Cinnamon Bundt Cake Recipe

What can I say about this cinnamon bundt cake recipe? Except that it’s dreamy, it’s fragrantly spiced with cinnamon, and it’s a very tender and moist bundt cake.

While cinnamon is commonly used throughout the year in baked goods, it’s especially good in the autumn and winter when the cinnamon warms the body through. This is the perfect cake for Christmas too, so save the recipe for holidays! Read below for the recipe.

close up of cinnamon bundt cake

What are your first memories of eating in autumn? What does it smell like? What does it taste like? What does it make you feel inside?

Food can evoke such strong memories in us even years later, and I love the connection that food brings to our past. While some connections might feel sad or negative, they may also feel joyous and loving.

So what does this have to do with this recipe?

Well this cinnamon bundt cake is a varied version of a cake that my mom made when I was growing up. And although I can’t specifically remember it being made in autumn, it always evokes a feeling of excitement and a feeling of home.

And might I say, this cake is like Christmas in your mouth! I’m definitely making this as a Christmas dessert show-stopper this year because it’s just that good.

How to Make a Lighter Texture Bundt Cake

When I started creating this cinnamon swirl bundt cake, I didn’t want it to be too dense.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes a dense cake is nice, but not for this recipe. I wanted a soft and tender cake that was super enjoyable and easy to eat.

If you want to make a lighter textured cake, here are a few excellent tips that will give any cake a softer texture.

Use Cake Flour

Cake flour is a must for a lighter-textured cake.

If you do a side-by-side comparison of a cake made with all-purpose flour and one made with cake flour, the cake flour sample will be taller and lighter. Cake flour is naturally lighter in texture, and it contains less gluten.

Less gluten equals a lighter and more airy cake that rises higher.

For a bundt cake, cake flour really takes it to the next level by giving the interior more tenderness.

flat lay with cinnamon bundt cake covering in cinnamon icing

Whip the Butter and Sugar

Whipping the butter and sugar (and shortening in this recipe) in a mixer on speed 3 or 4 in a 10-speed mixer.

By mixing at a lower speed, you incorporate less air but still get a really light and fluffy texture. If the butter and sugar are mixed at a high speed, they will still be light and fluffy, but there will also be a lot of air.

If there is a lot of air, this can cause big air bubbles in the cake, or it can cause the bundt cake to collapse during baking.

And honestly, there’s nothing sadder than seeing a beautiful cake collapse halfway through baking!

Use Shortening

Shortening tends to get a bad reputation as being undesirable and flavorless. Indeed, it doesn’t provide much in the way of flavor, but shortening does an amazing job of stopping gluten development.

Shortening does this by coating the gluten strands, which inhibits their ability to grow stronger. Isn’t baking science fun sometimes?

And because we use butter in this recipe, we have plenty of rich flavor. The trick to using shortening is making sure that there are other flavorful fats to make the cake taste delicious. And we have most definitely done that in this recipe!

cinnamon swirl bundt cake

How to Prevent a Bundt Cake From Sticking

There’s nothing worse than turning the bundt cake out of the pan only to find that bits and pieces are still stuck in the pan.

The bundt cake has random chunks missing as if it’s been attacked by an animal.

But not to worry, you can follow one of these two methods so that you never have another mangled bundt cake again.

Method 1 (Standard Method)

Use soft butter and a pastry brush to coat the inside of the bundt cake pan.

It’s best to use a pastry brush instead of rubbing the butter in the pan.

Why?

Because the brush can get into the deep grooves more easily.

After thoroughly coating the pan, coat the pan in flour as usual. There’s nothing revolutionary about using butter and flour. The pastry brush, however, is the real trick to fully protect the cake from sticking.

cinnamon swirl bundt cake cut and stacked in a circle

Method 2 (Cake Goop Method)

This second method is one I learned years ago from a sweet lady in my hometown. She made a lot of wedding cakes and spent time teaching me when I was a teenager.

This is the most foolproof method of the two, but the butter method obviously tastes the best.

For this method, use equal parts of oil, shortening, and flour. Mix all three ingredients together with a hand mixer, and then brush the coating onto the pan.

It works every time, and it’s super easy. The only downside is that it doesn’t add extra flavor like butter.

On the other hand, it never sticks and has no aftertaste, so it’s really a great choice.

slice of cinnamon bundt cake with a gold fork on a spotted plate

3 Tips for Layering Cinnamon Bundt Cake

Layering the cinnamon bundt cake isn’t difficult, but there are a few tips I’d like to share so that your cake has nice, beautiful layers.

