Snickerdoodle Cake with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buttercream

In honour of Valentine’s Day I’m bringing back one of my most popular posts EVER here on Foodie with Family from the archives. That’s right, folks, Snickerdoodle Cake with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buttercream is back. Make this sweet for your sweetie.

This Snickerdoodle Cake is something special folks. A towering four layer Snickerdoodle cake made with cinnamon, vanilla, and butter is generously iced with a rich Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting Recipe for a cake that is the stuff of dreams. Make no mistake. This one is indulgent and it is worth it!

Snickerdoodle Cake with Brown Sugar Buttercream from


Here is the cake that upended my tidy little world. This is a Snickerdoodle Cake with  Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting Recipe.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not fond of cake or frosting. (Here and here, for starters…) As a little girl, I watched “Pollyanna” over and over. I’m talking about the original nineteen-sixty Disney film. It was one of the twenty five movies available for rental in the small movie  section of the Glen’s Market in Gaylord, Michigan where we shopped.  Despite my dislike for cake, I dreamed of the giant slab of cake she scored at the fair. That towering layer cake called to me like no other cake could. And for the most  of my life, I resigned myself to the fact that while that Pollyanna cake looked so good, no cake measured up to the promise it offered.  That is still true except. for. this. cake.  And who do I blame thank for this earth shaker? My friend, Krysta. She, without a word, sent me this link. No word of warning, no heads-up. No. Just a link. She knows my feelings on snickerdoodles so she sent it my way. She didn’t know it, but she delivered my Pollyanna cake to me.

All of a sudden, in my brain at least, I was Hayley Mills wandering around a small town fair with the world’s largest slice of layer cake, in this case, Snickerdoodle Cake and a sunny disposition. I might’ve even belted out the National Anthem and poked at the little prism dangling in my kitchen window. It was as good as I thought it would be.

The Snickerdoodle Cake itself is a cinnamon vanilla butter cake. (I died a little bit just typing that…) It is moist, it is cinnamon-y. I’ve never had a cake like that. It is layered around and slathered with the only buttercream I have ever craved in my life; brown sugar cinnamon butter cream. (A little more dead now…) It is smooth yet still crunchy with sugar. It has little bursts of brown sugar and cinnamon and it is smoothed out with half and oh-my-goodness half. People. The buttercream. It must be stopped. CLICK HERE for the Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting Recipe.

Who’s in?

Before you pop over to the recipe for the Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buttercream and rub your eyes and question me, that is not a typo. Yes, there really ARE 4 1/2 sticks of butter in the buttercream. I told you it must be stopped.

Four layer Snickerdoodle Cake with Cinnamon Brown Sugar Buttercream

Cook’s Tips

Here are some tried and true cake baking and decorating tips to help you get the most polished finished product before you polish off your finished product.

  • To butter two pans easily, smear the pans with the butter wrappers you used for the cake itself (use more soft butter if necessary.) *If you choose to use parchment, too, butter under AND over the parchment for easiest release.
  • To flour those pans neatly, toss 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour into one pan, swirl it around over the second pan then tap the excess into the second pan. Repeat the process with the second pan, then tap the excess into the garbage.
  • When dividing cake batter between pans, use a scale to get them as close to even as possible. No scale? Scoop it in with a measuring cup.
  • Smooth the top of the cake batter into the pan and tap firmly on the counter several times before baking to settle the batter evenly.
  • Rotate pans front to back and side to side mid way through baking.
  • Cool the cakes COMPLETELY before slicing into layers. Do not hurry this or you will regret it immensely while you cry over your broken cake.
  • Before slicing your cooled cakes into layers, use a large serrated knife to even up the top of the cake. (In other words, to slice off any dome that formed while baking.)
  • Before you move your cake to the plate you’ll use to frost and serve it, lay four strips of parchment or waxed paper around the edges. Center the cake on the parchment strips. This will help you frost the cake rather than the plate. When you’re done frosting, pull the strips straight away from the cake. Ta da! Professionally done. Go you!
  • Make sure each  layer of frosting/cake is level before adding another level. It is much easier to adjust as you go along than to try to fix everything with frosting.
  • When the cake is assembled, refrigerate for at least an hour (preferably more) before attempting to slice into wedges. If you skip this step, the cake is likely to shift around on the frosting and look like it was thrown together by drunken monkeys.
  • If you forget all of these steps it really won’t matter because you’ll still have this cake. Pour yourself a nice hot cup of coffee or tea and enjoy it anyway!


