Treat Day – Week 3: Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Cake!


Ok, I was planning to make pound cake for Treat Day Week 3, knowing that the Elvis cake is widely popular already with the guys… and then my recipe A-D-D kicked in at about 1pm on baking day, and I started looking at Instagram posts from other bakers that I follow.  I went from deciding to make pound cake to Apple Toffee cake, to Texas Sheet cake, and then somehow landed on a Cinnabon cake recipe that looked like something that would be a big hit.  So, I went out on a limb, and whipped up 2 cakes from this particular blogger’s site.  It’s always a big deal for me when I decide to make something that I’ve never ever tested before.  Because I am my own worst critic and a flipping worry-wart beyond belief, and have tossed entire batches of baked goods out at 10pm the night before Treat Day, and whipped up something else, all because I think to myself, “What was I thinking trying this recipe without a test run and the stamp of approval from my friends and co-workers first? Am I insane?” Why, yes…yes, I am at times.  But in a good way… haha!  These are treats for goodness sake!  Lighten up, Francis.  (That’s a line from a favorite old movie, “Stripes”, btw).  Ok…let me tell you the honest truth..these cakes turned out great, and were relatively easy to put together considering the cake is a scratch recipe and not from a box.  The butter-brown sugar-cinnamon dollops are heavenly and when baked turn into a sweet caramelized gooey center (which makes them a little messy for cutting and  transferring to cupcake liners for serving – but well worth the effort!).  The only thing I did differently from what this recipe says, is for the 2nd cake, I decided to look for a cream cheese based frosting, because that’s what a true Cinnabon Roll from the retailer has, right?  Or do Cinnabon’s have a glaze?  I can’t recall. But I love cream cheese frosting regardless, so wanted to test-taste the difference on the cakes.  My brother said the cream cheese frosting cake was better than the glazed…but both were delicious. And I have to agree.  He actually had to tell his intern to quit eating so much before the players came in from practice.  So next time I make this recipe I will definitely forget using the icing that the recipe calls for and will use the “Cinnabon Frosting” copy-cat recipe. This cake would be perfect for a brunch, at the Holidays when entertaining guests, or a weekend morning to give yourself and family a little something special, and something different from the refrigerated rolls that come in a can (and they never give you enough frosting!).

Here are the links to the cake and the cream cheese frosting:

Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Cake

Click & Scroll down for the FROSTING

And here are the only few tips I have for you:

  • If you plan to make the cream cheese frosting, double what that recipe calls for… I did and it was the perfect amount for the 9×13 cake
  • Be sure to get your butter to room temp. for the butter-sugar-cinnamon filling.  Because my dollops were thick and a little difficult to run a knife through to make the swirls
  • I always use salted butter in EVERYTHING… I don’t buy unsalted – but that is just my preference
  • I always use Philadelphia Cream Cheese – full fat.
  • My oven baked these cakes to where a toothpick came out clean at 35 minutes…be sure to cook all the way, as it will help the gooey butter sugar dollops meld into the cake and cut easier

And I think that it’s… this recipe was simple and delicious!  Very happy with my spur of the moment choice in picking a recipe…so thank you to the bloggers who shared this with us!

And thank you to you for reading my blog.  Go BEARS!!!


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2018 will mark my 7th Season making treats and baking for the Chicago Bears. You might be thinking, how does one land that gig? Well, let me tell you. It’s riveting… My younger brother, Danny, works full-time for the Bears. Our entire family have been life-long Bears fans, btw. Back in the summer of 2012, he came to me and said, “Hey, we need someone to make treats for the team. Do you think you can do it? Because my boss said, Dan, you’ve got all those sisters, can’t one of them bake? So, I volunteered you.” My first response was, “YES, but I don’t know how to bake”. I mean, up until that point, the only things I remember ever baking were 1) S’mores Bars back in the 80’s off a recipe on the back of the Golden Grahams cereal box. Come to think of it now, I don’t even think those things went into the oven – so technically that wasn’t baking. And 2) Good old Nestle Toll House cookies – which NEVER turned out the same each time I baked them and it drove me nuts and got me to HATE baking for that very reason. I was always in love with cooking, though. I was the gal who threw dinner parties often and provided an obnoxious array of hors d’oeuvres and wine – that’s more my thing. Side note: I learned the hard way that baking and wine don’t mix. Ha! However, I was honored and excited to have been asked to step up to the plate for this little baking / treat-making gig, for THE CHICAGO BEARS, no less. So my answer was an enthusiastic, YES! I figured I still had a month before the first regular season game, which is when the “treat days” begin – every Thursday during the regular season (not preseason). So, I hit the streets in search of good recipes and then got to work test-baking in the kitchen for the rest of that summer. As I became more internet savvy, I started following lots of baking bloggers and watching video tutorials. I would go to parties and if I tasted something that I thought was exceptional, I would never hesitate to ask for the recipe. Baking for the Bears is always in the back of my mind when eating desserts. I now have an arsenal of treat recipes worthy of offering at a bake shop, if I do say so myself;) . I started getting requests for my pound cake, outside of Baking for the Bears, and my Double Chocolate Chip Sea Salt cookies have been quoted as “The best cookies in the world” by a well-known player, as well as friends, family and neighbors. One of the first things I did was perfect a cookie of my own that comes out pretty consistently crunchy on the outside but chewy on the inside. I no longer rely on the old Toll-House recipe. It’s the one thing I never get tired of baking. The guys get them every week. With that said, this season, I plan to blog my recipes each week, and share with you whatever it is I am making for the Bears. I’ll also give you tried & true feedback on what worked, what didn’t, and any fun comments that the players, staff, friends & co-workers might have regarding the treat of the week. My office colleagues love it when football season rolls around, because I typically find new recipes and test-bake on Sundays to bring in on Mondays for critical reviews. From there, I decide if they are Bear-worthy for Thursday Treat Days at Halas Hall. I hope you will check in periodically and enjoy my blog. I’m super excited for the 2018 Bears football season both on the field and in the kitchen! GO BEARS! This is gonna be a good season… I can feel it!

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