These cinnamon cupcakes start with a simple vanilla cupcake base infused with cinnamon flavor and then swirled with a cinnamon sugar mixture. They bake up light and fluffy and then get topped with smooth and creamy cinnamon buttercream for a perfect hand-held treat.
Easy homemade cupcakes
Homemade cupcakes are so much better than a boxed mix and really don't require that much more effort! This recipe starts with a simple vanilla cupcake recipe base with the addition of cinnamon.
I didn't overload the cupcake batter with cinnamon because there is such thing of too much of a good thing with cinnamon. It can overpower the cupcakes with too much so a teaspoon gets the job done.
Where the flavor really amps up is with the cinnamon sugar swirl that is added to the batter. Fill each cupcake cup about ⅓ full of batter and then sprinkle about half a teaspoon of the cinnamon sugar over the top.
Swirl the cinnamon sugar into the batter and then fill up with more batter until it's two-thirds full. Repeat with another half teaspoon of cinnamon sugar over the top and swirl it in.
Bake them for about 16 minutes, whip up the buttercream and voila, easy homemade cinnamon cupcakes!
Tips for light and fluffy cupcakes
- Spoon and level the flour: The key to many baking recipes is measuring the right quantity of flour. For many home bakers without food scales, this means measuring the flour correctly in your measuring cups. Spoon the flour into the measuring cup lightly until it's overflowing and then level the top off with a knife. If you have a food scale, you'll use 160 grams of flour. Scooping directly into your bag of flour or canister typically yields a lot more flour than you need leading to dry baked goods.
- Don't overmix the batter once the flour is added: Overmixing the batter leads to more gluten development in the flour which leads to tough and chewy baked goods-no one wants that! Stir just until the flour is incorporated.
- Use room temperature ingredients: So, I'm the worst offender when it comes to this one. I NEVER remember to take out my ingredients prior to baking. So if you can, remember to pull out the butter, eggs and milk awhile before you bake. If you are like me, you can use the microwave to soften the butter. You should test this with your own microwave as it can melt quickly, but I typically do 10 seconds at 40-50% power and then turn it over and do 5-8 seconds at 40% power. Play around until you find the perfect combo to soften the butter but not melt it! For eggs, I put hot tap water into a bowl and put the eggs in there for 5-10 minutes to warm them up.
Easy American Buttercream Frosting
I use my standard base buttercream frosting recipe and add just a teaspoon of cinnamon for this cinnamon buttercream. Again, you don't want to overpower everything with cinnamon. These should be a balanced cinnamon cupcakes, not a cinnamon bomb.
The key to good buttercream frosting is starting with room temperature butter. See above if you forgot to take your butter out of the refrigerator like me :-).
I also prefer to use unsalted butter and then add just a pinch of salt to the buttercream to offset the sweetness.
Whip that room temp butter for a few minutes to get it light and fluffy before you add the powdered sugar. Use the same technique as you do for flour to measure the powdered sugar, spooning it into the measuring cup and leveling it off.
Once all the ingredients are added, if it's too thick, simply add a splash more heavy cream and if it's too thin add more powdered sugar by the tablespoon.
How to store the cupcakes
Place the frosted cinnamon cupcakes cupcakes in an airtight container. They can be stored at room temperature on the counter for up to 2 days. After that, it's best to refrigerate them and they will be good for another 2 days or so. The cupcakes will begin to dry out as the days go by.
How to freeze the cupcakes
If you'd like to freeze the cupcakes, the easiest way would be to freeze them unfrosted. Wrap them in plastic wrap and then in foil and then place in a zip top bag.
They will keep for a couple months in the freezer or even longer. I ate my wedding cake one year later on our first anniversary and it was darn good!
You can also freeze them frosted. I recommend storing them in the refrigerator first for a few hours to chill the frosting.
Again, wrap the chilled cupcakes in plastic wrap and then foil and place them into a large zip top freezer bag or another airtight container that will fit in your fridge.
You can also freeze the buttercream separately in an airtight container for a couple of months. Let it defrost overnight and then beat it again before frosting the cupcakes.
For more cupcake recipes, check out:
Tag me on Instagram @themarblekitchenblog if you make this and leave a star rating and comment below! Thanks and enjoy!
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour 160 grams
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 egg room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¾ cup milk whole or 2% will work
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3-4 tbsp heavy cream you can also use milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake pan with paper liners.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer or in a large bowl and a hand mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar for about 4 minutes, until light and fluffy on medium/medium high speed.
- Add the egg, mixing well and scraping the sides of the bowl.
- In a small bowl or pourable measuring cup, whisk together milk and vanilla. Set aside.
- Starting with the dry ingredients, add about ⅓ to the butter mixture and beat until combined.
- Add half of the milk and mix well. Continue alternating dry and wet ingredients, ending with the dry ingredients.
- In a small bowl, combine the 2 tablespoons of sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon.
- Pour batter into each cupcake liner filling about ⅓ full. Sprinkle about ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon sugar over each cupcake and swirl it into the batter using a knife. Top each cupcake with the remaining batter evenly. Sprinkle another ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon sugar over each cupcake and swirl into the batter using a knife.
- Bake for about 16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cupcake comes out clean.
- Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting with the buttercream.
- Using a stand mixer or mixing bowl and hand mixer, beat room temperature butter until smooth and fluffy.
- Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating until combined.
- Add the cinnamon, salt, vanilla and heavy cream and mix until combined, light and fluffy.
- The cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.