Connect with Foodie with Family

facebook | pinterest | instagram

twitter | G+

5.0 from 2 reviews
Snickerdoodle Cake
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
The name says it all: Snickerdoodle Cake with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buttercream. This is the well-loved snickerdoodle cookie rewritten as a moist cinnamon vanilla butter cake layered and surrounded with a smooth, decadent buttercream laced with sweet ground cinnamon and brown sugar. Gently adapted from Always With Butter
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 sticks butter (8 ounces by weight), softened to room temperature
  • 1¾ cups fine or superfine sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cups whole milk, warmed to room temperature
  • 1 batch of Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting Recipe
  • Whole cinnamon sticks for garnish
To Bake the Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Butter and flour two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
  4. Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy and pale in colour.
  5. Beat the eggs in one at a time, fully incorporating each egg and scraping down the bowl between each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
  6. Add about ⅓ of the milk, beat to incorporate, then ⅓ of the flour, again beating to incorporate.
  7. Repeat this process, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until all of the milk and flour are added and mixed in evenly.
  8. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake, rotating midway through, for about 35 minutes or until the cake tests done.
  9. Let the cakes cool in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes before turning out onto the racks to finish cooling.
To Assemble and Frost the Cake:
  1. Level out your cooled cakes and cut each into two even layers.
  2. Place one layer on a cake plate then add a layer of buttercream, spreading to the edges and evening out as you go. Repeat with the remaining layers.
  3. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining buttercream.
  4. If desired, garnish the top of the cake with whole cinnamon sticks.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before slicing.
  6. Store leftovers tightly covered in the refrigerator.


Originally published August 26, 2011.


  1. Jenn says

    I followed the directions exactly and yielded very similar looking results as the post. The cake was very delicious and flavorful. The icing on the other hand was way too sweet for my taste. I wish I would have used a cream cheese frosting vs butter cream. Also, the recipe for the frosting could have been cut in half seeing as I threw a good portion of it away, even though I used generous portions between each layer and on top.

    • Heather says

      I also had extra buttercream–much to my family’s delight. They have been enjoying it sandwiched between graham crackers. I can’t imagine throwing away buttercream–but then, we do have a household of seven!

    • Ann says

      You could try making real buttercream, with an Italian meringue (google for some recipes – it takes a little practice, but is just great – and it freezes!) and flavoring it with cinnamon – that’s what I’m going to do. Why Wilton got away with using that name for plain old confectioners sugar frosting, I’ll never know.
      The last time I made real buttercream (flavored with pomegranate juice the birthday lady said “what did you do? this is great! it’s not too sweet” I said “Yea, it’s butter cream” then she said “but it’s not too sweet!…..” and we repeated and repeated ;>)

      • moomin says

        Bless you ! Calling frosting a buttercream IS a travesty! It denies the real delight
        That is a suiss meringue buttercream. This is not hard to make, it tastes far superior
        And is the secret to a fabulous homemade cake. If one can follow the tips
        To home made cake then this is with in reach. Though tedious with out an
        Electric mixer it is possible with just a wire whip. Do consider learning to make
        The wonderful heated egg white sugar syrup , beating it till white and fluffy and
        Slowly adding your slightly softened butter! It is heavenly and freezes nicely.
        Then you will of course want to make ganache and simple syrups for all sorts of recipes
        After exploring this ! Up your skills and delight everyone! Plus licking the spoon is amazing.

  2. Heather says

    Just made this for my 16 year old’s birthday/Memorial Day family bash. What a PERFECT cake for my snickerdoodle baking/lovin’ son. Thank you so much for this recipe. Even the doubters (I am a self-confessed cake and buttercream hater, lol) were eyeing second helpings!

  3. Mimi says

    I just made this! I can’t wait to try it. I must say though….it looks nothing like the picture. My butter cream came out a bit on the dark side but it tastes so yummy! I ran out of confectioner’s sugar so I used bakers ultra fine sugar instead. The cake seems to be stuck in the parchment paper I placed it to cool off….I hope its ok….I am just letting it finish cooling so I can frost it and refrigerate it. Watch out….I think someone will be having a midnight snack tonight…..!!!! <3

  4. Mallory says

    I was so excited about this recipe. I followed the directions and unfortunately my cakes were super flat and weren’t big enough to cut in half. My icing was also very liquidy. Any idea what I did wrong?

    • says

      It’s really hard to say what went wrong since I wasn’t there to watch the cooking process. If I had to guess, I’d say maybe the measurements were a bit off. How do you measure your flour? Do you dunk your measuring cup directly in the flour bin or fluff the flour, sprinkle it into the cup, then level it off? If you fluff/sprinkle/level, then I’d have to guess that your baking powder was expired.

      As for the buttercream, it sounds like you added too much of the cream or not enough of the confectioner’s sugar… Again, though, without being there to watch the entire process, it’s very hard to know exactly what went wrong.

  5. Debbie says

    If possible & you read this comment at this late date, I would love to get the recipe for the Blitz Torts. Thank you in advance!

