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Easy Snickerdoodle Cake

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Four soft and fluffy layers of vanilla cake are swirled with a cinnamon sugar streusel and layered up with cinnamon brown sugar frosting in this glorious Snickerdoodle Cake! Topped with homemade snickerdoodle cookies, this easy layer cake is one drool-worthy dessert.

A close-up shot of a piece of snickerdoodle cake on a dessert plate

A Scrumptious Snickerdoodle Layer Cake

If you are a fan of snickerdoodle cookies (honestly, who isn’t?), this decadent cake is about to change your life. Not only is it topped with actual snickerdoodle cookie crumbs, but the cake and the frosting are full of snickerdoodle flavor! The cake is made using a box mix that’s elevated with ingredients like buttermilk and sour cream to make it extra soft and moist.

The cinnamon streusel that’s swirled into the cake will make you swoon. It perfectly complements the creamy brown sugar frosting that divides the cake layers. I can’t imagine a better way to represent the amazingness of snickerdoodles in a cake!

A frosted and decorated snickerdoodle cake on a cake stand beside a large glass of milk

Recipe Ingredients

If you’d like your cake layers to be completely homemade, make this Moist Vanilla Cake instead of the spruced-up box mix cake included in this recipe. Either way, you can’t go wrong!

For the Vanilla Cake

  • Vanilla Cake Mix: Use your go-to brand.
  • Instant Vanilla Pudding: This gives the cake moisture and fluffiness while enhancing its vanilla flavor.
  • Eggs: You’ll need 3 full eggs plus an additional egg white. The extra yolk can be discarded.
  • Buttermilk: You can make your own buttermilk by combining a cup of milk with a tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar. It’s best to bring the milk to room temperature before doing so.
  • Vegetable Oil: Or canola oil.
  • Light Sour Cream: To ensure a soft and fluffy cake.
  • Pure Vanilla Extract: A high-quality extract will provide the best flavor.

For the Cinnamon Sugar Streusel

  • Light Brown Sugar
  • All-Purpose Flour: Fill your measuring cup by fluffing up the flour and spooning it in a little bit at a time, then leveling it off at the top with a butter knife. Otherwise, you will pack it into the cup and use too much.
  • Cinnamon
  • Unsalted Butter: Melted.

For the Cinnamon Brown Sugar Frosting

  • Unsalted Butter: Brought to room temperature.
  • Light Brown Sugar
  • Powdered Sugar: For structure.
  • Cinnamon
  • Pure Vanilla Extract
  • Heavy Whipping Cream: Keep this chilled until you’re ready to use it.
  • Snickerdoodles: Feel free to use store-bought cookies if you’re in a pinch.
A snickerdoodle cake on a cake stand with a few slices removed and a glass of milk beside it

How to Make Snickerdoodle Cake

Even with the streusel and the frosting, this cake is not overly sweet. It has a nicely balanced flavor profile that allows you to enjoy that classic snickerdoodle taste without feeling like you’re biting into a sugar bomb. Here’s how to bring it to life:

Make the Cake

  1. Prep for Baking: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 8-inch pans.
  2. Combine Cake Mix & Pudding: Combine the vanilla cake mix with the vanilla pudding.
  3. Add Remaining Ingredients: Add the eggs and egg white followed by the buttermilk, oil, sour cream and vanilla extract.
  4. Combine: Beat the batter on medium speed until all of the ingredients are well combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and turn the batter over from the bottom to ensure it’s well mixed. Set the batter aside while you prepare the streusel.

Make the Streusel

  1. Combine Dry Ingredients: Combine all of the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Add Melted Butter: Melt the butter in a separate bowl. Pour the melted butter over the dry ingredients and use a pastry cutter or a fork to blend it in, creating a crumbly mixture.
  3. Add to Pans with Cake Batter: Layer the cake batter and the streusel into each pan, swirling them together with a knife. Sprinkle any remaining streusel overtop each layer.
  4. Bake: Bake the cake layers for 35-38 minutes, or until a toothpick insterted into the center of each layer comes out clean.
  5. Let Cool & Cut: Allow the cake layers to cool completely, then “tort” the tops, cutting off the domes so they are completely flat. Then cut each layer in half.

Make the Frosting

  1. Beat Butter: Allow the butter to come to room temperature so that it’s soft but not melted. Beat it in a mixer on medium speed until it’s smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add Brown Sugar: Add the brown sugar and continue mixing for another 2 minutes.
  3. Slowly Add Powdered Sugar: Slowly add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time while continuing to beat on medium speed.
  4. Add Cinnamon: Mix the cinnamon into the frosting.
  5. Add Vanilla & Heavy Cream: As the frosting starts to thicken, alternate adding the vanilla extract and heavy whipping cream. Increase the mixer speed to high and whip the frosting for another 3 minutes, until it’s smooth and creamy.

