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Cinnabon Cake


Can I start by saying I can’t believe my baby is a month old already?

She is becoming a little person with a little personality. She’s much brighter and sleeps less during the day. She is (thankfully) sleeping longer stretches at night and her baby smiles are less about gas and more about actually wanting to smile at someone. I’m kind of obsessed.

My father and eldest brother arrived in Ireland last weekend to attend Maeve’s christening (which is this Saturday in Tipperary) so we have a full house and have been taking big day trips with the baby. This week we’ve mostly stayed in the vicinity of Waterford, but next week we’ll be heading to Galway, Limerick, Listowel and Cork. I’m so excited for the FOOD. And the sights. But mostly the food. Maeve has been a good little traveler so far (taking after her parents) so hopefully the trend continues.


With a houseful of family members I have been doing a lot of cooking but not a lot of baking. My brother’s birthday and my father’s birthday are both coming up, though, and with Maeve’s big one-month birthday yesterday my dear mom took it upon herself to bake one of her favourite cakes – Cinnabon Cake.


I don’t think Cinnabon exists in Ireland – please correct me if I’m wrong – but when I lived in Toronto there was a shop at my neighbourhood subway station. The smell of cinnamon, yeasty dough and cream cheese glaze permeated the surrounding area, making it a pleasurable walk from the subway platform to where I would catch my bus home. Cinnabons are delicious. They’re like cinnamon rolls on crack. This cake, although it isn’t made from a yeast-based batter, tastes like a Cinnabon. And if you let it sit overnight before diving in, it’s even better than a Cinnabon – but that’s just my humble opinion.

My mom adapted this recipe from


Cinnabon Cake


For the batter:

3 cups AP flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup sugar

4 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

2 eggs, room temperature

2 tsp vanilla

4 Tbsp melted butter

For the filling:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar

2 Tbsp AP flour

1 Tbsp cinnamon

2/3 cup chopped pecans

For the glaze:

2 cups icing sugar

5 Tbsp heavy cream

1 tsp vanilla


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (180 degrees Celsius, no fan). Grease a rectangular cake pan or glass casserole dish with butter.
  • In your stand mixer (with the paddle attachment) mix the sugar, eggs and vanilla until light, fluffy and pale in colour. Sift in dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking powder) and mix briefly, then add the buttermilk. While mixing, drizzle in the melted butter.
  • Pour the batter into the baking pan. In a bowl, mix the softened butter, 2 Tbsp of flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Drop this mixture by the tablespoonful into the cake batter. Take a knife and swirl it through the batter so the cinnamon mixture is streaked throughout.
  • Bake the cake for about 30 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out slightly sticky, with a little batter clinging to it.
  • Make the glaze: mix the icing sugar, cream and vanilla until completely combined. Pour the glaze over the cake while it’s still hot (if the cake has sunk slightly in the center, congratulations! That’s what’s supposed to happen.).
  • Serve warm or cover and let sit overnight before serving.


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