A heavenly symphony of flavors, this Cinnamon Cupcake Recipe serves you moist cinnamon cupcakes dunked in butter and cinnamon sugar, topped with a luscious cinnamon buttercream frosting, and finally, crowned with crunchy bites of churros.
This is one of those cupcake recipes that you want to keep on your go-to list as your family and friends will surely request it again. It’s a treat that both adults and kids will enjoy. Serve it during special days or, really, any time of the year just because!
You might also want to try this easy iced coffee with hazelnut creamer with your cupcakes.
What are the qualities of a good cupcake?
You can check the quality of a cupcake by focusing on its texture, flavor, and overall appearance.
For texture, it should be light and fluffy with no holes inside. It should also be moist and not too dry.
The flavor should be not too sweet or bland. If it’s a chocolate cupcake, the chocolate flavor must shine.
For the overall look of the cupcakes, the whole batch should look consistent—uniform in size, color, and rise. This means that they cooked evenly.
❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe
The prep time needed to create the moist cupcake, buttery topping, smooth and velvety frosting, and to put them all together into one heavenly symphony, is quite a bit. But it sure is worth it!
- It’s fun to make with the kids!
- It’s sure to be a hit at parties. You can easily feed a crowd with one batch, and easily double or triple the recipe if needed.
- These cupcakes are very Instagrammable!
- Of course, if you’re baking anything with cinnamon and vanilla, it’ll definitely fill your house with a delicious aroma.
If you love baking dessert treats, check out these equally delicious sweet potato cupcakes.
The ingredients you’ll need for this recipe are common pantry ingredients that you might already have on hand. If you do not have them yet, you’ll easily find them in your local grocery store.
- Sweet cream butter: Also called American-style butter, it has lower fat content than European cultured butter. You can use either of the two as long as you get the unsalted one. Allow the butter to come to room temperature before baking.
- Baking powder and baking soda: This is often overlooked, but take time to check the expiration dates. They won’t work to give your cupcakes a lift if they’re expired.
- Eggs: Use the freshest eggs you can find.
- Heavy cream: Try to get at least 36-40% fat content.
See recipe card for quantities.
Sour cream: It has a good fat content as well as flavor. But if you can’t find it, you can also use yogurt or buttermilk. To make your own buttermilk, add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to every 1 cup of milk.
You usually substitute 3/4 cup buttermilk for every cup of sour cream. However, since this recipe calls for 1/2 cup of sour cream, you would substitute 6 tablespoons of buttermilk.
Sweet cream butter: It gives the pastry a premium taste, but you can use any unsalted butter you can find.
Cinnamon: If you discover you’ve run out of this ingredient, you can use a cinnamon substitute like allspice.
🌈 Variations / Options / Add-Ins
Here are easy ways to customize this recipe.
- Texture: Make it more exciting by adding nuts into the batter for some extra crunch! I think pecans, sliced almonds, and walnuts would work well. Toast them for a couple of minutes on the stovetop to bring more natural color and flavor.
- Filling: Go the extra mile by adding blocks of cream cheese inside the cupcakes! This is a variant that’s very reminiscent of cinnamon rolls. To do this, simply portion cream cheese into half an inch blocks, lay them on a parchment-lined tray, then freeze for at least 30 minutes. Then, after filling the cupcake liners, gently push down one piece of cream cheese block into each unbaked cupcake batter.
Speaking of cinnamon rolls, you should try my Air Fryer Copycat Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls.
🥄 Equipment Needed / Helpful Tools
You’ll need a few kitchen tools to help you make this cupcake recipe. Gather these tools and get ready to enjoy this delicious treat.
🔪 How to Make Cinnamon Cupcake Recipe
This recipe takes quite a bit of extra effort, but the result is well worth it. I grouped the instructions per component of this cupcake recipe to help make it easier.
Step 1: Prepare
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line the cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Preheating the oven ensures an even cooking temperature which is necessary for the cupcakes to bake evenly.
Step 2: Cream butter and sugar
Beat butter and sugar on medium speed, but be careful not to overmix. Otherwise, the mixture will turn grainy and soupy instead of light and fluffy.
Step 3: Add the egg
Beat in the egg until it’s fully combined.
Step 4: Add additional ingredients
Beat in vanilla extract, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Then, combine the heavy cream. Make sure to also scrape the sides of the bowl so that everything gets evenly incorporated.
Step 5: Add flour
Turn the mixer to low speed to prevent the flour from flying all over the place. Add it in half a cup at a time. I also recommend switching to a paddle attachment to prevent overmixing.
Step 6: Add in the sour cream
Mix just until incorporated.
