tastes just like the real thing!

The thing you should know about me is that cinnamon rolls are my absolute favourite thing ever.

Like ever.ever.ever.

I, however, do not always have the patience for cinnamon roll making or mostly waiting for dough to rise.

Therefore, cinnamon roll cake to the rescue.

Scratch Cinnamon Roll Cake. So quick and easy (no mixer) and tastes just like the real thing!

I saw this cake on Anna’s blog last fall and it has literally been in the back of my mind ever since. Then, I made it, couldn’t stop eating it, and made it again for you. Yes, it’s that good.

The magical thing is it tastes just like a cinnamon roll, but is super quick and easy to make. No mixer, no fuss.

Now go make this. So good. Promise.

Scratch Cinnamon Roll Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: One 9X13-inch Cake

A quick and simple cinnamon roll cake made from scratch that tastes just like the real thing!


    For the Cake:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk, I used whole
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 oz) unsalted butter, melted
  • For the Filling
  • 1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 oz) unsalted butter, melted
  • Glaze:
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • ~3-4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9x13-inch baking pan.
  2. Make the filling:
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk in the melted butter. Set aside.
  4. For the Cake:
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  6. In a 2 cup measuring cup, measure milk, add in eggs, and vanilla and mix to combine.
  7. Pour the liquid mixture into the flour mixture and whisk just until combined. Pour in the melted butter and whisk until combined and batter is smooth. Do not over mix.
  8. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Take the prepared filling and dollop it evenly over the batter, leaving a 1-inch border. Using a offset spatula spread the filling evenly over the cake.
  9. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until filling is slightly bubbled and edges are browned. A toothpick inserted will not come out completely clean because of the filling, however you don't want batter on it. (Mine took 25 minutes in a non-stick pan and 30 minutes in a glass baking dish).
  10. For the glaze. Whisk all the ingredients together until smooth. Pour or drizzle on the warm cake.
  11. Store covered at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. Best the days it's made.


This recipe halves well. I baked the cake pictured above in an 8x8-inch cake pan.

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin


Adapted from Crunchy Creamy Sweet.

  • Chris

    Great recipie
    The butter Says one stick butter or 4oz
    One stick butter is 8 oz
    Is it 4 or 8 oz of butter

    ( maybe why gooey or longer cook time?)

    • Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Hi Chris, one stick of butter is 4 ounces (1 lb= 16oz= 4 sticks). If you used 8 ounces it could potentially mean a longer cook time. Hope that helps :) enjoy!
      Sent from my iPad

  • Samantha Marchant

    I’m just now baking this yummy smelling cake in a 9×13 glass pan and its been in the oven for more that 30 mins and still really battery and over flowing, did I do something wrong? Also my filling was really runny and I couldn’t fix it so I poured it on and kind of mixed it alittle

    • Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Hi Samantha, sometimes baking in glass can take a bit longer and every oven is different. The overflowing part has me a bit perplexed. I did make this cake 3 times and my mom also tested it without any issues. I would just keep checking every five minutes or so. The part where the filling is will never completely set as it’s supposed to be a bit gooey like a cinnamon roll. I would check in spots where there is less filling. Let me know if you need anything g else. Hope it works out and tastes great!

  • Daniela

    Hi, just to be sure, you halved the recipe to bake it in an 8×8″ cake pan, or you kept the measurements as they are and baked it in an 8×8″ cake pan?

    • Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Hi Daniela,

      I halved the recipe and baked it in a 8×8-inch pan. The full recipe bakes in a 9×13-inch pan. Hope that helps! Enjoy!

  • Christy

    Just made this. Soooo delicious! Thank you.

    • Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Christy, so happy you made it and enjoyed it!!

  • Joanne (eats well with others)

    the downside of cinnamon rolls is definitely how long they take to make! This cake is definitely a perfect alternative!

  • Pingback: Baking News! | baking in pyjamas

  • Laura@bakinginpyjamas

    Oh my, If I hadn’t just baked a cake I would be in the kitchen right now! I’m featuring this on my blog this weekend, have a good one!

    • Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Thanks so much, Laura!! Have a great weekend!

  • cheri

    I love this, what a great idea! Will be making these soon. Cinnamon rolls are real important around here.

    • Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Thanks so much, Cheri! Hope you enjoy it!

  • Erin@theLawStudentsWife

    I just got SOOOOO hungry looking at this cake! I adore cinnamon rolls too, but they are definitely not a treat you can make in a hurry. Cinnamon roll cake to the rescue!

  • Tutti Dolci

    This is such a brilliant idea, I love cinnamon rolls too and the simplicity of this recipe is so appealing!

    • Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Thanks so much, Laura!

  • Cooking Classy

    I love cinnamon roll everything but I’m yet to try it in cake. Yours looks so pretty!

    • Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Thanks, Jaclyn!

  • Connie | URBAN BAKES

    I was just telling Jocelyn that I’ve never rolled anything before. I guess I’m a little intimidated by it but this here is creative. I love cakes. It’s just simpler. I should this some time. Great idea!

    • Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Thanks so much, Connie!

  • Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes)

    Now that is a beaut of a cake! Gorgeous!

    • Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Thanks so much, Jocelyn!

  • CrunchyCreamySw

    Isn’t it just one amazing cake? I’ve made it so many times! It’s always a huge hit! So glad you like it too, Jessica! Thank you for the shout-out! Gorgeous photos!!

    • Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      It’s soooo good!! One of my favorites and it was a huge hit! Thanks for the fab recipe, Anna!!

  • Lauren at Keep It Sweet

    I have had a huge cinnamon roll craving lately but am WAY too lazy to make them… this cake however, is a different story!

  • Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough

    Anything to get cinnamon rolls in my belly faster gets two thumbs up from me. 😉 This looks so yummy!

    • Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Thanks so much, Friend!