Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Cupcakes

These Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Cupcakes are a dream of mine come true! There’s cinnamon in the cupcake batter and layers of cinnamon sugar in the cupcake. Then, they’re topped with cinnamon frosting and sprinkled with a little more cinnamon sugar. Irresistible!

Looking for more cupcake recipes? Try this easy Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe!

A Cinnamon Roll Cupcake on a Plate with One Bite Taken Out

Easy Cinnamon Swirl Cupcakes

I absolutely love anything covered in cinnamon and sugar, so naturally I’ve been wanting to make cupcakes like these for forever. They’re the perfect dessert for cinnamon lovers like myself. They are soft, light, moist, and absolutely FILLED with cinnamon.

And I didn’t just want to add cinnamon to the batter. I wanted them to be unmistakably cinnamon-y. I figured what better way to do that than with 3 layers of cinnamon sugar! If you love cinnamon rolls, you’ll love these cupcakes.

A Cake Stand Holding a Batch of Cinnamon Cupcakes in Front of a Wooden Wall

Recipe Ingredients

These cinnamon roll cupcakes are made with kitchen staples that you most likely already have on hand! Same goes for the cinnamon sugar frosting.

For the Cinnamon Sugar Swirl

  • Sugar & Cinnamon: That’s it, folks! Throw together the cinnamon swirl by combining cinnamon and sugar. There will also be some more of both in the cupcakes!

For the Cinnamon Cupcakes

  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Cinnamon
  • Baking Powder: For a lovely rise.
  • Salt: Half a teaspoon.
  • Unsalted Butter: Bring your butter to room temperature.
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla Extract: For flavor.
  • Eggs: You want to use large eggs.
  • Milk: You’ll need 3/4 a cup for this recipe.

For the Cinnamon Sugar Frosting

  • Unsalted Butter: Room temperature.
  • Powdered Sugar: Every homemade frosting needs confectioners sugar for volume and consistency.
  • Ground Cinnamon: But of course!
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Water: Or milk.
  • Salt: Just a pinch.

A White Plate Full of Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Cupcakes with Cinnamon Frosting

How to Make Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Cupcakes

There are a few different components that go into these cupcakes, but don’t let that fool you! They’re super easy to make.

For the Cinnamon Cupcakes

  1. Heat Oven: Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  2. Make Cinnamon Sugar Layer: Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Combine Dry Ingredients: Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a medium-sized bowl and set aside.
  4. Cream Butter, Sugar, Oil & Vanilla: Add the butter, oil, sugar and vanilla extract to a large mixer bowl and beat together until light in color and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Do not skimp on the creaming time.
  5. Add Eggs: Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until mostly combined after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
  6. Add Half of Dry Ingredients: Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until mostly combined.
  7. Add Milk & Remaining Dry Ingredients: Slowly add the milk and mix until well combined. The batter may look a little curdled, but that’s ok. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated. Do not overmix the batter.
  8. Layer Batter & Cinnamon Sugar: Add one tablespoon of cake batter to the bottom of each cupcake liner. Add ¼ teaspoon of the cinnamon sugar swirl to each cupcake liner on top of the cake batter in an even layer. Add two more layers of cake batter and cinnamon swirl, for a total of three layers of cake batter and three layers of cinnamon swirl. Top each cupcake with about half a tablespoon of cake batter.
  9. Bake: Bake the cupcakes for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  10. Let Cool: Remove your cupcakes from the oven and place them on a cooling rack to cool.

For the Cinnamon Sugar Frosting

  1. Beat Butter: Add the butter to a large mixer bowl and beat until smooth.
  2. Add Half of Powdered Sugar: Add about half of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth and well combined.
  3. Add Cinnamon, Vanilla, Water & Salt: Add the cinnamon, vanilla extract, salt, and 1-2 tablespoons of the water/milk  to the frosting and mix until well combined.
  4. Finish Adding Powdered Sugar: Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add additional milk or water as needed to get the right consistency.
  5. Pipe Onto Cupcakes: Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes and sprinkle with any remaining cinnamon sugar swirl. Keep in mind that the cinnamon sugar on top will soak up moisture as the cupcakes sit, so if you want the obvious look of the cinnamon sugar you see in the photos, you’ll want to add that just before serving.

Four Cinnamon Sugar Cupcakes on a Plate with Two Mini Cinnamon Sticks

Tips For Success

I’ve made these crave-worthy cupcakes quite a few times, and I’ve found the following suggestions to be super helpful!

  • Layer All Cupcakes at Once: I like to put all the cupcake liners in the pan, add the first tablespoon of batter to each one, then add the first layer of cinnamon sugar, then repeat. It’s much easier to do each step all at once than to do one cupcake at a time and have to keep switching between pouring utensils.
  • Use Milk for Frosting: Water will work just fine in the frosting, but adding milk instead makes it a bit creamier.
  • Let Cupcakes Cool Completely: Before you frost your cupcakes, they should be completely cooled. If they’re still warm, the frosting could get a little messy.
  • Use Good Cupcake Liners: Have you ever had the liners get stuck to your cupcakes? To avoid this, you can purchase grease-proof liners or add a tiny bit of non-stick spray to them. Grease-proof liners are a must for frequent cupcake bakers, as they won’t stick to your cupcakes and you don’t have to grease them.

