Cinnamon Layer Cake

Jazz up a box cake mix with cinnamon and buttery sweet cinnamon frosting. This Cinnamon Layer Cake is an easy dessert recipe that anyone can make!

When you think of cinnamon, your mind usually goes to coffee cakes like this quick coffee cake or a cinnamon roll cake recipe.

But why not serve a cinnamon dessert after dinner? This easy cinnamon layer cake is so good topped with ice cream for an easy snack.

Cinnamon Layer Cake Recipe close up

This cinnamon layer cake is a great beginner cake because it starts with a box cake mix. Many people turn up their noses at a box mix, but we think they make a great base to so many fantastic cake recipes.

Which brand of cake mix is best?

We don’t think you can go wrong with any cake mix. For one of the simplest cakes we make we usually buy a store brand and no one knows the difference!

Because we don’t have to watch for allergens in our family, we tend to choose whichever box mix is cheapest. If you’d like to read an article on the best cake mix, click here.

How do you make a box cake taste like a bakery cake?

Jazzing up box mixes are all about the add-ins. Even adding a simple sprinkling of cinnamon or a box of pudding can really make a cake a little extra special. Here are some other tips:

  • Add an extra egg.
  • Replace the water with whole milk.
  • Use melted butter instead of oil. (And add a touch more!)
  • Add a teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract (or even butter extract).
spreading cinnamon buttercream on a cake

How to Make Cinnamon Cake

This cake is easier than ever and only takes one bowl!

  • Beat cake mix, pudding mix, milk, oil, eggs, cinnamon and vanilla in bowl of electric mixer on low speed just to moisten, scraping sides as needed. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes.
  • Divide the batter between the two prepared pans. We used 8″ round cake pans so our layers would be tall and thick.
  • Bake 22-24 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack. The cakes will have a brown color.
unfrosted Cinnamon Layer Cake Recipe

How to Make Cinnamon Frosting

Our goal with this cinnamon frosting was not to have a super sweet frosting. We love cinnamon butter and wanted to make a frosting that was similar to that.

**Pro Tip: If you’d like a sweeter frosting, just add more powdered sugar! Add sugar slowly and taste the frosting as you go until you get the desired flavor.**

  • Beat 1 cup butter in large bowl of an electric mixer (whisk attachment and medium speed) until light, fluffy and almost white in appearance.
  • Add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix until blended.
  • Add in 1 tablespoon cinnamon and 2 cups powdered sugar (see note above). Beat until well blended.
  • Add 3 tablespoons of heavy cream and beat until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add more powdered sugar to stiffen the buttercream, or more heavy cream to make it more spreadable and/or sweet, as you desire.
frosting a Cinnamon Layer Cake Recipe with a spatula

How to Decorate Cinnamon Cake

Because of the buttery rich nature of the frosting, we wanted to make this more of a “naked cake”. We didn’t put a thick layer of frosting on the cake. We simply sprinkled the top of the cake with extra cinnamon and decorated with cinnamon sticks.

If you have any extra frosting, you can pipe swirls of frosting on the top of the cake.

naked Cinnamon Layer Cake Recipe with cinnamon sticks

How to Store Cake

This cake is safe to store at room temperature in a sealed container for 2-3 days. If you are going to have the cake longer than this, store it in the refrigerator.

Cinnamon Layer Cake Recipe on a plate with a fork

Other Cinnamon Cake Recipes

Tools to Make Cake

piece of Cinnamon Layer Cake Recipe
piece of Cinnamon Layer Cake Recipe

Cinnamon Layer Cake

5 from 1 vote
Jazz up a box cake mix with cinnamon and buttery sweet cinnamon frosting. This Cinnamon Layer Cake is an easy dessert recipe that anyone can make!
Servings 15
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 24 minutes

Ingredients
 

For the cake:

  • 1 box yellow cake mix (15.25 ounces)
  • 1 small box vanilla instant pudding mix (3.4 ounces)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Cinnamon Buttercream:

  • 1 cup butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups powdered sugar**
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream

Instructions
 

Make the Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease with shortening and flour 2 8" round cake pans. Set aside.
  • Beat cake mix, pudding mix, milk, oil, eggs, cinnamon and vanilla in bowl of electric mixer on low speed just to moisten, scraping sides as needed. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes.
  • Divide the batter between the two prepared pans.
  • Bake 22-24 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack.

Make the Cinnamon Frosting:

  • Beat 1 cup butter in large bowl of an electric mixer (whisk attachment and medium speed) until light, fluffy and almost white in appearance.
  • Add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix until blended.
  • Add in 1 tablespoon cinnamon and 2 cups powdered sugar**. Beat until well blended.
  • Add 3 tablespoons of heavy cream and beat until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add more powdered sugar to stiffen the buttercream, or more heavy cream to make it more spreadable, as you desire.

Assemble the Cake:

  • Place one cake layer on a cake plate.
  • Spread a thin layer of frosting over the top of the cake.
  • Place the second cake layer on top.
  • Frost the entire outside of the cake with the remaining frosting.
  • Dust the top of the cake with cinnamon and decorate with cinnamon sticks if desired.

Notes

**This frosting is not a very sweet frosting. It’s buttery and rich rather than sweet. If you would like to have the frosting more sweet, simply add more powdered sugar until it tastes as you would like it to taste.
 
The calories shown are based on the cake being cut into 15 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 slice of cake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.**

Nutrition

Calories: 411kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 95mg | Sodium: 389mg | Potassium: 62mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 530IU | Calcium: 116mg | Iron: 1.1mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 411
Keyword cinnamon cake, easy box cake mix, easy layer cake
cinnamon cake title image

About Julie Clark

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