Cinnamon Cupcakes

These delicious cinnamon cupcakes recipe is the perfect dessert for a brunch, party, or holiday celebration. These fluffy cinnamon vanilla cupcakes have a swirl of cinnamon in the batter and, of course, cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Each bite is perfection!

close up of cinnamon swirl cupcakes on a wire rack


Swirling brown sugar and cinnamon in a fluffy vanilla cupcake is topped with a gorgeous cinnamon cream cheese frosting for the perfect finishing touch and a flavor everyone loves.

Ingredients for Cinnamon Cupcakes

ingredients in small dishes on a gray background
  • Whole Milk - The extra fat in the whole milk is needed for moist cupcakes.
  • Vegetable Oil - For fat.
  • Large Eggs - To act as a binder and help the cupcakes rise.
  • Vanilla Extract - This provides the cupcakes with a base of flavor.
  • Granulated Sugar - White table sugar to add sweetness.
  • All-Purpose Flour - You can use cake flour if you like in this recipe.
  • Baking Powder - It helps the cupcakes rise.
  • Salt - It intensifies the flavor and helps the cupcakes rise.

For the Cinnamon Swirl

  • Light Brown Sugar - Don't use dark brown sugar because it will overpower the cinnamon too much.
  • Ground Cinnamon - It's such a wonderful spice! One of my favorites for baking.

Ingredients for Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

ingredients for cinnamon cream cheese frosting on a gray speckled background
  • Butter - This gives the cream cheese a balanced flavor so that it's not just all cheese.
  • Cream Cheese - Adds that signature tanginess to the frosting.
  • Powdered Sugar - For a smooth sweetness.
  • Vanilla Extract - Necessary for flavor.
  • Ground Cinnamon - The finishing touch to bring all the flavors together between the cupcakes and the frosting.

How to Make Cinnamon Cupcakes From Scratch

First, get everything ready. I like to pull out all ingredients so I know I'm not missing anything. Then, preheat the oven and line your muffin tin with cupcake liners.

To mix the cinnamon cupcake batter, first add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk it all. Mix the dry ingredients separately and then combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients. Add two tablespoons of batter to each cupcake liner, and follow these step-by-step instructions for adding the cinnamon swirl.

brownie mix cookies
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Adding a Cinnamon Swirl to Cupcakes Step-By-Step

collage showing the step by step process of making cinnamon vanilla cupcakes
  1. In a small bowl, add the brown sugar and cinnamon. Stir until the cinnamon is evenly distributed in the brown sugar.
  2. Sprinkle a teaspoon of the cinnamon swirl mixture on top of the cake batter.
  3. Top the cinnamon layer with another two tablespoons of cake batter.
  4. Using a skewer, toothpick, or butter knife, gently swirl the cinnamon mixture and cake batter.

Once this process is complete, you are ready to bake your cupcakes and prepare the frosting. Bake the cupcakes for 16-18 minutes and then cool completely before frosting so that it doesn't melt.

To mix your frosting, begin by fluffing the cream cheese and butter with your hand mixer. Then add small amounts of powdered sugar until it is all fully incorporated. Finish it off with vanilla and cinnamon and mix well. Frost the cupcakes once completely cool to the touch, and then serve.

cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting on a cooling rack on a white surface with chunks of cinnamon topping on the surface

Tips for Best Results

Start with room-temperature cream cheese and butter. You can pull them out of the refrigerator for a couple of hours before you start baking for the best results. This allows both ingredients to mix well and to fluff up when whipped with air.

Make sure the cinnamon and brown sugar are both evenly distributed for the swirl mixture.

TIP: Avoid crushing the Oreos in a storage bag with a rolling pin. The Oreo filling that we need for sweetness will stick to the sides of the bag instead of being incorporated into the cookie crumbs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I substitute for the cinnamon?

If you don't like cinnamon or cannot find it, try all-spice, pumpkin spice, cardamom, or nutmeg.

Will these cinnamon cupcakes work with gluten-free flour?

If I were making these gluten-free, I would start with a good quality vanilla GF cake mix. It's not from scratch, but it's easier to get right.

How do I store these cinnamon cupcakes?

You can keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. The cream cheese frosting does need to be refrigerated.

Can I freeze cinnamon cupcakes?

Yes. Freeze extra cupcakes in an airtight container for up to three months. The frosting may change in texture but should still taste good.

cupcakes on a wire rack sitting on a white surface with the paper liner peeled off from the first cupcake showing the cinnamon swirl

More Great Cupcake Recipes

If you try this recipe, be sure to leave a rating below and also share it on Instagram, and tag me! You can also find me on Facebook and stay up to date on recipe releases by joining the Newsletter!

close up of the cinnamon vanilla cupcakes showing the cinnamon cream cheese frosting swirls and the cinnamon swirls inside the vanilla cupcakes

Cinnamon Cupcakes

These moist vanilla cupcakes with a cinnamon swirl are the perfect cupcakes to serve up in the fall especially when topped with a cinnamon cream cheese frosting!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Cool Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 3 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 cupcakes
Calories 550 kcal


Vanilla Cupcakes

Cinnamon Swirl

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • ½ cup butter room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • 4 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Vanilla Cupcakes

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners.
  • In a large bowl, add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk until the eggs are thoroughly incorporated.
  • In a separate large bowl, add in the sugar, flour baking powder, and salt. Using a dry whisk, whisk until combined.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until the batter is smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and whisk in any remaining flour mixture.
  • Fill each cupcake liner with 2 tablespoons of batter.

Cinnamon Sugar Swirl

  • In a small bowl, add the brown sugar and cinnamon. Stir until the cinnamon is evenly distributed in the brown sugar.
  • Sprinkle a teaspoon of the cinnamon swirl mixture on top of the cake batter.
  • Top the cinnamon layer with another 2 tablespoons of cake batter.
  • Using a skewer, toothpick, or butter knife, gently swirl the cinnamon mixture and cake batter together.
  • Place the cupcakes in the preheated oven and bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let the cupcakes cool for 5 minutes and turn out onto the wire rack to cool completely.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • In a large bowl, add the butter and cream cheese. Using a hand mixer on medium speed, beat until smooth and well combined.
  • Add the powdered sugar ½ cup at a time and beat until incorporated before adding the next ½ cup of powdered sugar. Continue adding the powdered sugar ½ cup at a time until all of the powdered sugar is incorporated.
  • Once all of the powdered sugar has been incorporated, add the vanilla and cinnamon. Beat an additional 1 minute until light and fluffy.
  • Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 1M piping tip.
  • Pipe a tall swirl of frosting on the top of the completely cooled cupcakes.
  • Sprinkle any additional cinnamon sugar mixture on top of the frosting.
  • Store the cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.


Calories: 550kcalCarbohydrates: 81gProtein: 4gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 236mgPotassium: 120mgFiber: 1gSugar: 67gVitamin A: 548IUVitamin C: 0.02mgCalcium: 67mgIron: 1mg

(Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.)

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One Comment

  1. I just made these cupcakes and they are amazing! Thank you so much for this recipe! They are moist and if you love cinnamon these are for you! My kids love them! I didn't make the frosting cause I'm lazy. Basically it's a lite and airy version of coffee cake! Definitely will be making these again!5 stars

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