Assemble

  1. Frost First Layer: Place a dollop of frosting onto your cake plate and put the bottom layer of cake on top. The frosting helps prevent the cake from sliding. Use your piping bag to pipe frosting from the outside edge into the center of the cake. Gently spread the frosting with an offset spatula to fill in the gaps.
  2. Continue Layering: Place the next layer of cake on top and repeat the above instructions to add the next layer of frosting. Repeat the process a third time. Place the top layer of cake upside-down so that the bottom of the cake is on top, creating a nice and smooth surface.
  3. Add a Crumb Coat: Create a crumb coat by adding a cup of frosting onto the top of the cake and gently spreading it out to the edges and down the sides. Use additional frosting to fill in any cracks between the layers. Use an offset spatula or an icing smoother to wipe away excess frosting, leaving just enough to coat the outside of the cake. Do not mix your crumb-coat frosting back into your icing if it has cake debris in it.
  4. Chill: Refrigerate the cake for 15-20 minutes to allow the crumb coat to harden.
  5. Finish Frosting: Remove your cake from the refrigerator and spread the remaining frosting onto its exterior. To get a nice smooth edge, use your offset spatula and an icing smoother to wipe away excess frosting.
  6. Add Snickerdoodle Crumbs: Once you’re satisfied with the frosting of the cake, crush 5 Snickerdoodle cookies into crumbs and press them around the bottom of the cake, then sprinkle the remaining cookie crumbs on top. You can also decorate your cake with mini cookies in favor of crumbling up full-sized ones.
  7. Enjoy! Slice and serve the cake immediately or keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to enjoy it.
A half-eaten slice of snickerdoodle cake on a plate with a fork

Tips for Success

Let’s talk about some simple tips and tricks that will help you make a faultless snickerdoodle cake. Anybody can do it!

  • Sprinkle the Streusel Evenly: In addition to swirling the streusel into your cake batter, I highly recommend saving some struesel to sprinkle overtop each layer. This ensures that every single bite has streusel in it!
  • Tort the Cake Layers: Before you cut your cooled cake layers in half, you’ll want to even them out on top. Use a large serrated knife to cut off the domes so that they’re completely flat. This prevents a lopsided layer cake.
  • Pipe on the Frosting: I find it super helpful to pipe on each layer of frosting before I spread it out with an offset spatula. I use a piping bag fitted with an open round tip, but you could simply cut the end off of a resealable plastic bag and use that instead.
  • Use a Lazy Susan: I love utilizing a lazy Susan when I’m frosting and decorating cakes. It’s such a huge help to be able to rotate the cake as you work!

Storage Instructions

This snickerdoodle cake will last for up to a week in the fridge. Place it in an airtight container and chill it. You can bring your cake to room temperature before enjoying it if desired. I like to store my layer cakes in a cake carrier to protect the frosting and decorations.

Can I Freeze This?

You most certainly can! Place the entire cake or individual slices into a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 4 months. Thaw out frozen cake in the fridge before enjoying it.

A snickerdoodle cake on a dessert stand with two cinnamon sticks in front of it
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A close-up shot of a piece of snickerdoodle cake on a dessert plate

Easy Snickerdoodle Cake

  • Author: Julianne
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 38 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 18 minutes
  • Yield: 16

Description

Four soft and fluffy layers of vanilla cake are swirled with a cinnamon sugar streusel and layered up with cinnamon brown sugar frosting in this glorious Snickerdoodle Cake! Topped with homemade snickerdoodle cookies, this easy layer cake is one drool-worthy dessert.

Ingredients

For the Vanilla Cake

  • 1 box Vanilla Cake Mix
  • 1 3.4 ounce box Instant Vanilla Pudding
  • 3 large Eggs
  • 1 large Egg White
  • 3/4 cup Buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 3/4 cup Light Sour Cream
  • 2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract

For the Cinnamon Sugar Streusel

  • 1/3 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/3 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tablespoon Cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Melted

For the Cinnamon Brown Sugar Frosting

  • 2 cups Unsalted Butter, At room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 7 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 23 tablespoons Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 5 Snickerdoodle Cookies

Instructions

Make the Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 8-inch pans.
  2. Combine the vanilla cake mix with the vanilla pudding. Add the eggs and egg white, followed by buttermilk, oil, sour cream, and vanilla extract.
  3. Beat on medium speed until all the ingredients are well combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the side of the bowl and turn the batter over from the bottom until well mixed. Set the batter aside and prepare the streusel.

