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Easy Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes

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!

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

Easy Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.5 from 4 reviews
  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 18 mins
  • Total Time: 38 minutes
  • Yield: 22-24 Cupcakes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American


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.

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34 thoughts on “Easy Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes”

  1. These were delicious, but the streusel sunk to the bottom of the cupcake after cooking, any idea how to prevent that?

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      It could be just the different type of cake mix or maybe smaller pieces of streusel. This is quite an old recipe of mine I have’t made in ages but I will go back and see if theres some adjustment that need to be made.

  2. 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!