With most of the dessert recipes I bookmark, I do so because I know immediately that I will love them.  However occasionally I save something because I think I will like it but though I am not sure, I am intrigued.  This was the case with this recipe.  I enjoy cinnamon as a supporting flavor, but I didn’t know how it would be as the leading player.  I was concerned that it would really just be too much cinnamon.  I’m happy I finally gave this a shot – these were great!  The cinnamon was prominent but not at all overwhelming, and the cream cheese and orange zest complimented it nicely.  Overall these had a very warm flavor, perfect for fall or winter.  Next time I would probably only make 3/4 of a batch of frosting as I had quite a bit left over, but otherwise I wouldn’t change a thing.


Cinnamon Cupcakes


For the cake:

1 cup all-purpose flour

¾ tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp. salt

½ cup whole milk

4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 large eggs

¾ cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. grated orange zest

½ tsp. vanilla extract

For the frosting:

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature

2-3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tsp. ground cinnamon


Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with paper liners.  Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl.  Stir milk and butter in a small saucepan over low heat just until butter melts; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs and sugar until thick enough for the batter to fall in a heavy ribbon when the beater is lifted, about 5 minutes.  Beat in orange peel and vanilla.  Add the flour mixture; beat just until blended.  Beat in the milk-butter mixture just until blended.  Divide batter evenly between cupcake liners.  Bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 16-18 minutes.  Allow to cool in pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

To make the frosting, cream the butter and the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer until very smooth.  Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing.  Add the vanilla extract and cinnamon and mix until incorporated.  Slowly add the powdered sugar, and keep adding until you reach the desired consistency and sweetness.  Frost cooled cupcakes.

Source: adapted from A Southern Grace

  • I’m definitely intrigued by this recipe as well!

  • bakergirlcreations

    I imagine these could be really nice for little valentine’s day muffins too :)

  • Oo these look really great and very seasonal!

  • Those look awesome!

  • pickyeatings

    These look so good! I love trying new cream cheese recipes that are fun and unexpected.

  • pickyeatings

    Cream cheese frosting, that is.

  • I love the way you put the frosting on the cupcakes… I’ve got to learn how to use a pastry bag so mine will look prettier! I love cinnamon, so I can imagine I’ll love these!

  • Those cupcakes look delicious!

  • i guess i like frosting a little bit more than normal folks. :) i’m so glad you gave this recipe a shot–it’s one of my absolute favorites.

  • Those look amazing!!! I LOVE cinnamon in any dessert and so I will DEFINITELY be trying these!

  • These look great and what I really love is that you can see the little specks of cinnamon in the frosting…

  • Erin K.

    oooh! those look beautiful!

  • I had to laugh when I saw that it was adapted from A Southern Grace! LOL! When I first started reading your post she’s who I thought of right away!

    Your cuppycakes look wonderful. Thanks for sharing the recipe, somehow I must have missed this one.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  • what a perfect cupcake for this chilly winter season. that frosting looks wonderful!

  • these look fabulous!

  • Is the orange flavor very prominent?

  • Annie

    Hi Sue,
    No, I don’t recall the orange being a major flavor. I think it is noticeable, but not overtly so.
    :) Annie

  • Holly

    I’m going to try these for my boyfriend’s birthday (he’s such a cinnamon junkie!) Thank you for the lovely looking recipe!

  • Tancake

    Cool they taste so good but for the icing i used icing sugar, milk, and cinnamon!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Alicia

    These look so good – but I feel like an idiot! I keep reading the recipe, and I can’t figure out what I’m missing. It says to melt butter and milk and set aside, but then it never mentions it again. When do you add it? I’m assuming before the dry ingredients?
    I can’t wait to try these! Thanks!

  • Annie

    Hi Alicia,
    First of all, I am so sorry for such a delayed reply. I have been unbelievably busy lately! Anyway, you are supposed to add the milk butter mixture just after adding the dry ingredients. I’m going to edit it right now. Also for future reference, I link to my recipe source whenever possible, so you can check there as well in case of any typos that I have made (but I definitely appreciate you bringing it to my attention so I can fix it!)

  • Kathy

    these cupcakes are wonderful! They’re not too sweet yet yummy all the same. I found the perfect cupcake for fall.

  • jenniebites

    I made these today. I could tell just from smelling them in the oven how good they were going to be. They did not disappoint….thank you!

  • anna

    so i tried these a while ago and loved them. then i really wanted to make these again but i just spent like 30 minutes on google trying to find your site again because these were so good, i didn’t want to settle for any other receipe! awesome job!

  • G. Rupp

    I saw a cinnamon cupcake today at Cinnabon that looked very much like yours! Hmm! A coincidence? You had it first! Can’t wait to try these!

  • I made these today for a family dinner. I love the orange in it. One of my favorite cakes is a spice cake, and this reminds me of it. Everyone loved the cupcakes, and these WILL be going in my recipe book. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

  • Marie

    I just made these but haven’t frosted them yet. They taste like home. Unbelievably good. Kind of like a fluffy snickerdoodle.

  • Amanda

    I am in love with these cupcakes!!! I made them five minutes ago and they are the shiz!

  • joycelyn

    these look great! Any advice for making this into a cake? Its my dads 53rd birthday in a few weeks and he would love these!

  • Annie

    Please see the FAQ page, thanks!

  • rose

    I made two batches of this, one with the orange zest and one without. I personally preferred it without the orange zest. Also, DO NOT double the frosting recipe, i had so much left over! But it was DELICIOUS

  • sarah:)

    Hi, I noticed that in some of your cupcakes you use cake flour and other you use all purpose…what difference does it make; and is it necessary to use cake flour when the recipe calls for it?
    thanks :)

  • annieseats

    Please see the FAQ page. Thanks.

  • I just made a batch of these cupcakes. I used 2% milk & whole wheat flour. They are taste great! On the frosting I used 2 cups of powder sugar. It still made too much frosting, but it is tasty as well.

  • Hi! I made these to celebrate my graduation. I took over 20 cupcakes to my work to share with my friends. I have also made the frosting but used much less sugar than required so it was rather sauce than frosting. But… it was delicious! Not too sweet with light creamy vanilla nad cinnamon taste. Everybody wanted a recipe so I needed to translate it to Polish. Thank you! Those cupcekes are blockbuster! :)

  • LisaLisa

    I made these Monday night and they were unbelievably awesome! I left out the orange zest because I just wanted it to be fully cinnamony. :) I have eaten 10/12 cupcakes. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

  • Dakota

    My friends and family love it when I make these! Although I don’t use the orange zest…