Cinnamon Roll Cake



A couple days ago, I was feeling down.

With stress circling me from every side (yeah, I know circles don’t have sides–stop picking on me), I decided I needed a serious mental health day before I started bawling every time someone ordered a hot pastrami sandwich at work, and I took myself to the mall.

The mall brings both feelings of euphoria (all the clothes! the sales! the sparkles!) and feelings of intense hatred (the strollers! the things I like *not* on sale! the parking!), but I decided since I was already unnecessarily depressed, strollers and annoying pop music couldn’t bring me down any further.

After taking inventory of my alarming amount of studded clothing, shoes and accessories, I decided I wasn’t spiked out enough and began a search to add to my growing dangerous collection. I decided to check out a place that rhymes with “Shmayless Smoo Smource” to see if I could find anything on the cheap.

Now, at my mall, Shmayless Smoo Smource is not a popular store. It sits lonely in a dark corner, desperately trying to snag the attention of mall goers with their Bogo sales. So I went in.

Little did I realize I’d fall into the trap of a psychopathic shoe employee.

At first glance, she was normal. But then again, so was Ted Bundy. She wore glasses and looked quirky and cute. Definitely normal. She said hello, I said hello, she asked if I was looking for anything, neglecting to mention that I’d find “positively batsh*t crazy” on aisle 5, and I said “just browsing.” We left it at that.

I started looking for my shoes when suddenly, I was hyper aware of the quirky salesgirl on the next aisle singing to herself. Okay, no biggie, seeing as I talk to myself all the time, albeit just a murmur. Usually, I’m only thinking out loud and will say little things like “what should I make for dinner?” while shopping at the store, or “this belt would look good with that dress” while out shopping. And it’s NEVER super loud and NEVER in weird voices.

Until… until she started having conversations. With herself. In depth conversations you’d have with another person. And weird things.

A commercial came on for the very store we were in. It said something like “Back to school shoes!” and Psycho Girl said aloud: “Back to school shoes for the whole family. Kids, moms, dads, babies, teenagers. Those teenagers, they love heels. I hate heels. They’re painful. Why would you want to put your foot in that? They like them spiky. The spikier, the better. You could totally kill someone with those heels! Mwuhahaha stiletto death. How crazy would that be?!”

She began talking in voices. Weird voices. Deep voices. Man voices.

Despite shopping for spiky shoes, her comment sent shivers down my spine. She was obviously going to club me to death with a stiletto.

And then, she showed up, smiling like a rabid fiend. “Still doing okay?” while brandishing… a stiletto.

Panic struck me then and I realized I was not going to die in a store no one went to. If anything, I’d like to go in Nordstrom because at least they play good elevator music.

It was then that I left, woefully empty-handed but with a lesson learned: don’t shop at lurky corner stores. Psycho people with visions of stiletto stabbings work there.

Lesson #2: any cake with “cinnamon roll” in the title has to be good. It’s law.

I found this recipe from the (amazing!) Six Sister’s and knew I had to try it. I’m a sucker for cinnamon rolls, and putting that same gooey flavor into a dense breakfast cake? Let’s just say I couldn’t dig my fork in there fast enough.

I learn my lessons pretty quickly.

Cinnamon Roll Cake *adapted from Six Sister’s Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Cake (link above)

For Cake:

3 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 & 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 Tbsp butter, melted
1/3 cup brown sugar

For “Filling”:

1 stick butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp cinnamon

For Glaze:

2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 Tbsp milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 13×9 inch baking pan with cooking spray; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, milk, eggs and vanilla with an electric mixer until just combined. Stir in the melted butter to incorporate. Set aside while you prepare the filling. 3. In a medium bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon with a fork until just blended.
4. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan; drop half of the filling  on top of the batter and swirl gently with a fork. Pour the remaining batter on top and drop the remaining filling on top, again, swirling gently with a fork. Sprinkle the top of the cake with the additional 1/3 cup brown sugar.
5. Bake for approx. 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out mostly clean.
6. In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla and milk until a glaze forms. Drizzle over the warm cake. Cake can be served warm or at room temperature. Store leftovers airtight in the fridge for up to 2 days.