Step 7: Spoon the batter into cupcake liners
Using an ice cream scoop will make this easier. You need to fill the liners only up to 3/4 full to give room for the cupcakes to rise and so that the batter will not overflow.
Step 8: Bake the cupcakes
Bake in the oven for about 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Do not be tempted to overbake the cupcakes. Once you take them out of the oven, let the cupcakes cool in the pan first for a while before transferring them onto a cooling rack to cool fully.
Step 9: Prepare the toppings
Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl. You can also do this by heating up the butter on the stovetop.
Then, mix granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons cinnamon in another bowl. Use a bowl that’s roomy enough to dip cupcakes in.
Lastly, prepare the churros by slicing them into 1-inch pieces.
Step 10: Prepare the frosting
Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on low speed until combined. It will turn light, fluffy, and just heavenly!
Once done, scoop the frosting into a piping bag fitted with the star tip.
Step 11: Top the cupcakes
Dip the top of the cupcakes into the melted butter, then into the cinnamon sugar mix. Give the cupcakes a little shake after dipping into the butter to remove excess. Do the same with the cinnamon sugar.
Step 12: Frost the cupcakes
Put as much or as little frosting as you like. It’s your cupcake!
Step 13: Garnish and Serve
Drizzle caramel sauce on top and add a piece of churro.
Now, the only thing left to do is to devour the freshly baked cinnamon cupcakes!
👩🍳 Pro Tips
Here are a handful of valuable tips you should know before you bake these cinnamon cupcakes to ensure that your home-baked treats will come out nicely.
- Keep the ingredients at room temperature before baking. The ingredients will be easier to incorporate and the mixture will turn out smooth.
- Measure the ingredients properly. For dry ingredients, a kitchen scale gives the most accurate results. However, if only measuring cups are available, fill the measuring cup, then level the top using the back of a butter knife or any smooth edge. For wet ingredients, use measuring cups. Fill them up to the line specified.
- Do not overmix the ingredients. Overmixing the cupcake batter will cause too much gluten formation and will result in tough and dry cupcakes. Mix them just until combined.
- Go easy on the cinnamon. I know that you love the warm, earthy cinnamon flavor, but don’t be tempted to add more than the amount the recipe requires. Ground cinnamon is strong and too much of it can be overwhelming.
- Make them ahead for parties! If you have a big gathering coming up, you can lessen the prep time on the day itself by making these cupcakes a day or two ahead. Just store them in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator until ready.
❓ Recipe FAQs
What makes a cupcake moist is its fat, sugar, and moisture content. For this recipe, that comes from the heavy cream, sour cream, butter, and eggs. With the right ratios, your cupcakes will come out moist.
Another factor is the cooking time and temperature. Overbaked cupcakes turn dry, so be sure not to overbake.
Dry cupcakes might be saved by spraying on some simple syrup—a mixture of equal parts of white granulated sugar and water. Otherwise, you can turn them into cake pops. Just mash the dry cupcakes, toss in some frosting, form them into little balls, dip them in melted chocolate, and enjoy. They’ll be delicious, too!
To check for the doneness of cupcakes, insert a toothpick in the middle. If it comes out clean, the cupcake is ready to be taken out. Take them out immediately, as extra time in the oven will easily overcook them.
Ready to get cooking? Print off the recipe card below or toggle on Cook Mode to keep your screen from going dark while you follow along on your phone or tablet.
Cinnamon Cupcake Recipe
- large piping bag with a star tip
- Cupcake pan
- Cupcake Liners
- Mixing Bowl
For the cupcake:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup melted butter unsalted
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon separated
- Fresh or frozen churros
- 2 cups unsalted sweet cream butter
- 5 cups powder sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 5 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 bottle salted caramel sauce
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
- In a standing mixer, beat sugar and butter together on medium speed until creamed.
- Add egg and mix until fully incorporated.
- Beat in vanilla extract, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Then, combine the heavy cream.
- Add in flour, 1/2 cup at a time.
- Add in the sour cream and stir.
- Spoon batter into cupcake liners about 3/4 full.
- Bake in the oven for about 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted at the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
- Melt 1 cup of butter in a microwave safe bowl.
- Mix 2 cups of sugar and 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon in another bowl.
- Prepare churros according to package instructions. Then, slice them into 1-inch pieces.
- Combine all ingredients in a standing mixer and mix on low speed until combined and stiff peaks form.
- Scoop the frosting into a piping bag.
- Dip the top of the cupcakes into the melted butter. Shake off the excess.
- Then, dip in the cinnamon sugar mix.
- Frost the cupcakes with the cinnamon frosting.
- Drizzle with caramel sauce and top with a churro.
- Enjoy your home-baked cinnamon cupcakes!