Biscuits / Muffins / Scones · Breads · Breakfast · Cakes and Cupcakes · cinnamon rolls · Desserts

Apple Cinnamon Roll Cake

Apple Cinnamon Roll Cake by Rumbly in my Tumbly
Apple Cinnamon Roll Cake by Rumbly in my Tumbly

By a long shot, my  most popular post of all time on this blog has been my Cinnamon Roll Cake.  It is a quick, 9×13 cake, with all the tastes of a cinnamon roll, but with so much less work.  It is the perfect special occasion breakfast, and it is wildly popular, in spite of my embarrassingly amateurish photos.

Apple Cinnamon Roll Cake by Rumbly in my Tumbly
Apple Cinnamon Roll Cake by Rumbly in my Tumbly

I should really re-take those pictures.

2016-04-21 12.38.06
Apple Cinnamon Roll Cake by Rumbly in my Tumbly

I had planned to re-take them today, actually, but then I spied two lonely Granny Smith apples sitting on my counter, and a light bulb went off, and I absolutely had to make this cake with apple pie filling added.

Apple Cinnamon Roll Cake by Rumbly in my Tumbly
Apple Cinnamon Roll Cake by Rumbly in my Tumbly

It was worth it.  The apples add a moisture and texture and apple flavor that really kicks it up a notch.  I daresay I prefer this version to the old.

Apple Cinnamon Roll Cake by Rumbly in my Tumbly
Apple Cinnamon Roll Cake by Rumbly in my Tumbly

I can always make more plain cinnamon roll cake for pictures.  Everybody loves that cake.

Apple Cinnamon Roll Cake by Rumbly in my Tumbly
Apple Cinnamon Roll Cake by Rumbly in my Tumbly

But I think I like this one better.

Apple Cinnamon Roll Cake by Rumbly in my Tumbly
Apple Cinnamon Roll Cake by Rumbly in my Tumbly



3 c. flour
1/4 tsp.salt
1 c. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 c. milk
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. butter, melted

2 medium granny smith apples, diced small, and mixed with:
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 c. butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. cinnamon

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

Grease a 9×13 inch pan (I like to line it with a parchment paper sling as well) and preheat the oven to 350°.

Make your filling: Dice the apples and mix them with the cinnamon and sugar.  Set aside.

Make your topping: With a fork, mix together the butter, sugar, flour, and cinnamon together.  Set aside.

Make your cake batter: Mix together flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, milk, eggs and vanilla until smooth.  Slowly stir in the melted butter until combined.  Spread the batter into the prepared pan.

[I’ve received so many questions on this recipe regarding the consistency the topping is supposed to be that I made it again myself and have edited on 10/4/17 to make it more clear]

Take your apple filling and drop it by spoonful evenly over your cake.  Swirl the filling through the cake batter with a knife.  Drop the topping evenly, by spoonfull over the top of the cake and swirl with a knife once more.

Bake for 35-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Mix together glaze ingredients until smooth and spread over warm cake.  Let sit at least 20 minutes before slicing.  Enjoy!


41 thoughts on “Apple Cinnamon Roll Cake

  1. HI Shannon! Thanks so much for this delicious recipe! It was incredible, especially when I was in search of a delicious recipe using simple ingredients I had on hand. Question: do you think i could cut out miniature bit size ‘cakes’ with a cookie cutter after this finishes baking and serve as bite size rounds at a cozy holiday function I’m attending? Or go you think that would compromise the cake?

  2. Wow!! I just baked this yesterday and it was amazing!! I am living in Ukraine with my husband and his family and my Ukrainian mother-in-law LOVED this(she has quite the sweet tooth:)) It turned out moist and sweet, but not overly sweet and I was just happy to be able to find all the ingredients here. I made a few adjustments….I swapped a banana and a few tablespoons of sunflower oil for the butter in the cake part. I was running out of butter and wanted to save what I had for the topping part. I also added an extra apple because I like more fruit in my baked goods and used regular sugar in place of the brown sugar because you cant find brown sugar in Ukraine:) Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe!

      1. I think there might be some confusion with the way the instructions are worded. When you say to drop filling evenly over cake are you actually referring to the topping?

  3. Hi there!

    I am making this now – it smells amazing, I can’t wait to try it! I did want to point out – I think your instructions are mistaken – I believe paragraph 4 should be referencing the “topping” ingredients. I hope so, at least!

    Thanks for the great recipe!

  4. Something wrong with this. Did you mean to say “topping” instead of filling is dropped by the spoonful then swirled into cake?

  5. When do you put the topping on? Will it burn if I put it on before it’s baked, or should I wait until the last few minutes of cooking time? Maybe I missed it in the directions – sorry :(.

  6. Hi,

    I’m assuming in the recipe when we mix the ‘filling’ ingredients together it’s the ‘topping’? The recipe says to already mix the filling ingredients but there is no mention of the topping mixture anywhere. Hoping this is correct as I’m making it now lol


  7. Hi Shannon! As I was making this today, I was confused, as it doesn’t say anything in the directions about the topping. I’m assuming the sentence “Swirl the filling through the cake batter with a knife.” Is supposed to be “Swirl the TOPPING through the cake batter with a knife.” Is that correct?


  8. I am a little confused. how many apples? you mention mixing them in cinnamon and sugar then setting them aside. Then you said mix half of them into cake mixture, then mixing in filling, and swirling, and then add remaining apple mixture on top. Can you please clarify. thank you, because the premise sounds delicious!

  9. It seems like a lot of butter in the streusel topping. Are the measurements correct? 1cup? Mine did not streusel, it was cinnamon butter!

    1. I am having the same problem as Holli. I did gently mix it together with my fingers and it was never a crumbly consistency. Any other suggestions? I am just frustrated, I have made the cake and filling without issues, but this is the second time I have made the topping and can’t get it right. Thinking I am just going to have to throw the whole thing out. 😦

  10. Made this once and everyone loved it. I want to make it for Thanksgiving but was wondering if anyone has mixed chopped pecans in yet and how it would taste.

  11. I loved and so did the people that were around. They wanted more of the dark topping on top as well, so I’ll remember for next time. And maybe I’ll also add pecans crushed 😍 Thank you!!

  12. I would suggest two small changes to the wording of the recipe…Refer to the filling as “Apple Filling” and the topping as “Cinnamon Topping”. I made it today. I also added chopped pecans to the top….yummy Thanks for sharing your recipe…..

  13. Made this last night and took it to work today. Every one loved it. Plan on making again and taking to the next event I have. It looks good but tastes even better. Thank you for this awesome recipe.

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