This cake is AMAZING. Densely packed with rich brown sugar, spicy cinnamon and buttery layers reminiscent of a puffy cinnamon roll. The swirls of batter act as pockets of ooey gooeiness, just like the center of a traditional cinnamon roll! It’s seriously one of the best cakes evah and you totally need to make it! Plus, cinnamon roll = breakfast food, so Cinnamon Roll Cake = breakfast cake. You’re welcome!

Have a wonderful day!!

xo, Hayley


  1. Your post had me chuckling to myself (not in a scary or crazy ‘bwahaha’ way though). 😉 I’ll take Cinnamon Roll Cake over psychotic shoe salesgirl any day. Eeks. It freaks me out when employees stalk you wanting to help let alone when they’re one fry short of a Happy Meal. Glad you escaped without a stiletto imbedded in your person. 🙂

  2. I too have mixed feelings about the mall. I love having access to so many clothes, but I don’t actually like most of them. And I hate crowds and rude people. The mall is not in short supply of either. The cake looks fab!

  3. this cake looks great and sorry you were feeling blue…glad you’re better 🙂 But LOVE that you made this cake from scratch…mmmmm! The filling & glaze, too….mmmm!

  4. Hayley this sounds amazing! And crazy girl? Wow, who knew? I’ll avoid that store today, lol.

  5. I LOVE Shmayless Smoo Smource! I might avoid that one though, I don’t want to meet your friend there. Maybe next time you go bring a buddy? It’s harder to murder 2 people right?

  6. Can I please have a bite of this right now with my latte??? This looks incredible and so much easier to make for brunch or breakfast than cinnamon rolls!

  7. I love that you made this cake from scratch too, Hayley! What a major major accomplishment. I knwo it may not be a big deal, but I actually haven’t ever made a whole cake form scratch before! But when I do, I honestly and 100% believe I’d make it into a cinnamon roll cake!! I love this Hayley!

    • Hahaha I have made all of THREE cakes from scratch before… and I hated the other two but LOVED this one. Scratch cakes scare me becaust most appear to be so dry and crumbly–not cool! I loved this one and you need to make it 🙂

  8. YUM! Cinnamon rolls are one of our fave things around here…I’m sure my kids would go crazy for a cake version!

  9. HOLY CRAP!! That’s really all I can say.

  10. How do you come to face with so much crazy on a daily basis? I would have ran right out the door with a psychpathic loon at such close proximity. Why are there so many weirdos out there? Ugh.
    You should be able to shop in peace and without fear of being murdered with a cheap shoe!
    I love you for making this cake. I am obsessed with cinnamon rolls and this cake is totally calling my name. Oh the buttery cinnamon goodness… 🙂

    • I know, being murdered by a cheap shoe–ugh, the nerve! Anyway, when we hang out I promise we won’t get into *too* much craziness, but enough to make us laugh and write posts about it 🙂

  11. Ha! I would make this is I were stressed too. And then eat the entire things because it looks wonderful!!!

  12. You made my day with your hilarious story! And this cake. . .wow, I’m on my way over to help you eat it! 🙂

  13. Okay, I totally need this cake in my life. I do actually make cakes from scratch (sometimes), and this one??? Looks like a winner! OMG, so good!

  14. LOVE shopping, HATE the mall (and I have been that annoying lady with the double stroller), I don’t think I use crazy voices when I talk to myself, and just to be safe ALWAYS shop at Nordstrom:)

  15. Such a wonderful cake, and I just loooooooooove cinnamon
    For me it’s the perfect cake when I’m blue 🙂

  16. I remember seeing something like this a while back and thinking it was right up my alley! Looks great!

  17. It didn’t take much twisting of my arm to make this recipe. Delicious in every way. Even tastes great cold, from the fridge. Thank you again, for another fabulous treat.

  18. I’ve been waiting days to read this post! I have a pretty darn good feeling that I will be making this tomorrow – I have all the items I need so why wait? We love cinnamon anything around here!

  19. This looks so delicious!! I would love for you to link up to my linky party at The Mandatory Mooch. Still open for another day!!

    Thanks, Nichi

  20. Yikes!!!! I think I would have bolted the minute she started talking in different voices! I am guilty of talking to myself but never in weird voices or singing! How freaky that she appeared around the corner with a stiletto! Never visit that store again! But this cake? Awesome in every single way!!!

    • Haha I know, I thought of you when I wrote this because of your confessional post–but I am guilty of talking to myself too… just not all crazed like she was. WE are normal, she was not. It was weird! 🙂

Speak Your Mind