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Vanilla Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Cupcakes Recipe

This Vanilla Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Cupcakes recipe is often requested for social gatherings.  These cupcakes are light, fluffy, and full of cinnamon deliciousness. 

After all these years of making different types of cupcakes, these are the ones people remember!  Surprisingly easy to make, these cupcakes don't disappoint!

Vanilla Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Cupcakes on a white plate with two cinnamon sticks.

The Vanilla Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Cupcakes Recipe

You will find real cinnamon throughout the cupcake.  Swirled inside the cupcake itself and generously mixed into the buttercream frosting. By adding a light dusting of cinnamon on top of these cupcakes, it gives it a beautiful finishing touch.

The Right Amount of Cinnamon

Cinnamon can be tricky - sometimes you can add just too much and it's overwhelming.  Certainly, this is not the case with this recipe.  Although it has cinnamon spice throughout the cupcake, it is more subtle than overpowering. 

Also, making and baking these cupcakes will awaken your senses with the enticing scent of vanilla throughout your home.

Cinnamon Swirl Cupcakes

To create the delicious cinnamon flavor in these cupcakes start by lining your cupcake pans.  Once they are lined, scoop 1 tablespoon of batter into the liners and top it with ¼ teaspoon of the cinnamon-sugar mixture and repeat the steps until the cupcake liners are halfway full.  

Bake the prepared cupcakes in the oven for 16 to 18 minutes.  There should be minimum crumbs when inserting a toothpick into the center of the cupcakes.  Allow these cupcakes to cool completely before attempting to frost them. 

If you frost them while the cupcakes are still warm the frosting will melt and slide off the cupcake.  Be patient! 

Vanilla Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Cupcake batter in cupcake liners before baking.

Ingredients in Vanilla Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Cupcakes

How To make Vanilla Cinnamon Cupcakes

Preheat the oven and prepare the muffin tins- Preheat the oven to 350°F and cupcake liners to the tins.

Mix the dry ingredients- Mix together the flour, cinnamon, granulated sugar, baking soda, and baking powder together in a bowl.

Combine the wet ingredients- Beat the room temperature butter, egg whites, sour cream, vanilla extract, and milk. Beat until the mixture is smooth.

TIP: A hand mixer is a great kitchen tool to quickly make your cupcake and cake batters.

Blend the ingredients - Combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until blended. Avoid overmixing.

Make the cinnamon sugar- In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and the granulated sugar. Set aside.

Fill the cupcake liners- Drop one tablespoon of batter into the cupcake liners and triple ¼ teaspoon of the cinnamon-sugar mixture on top of the batter.

Repeat these steps until the liners are halfway full. Top off the cupcake batter with a little more cinnamon sugar.

Bake the cupcakes- Bake the cupcakes for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Oven temperatures will vary.

Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

A close up of a Vanilla Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Cupcake on a white plate with a fork and cinnamon sticks.

Spruce Up Your Cupcake

I believe that making a cupcake shouldn't be difficult.  A cupcake can easily be made by baking a vanilla cupcake and frosting it with buttercream.  Well, that's how simple this recipe is!  It's an extra step for the cinnamon - it's as simple as that.

These cupcakes don't take a lot of work but they succeed in elevating your everyday cupcake.  No one will even know how little work it took to make them.  😉  Additionally, they're a lot of fun to make and they definitely spark creativity.

A plate of vanilla cupcakes with a cinnamon buttercream and a jar of milk.

RELATED:  Red Velvet Cupcakes

A Favorite to Those Near and Dear

My mother requests these Vanilla Cinnamon Sugar Swirl cupcakes for her birthday every year.  In fact, she doesn't even have to ask, she just expects them.  They're a real treat for friends and loved ones, they'll love them so much they'll request them time after time!

I'd had a lot of great feedback on Pinterest from those who have tried this cupcake and absolutely love it!  In fact, they make it for special occasions, too! 

📖 Recipe

Yield: 16 cupcakes

Vanilla Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Cupcakes

Vanilla Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Cupcakes

A vanilla and cinnamon base cupcake with a vanilla and cinnamon buttercream frosting. 

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Total Time 31 minutes


Cinnamon Sugar Mixture

Vanilla Cinnamon Sugar Frosting


For cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together flour, cinnamon, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder in mixing bowl. I use my electric mixer.
  3. Add butter (room temperature), egg whites, sour cream, vanilla, and milk - Mix until smooth (no lumps).
  4. Add cupcake liners to cupcake pan.
  5. Combine cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl.
  6. Place 1 tablespoon of batter into each cupcake liner
  7. Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon sugar mixture on top of cupcake batter.
  8. Repeat steps until liners are half way full.
  9. Sprinkle a little more cinnamon sugar mixture on top of half-filled liners
  10. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with minimal crumbs
  11. Allow to cool for a few minutes
  12. Remove cupcakes and continue cooling on wire rack.

For the Frosting

  1. Mix room temperature butter and shortening until smooth.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla, mix until well blended
  3. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time and mix until well blended. (Mixture will be stiff)
  4. Mix in cinnamon until well blended.
  5. Add in milk 1 tablespoon at a time. Add until right consistency.
  6. Pipe cupcakes with frosting.
  7. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar if desired. 


Wait until cupcakes are completely cool before frosting.

This recipe is easily doubled and the frosting recipe is great on other cupcake batters as well!

Tip: If you want cupcakes with tall frosting, prepare 2 batches of frosting. 

Like this recipe? Check out my Caramel Drizzled Brown Sugar Vanilla Cupcakes! 

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 grams

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 436Total Fat: 19.8gSaturated Fat: 10.3gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 117mgCarbohydrates: 63.9gFiber: 1.3gSugar: 49.8gProtein: 3g

Did you make this recipe?

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Vanilla Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Cupcakes 1

Noodle (Natalie) Howe

Thursday 9th of March 2023

So yummy!!


Sunday 26th of June 2022

I am so excited to give these a try! These cupcakes look delicious! Thanks for the share!

amy liu dong

Friday 24th of June 2022

My niece is going to celebrate her birthday this coming month, and this is a perfect gift for me to give her as she loves cinnamon cupcakes so much. It looks delicious!


Friday 24th of June 2022

I hope she absolutely loves them! :)

Hanah Keller

Friday 22nd of April 2022

Hi!I am 12 and I made this recipe. I had changed a few of the ingredients due to improvisation but they turned out very yummy. Instead of using sour cream, I used 1/2 cup of mayo. I know that sounds weird but you could barely tell. With the cinnamon and sugar mix I swirled it into the individual cups to make it have a swirly look and the cupcakes turned out like a baked good version of cinnamon toast crunch. I recommend trying this recipe. :)


Monday 25th of April 2022

Mayo is great in cakes! It creates a very moist texture. Chocolate mayonnaise cake is a fun cake to give a try. :). Thank you for sharing your experience and I'm very glad you liked the recipe!

Jeannine Hewitt

Monday 10th of January 2022

Any change you could sub cream cheese for the shortening in the frosting?


Tuesday 11th of January 2022

You can! It will be Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting and it would be really good with these cupcakes. :)

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