Cinnamon-sugar swirled vanilla cupcakes topped with creamy cinnamon and vanilla frosting.
Pure, simple, and loaded with cinnamon-sugar, snickerdoodle cookies will always be a family favorite. I’m pretty sure cinnamon-sugar runs through all our veins!
So how about a cupcake recipe including all of that wonderful flavor? It’s doable. And delicious. Ladies and gents, welcome to my snickerdoodle cupcakes with cinnamon swirl frosting!
I wasn’t shy about loading cinny-swirls inside these snickerdoodles cupcakes. Cinnamon peeking through the edges, cinnamon-sugar dusted on top, a mountain of cinnamon-swirl frosting, and a mini snickerdoodle cookie to finish it all off. Go grab a tall glass of milk because you’ll need it to get through this post!
Today’s recipe is a fine example that show-stopping desserts don’t have to be difficult or challenging! You can impress everyone with a simple recipe and a little creativity. Seriously… how can you resist THESE?
Making today’s cupcakes is so easy, you’ll feel like you did something wrong.
There are 3 parts to these snickerdoodle cupcakes:
- Cinnamon-Swirled Vanilla Cupcakes
- Cinnamon & Vanilla Swirled Frosting
- Mini Snickerdoodles for decor
1) First, the cupcake batter. Very easy. It’s mixed together in minutes! You don’t even need an electric mixer. Simply melt butter, whisk it with some sugar, 1 egg, vanilla extract, yogurt, and milk. Yep, I used protein-packed Greek yogurt in these cupcakes. Not a lot, only a little to make them extra moist. You can use sour cream instead if it’s easier.
The assembly: Spoon 2 Tablespoons of cupcake batter into 12 cupcake liners. Then, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon-sugar. Top with more cupcake batter and 1 more teaspoon of cinnamon-sugar. Some of the cinnamon-sugar layer from the center may peek out on the top. Here is what my cupcakes looked like before baking:
By the way, we similarly layer cinnamon and brown sugar goodness in these banana chocolate chip streusel muffins. Another must-try for my fellow cinnamon-sugar lovers!
Now it’s time to bake the snickerdoodle cupcakes. And then smell the cinnamon goodness wafting through your entire kitchen. The smell of these cupcakes is pure bliss!
2) The frosting. These snickerdoodle cupcakes are so gosh darn amazing, that you don’t even need frosting. But let’s be serious. I had the opportunity to make cinnamon frosting, so clearly cinnamon frosting is what I did…!
You can’t really tell from the photos, but the frosting I used to top these cupcakes is two-toned. First, I made vanilla frosting. Then I transferred half of the frosting to a separate bowl and beat 1 Tablespoon of cinnamon into it. Cinnamon + vanilla in one. I could eat this swirly frosting all day and be set for life.
Here is exactly how I swirled the two frostings together. I simply filled my piping bag with half of the cinnamon frosting and half of the vanilla frosting. I used a Wilton 1M tip to frost, but any piping tip would work. If you do not have a frosting piping bag + tip, no worries! You can frost the two frostings however you’d like on top of the snickerdoodle cupcakes. Or just use all vanilla frosting or all cinnamon frosting.
3) And last but not least, a little decor for your Snickerdoodle Cupcakes. Mini snickerdoodle cookies. Whip up a batch of my soft and thick snickerdoodles (a 20 minute recipe) and make them into mini cookies, which is about 2 teaspoons of cookie dough per cookie. Bake them for 7 minutes. This is optional!
So there ya go. A mini snickerdoodle cookie for your easy snickerdoodle cupcakes. 🙂 You could also decorate the cupcakes with a cinnamon stick, white chocolate chips, mini chocolate chips, sliced almonds, a drizzle of caramel sauce, a banana slice, apple slice, etc. Anything that goes with cinnamon. (Which is everything.)
Enjoy your new favorite cupcakes!
Snickerdoodle Cupcakes with Cinnamon Swirl Frosting
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 3 hours
- Yield: 12 cupcakes
- Category: Cupcakes
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Cinnamon-sugar swirled vanilla cupcakes topped with creamy cinnamon and vanilla frosting.
- 1 and 2/3 cups (209g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick or 115g) unsalted butter
- 1 and 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar, divided
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup (60g) yogurt or sour cream, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup (180ml) milk, at room temperature
- 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 cup (2 sticks or 230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3–4 cups (360-480g) confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream or half-and-half*
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- salt, to taste
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 12 snickerdoodles, mini size (read above for how to make them mini-sized)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
- In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
- In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt butter in the microwave. Whisk in 1 cup of sugar. The mixture will be gritty. Let it rest for a couple minutes to slightly cool down. Stir in egg, yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract until combined. Slowly mix in dry ingredients until no lumps remain. Batter will be thick.
