Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes

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These Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes start with yellow cupcakes and add cinnamon-sugar swirls throughout and a sugary streusel on top.  They’re finished with a drizzle of a cream cheese glaze.

Photo of two Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes stacked on a plate

What transforms a simple yellow cake mix into a taste treat? The additions are simple – oil, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla pudding, sour cream, and vanilla extract. Adding a few extra ingredients to a cake mix really jazzes it up in a simple way. These cupcakes are super moist, and chewy, with a depth of flavor you can’t get from plain cake-mix cupcakes.

Cinnamon, brown sugar, butter, and a bit of flour combine to become the cinnamon-sugar swirl. That gets blended in between the layers of cake mix and on top–just for good measure.

I recommend one scoop of batter, a spoonful of the cinnamon-sugar mixture swirled in, one more scoop of batter, and one more spoonful of the cinnamon-sugar mixture. And then comes the streusel. 

View of a pan of cupcakes ready to go in the oven Close-up view of the topping for Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes

This streusel will be pretty thick– almost like a thick dough. I just put a few small spoonfuls of the streusel on the very top of the cupcakes and then put them in the oven. The streusel doesn’t need to cover the entire top (unless you want it to), so just put small bits of it throughout the top. Also, the streusel is optional. If you aren’t feeling it, simply leave it out and nothing changes about how you bake these cupcakes.

Last, but never least, comes the cream cheese glaze. A very simple and traditional cinnamon roll glaze, it’s perfect for these cupcakes. You can drizzle the glaze over the cupcakes or cover the entire tops – both are great!

Ingredients in Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes

Nothing very fancy in these Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes, but it’s what you do with the ingredients that creates the magic!

For the cupcakes:

  • Cake mix: Choose a super-moist yellow cake mix. Since this is the base of the recipe, get a quality brand for the best results.
  • Pudding mix: Instant vanilla pudding mix, the 3-ounce (small) size works for this recipe.
  • Eggs: Eggs bind the ingredients together
  • Sour Cream: Sour cream adds moisture and richness. Use full-fat sour cream for maximum effect.
  • Oil: Vegetable oil adds smoothness.

For the swirl:

  • Brown sugar and cinnamon: This simple blend will be layered with the batter.
  • For the struesel:
  • Brown sugar, cinnamon, butter and flour: Combine these into a crumbly mixture and sprinkle over the batter.

For the glaze:

  • Cream Cheese: Definitely use full-fat cream cheese. The flavor and texture are vastly superior to the lower-fat versions!
  • Butter: Creating a frosting mixes fat with sweetener, and butter is a crucial element.
  • Powdered sugar: Powdered sugar gives the glaze its texture and bulk, in addition to sweetening the flavor.
  • Vanilla: A flavor enhancer
  • Salt: Salt is a background element to this recipe. It adds a subtle difference that you’ll only notice if it’s missing.
  • Heavy cream: Cream smooths the mixture and turns it from a paste into a glaze.


When you’re watching calories and fat, it’s tempting to use reduced-fat ingredients, but this is not the place for it. The fat is what makes this dessert so creamy and rich. Save your calories somewhere else–this recipe needs these luxe ingredients!

View of one Cinnamon Roll Cupcake

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Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes

4.60 from 5 votes
These Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes start with yellow cupcakes and add cinnamon-sugar swirls throughout and a sugary streusel on top.  They're finished with a drizzle of a cream cheese glaze.
Print Recipe

Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes

4.60 from 5 votes
These Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes start with yellow cupcakes and add cinnamon-sugar swirls throughout and a sugary streusel on top.  They're finished with a drizzle of a cream cheese glaze.
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 33 minutes
Servings 24 cupcakes
Chelsea Lords
Calories 254kcal
Cost $6.24



  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup full fat sour cream
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 package (15.25 ounces) super-moist yellow cake mix
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix, dry, not prepared
  • ½ cup water

Cinnamon-Sugar Swirl

  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cream Cheese Glaze

  • 1 ounce cream cheese softened
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream



  • PREP: This recipe makes 24 cupcakes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C) and line a cupcake pan with liners. Set aside
  • BATTER: In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with a fork. Add in the sour cream, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Stir until completely combined. Add in the cake mix and pudding mix, stirring a few times to moisten. Add in the water and mix until just combined.
  • FILL MUFFIN TINS: Fill cupcake liners ¾ the way full. (The batter should yield a full 24 cupcakes, so divide evenly.)

Cinnamon-Sugar Swirl

  • Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Mix until combined. Sprinkle this cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly between each cupcake. Use a toothpick to swirl the mixture in..


  • Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Divide the streusel evenly among each cupcake.
  • Bake only 1 tray at a time for 18-23 minutes or until a toothpick (or fork) when inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. When lightly touching the top of the cupcake, it should bounce back. Remove and let the cupcakes cool in pan for 5-10 minutes before removing to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling completely

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Combine the cream cheese and butter. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer, beat until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Mix. Add in 2 tablespoons of heavy cream. Mix until smooth. Transfer the frosting to a frosting bag and cut off the tip. Pipe a swirl on top of each cupcake, dividing the frosting evenly between the 24 cupcakes.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 254kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 188mg | Potassium: 40mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 227IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 1mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.


I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.



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    1. Isn’t that the worst?! Haha and I totally agree – everyone has someone special that can make the best cinnamon rolls haha!! Thanks!

  1. Oh my gosh, Chelsea. There are so many amazing things about these cupcakes! I absolutely love those swirls of cinnamon! Also cinnamon swirl AND streusel? Genius. 🙂 I think I could put cream cheese glaze on anything and I love how it looks dripping down the sides of the cupcakes. Yum!

  2. Oh my goodness….these look soooo good. And I am betting they taste even better! I could eat cinnamon rolls for breakfast every day (for the rest of my life) so if these can kick the cinnamon roll cravings, I am up for it. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. can you believe I’ve never had a homemade cinnamon roll? I think I’m seriously missing out!! honestly I love how this recipe’s base is a basic cake mix – People want to throw shade when absolutely everything isn’t done from scratch, but I always feel like who has the time!? This is a custom recipe with a little shortcut along the way, which for me is the perfect baking balance 🙂 love!

  4. Cinnamon rolls … how I love you. I only made them homemade for the first time last year and am now utterly and completely obsessed! I love this spin on cupcakes .. and with the cream cheese glaze and streusel. I mean seriously – some of my favorite things right there! haha

  5. These look incredible Chelsea! I love homemade cinnamon rolls but there are days I really don’t want to put in the effort or time and these cupcakes sound perfect! Oh boy, totally loving that glaze and streusel – looks heavenly girl!

  6. Hi Chelsea! Stopping by from Tuesday Talent Show. Had to come check out these amazing little treats. I’ve already decide I’m going to make them, but in my mind call them a muffin, ’cause I want to eat them for breakfast. 🙂 They look so good! Have pinned! ~Erin

    1. Thanks so much for the pine Jocelyn! I hope you are having a great weekend 🙂 PS totally stalking you on IG and you and your hubby are SO cute!

  7. The picture looks heavenly. Can’t wait to make them this weekend as part of our Easter brunch. The recipe calls for vanilla pudding mix. Is it instant or cook & serve?

  8. 4 stars
    Hi, Chelsea! I made these cupcakes today for Easter breakfast and found that they might actually work better as a sheet cake. I had a great deal of streusel topping left over even though I mounded them on the cupcakes. I also halved the icing recipe. But overall these are quite delicious!

  9. 5 stars
    Hi Chelsea. Thank you for this recipe. I made these today and they are delicious and very sweet. How can you go wrong with cream cheese frosting. Yummy!!

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