Light and fluffy Cinnamon Cupcakes with a dreamy cinnamon buttercream frosting - a perfect treat during the festive season!
I love baking with cinnamon during the festive season. There's something about this spice that gives a warm feeling and fills a kitchen with beautiful aroma as the days get greyer and colder. Granted, cinnamon is not for everyone; you either love it or hate it.
But if you identify as someone who loves it, then this recipe is for you! These Cinnamon Cupcakes are infused with cinnamon throughout! They're a cinnamon-lover's dream and make perfect treats for the festive season. The sponge is light and fluffy, based on my basic vanilla sponge (made for these Funfetti Cupcakes), and infused with ground cinnamon.
The Buttercream frosting also contains a pinch of cinnamon - I didn't add too much cinnamon here as I didn't want the cupcakes to be too overpowering, but as always, this amount can be adjusted to your likings. Finally, I sprinkled these Cinnamon Cupcakes with some cinnamon sugar and added some store-bought Christmas-themed mini cookie decorations.
Ingredients and Variations
For the cinnamon cupcake sponge, you will need:
Flour - You can use cake flour or AP flour. Weigh your flour using digital kitchen scales for accuracy.
Cinnamon - You'll need around 2 (to 2½) teaspoons of good-quality ground cinnamon. Cinnamon can be overpowering, so less is more here.
Baking Powder - Leavening agent.
Salt - To balance the sweetness.
Butter - Use unsalted butter if possible. If using salted butter, eliminate the extra salt above. Butter needs to be softened to room temperature before using.
Sugar - Granulated or caster sugar work well for these cupcakes.
Egg - For structure and texture. Again, use room temperature eggs (do not use cold eggs or the cupcake batter will curdle).
Vanilla Extract - Use good-quality vanilla extract for flavoring.
Milk - You can use semi-skimmed or whole milk. I suggest you bring out the milk to room temperature before using (or warming it slightly - for around 10-15 seconds - in the microwave) to avoid curdling of the batter.
For the cinnamon buttercream frosting, you will need:
Butter - Same as for the cupcake sponge, use room temperature unsalted butter.
Powdered Sugar - Or icing sugar. Remember to sift powdered sugar before using!
Vanilla Extract - Optional, for flavoring
Cinnamon - Just a pinch of ground cinnamon for cinnamon-flavored buttercream!
Heavy Cream - or fresh cream/ whipping cream.
How to Make Cinnamon Cupcakes
Preheating & Preparation
Preheat the oven to 175°C (350F) and line a muffin/cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
Make the Sponge
Sift and mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt) and set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or use a handheld mixer). Use a spatula to scrape any ingredients from the side of the bowl.
Add egg and vanilla extract and mix until well combined (1-2 minutes).
Add milk, alternating with dry ingredients, in two additions and mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
Divide the batter between 12 cupcake liners, filling ⅔ to ¾ of the way (do not overfill the cupcake liners).
Bake in the center of the oven for 18-24 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
Transfer sponge to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
Make the Cinnamon Buttercream
Place softened butter in a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk for 30 seconds - 1 minute or until butter is smooth.
Add powdered sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Start mixing on low speed, and increase speed to medium until combined.
Mix in 2-4 tbsp. of heavy cream, adjusting accordingly until the desired consistency is reached. If the frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar. If the buttercream is too thick, add 1 tbsp. of heavy cream.
Buttercream frosting can be made up to 2 days ahead and chilled until ready to use. Bring to room temperature before using.
**NOTE: This recipe yields enough buttercream to generously frost 12 cupcakes with the large star tip attachment. Feel free to adjust ingredient quantities to your preferences and likings.**
Frost and Decorate!
Transfer buttercream to a piping bag fitted with the star tip attachment (or your favourite frosting tip) and pipe over cooled cupcakes.
Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar (mix a tablespoon of granulated sugar with ½ tsp. ground cinnamon) and add your favourite cupcake toppings!
Tips for the Perfect Cupcakes
Use room temperature ingredients - this is really important to prevent curdling of the batter! Make sure to use room temperature butter, eggs, flour, and milk.
If using refrigerated butter and/or milk, place them in a microwave-safe bowl and heat them for 10-15 seconds in the microwave before using.
Weigh your ingredients using digital kitchen scales - can't stress this enough! These scales can be bought for less than a set of measuring cups.
Do not overmix the batter once you start adding dry ingredients - this will results in a dense sponge.
How to Store Cinnamon Cupcakes
These cupcakes are best served fresh, on the day of baking, as the sponge will begin to dry out after that. However, they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a day or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
I do not recommend freezing the cupcakes/sponge.
For best results, I highly recommend preparing the batter and baking the sponge on the same day you want to serve these cupcakes. The buttercream frosting can be made up to 2 days ahead and chilled until ready to use. Bring out to room temperature before piping.
Other Cupcake Recipes You Will Love
Cinnamon Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream
Cinnamon Cupcake Sponge
- 180 g cake flour or AP flour (1½ cups), room temperature
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1½ tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 112 g unsalted butter (½ cup) softened, room temperature
- 200 g granulated sugar or caster sugar (1 cup)
- 1 medium-sized egg room temperature
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 160 mL milk semi-skimmed or whole (⅔ cup), room temperature
Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting
- 226 g unsalted butter softened (1 cup)
- 390 g powdered sugar (3 cups)
- ¾-1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract optional
- 3-4 tbsp. heavy cream
Cinnamon Sugar (Optional)
- 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 175°C (350F) and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
- Sift and mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt and set aside.
- Place softened butter in a large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add sugar and mix for 1-2 minutes on medium speed until mixture is soft and pale. Scrape any ingredients from the side of the bowl using a spatula.
- Add vanilla extract and egg and mix for 1-2 minutes until well-combined.
- Add milk, alternating with dry ingredients, in two additions and mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Divide batter between 12 cupcake liners, filling ⅔ to ¾ of the way (do not overfill).
- Bake for 18-24 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.
- Place softened butter in a large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed until mixture is smooth.
- Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and ground cinnamon and mix starting on low speed and increasing to medium speed for 1-2 minutes until well combined. Mix in heavy cream until desired consistency is reached. If the buttercream is too thin, add more powdered sugar. If it is too thick, add more heavy cream (1 tbsp. at a time).
- Transfer buttercream to a frosting bag fitted with your favourite frosting tip and pipe buttercream over cooled cupcakes.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar (mix 1 tbsp. granulated sugar with ½ tsp. ground cinnamon) and cupcake decorations/sprinkles as desired.