- In a small bowl, mix the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon together. Set aside. Spoon 2 scant Tablespoons of cupcake batter into each cupcake liner. Top with 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Top with 1 heaping Tablespoon of cupcake batter, until the cupcake liners are about 3/4 full. Some of the cinnamon-sugar filling from the center layer may peek through the top layer of batter. Top each cupcake with 1 more teaspoon of the cinnamon-sugar.
- Bake the cupcakes for 19-21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
- For the frosting: With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat butter on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add confectioners’ sugar, cream, and vanilla extract. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat for 3 full minutes. Add more confectioners’ sugar if frosting is too thin or more cream if the frosting is too thick. Taste the frosting and add salt if frosting is too sweet (I like to add 1/4 teaspoon). Remove half of the frosting from the mixing bowl and transfer to a smaller mixing bowl. Beat 1 Tablespoon of cinnamon into half of the frosting.
- To swirl the frosting, spoon half cinnamon frosting into the piping bag and half vanilla frosting into the piping bag. See above for a visual. Pipe onto cupcakes. I used a Wilton 1M swirl tip. If you do not have a piping bag and tip, simply frost the cupcakes with both the vanilla and cinnamon frostings. There may be leftover frosting depending how much you use on each cupcake.
- Store cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days and in the refrigerator up to 5 days.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Cupcakes can be made ahead 1 day in advance, covered, and stored at room temperature. Frosting can also be made 1 day in advance, covered, and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. Frosted or unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
- Cream: For the cream in the frosting, you can use milk instead. However, the consistency of the frosting will not be as creamy.
- Be sure to check out my 10 tips for baking the BEST cupcakes before you begin!
Keywords: snickerdoodle cupcakes
Reader Comments & Reviews
These cupcakes were so good! I made them with a cream cheese frosting on top and it was a perfect pairing. Delicious
Sally, I have made this recipe several times and each time the top wants to fall off the cupcake. What am I doing wrong?
Hi Angela, For next time, try very gently pressing the cinnamon sugar into the tops of the muffins. How was the texture of the cupcake? If the tops were too crusty, it’s possible they were just slightly over baked. Thanks so much for giving these a try!
These are amazing!
My snickerdoodle loving family absolutely loved these!
I made these today to trial for a baby shower. The texture was perfect and tasted delicious! I found 1 tsp of cinnamon sugar on top was too much, the cakes didn’t get enough rise and it crusted over the tops with a lot of cinnamon sugar falling off the cupcakes after baking.
I also pulled the liners off a few and they all stuck to the paper. Not sure what I did wrong there, do you recommend using foil vs paper liners for these?
Im looking forward to trying again, they’re so good and easy to make!
Will almond milk instead of milk in the cupcake batter change the recipe?
Hi Felicia, that should work in a pinch. The cupcakes may not be as soft and moist.
What kind of yogurt would you recommend?
A plain yogurt would be best and Greek yogurt is my top choice. Low fat or nonfat are fine. Or use sour cream.
Is 1 tsp correct for the cinnamon sugar when layering with the batter? It seemed like a lot and the photos don’t appear to have a full teaspoon on top. The top layer of cinnamon sugar didn’t bake into my cupcakes and just formed a crust on top, so I’m wondering if the top layer should have only been half a tsp?
Hi Kelsey, 1 tsp is correct, although you can feel free to use less if you’d like. For next time, try very gently pressing the cinnamon sugar into the tops of the muffins. How was the texture of the cupcake? If the tops were too crusty, it’s possible they were just slightly over baked. Thanks so much for giving these a try!
I had the same issue. I followed the suggestion below the second time, and they still didn’t turn out. I want to try this recipe for a third time in hopes of it finally coming out. Any additional suggestions?
This happened to me as well, did you ever figure out the solution? My cupcakes just had cinnamon sugar hardened on the top rather than it being a part of the cupcake. It almost looked like they were wearing a little round cinnamon sugar hat! Really want these to work out! I don’t know what I did wrong.
Hi Autumn, you can absolutely reduce the amount of cinnamon sugar topping if you prefer less on top.
can you use buttermilk instead of sour cream?
Hi Suzi, The best way to use buttermilk is to replace both the whole milk AND the sour cream (so you would use 1 cup of buttermilk). Enjoy!
Would it be okay to brown the butter for a nuttier flavor? Or would that mess up the recipe?
Hi Amanda! Brown butter could be delicious in this recipe – let us know if you give it a try! Here’s our guide to browning butter. Keep in mind that butter loses moisture while browning so you’ll need to start with a bit more butter than the recipe calls for.