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Two frosted cupcakes and a cinnamon stick on a pinkish cake stand with white background.

Cinnamon Cupcakes

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A soft, sweet, and buttery cinnamon cake topped with a mound of cinnamon-flavored cream cheese frosting. The small cakes and the frosting can be made ahead.

  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 24 cupcakes



For the cinnamon cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose or cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature

For the cinnamon frosting:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar (or more if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla (optional)


For the cinnamon cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C
  2. Place paper liners in the muffin tins or grease the pans. 
  3. Cream the butter in a large bowl while gradually adding the sugar. Beat for 3 minutes, until fluffy and light. You can use an electric or stand mixer. 
  4. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well after each one. 
  5. Sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and soda, and salt) and the cinnamon. 
  6. Add in 3 parts to the butter mixture, alternating with the sour cream in 2 parts. This means you start and end with flour. 
  7. Don’t overheat at this point. The dry ingredients should be mixed *just* until well integrated. 
  8. In a separate clean and dry bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. 
  9. Add 1/3 of the whites to the cake batter and mix with a rubber or silicon spatula. 
  10. Before it’s completely incorporated, add another 1/3 and mix. Repeat with the last part. Mix until no streaks of white remain but don’t overdo it. 
  11. Divide evenly between the paper liners, filling no more than 3/4 of their capacity. 
  12. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean. 
  13. Let cool completely on a wire rack before frosting. 

For the cinnamon frosting:

  1. Beat cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl until smooth and creamy. 
  2. Add half of the powdered sugar amount and the cinnamon. Mix well. 
  3. Add more sugar until it’s a thick consistency. Don’t add too much before trying it out and making sure you can pipe it easily. 
  4. Add vanilla if using it. 
  5. If the frosting is too loose, add more sugar, a tablespoon at a time. 
  6. Frost cupcakes right before serving them and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar (mix 1 tablespoon regular or brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl) or just cinnamon if you want to. 


  • Organization: read the recipe first and ensure you have ingredients at the correct temperatures, equipment, and enough workspace. This will make the process so much easier!
  • Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer(like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is at the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust. 
  • Storage: the cupcakes and the frosting can be made in advance. Store the cakes well covered in plastic wrap or an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature, or frozen for up to a month. The frosting keeps for several weeks in the refrigerator in a covered container.
  • Flavor variations: you can add some orange zest to the cake batter, or a handful of chocolate or butterscotch chips.
  • Pan variations: this recipe can be baked in three 8-inch layers or 1 sheet cake. You'll need to adjust baking times. 
  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Cakes & Cupcakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1/24
  • Calories: 336
  • Sugar: 31.8 g
  • Sodium: 101.4 mg
  • Fat: 17 g
  • Carbohydrates: 43.3 g
  • Fiber: 0.5 g
  • Protein: 3.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 74.4 mg