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Easy Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes

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These Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes are a mouthwatering treat. It is a vanilla cupcake with a brown sugar streusel mixed in. They are topped with brown sugar, cinnamon frosting.

two rows of cinnamon roll cupcakes with one in the front


I have been making cupcakes like crazy lately, and really that is what I love to make! I went on this big cupcake hiatus and now I am back with a boom. There have been birthdays up the wazoo at work, which means that I am on cupcake duty, and I can try all sorts of different combinations.

side view of a frosted cinnamon roll cupcake

These Easy Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes were so popular that they made an appearance twice within two weeks! These cupcakes start with a vanilla cupcake batter, and they are mixed with a brown sugar streusel, which is my favorite part. The frosting is a brown sugar, cinnamon frosting. It’s a mouth watering treat!

two cinnamon roll cupcakes stacked

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a lot of spare time. You will find that a lot of my cake recipes start with a box mix. Often times, I add and mix things in and swap things out as to make it unique. You certainly don’t need to stick to the ingredients on the box! Most of the time, no one would guess it started with a box mix. Don’t get me wrong, homemade cakes are but I don’t always have the time to wait.

a cinnamon roll cupcake on a platter with more cupcakes in the background

This cupcake is the sibling to my Snickerdoodle Coffee Cake Cupcake. My friends still talk about that one. There is something about cinnamon and brown sugar that makes people go a little crazy for sweets! It’s so good that even my boyfriend ate one, and you know, he is really picky!

cinnamon roll cupcake on top of an upside down baking pan

For the frosting, there’s quite a bit of butter and it is whipped to perfection. If you start with a cold butter, beat it until it is really smooth. You really can’t go wrong here. Then, slowly add the powdered sugar, and beat it in one cup at a time. The best thing you can do for a frosting is to add some heavy whipping cream. It helps make the frosting extra smooth and even cuts some of the sweetness. Some people might think there is too much frosting on these cupcakes; is that even possible?

cinnamon roll cupcake with a bite taken out with other cupcakes in the background

The streusel is the key ingredient in this recipe. You just need some 4 simple ingredients. Once the streusel is mixed, scoop some batter into the cupcake liner, sprinkle a layer of streusel and then cover it with another scoop of batter. I used a toothpick to swirl the batter together and then dropped some more streusel on top because more streusel is always a good thing.

Save this recipe for your next get-together. Your guests will be impressed and you don’t even have to tell them how easy it was to make these cupcakes!

A cinnamon roll cupcake on a platter with more cupcakes in the background

Easy Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes

  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 18 mins
  • Total Time: 38 minutes
  • Yield: 22-24 Cupcakes


Vanilla cupcakes with a brown sugar streusel, topped with a cinnamon brown sugar frosting.


For the Cupcakes:

  • 1 box (15oz) White cake mix
  • 1 box (3.4oz) Instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 4 Large egg whites
  • 1 C Buttermilk
  • 1/3 C Vegetable oil
  • ½ C Sour Cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the Streusel:

  • 1 C Light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp Flour
  • 1 tbsp Cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp Unsalted butter

For the Frosting:

  • 1 ½ C (3 sticks) Unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp Light brown sugar
  • 6 C Powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp Cinnamon
  • 23 tbsp Heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract


For the Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Combine vanilla cupcake mix with vanilla pudding. Add egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each egg is added to ensure it is well mixed.
  3. Add buttermilk, oil, sour cream and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until all ingredients are well combined. Use a spatula to scrap down the side of the bowl and turn the batter over from the bottom.
  4. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners.

For the Streusel:

  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, melt butter. Pour melted butter over dry ingredients. Use a spoon to blend butter into dry ingredients to create a crumbly mixture.
  3. Spoon a little bit of batter into the bottom of the cupcake. Pour a teaspoon or two of streusel on top of the batter and swirl with a toothpick. Spoon remaining batter into cupcake liner till it is about 2/3 full. Pour a teaspoon of streusel on top.
  4. Bake at 350°F for 15-18 minutes until the cupcakes are done. You do not want to top to turn brown. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the middle of the cupcake. If the toothpick comes out clean, your cupcakes are done. Allow them to cool completely.

For the Frosting:

  1. Beat butter in mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy: 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add brown sugar and mix until combined.
  3. Slowly add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time while continuing to beat on medium speed. After 3 cups of powdered sugar, the frosting might be very thick and crumbly. Add 1 tablespoon of heavy cream and the vanilla extract and beat into the frosting before adding additional powdered sugar.
  4. Continue to add the remaining powdered sugar and the cinnamon and mix into the frosting. Alternate in the heavy cream as needed.
  5. Increase the mixer speed to high to whip frosting until smooth and creamy. Frost cooled cupcakes.


Please note buttermilk can be substituted with regular milk.

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Leave a Comment

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32 Responses
  1. Cindy

    Thankbyou so much for this recipe! It is so good. I have made the cupcakes s couple times and also have made to wedding cakes with this recipe. It’s beginning to be a favorite.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Yeah! Very happy to hear that! Yes you can male this with a layer cake no problem. The top may not be even due to the streusel but it should work just fine!

  2. Alyssa

    I have made these cupcakes many times! They are definitely a favorite for my family. I was wondering though, can this recipe be used to make a cake?

  3. Linds

    Hey! Definitely making these 🙂 But I have a question: your recipe description says ‘The streusel is the key ingredient in this recipe. You just need some brown sugar, cinnamon and of course, butter. ‘ However, the streusel ingredients call for 3tbsp flour. Is that right?

  4. Jasmine

    Hi! Hope you’re safe and well! I wanted to know if I could use the streusel in your Moist Vanilla Cake recipe and I will turn out okay? I

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      iHi Jasmine, I haven’t tried it before but the batter is quite thin vs a cake mix which is thicker. I’d love to know if it works!

  5. Kristen

    Hi there! I’m just wanting to confirm that you PREPARE the vanilla pudding and add it to the cake mix? Or do you just add the cake mix and powdered pudding mix together, and then the egg whites and moist ingredients? Thanks so much! Can’t wait to try these out!

  6. Honesti

    Was your batter on the thicker side? Mine was. The only change I made was swirled the streusel into the batter. They smelled AMAZING while they were baking.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Honesti, I can’t recall specifically. It’s been awhile since I made this recipe. I hope you liked them!

  7. Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking

    I love making cupcakes too! This one looks amazing! (As does her cousin the snicker doodle coffee cake one!) Honestly you had me at streusel. I could eat my weight, which I will not disclose, in streusel. SO GOOD! Pinned!

  8. Anna @ Sunny Side Ups

    Omg!! These cupcakes look insane!! My mouth is watering for all that yummy cinnamon sugary goodness! 🙂 Gotta make these!

  9. Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom

    Julianne. . ah. . .the . . streusel!!!! LOVE these cupcakes!!! and meant to tell you. . I loved that video you shared on IG the other day for the Fight Hunger campaign. . that’s awesome that you are supporting that!!!!

  10. Beth

    My husband was telling me there was too much frosting on a cake a recently made. I told him that’s what makes it like good in photographs 🙂 I love these Julianne!

  11. Mir

    I remember when you promised to share these in your orange creamsicle cupcake post. I was so excited! And these have totally lived up to expectation. That frosting…mmmm.

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