Home » Bread » Coffee Cake {Cinnamon Roll Cake}

Coffee Cake {Cinnamon Roll Cake}

Cinnamon Roll Cake

Cinnamon Roll Cake

I snicker when I hear the phrase “coffee cake”, because it’s so 1969. My mother and her stay-at-home mom friends used to coffee back and forth at each other’s houses and eat coffee cake. Back then I thought it was icky since it almost always had cinnamon in there somewhere. Cinnamon and parents went together and I didn’t like it.

I didn’t like cinnamon, I mean. My parents were cool.  When I saw this recipe for a coffee cake and it looked so good, and looked like it had cinnamon swirled in it, I was shocked at myself. Have I become my mother? Heavens. Next I’ll be ironing sheets and pillowcases and wearing pedal pushers.

Maybe I was just in the mood for cinnamon. I have heard it can possibly have so many health benefits and that seems logical to me. It’s made from tree bark and aren’t there a lot of medicines from rain forests and trees? I use it in a lot of savory dishes but don’t often use it in baking besides the obvious pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread. I was headed for a visit with my sister Linda and I thought our morning lattes should be accompanied by some kind of breakfast cake type thing. This looked like a tasty “thing”.

Mix the batter

Mix the batter

I found the recipe on a site who cited it from another site who cited it from another site, etc.  I couldn’t find the recipe on the original site, so I settled on saying I adapted it from Life as a Lofthouse.  They say they adapted it from Picky Palate, but my search didn’t turn up the same title.  I’ll just say thanks to whoever invented it!

Spread batter into greased pan

Spread batter into greased pan

It’s a simple recipe that uses a lot of bowls.  You start with making the cake part.  You beat the sugar, eggs, flour, milk, vanilla, baking powder and salt until mixed.  Then you drizzle in the melted butter as you continue beating.  When it is mixed and thick, you spread it into the greased pan.

Mix the cinnamon batter and drop by tablespoons

Mix the cinnamon batter and drop by tablespoons

Next you make the cinnamon part.  You must use softened butter that has reached room temperature.  Don’t melt it like I did.  I had to refrigerate it until it firmed up again from a liquid state.  Plop the cinnamon mixture by tablespoons all over the top of the cake, then use a knife to swirl it around. Smooth the top again and you’re all done and ready to bake!

Swirl with a knife

Swirl with a knife then smooth the top

Put the pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, then remove and place on a rack.

Fresh out of the oven

Fresh out of the oven

The recipe said to make the icing and spread it over the warm cake, and that was a good idea. It soaked in a little and was amazing. It tasted so good and moist fresh out of the oven.  It really was like a cinnamon roll, in cake form.  My P.S. thought the glaze was a bit thick; it did make the cake pretty sweet.  I might try to cut the glaze in half next time.

Glaze while still warm

Glaze while still warm

The next day it was equally delicious. I froze some of it to take to Linda’s and I expect that to be moist as well. This is a melt in your mouth kind of coffee cake. My mother would be proud of me.

Cinnamon Roll Cake

3 cups Flour
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Sugar
4 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 1/2 cups Milk
2 Eggs
2 teaspoons Vanilla
1/2 cup ( 1 stick) Butter, melted

1 cup ( 2 sticks) Butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Flour
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon

2 cups Powdered Sugar
5 Tablespoons Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 glass baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

In an electric or stand mixer add the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, milk, eggs, and vanilla. Once combined well , slowly stir in the melted butter. Pour into the prepared 9×13 baking pan.

For topping, In a large bowl mix the 2 sticks of butter, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon together until well combined and creamy. Drop evenly over the batter by the tablespoonfuls and use a knife to marble/swirl through the cake.

Bake at 350 for 28-32 minutes or when a toothpick inserted near the center comes out nearly clean.

FOR GLAZE: In a medium bowl, mix the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla together with a whisk. Drizzle evenly over the warm cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.Tiara Logo

8 thoughts on “Coffee Cake {Cinnamon Roll Cake}

  1. I made this for an xmas party last night. Not sure what went wrong, but the center turned out really soupy. The topping mixture seemed to rise to the top of the cake. I swirled it really well so I don’t know what happened. The outside of the cake cooked, but the center never did. Any ideas?


    • I made this cake last Spring, too, and had a similar problem with the center, even after baking it longer. The center wasn’t soupy, but it was too moist. It also had a flour aftertaste. You might try reducing the flour and milk in the cake by 1/3, eliminating one of the eggs, and cut the topping’s flour in half. I haven’t tried this revision, but that’s what I would try personally. It doesn’t ever hurt to experiment. By the way, don’t overswirl the topping.


    • I made it again today since I am serving it Christmas morning anyway, and it was perfect again. I can only guess, but did you use room temp butter for the swirl? Melted butter would make it a mess. Then I swirl it deep, and not a lot, but I smooth over the top after I’ve gouged it to death. ha

      This time I used a glass pan, and it did take a full 35 minutes to bake. The toothpick came out clean and it’s beautiful. Otherwise I have no idea why yours would vary. I couldn’t find that “soupy” result on any of the other sites that post this recipe, and I did carefully check my ingredients and had no errors.

      I’m off to freeze mine, then I can post if it is good after being frozen.

      I’m sorry you had such bad luck!


    • I got to do the pillow cases and my dad’s white handkerchiefs with my little toy iron and ironing board. Even back then I was totally girly. And probably stupid because my iron didn’t even get hot. Duh.


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