Cinnamon Roll-ade

December 17, 2020
2 Ratings
Photo by Food52
  • Prep time 40 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • makes one 13-inch roulade
Author Notes

Like some of my favorite recipes, the idea for this came to me in a particularly sweet dream. I was slicing a tender, fluffy roulade cake filled with creamy cinnamon icing. Best of all, it was doused in plenty of drippy glaze—the same kind I frost my cinnamon rolls with. I saw my hands plate up each piece as I sliced, and woke not long after. This cinnamon roll-ade was born the very next day, with everything I love about the flavor of cinnamon rolls, just in sweet roll cake form. Unlike some of the other recipes I shared along with my Roll Cake episode of Bake It Up a Notch, this cake is baked in a half sheet pan instead of a jelly roll pan, and makes a particularly impressive spiral when rolled up. —Erin Jeanne McDowell

Test Kitchen Notes

Cinnamon roulade recipe by Food52's Baking Consultant at Large, Erin Jeanne McDowell. —The Editors

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Cinnamon Roll-ade
  • Sponge
  • 6 large (340 grams) eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cups (106 grams) light brown sugar
  • cups (66 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • cups (150 grams) all-purpose flour
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
  • Filling
  • 6 ounces (170 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons (42 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cups (85 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • ¼ cups (53 grams) light brown sugar
  • tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons (45 grams) milk or heavy cream
  • *Icing
  • cups (170 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • ¼ (66 grams) half-and-half
  • ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Heat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the center of the oven. Grease a 13x18-inch half sheet pan with nonstick spray and line the pan with parchment paper.
  2. Make the sponge: Heat a medium pot with about 2 inches of water and bring to a simmer. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the eggs, brown sugar, sugar, vanilla, and salt to combine. Place over the pot of simmering water and whisk, heating until it reads about 115°F on a digital thermometer.
  3. Transfer the bowl to the stand mixer and whip on medium-high speed until thick and pale yellow, 7 to 8 minutes. Scoop the flour into a sifter and sift gradually into the eggs, folding gently with a spatula until fully incorporated, but taking care not to overmix.
  4. Sprinkle about one-half of the flour mixture over the egg mixture and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Add the remaining flour, mixing just until it is incorporated.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and use a large offset spatula to spread into an even layer, working quickly: Too many swipes can deflate your batter, but you do want the batter to be even in the pan.
  6. Bake the cake until the edges are just starting to turn golden and the center springs back gently when touched, 7 to 9 minutes. While the cake bakes, scoop some confectioners’ sugar into a sifter and set it on a plate. Line a work surface with a large sheet of parchment paper.
  7. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, dust the surface of the cake evenly with confectioners’ sugar. Use a small offset spatula to gently loosen the cake from the edges of the pan. Gently invert the sheet pan onto the parchment on your work surface. Lift away the pan and carefully peel away the parchment from the bottom of the cake and discard it.
  8. With one of the shorter sides of the cake facing you, use the sheet of parchment to help roll the cake up into a tight cylinder. Let the cake cool completely, still rolled up.
  9. Make the filling: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the milk (or cream); the mixture should be softly spreadable.
  10. Assemble the roulade: Unroll the cake and position it on the parchment paper with one of the long sides facing you. Dollop the filling all over the cake and spread it in an even layer all the way to the edges. Starting with the side closest to you, gently roll the cake up into a log. It won’t be as tight this time because of the filling, but try to make it as rounded as possible. Use the paper to help you; it adds a protective layer so you can apply a little pressure if needed without damaging the cake.
  11. Chill the roulade for at least 1 hour, and up to 8 hours, before serving. When ready to serve, whisk the ingredients for the icing together in a bowl. Drizzle the icing over the roulade on a serving platter and slice into 1½-inch slices to serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • hobbes1948
  • Deb
  • Nancy
I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, Savory Baking, came out in Fall of 2022 - is full of recipes to translate a love of baking into recipes for breakfast, dinner, and everything in between!

3 Reviews

hobbes1948 January 15, 2022
This is a nice cake to make for a crowd, its unique and tasty and not too difficult. Recipe author: you might clarify steps 3 and 4 regarding the addition of the flour, you state in step 3 to sift the flour to the eggs without stating how much, then again in step 4 you state to add the flour in portions to the eggs. Luckily I'm an experienced baker so I knew what to do, but others may not. Overall a great recipe and technique.
Deb February 14, 2021
Tasty and easy recipe! Glad you include the weight of ingredients as I find Canadian all-purpose flour weighs more than American all-purpose (just over a cup in this recipe rather than 1 1/4 cups).
Nancy December 17, 2020
Love the pun I'm the name. And the cake sounds great!