Cinnamon Roll Cake

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Debra, one of my very favorite coworkers, had a birthday (a BIG birthday) last month.  Okay, really, Debra’s not just one of my favorite coworkers, but one of my very favorite people on the whole planet.  Really.  She’s kind and thoughtful and funny and generous and has a laugh that is absolutely contagious.

I was invited to her surprise party but couldn’t make it, so I wanted to do something special to make up for missing it.  I asked her wife what her favorite baked good was.  She said, “Deb loves cinnamon rolls…lemon bars too, but cinnamon rolls are her favorite.”  Cinnamon rolls.  Hmmm…I think I’ve made them once or twice and I really didn’t have time to do the whole wait-for-the-yeast-to-rise thing.

Then I remembered seeing a recipe that someone had posted on Facebook for a Cinnamon Roll Cake.  I tried to find which friend had posted it (spent way too much time on that little venture), but couldn’t.  So I Googled.  Duh.  There were dozens of them…seems to be a popular recipe on Pinterest and the food blog circuit.  And they are all exactly the same recipe. So I went to the blog that I thought looked cutest (The Girl Who Ate Everything) and made that one.  It was really easy and smelled heavenly while baking.

(As a little side note here, it smelled so good baking that it caught Tony’s attention.  He came into the kitchen and asked what I was baking.  I told him it was for Debra’s birthday.  He said something along the lines of, “how come you always bake such good stuff for work and not for me?” Guilt.  So I made a second one!!!!  Crazy, I know…but at least this way I got to sample it!  And it tasted just as heavenly as it smelled.  All warm and cinnamon-y and gooey and delicious.  Tony loved it and the neighbors we shared it with did too.)  

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The next day, I took the one I made for Debra to work and left it on her desk.  And then waited for her to discover it.  A while later, she walked over to my cubicle and said, “Bruser…did you make this delicious cinnamon cake”?  And I said, “yes, it’s a cinnamon roll cake.”  And she said, “Cinnamon rolls are my favorite thing.”  And I said, “I know.”  Giggle, giggle.  And she said, “how did you know?”  Giggle, giggle.  “Did my wife tell you?”  More giggling.  Anyway…it was very cute.  She said she loved it.  Said it might even be one of the best things she’s ever eaten in her life, “like a cinnamon roll and coffee cake all in one.”

Later that night, Debra texted me a picture of her son 14-year-old Ethan eating a piece of the cake.  She said, “He’s in heaven, Bruser!”


So here you have it.  Cinnamon Roll Cake.  Like coffee cake and cinnamon roll all in one.  You don’t even have to wait until one of your favorite people’s birthday.  Make one this weekend. You’ll be so happy you might even laugh like Debra.

Cinnamon Roll Cake


3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1-1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup butter, melted

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Mix everything together except for the butter. Slowly stir in the melted butter and pour into a greased 9×13 pan.

For the topping, mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Drop evenly over the batter and swirl with a knife. Bake at 350° for 28-32 minutes.

2 c. powdered sugar
5 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

While still warm drizzle the glaze over the cake.