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3 words: cinnamon roll cake.
Do I have your attention?
Let’s set the scene.
I’m 11 years old, at the mall leaving The Limited Too with my mom. She just bought me the coolest bedazzled dress and glitter flared jeans (which I will wear together obvi). We’re walking towards Macy’s when the enticing scent of fresh baked Cinnabon wafts over. I have to have one. So I beg my mom.
My mom is the BEST, so the two of us get one for dinner.
The perfect day: a new outfit for my 6th grade dance and a Cinnabon–truly is there anything better than this?
Now, fast forward 10 years, same me, same sweet tooth and I have a serious hankering for a cinnamon roll with no Cinnabon in walking distance. A tragedy.
I could make cinnamon rolls, but do you even know how LONG it takes to make a homemade cinnamon roll?!
It takes hours–nay days–of premeditated thought and I’m the girl trying to bring her butter to room temperature in the microwave 30 seconds before I make cookies so you know that’s not my style.
Not to worry, friends. I am here to the rescue with this cinnamon roll sheet cake that packs all the punch of a Cinnabon in under 2 hours.
Read on at your own risk.
A tender buttery crumb cake, just dense enough, with huge swirls of cinnamon sugar and a tangy cream cheese glaze come together to make this drool worthy sheet cake.
How to get that defined cinnamon swirl?
No rolling pins required.
Spoon half the batter into a 9 by 13 sheet pan. Sprinkle a thick layer of cinnamon sugar, covering all of the batter. Spoon the remaining batter over the cinnamon layer, spreading to the edges the best you can. Sprinkle the remaining mixture on the top layer in concentrated areas. Using a butter knife make BIG swirls in the batter.
I was an art major and this is about as close to painting as I’m getting these days.
Have fun with it, you’re about to smother it in cream cheese frosting anyway.
Why cream cheese frosting?
The tangy cream cheese is the perfect creamy complement to this cinnamon masterpiece. It’s just sweet enough and lick your fingers good. This recipe makes a lot of glaze, but, like, the frosting is the best part (we can fight it out in the comments if you disagree).
Slather that frosting alllll over and you’ve got yourself an easy sheet cake that’s just about as good a new outfit from The Limited Too and a warm Cinnabon.
Preheat oven to 350o F. Line a 9 x 13 inch sheet pan with parchment paper on the bottom and grease the sides.
In a large bowl beat the softened butter, granulated sugar and 1/3 cup of the brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, whisking to combine. Slowly alternate folding in the flour mixture and the sour cream into the wet ingredients until everything is combined.
Take the remaining 2/3 cup of brown sugar and mix with the cinnamon. Set aside.
Pour half the batter into the pan, then sprinkle with 1/3 cup of the cinnamon sugar mixture, leaving the last 1/3 for the top. Spoon the remaining batter over the first layer, using an offset spatula to even it out. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar over the batter. Using a knife create cinnamon swirls on the top half of the batter. Bake for 45 minutes or until the cake is a golden brown and a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool before removing from pan.
While the cake cools make the glaze. Combine the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and milk in a large bowl, beating until smooth.
Pour over cooled cake and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Enjoy with a cup of coffee or a glass of milk