Do you love cinnamon rolls with every fiber of your being, but don’t feel quite ready yet to tackle making them from scratch? We totally understand that. While they’re actually easier to make than you’d think, we’ve got a different dessert for you today that is actually ridiculously easy to throw together, that gives you the same cinnamon roll satisfaction with half the effort. Cinnamon roll sheet cake! That’s right, all the cinnamon-swirl goodness we love about the original, plus, some seriously decadent icing, all wrapped up in one sheet cake that can easily serve a crowd…or just a couple of really hungry people (- each with a really intense sweet tooth).
Using vanilla cake mix (or white or yellow, whatever you have on hand) as the base of our sheet cake, we added vanilla instant pudding mix for extra flavor, sour cream to make sure it stayed extra moist, and then a perfectly delightful cinnamon brown sugar mixture to swirl into the batter. Pro tip: be careful not to over-mix your cinnamon filling into the batter; you want a defined, marbleized look, and over-stirring can make your cake look muddy, which we don’t want. Once you’ve got the batter all taken care of, the other real show stopper is the cream cheese frosting.
That’s right. If you’d rather go with a milk-and-powdered-sugar-based frosting, go right on ahead, but just know that this cream cheese frosting/icing is absolutely the dreamiest. Seriously, it’s silky smooth and adds just the right amount of flavor to your cake. Definitely not to be missed. Don’t run out to the bakery next time you get a craving for cinnamon rolls, whip up this sheet cake instead! It’s great for birthday parties or potlucks or if you decide you just need a pick-me-up and throw together for dessert after dinner with the family – you really can’t go wrong!
Cinnamon Roll Cake
Serves 16-20; 1 hour
- 1 (15.25 oz.) box vanilla cake mix (could use white or yellow mix as well)
- 1 (3.4 oz.) package vanilla instant pudding mix
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup warm milk, plus more, if needed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350º F and lightly grease a 13x18-inch dish with non-stick spray.
- In a large bowl or mixer, whisk together vanilla cake mix and instant pudding mix together until combined, then beat in eggs, one at a time, oil, milk, sour cream (or yogurt, if using) and vanilla extract.
- Once batter comes together (without over-mixing), pour into baking sheet.
- In a microwaveable bowl, combine butter, brown sugar and cinnamon, and microwave until melted and smooth.
- Pour mixture over cake batter, then use a knife to swirl mixture into cake. Be careful not to swirl mixture too much, or it won’t look as marbled.
- Place baking sheet in oven and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- While cake bakes, in a bowl or mixer, beat together cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract, then gradually beat in milk until desired consistency is reached.
- Remove cake from oven and let cool 10-15 minutes before pouring icing over. Slice, serve and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from I Wash You Dry