Toasty Cinnamon Meringue Cake

March 10, 2022
2 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Prep time 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • makes One (9-inch/23-centimeter) cake
Author Notes

This is one of my favorite layer cakes for winter. It’s made of two layers of dense cinnamon cake, filled with cream cheese frosting, and finished with piles of swoopy meringue. Toast the meringue for an ultra-cozy effect, or leave it plain and reminiscent of snow, blanketing all the warm flavors hidden inside. —Erin Jeanne McDowell

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Toasty Cinnamon Meringue Cake
  • Cinnamon Cake
  • 3/4 cup (175 grams) neutral oil (like vegetable or canola)
  • 8 tablespoons (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (212 grams) light or dark brown sugar
  • 4 large (226 grams) eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 3/4 cups (450 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup (175 grams) buttermilk, at room temperature
  • Filling & Frosting
  • 8 ounces (226 grams) full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 8 tablespoons (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (170 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 recipe Swiss Meringue (
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C with the oven rack in the center. Grease and flour two 9-inch/23-centimeter cake pans (or line with parchment paper rounds).
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, mix the oil and melted butter to combine. Add the sugar and brown sugar and mix on medium speed until well combined.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, and mix on medium speed until each is incorporated. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and baking soda to combine. Add about half of the flour mixture and mix to combine. Add the buttermilk and mix to combine. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix to combine.
  5. Divide the mixture between the two cake pans and spread into an even layer. Transfer to the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs, 30 to 35 minutes.
  6. Cool the cakes in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert the cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Make the filling: in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla until well combined and smooth.
  8. Working one layer at a time, use a serrated knife to level the cakes. Fill the two cake layers with the cream cheese frosting, and use any excess to do a thin, all-over crumb coat. Transfer the cake to the refrigerator and chill while you make the meringue.
  9. Make the meringue as directed, then use it to frost the chilled cake. Use a kitchen torch to toast the meringue all over.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Rachel Fishbein
    Rachel Fishbein
  • JP
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!

2 Reviews

JP September 23, 2022
Watching a video on Toasty Cinnamon Cake but only seems to be about baking equipment.
Rachel F. August 31, 2022
I re-scaled this recipe to make a 2-layer half sheet cake for a large family gathering for my grandmother's birthday, and it was a huge hit even with the young kids at the table. My grandma isn't much of a lover of sweets and chocolate, so we figured this would be more in line with the coffee cakes she likes, and it was a perfect choice. It wasn't too sweet, the potency of the cinnamon flavor could not be more perfect, it was moist and sturdy, and it was easy for me to carve so I could square the edges of the sheet cake.

To re-scale it, I multiplied the masses of all of the ingredients by 1.5 and baked for 16 - 20 minutes on the middle shelf. I ended up making only one sheet at a time, and it worked perfectly. I made triple the amount of cream cheese filling, and increased the amount of meringue by 50%. Highly recommend this recipe especially for the fall. Thank you Erin!