Make the Streusel

  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. In a separate bowl, melt the butter. Pour the melted butter over dry ingredients. Use a pastry cutter or fork to blend butter into dry ingredients to create a crumbly mixture.
  2. Layer the cake batter and the streusel, swirling together with a knife. Any remaining streusel can be sprinkled over the top.
  3. Bake at 350°F for 35 to 38 minutes until the cakes are done. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the middle of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, your cake layers are done. Allow complete cooling and then “tort” the top of the cake, cutting off the dome so it is completely flat. Then cut each layer in half.

Make the Frosting

  1. Allow butter to come to room temperature so it is soft but not melted. Beat butter in mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy for 3 minutes. Add the brown sugar and continue mixing for another 2 minutes.
  2. Slowly add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time while continuing to beat on medium speed. Add cinnamon and mix into the frosting.
  3. As the frosting starts to thicken, alternate adding the vanilla extract and heavy whipping cream. Increase the mixer speed to high and whip the frosting for another 3 minutes, until it’s smooth and creamy.

Assemble

  1. Place a dollop of frosting on the bottom of the cake plate and place the bottom layer of cake on top. The frosting will help prevent the cake from sliding.
  2. In order to create even layers, I use a piping bag fitted with an open round tip, or simply cut off the end of the piping bag. I also highly suggest using a lazy Suzan to rotate the cake as you work.
  3. Fill the first layer of frosting by using your piping bag and pipe from the outside edge into the center. Gently spread the frosting with an offset spatula to fill in the gaps.
  4. Place the next layer of cake on top and repeat the above instructions to fill the layer of frosting. Repeat a third time. For the top layer of cake, place it inverted, so the bottom of the cake is actually the top, creating a nice and smooth top edge.
  5. Proceed to add your crumb coat by adding a cup of frosting to the top of the cake and gently spread out to the edges and down the sides. Use the leftover frosting in your piping bags to fill in the cracks between the layers.
  6. Using an offset spatula or icing smoother, wipe away excess frosting, leaving you just enough to coat the outside of the cake. Do not mix your crumb coating frosting back into your icing if it has cake debris in it. Refrigerate the cake for 15-20 minutes to allow the crumb coat to harden.
  7. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and proceed to the remaining frosting to the top and edges of the cake. To get a nice smooth edge, use your offset spatula and icing smoother to wipe away excess frosting.
  8. Once you are satisfied with the frosting of the cake, crush 5 Snickerdoodle cookies into crumbs and press the crumbs around the bottom of the cake, and sprinkle the remaining cookies on top.

Notes

  • To Store: Refrigerate cake in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before enjoying if desired.
  • To Freeze: Place cake into a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge before enjoying.
Nutrition Information:
1/16 of recipe
793
80g
386mg
43g
22g
98g
1g
4g
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: snickerdoodle cake, cinnamon cake, cookie cake

More Easy Homemade Cakes to Try

Need another standout cake for your next big celebration? Look no further!

This Snickerdoodle Cake originally appeared on Food Fanatic.

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating

12 Responses
  1. Kathy

    I made this cake for a Halloween cook-off at work and won 1st prize!! Thank you for the recipe, it’s a keeper for sure. Oh and I made your Perfect Snickerdoodle Cookie recipe for the topping and took the rest to share with close friends. Both were definitely a hit!!

  2. Susan

    This cake looks amazing! I just made it a day in advance of a birthday party. Should I refrigerate the cake over night or is it fine sitting out?

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Susan, as long as you are not living in a humid environment, it should be fine overnight in an airtight container! Enjoy!

  3. Marie

    My husband is not a fan of cake, but his favorite sweet to eat is a snickerdoodle. This led me to make this snickerdoodle cookie cake for his birthday. Everybody body’s faces lit up with delight as they all devoured this cake! It was everybody’s new favorite cake! My husband said he likes it better than the snickerdoodle cookie! It got 24 thumbs up and definitely 5 stars!

  4. Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction

    Snickerdoodle is one of my favorite flavors! Love the cinnamon streusel swirled in the cake layers!

  5. Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures

    What a fantastic cake! I like the streusel throughout the cake and the delicious brown sugar and cinnamon frosting! Yum!

  6. D Dell

    Spoil away!!!!
    What a great way to spend a weekend and with such a great person. You both deserve to relaxxxxxxxx and enjoy.

  7. Mir

    Wow. Streusel on a cake! I’m completely undone. That’s the best idea! And the inside is amazing, too. I want this!

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