Cinnamon Roll Cake

There once was a time when I knew Chicago’s O’Hare airport like the back of my hand. Nearly each week, I would board a plane to some far off city (typically the west coast); get whisked to a windowless conference room where I would eat Chinese take-out, and work into the late evening. Then it’s back home with a suitcase full of dirty clothes. My travels these days are a tad more interesting. I’m actually able to explore the food and excitement of the city I’m visiting without the depressing conference room vibe.

While O’Hare is no longer my hub airport (I now live in Pittsburgh), I still have two fond memories of the busy place – good people watching and the Cinnabon kiosk. The aroma of cinnamon would always strike nearly as soon as I exited the plane. They were too enticing not to pick one up and devour in the cab on the way to my apartment in Uptown.

The same cinnamon aroma from this cake still transports my mind back to O’Hare memories. Plus, with my interesting neighbors, I don’t have to travel much further than my kitchen window for good people watching.

Cinnamon Roll Cake
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
Recipe Type: Dessert
Serves: 6-8 people
  • 3 cups flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 ½ cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 Tbl. butter, melted
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbl. flour
  • 1 Tbl. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-5 tsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. For the batter: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder into a medium mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, vanilla and melted butter until well combined. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry while mixing into a batter. Set aside.
  2. For the filling: Cream the filling ingredients in a small bowl until well combined.
  3. Lightly coat a 9X13 pan with cooking spray. Pour the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Drop the filling using a teaspoon throughout the top of the batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  4. When the cake is cooled slightly, whisk together the ingredients for the glaze. It should be pourable, but not runny. Drizzle the glaze all over the top and pay special attention to the divots.
Author's Note

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