Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes | frites & fries

It was a friend’s birthday this weekend and I decided to bake her cupcakes — with her choice of flavor. I had a lot of creative freedom because she only asked for something with cream cheese frosting. I did something I’ve been wanting to try for the longest time: cinnamon rolls…in cupcake form.  I topped these cupcake with tiny cuts of fresh cinnamon rolls sitting on cream cheese frosting, a frosting that’s resting on fluffy yellow glory.

The actual cupcake batter base is a revised version of an Gourmet butter cake recipe from 2008. The rest of it is entirely my own and I’m pretty damn proud of how these cupcakes turned out.

For a dozen cupcakes:


  • 1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • Scant 1/2 tsp.salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 whole large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 c. whole milk

Sugar Mix/Filling:

  • 3/4 c. (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. ground cinnamon


Mix the filling ingredients together and set aside. Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle. Line a cupcake pan with baking cups. Whisk together flour (1 3/4 cups), baking powder, and salt. Beat together butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add whole egg, yolk, zest, and vanilla and beat 1 minute. At low speed, mix in flour mixture and milk alternately in batches. Pour the batter into the pan so that it fills about a third of the case, the put the sugary filling. Pour more batter so that the cupcake case is about 2/3 full. Bake until golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 15 to 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan 10 minutes before frosting it with a cream cheese frosting. Bake some cinnamon rolls at the same time if you’re one of the lucky ones with a double oven — you can use my cinnamon roll recipe or buy a pre-made one from the store.

After frosting the cupcakes with the cream cheese frosting, take your freshly baked cinnamon roll and cut small 1/2” circles with a circle cutter to make “mini cinnamon rolls”. If you don’t have fancy circle cutters, just cut them into square chunks. Since the cinnamon rolls are so thick, cut each cylinder horizontally leaving a 1 cm chunk that’s comprised from the middle of the cinnamon roll to the top part of it. Rest this small top chunk of the cinnamon roll on top of the cupcake. I sprinkled a little bit of the sugary filling mixture on top of the mini cinnamon rolls.

I had some extra cupcake batter. After I filled the cupcake cases with the batter, I evenly sprinkled the rest of the sugar filling mix on top of the unbaked cupcakes and turned them into crunchy muffins.

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