Why choose between cinnamon rolls and cupcakes when you could enjoy both wrapped in one? These easy Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes are made with a cinnamon swirl vanilla cupcake, fluffy cream cheese frosting and mini cinnamon rolls that are smothered in silky cream cheese icing!
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I’m a huge fan of transforming one dessert into another (like this Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream and these Mini Creme Brûlée Cheesecakes), because they’re such a fun and unique upgrade from a simple basic dessert.
I have a lot of 2 in 1 dessert recipes coming soon and I’m super excited to share them with you. Until then let’s get into this amazing cinnamon roll/cupcake hybrid!
Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes
I think it’s now a known fact that I have a huge love for cupcakes, and cinnamon rolls are my favourite breakfast treat! So ever since I saw a photo of cinnamon roll cupcakes while scrolling through Instagram, I immediately knew I had to create my own!
Luckily, I didn’t have to spend too long developing my own recipe, since each part of these cupcakes comes from other recipes I’ve made in the past. For example, the vanilla-cinnamon cupcake was adapted from my Cotton Candy Cupcakes, the cream cheese frosting is from my Carrot Cake Cupcakes, and the cream cheese icing drizzle was taken from my Best Ever Cinnamon Rolls recipe!
I’m gonna start mix and matching different parts of my recipes to create something new a lot more often! Who knows how many more mind blowing creations I can come up with?!
Cinnamon Swirl Cupcakes
Let’s discuss the layers of these outstanding cupcakes. First we make the cinnamon swirl cupcake. I took my cotton candy cupcake recipe and replaced all the cotton candy and food colouring with vanilla.
I also added a bit of nutmeg because there’s nutmeg in my cinnamon roll recipe and I wanted the flavour of these cupcakes to taste exactly like them!
After making the cupcakes, we need to scoop a little bit into the liners, then sprinkle on a bit of cinnamon sugar made with dark brown sugar and cinnamon. Alternate between adding some cupcake batter and cinnamon sugar, then use a toothpick to swirl them both together.
Once baked, the cinnamon sugar filling should get all nice and gooey like it does in traditional cinnamon rolls!
Cream Cheese Frosting
One of my favourite parts of a cinnamon roll is that silky cream cheese glaze. The sweet and tangy flavour of the cream cheese glaze paired with the perfectly gooey cinnamon rolls is like an explosion of yumminess in my mouth!
So of course there’s no better frosting to top these cupcakes with than the creamiest, fluffiest cream cheese frosting!
Perched on top of the puff of cream cheese frosting is a mini cinnamon roll! I wanted these cupcakes to be very simple, so instead of making the cinnamon rolls from scratch, I used store-bought cinnamon rolls. The cinnamon rolls were a bit too tall, so I had to slice them in half and place the tops on the cupcakes.
Cream Cheese Glaze
The store-bought cinnamon rolls do not come with a glaze (ridiculous, right?) which was actually a good thing for me since it gave me a reason to drench them in my own cream cheese glaze!
To make the glaze, we mix together butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt. To thin it out, we add about 2-3 tablespoons of milk. Even with 3 tablespoons of milk, the glaze was still pretty thick so if you want a thinner more pourable glaze, continue to add more milk a tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
Beautiful, fun and delicious! These cupcakes are such a great mix of textures and flavours!
I’d love to know how these turn out for you, so if you make this recipe, come back and leave a comment down below to tell me how they turned out!
And don’t forget to take photos and tag me on Instagram @queensleeappetit or use the hashtag #queensleeappetit so I could see your gorgeous creations!
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Let’s get baking!
Cinnamon Sugar Filling:
- ½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1 and ½ Tbsp ground cinnamon
Cinnamon Swirl Cupcakes:
- 1 and ⅔ cups all purpose flour
- 1 and ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ teaspoon Baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg (optional)
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 and ¼ cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- 1 and ½ tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- ⅛ tsp salt
Cream Cheese Icing Glaze:
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 4 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 2-3 Tbsp milk
- 18-20 store-bought mini cinnamon rolls
For the Cinnamon Sugar Filling:
- In a small bowl, add brown sugar and cinnamon and stir with a fork to combine. Set aside until ready to use.
For the Cinnamon Swirl Cupcake:
- Preheat oven to 350° F (177°C). Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners. Line a second pan with 6-8 liners. This recipe makes about 18-20 cupcakes.
- In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes.
- Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Lower the speed to medium-low and mix in the eggs, one at a time until just combined. Mix in the vegetable oil and vanilla extract.
- Alternately add dry ingredients in 3 additions and buttermilk in 2 additions to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat each addition just until combined, before adding the next.
- Alternate between adding 1 tablespoon of batter and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar, then one more tablespoon of batter and another teaspoon of cinnamon sugar. Use a toothpick to swirl the layers together.
- Bake in preheated oven for 16-18 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the cupcake comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in pans for about 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer, beat the softened butter and cream cheese until super pale and fluffy, about 5-6 minutes.
- Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time and beat on low speed after each cup until combined.
- Once combined add vanilla and salt and continue to beat until combined and smooth.
- Increase speed to medium-high and beat for about 5-7 minutes, or until frosting is light and fluffy.
For the Cream Cheese Icing Glaze:
- In a medium mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, beat beat butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes.
- Add powdered sugar and mix on low until combined. Add vanilla and salt and beat until combined and smooth.
- Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach a desired consistency.
- Transfer frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Pipe a poof of frosting on top of each cupcake.
- Place a mini cinnamon roll on top, then cover it with the cream cheese glaze. Enjoy!
- You can add more milk to the glaze if you want a thinner consistency.
- These cupcakes are best served on day 1, but they can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
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