Cinnamon Swirl Cake

4.96 from 21 votes

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Cinnamon Swirl Cake is like a cinnamon roll in cake form. Sweet cinnamon crumble swirled through a white cake and topped with luscious cream cheese frosting. To die for!

A piece of Cinnamon Swirl Cake on a white plate with a red background.

Cinnamon Swirl Cake

Cinnamon Swirl Cake is the perfect dessert when you’re craving cinnamon rolls but just don’t have the time or patience for all that raising and waiting and baking. You know what I mean, right? Cinnamon rolls are WORK. But this moist, flavorful cake is just the opposite. Simple to make, super cinnamon flavor and done in a snap! I got this recipe from my friend Lesa years ago when we were in college and have been making it ever since. Every time I make this for a crowd I have people begging for this recipe. I was pretty much swatting my kids away with a stick just so I could take the picture. It’s a real favorite, and it will be for you too!

What Makes that Cinnamon Streusel Crumb Topping?

The star of this show, aside from the fluffy cream cheese frosting, which we will get to, is the crumbly, buttery streusel-like mixture that is swirled throughout the cake. The secret? Graham crackers! Combining crushed graham crackers with cinnamon, brown sugar and butter gives the mixture a crunchy texture that will knock your socks off! It doesn’t even taste like graham crackers, but provides a texture that can’t be beat. I like to swirl it all through the white cake, but save some to crumble over the top of the frosting.

Tips for Perfect Cream Cheese Frosting

Perhaps my very favorite part of cinnamon rolls is the luscious, dreamy and creamy icing that goes on top. Here are a few tips to making the very best frosting:

  1. Make sure your cream cheese and butter is at room temperature.
  2. Whip the cream cheese and butter together for a few minutes to make it light and fluffy before adding any other ingredients.
  3. Slowly add powdered sugar, a little at a time, mixing constantly.
  4. If it’s too thick, add about a teaspoon of milk at a time until it reaches your desired consistency.
  5. I like to add the vanilla at the end, then beat on high for about three to five minutes or until it’s nice and fluffy.
  6. Spread on top of the cooled cake, and add a little bit of the crumble mixture on top if you like.

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How to Make Cinnamon Swirl Cake

A piece of Cinnamon Swirl Cake on a white plate with a red background.

Cinnamon Swirl Cake

4.96 from 21 votes
Cinnamon Swirl Cake is like a cinnamon roll in cake form. Sweet cinnamon crumble swirled through a white cake and topped with luscious cream cheese frosting. To die for!

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12


  • 9×13 inch pan



Cream Cheese Frosting


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray.
  • Prepare white cake mix according to package directions.
  • In separate bowl, combine cinnamon, graham cracker crumbs, butter and brown sugar.
  •  Stir until combined and crumbly.
  • Pour half of the cake batter into pan. 
  • Sprinkle half of the cinnamon mixture over batter, then run a knife through it to swirl. 
  • Repeat using remaining cake batter and cinnamon mixture.
  • Bake according to cake package directions.
  • Frosting: Beat together cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Slowly add powdered sugar until desired consistency.
  • Spread over cooled cake.
  • Optional garnish: Reserve a little cinnamon mixture to sprinkle over cake. I usually don’t do this, I like it all INSIDE the cake, but since it’s that way in the picture I thought I better mention it!



I love to serve this cake while still slightly warm!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 717kcalCarbohydrates: 125gProtein: 5gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 664mgPotassium: 118mgFiber: 2gSugar: 91gVitamin A: 625IUCalcium: 152mgIron: 2.3mg

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Elise Donovan

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  1. I made the mistake of using boxed graham cracker crumbs, rather than crushed graham crackers. 1 1/2 cups of crumbs doesn’t work, it’s way too much. Doesn’t make a crumble and doesn’t swirl in. You don’t taste the flavor of the brown sugar and butter. I’m sure with all the creme cheese frosting it’ll still be liked, but want to make it again with graham crackers

  2. Looking forward to trying this recipe as my boyfriend LOVES anything with a good cinnamon swirl. Can this be made in a bundt form instead of a 13×9? I am assuming so…but would I then start with a little crumble in the bottom of the bundt first then cake mix etc? I’m worried about the crumble burning in the bottom of the bundt pan which then ends up being the top of the cake. Thoughts?

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