Yellow cupcakes with cinnamon-sugar swirls throughout and a sugary streusel on top. These cinnamon roll cupcakes are drizzled with a cream cheese glaze.
The base is a yellow cake mix, doctored-up to taste great. 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, chewy, and have a depth of flavor you can’t get from plain cake mix cupcakes.
Cinnamon, brown sugar, butter, and a tad bit of flour get mixed together to become the cinnamon-sugar swirl. That gets swirled in between the layers of cake mix and on top just for good measure.
I did 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. My personal favorite.
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), but just put small bits of it throughout the top. Also, the streusel is totally optional. If you aren’t feeling it, definitely feel free to 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, and perfect for these cupcakes. You can drizzle the glaze over the cupcakes or cover the entire tops – both are great!
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Yellow cupcakes with cinnamon-sugar swirls throughout and a sugary streusel on top. These cupcakes are drizzled with a cream cheese glaze.
- 1 package (15.25 ounces) yellow cake mix
- 1 package (3.4 ounces) vanilla pudding mix, dry, not prepared
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature and lightly beaten
- 1 cup buttermilk, check notes for substitution
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup full fat sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 ounce cream cheese softened
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Pinch of salt
- 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk, if needed
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two muffin tins with liners and set aside.
- In a large bowl, sift together the pudding and cake mix.
In a separate bowl, combine the lightly beaten eggs, buttermilk, vegetable oil, sour cream, and vanilla extract. Mix.
- Mix wet and dry until combined (do not over-stir or beat in too much air)
Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Stir until combined.
Spoon the cupcake mixture into the bottom of the cupcake liners about 1/4th the way full. Spoon the cinnamon-sugar swirl on top and swirl together with a toothpick or fork. Fill up to 3/4ths the way full on the cupcake liner with more cupcake batter. Again spoon the cinnamon-sugar swirl on top and swirl together. The cupcake batter and filling should exactly fill 24 cupcake cavities
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle even amounts on top of the cupcakes
- Bake the cupcakes for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let cool slightly before putting on frosting.
Combine the cream cheese and butter. Using hand mixers or a stand mixer, beat until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Mix. Add in a tablespoon of heavy cream or milk until the consistency you desired is reached.
- Spread over the slightly cooled cupcakes either covering the tops completely or drizzling the glaze on with a spoon.
If you don’t have buttermilk, combine 1 cup of milk with 1 tbsp. white vinegar in a separate cup and let sit for 5 minutes and then add to mixture.