Frosted Cinnamon Cupcakes Arranged on a Cake Stand

How to Store Homemade Cupcakes

You can store your cinnamon cupcakes at room temperature for 2-3 days, as long as you keep them in an airtight container. I store my cupcakes in my cupcake carrier, and I love taking the top off and having the smell of cinnamon sugar hit me like a tidal wave. You can almost taste the cinnamon in the cupcake without even biting into it!

After 3 days, transfer your cupcakes to the fridge and enjoy them within the next couple of days. Though I seriously doubt they’ll still be there!

Can I Freeze Cinnamon Cupcakes?

Yes! Wrapped them well in both clear wrap and foil, then freeze. Frozen cupcakes will last for up to 2 months! Thaw them overnight in the fridge and bring them to room temperature, if desired.

Print
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A Cinnamon Roll Cupcake on a Plate with One Bite Taken Out
Recipe

Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Cupcakes

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 16 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 46 minutes
  • Yield: 16 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Cupcakes are a dream of mine come true! There’s cinnamon in the cupcake batter and layers of cinnamon sugar in the cupcake. Then, they’re topped with cinnamon frosting and sprinkled with a little more cinnamon sugar. Irresistible!


Scale

Ingredients

For the Cinnamon Sugar Swirl

  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tsp ground cinnamon

For the Cinnamon Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups (195g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp (84g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp (30ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (207g) sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) milk

For the Cinnamon Sugar Frosting

  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 5 cups (575g) powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 23 tbsp water or milk
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and prepare a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  2. Combine the sugar and cinnamon for the cinnamon sugar swirl in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. For the cupcakes, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
  4. Add the butter, oil, sugar and vanilla extract to a large mixer bowl and beat together until light in color and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Do not skimp on the creaming time.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until mostly combined after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
  6. Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until mostly combined.
  7. Slowly add the milk and mix until well combined. The batter may look a little curdled, but that’s ok.
  8. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated. Do not overmix the batter.
  9. Fill the cupcake liners with the batter and add the swirl. Add one tablespoon of cake batter to the bottom of each cupcake liner. Add ¼ teaspoon of the cinnamon sugar swirl to each cupcake liner on top of the cake batter in an even layer. Add two more layers of cake batter and cinnamon swirl, for a total of three layers of cake batter and three layers of cinnamon swirl. Top each cupcake with about half a tablespoon of cake batter.
  10. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool.
  11. To make the frosting, add the butter to a large mixer bowl and beat until smooth.
  12. Add about half of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth and well combined.
  13. Add the cinnamon, vanilla extract and 1-2 tablespoons of the water or milk and the salt to the frosting and mix until well combined.
  14. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add additional milk or water as needed to get the right consistency.
  15. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcake and sprinkle with any remaining cinnamon sugar swirl. Keep in mind that the cinnamon sugar on top will soak up moisture as the cupcakes sit, so if you want the obvious look of the cinnamon sugar you see in the photos, you’ll want to add that just before serving

Notes

Makes 14-16 cupcakes.

Keywords: cinnamon cupcakes, cinnamon roll cupcakes, snickerdoodle cupcakes, cinnamon frosting, cupcakes with cinnamon, easy cupcake recipe, cupcakes from scratch

Enjoy!

A Collage of Two Images of Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes

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Mini Cinnamon Roll Cheesecakes

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Recipe rating

76 Comments
    1. Lindsay

      You’d want to double it. My suggestion would be three 8 inch layers and they’d likely bake for 20-25 minutes.

    1. Lindsay

      I haven’t tried it, but it should be fine. Just keep in mind that almond milk is lower in fat, so the cupcakes with have a little bit different texture and might not seem as moist.

  1. Christy Sloat

    These came out delicious. I really enjoy how they are sweet but without being as sweet as some of the other cakes/cupcakes. Even the frosting was the perfect balance. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  2. Marion

    I made these last night for my boys (husband & sons) to take to work with them & I must say WOW! I LOVED the smell I got upon opening my cupcake holder (JUST like you did LOL). It was great & I smiled as I INHALED all that cinnamony goodness, holding back the urge to attack ALL of them but I didn’t. For Christmas, my son got me this awesome baking decorating kit (over 500 pieces) & while my frosting topping needs some more practice, it sure was fun using different tips etc. These are so good for ANYTIME of the day. Thank you!