  6. says

    Hi there :)
    I made this delicious cake last week for a birthday. It turned out lovely. The only questions I have is regarding the buttercream. Mine turned out kind of gritty because of the brown sugar. Although it tasted ahhh-mazing, I wasn’t a big fan of the texture. Is yours like this or did I do something wrong? Thanks for the recipe.

    • says

      It’s hard to say because I wasn’t there with you… This may sound weird, but how did you measure your flour? Did you scoop it, scoop and level it, or measure it by weight?

  7. Molly says

    Cake is in the oven now, need I mention how wonderful my kitchen smells? Can not wait to see how they turned out.
    I did have to tone down the frosting though. Really sweet!
    To cut down on the sugary taste I had to add butter extract. When that didn’t work I grinded sea salt to taste- WOW. So good! Plus it added to the texture. The result was almost like a slated caramel/cinnamon crème. Score.

    Next time I think I will tweak it by using salted unsweetened butter, keep the sea salt, and perhaps less powdered sugar.

  8. Tracy Moore says

    Have you tried the recipe as cupcakes? I will be making this at Christmas with some children and they will each want to take some home.

  9. Cheryl says

    I could have written your post. LOL I loved the original Pollyanna and I live an hour away from Gaylord in Cheboygan. But I do shop in Gaylord just at Meijers now. Do you still live in the area? It is beautiful in northern Michigan but sure is bitter cod right now.

  10. Juliet says

    Can I use this exact recipe for the cake to make cupcakes? I had this cake a a party and it was absolutly delicious, and I wanted to make cupcakes for a party. Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Juliet- I haven’t done it myself but in looking at other folks’ comments, I see many of them have tried it and had success. I’d advise scrolling through the comments and seeing how they did it!

  11. says

    Sounds really good! Can’t wait to try it! For anyone saying the buttercream is to sweet, just add some popcorn salt, mybe 1/2-1 tsp. (it’s a fine grained salt and can be found near the popcorn/snack isle) It will take away the overly sweet taste. Hope that helps? :) Happy Baking everyone!!

  12. says

    I am sooooo excited to try this recipe!
    I do have two questions…
    Salted or Unsalted butter?
    How did you measure your flour and did you sift?

    Hoping to make it this weekend. :)

  13. Sally says

    Help!!!! What the hell is the half n half… Then it says it in the buttercream part I don’t get it!! It’s confusing because we haven’t added half of something to add half n half please help ASAP thanks

    • says

      Hey Sally- I’m going to assume you’re not in the US, right? Half and Half is a mixture of light cream and whole milk. It’s sold even in the tiniest stores in the US but I know it’s not widely available internationally. If you need a substitute, you can mix light cream and whole milk in equal parts!

  14. Ruth says

    My daughter loved this cake and asked for it as her wedding cake. The wedding was this past weekend. Three tiers of deliciousness — it was a hit!

  15. michelle says

    I am absolutely obsessed with this website. I have loved every food I have tried. But this cake was way too sweet and I didn’t even put in all the powdered sugar. The fact that it has bits of brown sugar in the icing just makes it worse because it makes it feel like you’re chewing on sugar. Actually had to throw it out and then make my trusted carrot cake. Some people may love it but it just wasn’t for us.

  16. Jennifer Foreman says

    I made this cake last year for my sons birthday. They loved it. Not even a slice left. He asked for it again this year but he wants it as cupcakes. Any idea on how it would bake up as cupcakes?

    • Jennifer Foreman says

      UPDATE: The cupcakes went over great. The boys devoured them. I made them again last week for my Mom’s birthday but I made Sea Foam Icing since it is her favorite. It was wonderful. So for those who want to complain that the buttercream is to much (crazy I know) try Sea Foam.

  17. SLODian says

    We have made these in cupcake for weddings. People always ask what they are and are delighted with the treats. They come out nicely flat for frosting so they are a dream to make. I usually start checking for doneness at 18 minutes

  18. IndianaAnna says

    My 12-year old son selected this as his birthday cake and we all found it to be amazingly delicious! I did cut the buttercream recipe in half and left the cake as only two layers (with half the frosting recipe). It was perfect.

  19. says

    Rebecca, the cake is amazing! I made your batter twice this week: as a sheet cake as well as cupcakes for my son’s birthday party. Everyone loved it! I did change the frosting though, and have a post up with the variation today. Thank you so much for a wonderful recipe. :-)

  20. Stacey Anderson says

    I made this cake for Valentine’s day and my family LOVED it! They could not get enough of it. My daughter loved it sooo much that I have to make it for her birthday next week and we are going to try the cupcake route! Wish my luck!!! PS. love this site and that you are a fellow Michigander as well. <3


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

    Rate this recipe: