Cinnamon rolls are one of the most popular brunch items across this country and for good reason. When done right, they’re light, fluffy, gooey and perfectly full of cinnamon flavor. A couple of months ago, I finally shared my version of a traditional overnight yeasted cinnamon roll, which you can find here.
A great yeasted cinnamon roll is and should be the standard. But, let’s face it. Sometimes we’re just not in the mood to go through the yeast process. It takes a lot of time and a lot of patience. Sometimes we just want to get our fix without the hassle. And sometimes, like more recently, we’re just out of the ingredients required to make traditional cinnamon rolls. That’s where this amazing cake comes in. It’s a light, fluffy and moist cake. That’s first and foremost. We utilize the reverse-creaming method, which yields a wonderfully light and tender cake. Along with it being amazingly moist and fluffy, it’s absolutely delicious. It’s full of cinnamon flavor, the sides get gooey and it’s topped with homemade cream cheese frosting. It actually tastes like a cinnamon roll! It’s pretty trippy actually. For way less work, we’re able to get full-on cinnamon roll flavor. This recipe is definitely a keeper.
- 6.5 oz cake flour
- 6.5 oz granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 oz unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 5 oz whole milk, room temperature
- 1.5 oz vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 large eggs, room temperature
- Cinnamon Mixture:
- 3 oz unsalted butter, room temp
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
- very small pinch of salt
- Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 5 oz cream cheese, room temp
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar
- 3-5 tablespoons heavy cream or milk, room temp
- very small pinch of salt
It's very important to make sure all your ingredients are at room temp and you're using a scale to measure out your ingredients when applicable.
- Using pan grease and cooking spray, grease your 8x8" square pan very well.
- Preheat your oven to 335º F/168º C.
- Place 2 oz of the milk and oil in a separate bowl or cup and set aside.
- Combine the remaining milk, vanilla, and room temp eggs in a separate measuring cup, whisk to combine and set aside.
- Measure out dry ingredients (cake flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) and place them into the stand mixer bowl.
- Attach the paddle to the mixer, and turn on the slowest speed (setting 1 on Kitchen Aid mixers).
- Slowly add chunks of your softened butter until it is all added. Let mix until batter resembles coarse sand.
- Add milk/oil mixture into the dry ingredients. Once the milk/oil mixture is all poured in, immediately turn the speed up to medium speed (speed 4 on my KitchenAid) and mix for 2 full minutes. Do not skip this step or your cake will not rise.
- Stop the mixer after the two minutes and scrape the bowl and paddle down really well.
- Turn the mixer back on to the lowest speed on the mixer. Add in 1/3 of your milk/egg mixture and let it mix in fully. Don't add the next addition until the first is fully incorporated into the batter. Repeat 2 more times until batter is just combined.
- Scrape the bowl really well and set aside.
- Combine your cinnamon mixture ingredients into a medium bowl and use your hands, mixer or rubber spatula to combine. The mixture should be smooth and creamy, but thick and uniform. Set this mixture aside.
- Pour the cake batter into the pregrease pan. Drop heaping tablespoons of the cinnamon mixture over the top in various spots.
- Use an offset spatula to slowly swirl the cinnamon mixture into the cake batter, being careful not to touch your spatula to the bottom of the pan and not to overdo it, so the batter doesn't become muddled.
- Once you're happy with your pattern, lightly tap the pan on the counter to allow excess air to release from the batter.
- Bake at 335°F for 25-30 minutes if you're using a metal pan or 30-40 minutes if you're using a glass pan. Check it at the 25-30 minute mark and continue to add 5-minute increments until it's almost done. The cake should rise a bit and be golden brown on top. A skewer or toothpick should come out with a few moist crumbs, but the cake should be no longer jiggly or liquid from the inside. I used a glass pan and it took me about 40 minutes for it to be set enough. Be careful not to open the oven door repeatedly. That could lead to your cake sinking out of the oven.
- Once the cake is out of the oven, place the pan on a wire rack to allow it to cool for around 15-20 minutes. After about 15-20 minutes, wrap the top of the pan lightly with plastic wrap. Allow the cake to cool this way until just slightly warm. In the meantime, make your cream cheese frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Cream the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes on medium.
- Turn the machine off and add in the confectioner's sugar all at once.
- Turn the machine on to the lowest setting and mix until incorporated.
- Once incorporated, turn the speed up to medium. Slowly pour in the vanilla and the heavy cream. Mix until uniform.
- Spread evenly on top of your slightly warm cake. Cut and serve warm!
- (Adjust the sweetness and the heavy cream based on your taste and preference with consistency, if necessary.)
Cake flour must be used with this recipe. Substitutions won't work.
Please use a scale with this recipe. It's necessary for its success.
Please make sure all your ingredients that need to be at room temperature are at room temperature prior to beginning your recipe. Stores outside the fridge for 3 days, well-wrapped.
Stores in the freezer for a week well-wrapped.
Stores in the fridge well-wrapped for a few days.
Let the cake thaw before serving. Note that cake tends to dry out in the fridge, so I prefer storing it in the freezer or just enjoying it at room temp fresh.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 455Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 88mgSodium: 220mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 1gSugar: 33gProtein: 4g