Tip #1: Use a large cookie scoop or muffin scoop to portion the batter into the pan.

Pouring the batter from the mixing bowl is more difficult to control, and it’s more likely to mess up the pattern if too much goes in at once.

Tips #2: Plan out the number of layers you want before beginning. For this cake, it’s best to start and end with the batter to lock the cinnamon swirl mixture into the batter.

You can either do 5 layers of batter with 3 layers of cinnamon swirl in between or 6 layers of batter with 4 layers of cinnamon swirl.

Tip #3: Smooth out the batter after portioning a layer into the bundt cake pan. If you smooth out each layer, it’s easier to layer the cinnamon swirl evenly. When the cake bakes, the layers will also be more even and uniform.

inside view of cinnamon swirl bundt cake

Other Recipes You’ll Love

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Cinnamon Bundt Cake

close up of cinnamon bundt cake showing the dripping icing, pecans, and golden exterior of the cake. Cake is on a white platter and round cooling rack

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  • Author: Camille
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cooling Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 90 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1216 servings 1x
  • Category: Cake

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 226 g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 104 g shortening
  • 575 g granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 Tbs vanilla
  • 237 ml (1 c) evaporated milk
  • 45 g sour cream
  • 360 g cake flour, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • A standard 12cup bundt cake pan (I use this one)

For the Cinnamon Mixture

  • 100 g brown sugar
  • 3 Tbs cinnamon
  • 120 g chopped pecan

For the Cinnamon Icing

  • 240 g powdered sugar
  • 35 Tbs milk, thin to desired consistency
  • A dash of cinnamon
  • Finely Chopped Pecans for garnish

Instructions

To Make the Cinnamon Bundt Cake

  1. Butter and flour bundt cake pan and set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and shortening on speed 3 (for a 10 speed mixer).
  3. Next, add the sugar gradually while the mixer is still going, or until light and fluffy. Note that the mixer should be at speed 3 or 4 and no higher. If too much air mixes in, the cake can collapse during baking.
  4. With the mixer still running, add the vanilla and sour cream, and then the eggs one at a time. As soon as the eggs are mixed in, stop mixing. Over mixing the eggs will lead to a tougher and more crunchy texture.
  5. Sift the cake flour and baking powder, and combine with the salt.  With the mixer on low, add the flour and evaporated milk alternately in 2 additions each. Stop mixing when there is still some flour showing.
  6. Remove the batter from the stand mixer and gently stir in the remaining flour. The batter may not be perfectly smooth, but that’s okay.
  7. Next, mix the cinnamon ingredients in a bowl, and then begin assembling the cake batter and cinnamon filling in the bundt cake pan.
  8. Use a muffin scoop or large cookie scoop to portion 4-5 heaping scoops into the bottom of the pan followed by a layer of the cinnamon pecan mixture. Top with another 6-7 heaping scoops, smooth out, and then more cinnamon mixture. Repeat the same process until the batter is gone. You should end with batter on top, even if it’s just a thin amount. This will lock the cinnamon in place so that it doesn’t spill out when flipping the cake out of the pan.
  9. Place cake in a cold oven and turn the temperature to 325 F. Bake for 60 minutes, then cover with foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes. Even if the cake looks golden brown on top, check the inside with a knife or skewer. The inside of the cake may still be underdone regardless of the outer appearance.
  10. Remove cake from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes before removing from the pan.

For the Cinnamon Glaze

  1. Whisk the powdered sugar and milk together. Start with 3 tablespoons of milk, and add more until the icing can drizzle off of the whisk in a slow ribbon. If it’s a quick ribbon, the icing is too thin.
  2. Pour or drizzle over the cooled cake, and top with chopped pecans.  Cut, serve, and enjoy! This cake can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week at room temperature.

Notes

This is a Baker Street Society original recipe.

9 Comments

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  2. Would love to try this recipe, cinnamon is such a great flavour for a cake. Just have one doubt, can I replace shortening with butter? It isn’t easily available where I live.

  3. Oh ok, I hope I can get the flavour right with only butter..thanks a lot..can’t wait to try this cake

  4. Would love to try this recipe .. but can you please tell substitute for egg

    • Hi Nidhi, the eggs play a crucial part in this recipe, so I cannot offer a substitute ingredient that will create the same result. I wish I knew of something, but there are 5 eggs in this recipe, so it would change greatly without them.

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