Cinnamon Roll Pound Cake

updated May 5, 2021
Cinnamon Roll Pound Cake

This playful take on pound cake is ultra fragrant thanks to a thick cinnamon swirl and finished with a decadent cream cheese icing.

Serves12 to 16

Prep30 minutes

Cook1 hour 25 minutes to 1 hour 35 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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cinnamon roll pound cake sits on a plate with slices out and some missing
Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Ben Weiner; Prop Styling: Stephanie De Luca

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This cinnamon roll pound cake — first shared in my cookbook Grandbaby Cakes in 2015 —  was inspired by a mix of my Big Mama’s (grandmother’s) famous sour cream cake and her wonderful yeasty, high-rising rolls. The cake was always a dream. It has the most silky, buttery batter that bakes into tender deliciousness. I remember her making this cake for our family, neighbors, church folk, and the community at large in Winona, Mississippi. She was considered an icon in that community, and her baking was just one of the ways she expressed love for everyone. 

My Big Mama always took this solid recipe and played around with it, introducing new flavor profiles and distinct twists that made it into something entirely different. She always found it to be incredibly adaptable. Taking a note from her, I had a fun time combining two of Big Mama’s specialities: this cake and her famous roll recipe. Because the batter is so flexible, it can withstand different essences and extracts, folded-in berries, or, in this case, a cinnamon roll twist. My take honestly reminds me of the honey buns I used to crave as a kid. To her classic batter, I added a ribbon of spiced cinnamon sugar that swirls throughout once baked. You can either take a skewer or butter knife to swirl or add it in batches, allowing the gravity of the batter to create the swirl pattern for you. For the finish, I drizzle on a cream cheese icing that usually makes cinnamon rolls so irresistible.

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Ben Weiner; Prop Styling: Stephanie De Luca

Cinnamon Roll Pound Cake

This playful take on pound cake is ultra fragrant thanks to a thick cinnamon swirl and finished with a decadent cream cheese icing.

Prep time 30 minutes

Cook time 1 hour 25 minutes to 1 hour 35 minutes

Serves 12 to 16

Nutritional Info


For the cake:

  • 3 sticks

    (1 1/2 cups) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided

  • 6

    large eggs

  • 1 cup

    sour cream

  • 3 cups

    plus 1 tablespoon cake flour, divided

  • 2 1/2 cups

    granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    baking soda

  • 2 tablespoons

    vegetable oil

  • 1 tablespoon

    vanilla extract

For the cinnamon swirl:

  • 5 tablespoons

    plus 1 teaspoon (1/3 cup) unsalted butter

  • 1/3 cup

    packed light or dark brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon

    cake flour

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

For the icing:

  • 2 ounces

    cream cheese

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 1 1/2 cups

    powdered sugar

  • 1/4 cup

    whole, 2%, or unsweetened coconut milk, plus more as needed

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract


Make the cake:

  1. Place 3 sticks unsalted butter in a stand mixer. Place 6 large eggs and 1 cup sour cream on the counter. Let everything sit at room temperature until the butter is softened, about 1 hour. Sift enough cake flour to have 3 cups sifted flour.

  2. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon unsalted butter in a small bowl, add the remaining 1 tablespoon cake flour, and stir to make a paste. Brush the paste in a 12-cup Bundt pan, making sure to coat all the crevices and tube.

  3. Beat the butter with the whisk attachment on high speed until fluffy and slightly lighter in color, about 1 minute. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar. Beat on medium speed until very pale yellow and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.

  4. With the mixer on at the lowest speed, slowly add the flour in 2 batches. Beat in 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. Be careful not to overbeat. Add the sour cream, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat the batter until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.

Make the cinnamon swirl:

  1. Place 5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted (1/3 cup melted). (Alternatively, melt on the stovetop and transfer to a small bowl.)

  2. Add 1/3 cup packed brown sugar, 1 tablespoon cake flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and whisk to combine. The mixture will be very runny.

  3. Pour 1/3 of the batter into the prepared pan. Drizzle 1/2 of the cinnamon swirl over the batter. Using a butter knife or skewer, swivel the mixture through the cake batter, creating a flourish pattern.

  4. Pour 1/2 of the remaining batter into the pan, drizzle with the remaining cinnamon swirl, and swirl it through again. Top with the remaining batter.

  5. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out mostly clean, 1 hour 25 minutes to 1 hour 35 minutes. Meanwhile, clean and dry the stand mixer bowl and whisk attachment. Place 2 ounces cream cheese and 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in the bowl and let sit at room temperature to soften.

  6. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes, then invert onto a serving plate. Let cool to room temperature, about 90 minutes. Lightly cover the cooled cake with aluminum foil or plastic wrap so it does not dry out if not icing right away.

Make the icing:

  1. Beat the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed with the whisk attachment until softened and homogenous, about 2 minutes.

  2. With the mixer on low speed, carefully add 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar in 2 batches, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Once the sugar is fully incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high. Add 1/4 cup milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and beat, adding more milk a teaspoon at a time if needed, until the icing is smooth and pourable.

  3. Drizzle the icing over the cooled pound cake. Serve at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftover cake can be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature up to 4 days.