  3. Renae

    I’m making these for my daughter’s 2nd birthday party, and I’m sure they will be a hit. I’m just curious though, for future reference anyway, would is your opinion on cream cheese frosting with these? Would it be weird? I’m a cinnamon sugar fool, I literally eat it by the spoonful and am just the same with cream cheese frosting. ( for a small batch I use 8oz cream cheese, 1/2 cup butter, 2 cups powdered sugar 1 ts vanilla extract)

    I guess I’m wondering if you’ve tried anything cinnamon sugary with a cream cheese frosting or otherwise incorporated?!?

  4. willow

    These cupcakes sound amazing, but i have a little question, how long do these take to prepare and cook? They sound so delicious 🤩😍

    1. Misty M

      From beginning to end it took me 3 hours.
      Now, that is mainly becuase my 6 year old daughter was ‘helping’ me, LOL.
      It does take some time though to whip up buttercream properly and pipe it on.
      The cupcakes themselves didn’t take too long. An added step of layering in the cinnamon sugar mixture, but otherwise pretty straight forward.
      I mixed my icing while I was waiting for them to cool. Could probably get everything done in under 2 hours.

  5. Christina

    These look AMAZING!   I’m planning on making them for a Jack and Jill.  I’m wondering if I can substitute all purpose flour for cake flour?  Sometimes all purpose flour makes the cake too heavy and dense but it can depend on the recipe.  What are your thoughts?

  6. Tori Stevens

    I’ve made the cinnamon sugar cupcakes twice now and they have turned out amazing both times! So easy to make and so addicting!!! 

  7. Megan Vu

    Just wondering if there is a substitute for the shortening for the icing?
    It seems like the perfect recipe for Christmas.
    Thank you for sharing

  8. Tin

    I have tried your moist chocolate cupcake recipe and my girls love it. This recipe calls for butter in the cupcakes, I’m just wondering if I can substitute vegetable oil instead of butter?

    1. Lindsay

      I wouldn’t suggest making that substitute in this recipe. Butter and oil are usually not swappable without making other adjustments.

  9. Heather

    I can’t wait to make these! They look and sound delicious and it’ll be a nice fall treat / change from the normal… Who doesn’t love cinnamon?!?

  10. Julie Hart

    These look wonderful!  I’m sure they taste as good as the look.  My mouth is watering just looking at them.  

  11. Stephanie

    These cupcakes are the best cupcakes I have ever tasted! I’ve made them friends a few times, and they are such a hit!

  12. Krissy

    I made these to bring to work and my hubby ate three of them last night. Good thing I doubled the recipe so I have plenty for work and home. I think these may be about the best thing I’ve ever eaten!!! With our without the icing they are wonderful!! This recipe is definitely going into my stack of things to make again and again.

      1. Shab N

        Hi may I please have the metric measurements to these so I can accurately weigh the ingredients. Also can I double the recipe for the batter? Thanks in advance 

  13. Anna+@+Garnish+with+Lemon

    I had to stop by today just so I could drool over these beauties one more time. Oh.My.Gosh. You are crazy talented, and these cupcakes are simply amazing! I can’t wait to impress all of my friends with your recipe. So glad we had a chance to meet in Iowa!!

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      For sprinkling into the layers of the cupcake? You’ll want 1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon and 1/4 cup sugar.

  14. Luv2Bake

    I made these for my hubby today and he ate two before I could even get the frosting on, lol! These are fabulous!

  15. Vanessa

    I think I am going to make these this weekend! They look amazing!!! I love the sprinkles triple cinnamon cupcake and hope these blow them out of the water!

  16. KayleneP @ The Links Site

    I am just imagining how delicious these would be for breakfast. Even without the frosting they would be yummy! Making very soon!

  17. Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet

    Ooooo! These cupcakes could easily be my new addiction! Love the swirl and the perfect frosting! Pinned!

  18. Jess @ On Sugar Mountain

    What a gorgeous cupcake, Lindsay! I dig that cinnamon swirl. 😀 Happy to hear you had a nice time at BlogHer Food!!

  19. Michelle @ A Latte Food

    Well, these sure look amazing! Like a churro meets coffee cake with a little snickerdoodle thrown in the mix. So, basically, these are perfect! =)

  20. Alyssa {Cake, Crust, and Sugar Dust}

    Cinnamon and sugar? Count me in! I love that I can see cinnamon in ever bite of these cupcakes, Lindsay! And the swirl…ohhh the swirl! That’s the best bite I bet 🙂

  21. Jamie

    YUMMY! That sounds like my kind of cupcake! I love the layers of cinnamon sugar. Your neighbors lucked out with you having to share them!

  22. Kristine @ Kristine's Kitchen

    I’m just about drooling over all of your fantastic cupcake recipes! I recently made Snickerdoodle Cupcakes, but I love how you layered cinnamon-sugar in with the cupcake batter. Brilliant! You cupcakes look absolutely gorgeous!

  23. Jocelyn @BruCrew Life

    Cinnamon Sugar Cupcakes for breakfast? You know I’m all over that!!! It was so fun to meet you this weekend.

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12