Cinnamon swirl bundt coffee cake.

coffeecakeforkI like the smell of cinnamon rolls more than I like the taste. I think it’s something to do with the sickly-sweet frosting, which I’ve never really liked. Sure, I like sugar, but I like to taste more than that, if you know what I mean.

This weekend I really wanted something cinnamon-y for breakfast, but immediately ruled out cinnamon rolls because of the whole yeast thing. Didn’t have it on hand, plus I’m totally lazy (that has not changed during my hiatus from blog-land). I scoured the interwebs for a cinnamon breakfast recipe…and finally, I found one. And with a few tweaks, it turned out lovely.

Without further ado, I present to you a super-easy, super-delicious recipe for a cinnamon swirl bundt coffee cake that will make your house smell of two of the world’s most wonderful foods – cinnamon and yellow cake. And it pairs beautifully with a french press coffee, which is all we drink in my house.

What’s not to like? The cake tastes like cake – not like sugar – and it has a nice cinnamon zing, a moist texture and a perfect crumb.


The best part? Every single ingredient is probably already in your pantry and fridge. Now that makes this lazy girl happy! I threw this together in my Kitchen-Aid mixer at 9 p.m. on Saturday, glazed it once it cooled…and headed off to bed, the house smelling like a piece of cinnamon cake heaven.

The original recipe is on Allrecipes, which is one of my favorite sites because I can take a quick look through reviews and see what other people changed or found challenging about the recipe. The trick, as is with most recipe sites, is not to read too many reviews, because that’s overload and lends itself to some major confusion. And I don’t need a dozen back-seat bakers in my mind, thanks.

The changes I made were small but important – first, I doubled the contents for the cinnamon swirl. I’m not so sure I would’ve loved this cake had I not done that. I can’t imagine that the cinnamon flavor would’ve been as prominent otherwise. I was worried that 2 tablespoons of cinnamon would be overpowering, but it was spot-on. I used brown sugar instead of white for the swirl mixture, too.

I also ignored the recipe’s instruction to mix the sugar and eggs together first. I went with the tried-and-true method of creaming the butter and sugar together first, instead. I also didn’t bake at 400 for 8 minutes before switching to 350, as original recipe says; I just did 350 for the entire duration. Otherwise, the outside of the cake might’ve been overdone, I think. And I took the recipe for the glaze from the comments. I thought the end result was nice, but I’m not a big powdered sugar glaze person; I would love your thoughts for a better topping/glaze. Please let me know in the comments section below!

Also, I should note that this cake batter is thick, so don’t feel like you’ve done something wrong if it doesn’t pour easily from the bowl into the pan. You may need to help it along.



  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs


  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour one 10 inch bundt pan.
  2. Cream 1 1/2 cups white sugar with butter. Add eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Stir in vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Alternating between flour mixture and sour cream (starting with and ending with flour), add to batter mixture in small amounts until fully incorporated. (I switched back and forth about three times.)
  3. Mix brown sugar, nuts and cinnamon in separate bowl.
  4. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle generously with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Cover with remaining cake batter. (I did two cinnamon swirls because I thought it would look better; so I poured in a third of batter, covered with half of my swirl mixture. Then poured another third, then covered with remaining swirl mixture. And poured final third on top.)
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 40-45 minutes or until done.
  6. Once cool, mix glaze ingredients (powered sugar, vanilla and milk) and pour over cake. (I just mixed everything together in a liquid measuring cup and poured very slowly, but I think it would have looked nicer if I had tried using the Ziploc-method; pouring the glaze into a Ziploc, then cutting off the tip and drizzling with the improvised piping bag. It certainly would’ve given me more control.)

So there you have it. Here’s the final product, before I sliced into it. I love that you can see the cinnamon swirl – and some of the nuts – from the outside.

Tell me….

What kind of glaze would work better? I’m not so sure I’m a fan of this powdered sugar recipe. Do you know of a winner that would be perfect for this cake? What about streusel? I like the idea, but not sure if my heart can handle more butter than what’s already in the cake.


2 thoughts on “Cinnamon swirl bundt coffee cake.

  1. Maybe for a very decadent topping you could drizzle it with caramel! Mind you, that’s coming from me and I love sweet things.

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