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  • Writer's pictureSharon To

Cinnamon Roll Swiss Roll Cake

Raise your hand if you’ve heard of (or have tried!) the colossal Mickey cinnamon roll at Animal Kingdom! It’s sweet and HUGE and oh so cute! (Why does everything taste better when it’s Mickey shaped??)

This month I made my own rendition of this yummy treat by turning it into a cinnamon roll swiss roll cake! (Try saying that five times fast.) Same flavors, new textures!

Click to jump directly to the recipe!

The Ingredients

Flour, Brown Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Cinnamon, Vanilla, Butter, Cream Cheese, Eggs, Sugar, baking Powder, Water, Salt

The ingredients in this recipe are fairly simple and standard for cakes. The part that makes this more like a cinnamon roll though is the brown sugar butter mixture that we’re going to make.

The Process

I started off by greasing my baking pan and lining it with parchment paper. I used a 15”x10” baking pan I got from Wal-Mart. To grease the pan, I like to use the leftover butter wrappers because it’s convenient and uses up any remaining butter on the wrapper you’d otherwise throw away.

Baking pan with empty wrapper of butter

To start off, I beat the eggs until they were frothy and light yellow, then added in the sugar, water, and vanilla extract. Then I mixed in the dry ingredients until they were well incorporated into a loose cake batter.

The brown sugar butter mixture is made by melting the butter over the stove then stirring in the brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour, into it’s all melted and the mixture is thickened.

Brown Sugar, Butter, and Vanilla melted over the stove

Then I poured the cake batter into the cake pan followed by the brown sugar and gave it a light swirl.

Cake pan with cake batter marbled

In hindsight I probably should have distributed the brown sugar a little more evenly in the cake to prevent it from pooling in any single place. This could pose a bit of an issue because after the cake is baked you’ll have sections of brown sugar butter that might just crack off, leaving space in the cake and making it more difficult to roll. It’s not the end of the world though, and it also might be exactly what you want. Even though I had a harder time preparing the cake, I really liked the brown sugar sections so it was great for the taste and texture!

I baked the cake for 8-10 minutes, turning the cake pan halfway through to make sure it could bake evenly.

While the cake was baking, I prepped the towel that I needed to roll up the cake, by sprinkling powdered sugar over it. This will help prevent the cake from sticking to the towel. However, with the brown sugar mixture throughout the cake, it will definitely be sticky and those sections will stick much more to the towel, so you’ll want to be particularly generous with the powdered sugar.

After I took the cake out of the oven, I allowed it to cool for about 5 minutes before removing it from the cake pan.

Fully baked cake layer

Be careful as it will still be hot, but you’ll want it to be so that you can roll the cake more easily. I carefully placed the top side of the cake onto the towel so that the parchment paper side is now facing up, then gently removed the parchment paper off the top. I rolled up the towel and then allowed the cake to cool for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

As the cake was cooling, I prepared the filling. I’m a big fan of cream cheese frosting on cinnamon rolls instead of the traditional icing, so I prepared a cream cheese filling. You can of course use whatever filling you’d like! I beat the cream cheese and butter together until they were whipped and smooth, then added in the powdered sugar and vanilla until everything was well mixed.

Then I gently unraveled the cake, using a spoon to help me separate the towel from any particularly sticky parts, and transferred it to a piece of plastic wrap. Using a spatula, I spread the cream cheese filling over the cake evenly, leaving about an inch of empty space on the right-hand side of the cake. This will prevent any filling from leaking out when you roll the cake up.

Cake layer with cream cheese frosting on top

After, I rolled the cake back up carefully,then wrapped it in the plastic wrap and refrigerated it for a couple hours to let it set.

Rolled up Swiss roll cake wrapped in plastic wrap

The Results

Front view of cinnamon roll

This cake was absolutely YUM. The marbling effect of the brown sugar was reminiscent of the brown sugar filling of traditional cinnamon rolls and had this nice crunch texture that contrasted nicely with the soft and sponginess of the rest of the cake. The cream cheese filling was lightly sweet, but I think could be a little more airy to be more like typical swiss roll fillings; so next time I might loosen it up with some whipped cream, but it still tasted great!

Top view of sliced cinnamon roll Swiss roll cake

I love how simple but yummy this recipe is, and I will definitely be whipping this out whenever I get a craving for some cinnamon rolls!


Cinnamon Roll Swiss Roll



ºoº 3 eggs

ºoº 3/4 cup granulated sugar

ºoº 1/3 cup water

ºoº 1 tsp vanilla extract

ºoº 1 cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour, separated

ºoº 1 tsp baking powder

ºoº 1/8 tsp salt

ºoº 5 tbsp butter

ºoº 1/4 cup brown sugar

ºoº 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Cream Cheese Filling

ºoº 8 oz cream cheese (room temperature)

ºoº 1/2 cup butter (room temperature)

ºoº 1/3 cup powdered sugar

ºoº 1 tsp vanilla extract



  1. Preheat the oven to 375F

  2. Grease a baking pan and line with parchment paper

  3. Beat eggs on high until thick and light yellow

  4. Slowly beat in granulated sugar

  5. Lower speed and add in water and vanilla extract

  6. Slowly add in flour, baking powder, and salt until batter is smooth, periodically scraping down the edges

  7. In a small saucepan, melt the 5 tbsp of butter over medium to low-medium heat

  8. Stir in the brown sugar, flour and vanilla until well incorporated

  9. Pour the cake batter onto the baking sheet

  10. Then drizzen the brown sugar butter mixture over the cake batter and swirl the batter. Be sure not to add too much mixture into one spot as it may pool

  11. Bake for 8 minutes, turning the pan halfway through. Use a toothpick to check the center of the cake to make sure it is baked all the way through; the toothpick should come out clean or with a few crumbs

  12. Remove the cake from the oven and run a spatula around the edges gently to loosen the cake, then allow it to cool for a few minutes

  13. Prepare a kitchen towel by sprinkling it with powdered sugar

  14. Carefully turn the cake over onto the kitchen towel and gently remove the parchment paper from the cake

  15. While the cake is still hot/warm gently roll the kitchen towel with the cake being careful not to press too hard until it is fully rolled up

  16. Allow the cake to cool for at least 30 minutes

Cream Cheese Filling

  1. Beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth

  2. Slowly add in the powdered sugar and beat on low until well incorporated

  3. Beat in the vanilla extract


  1. After the cake has cooled, carefully unroll the kitchen towel and transfer to saran wrap

  2. Spread the cream cheese filling over the entire cake leaving about 1 to 1/2 bare on one of the short ends

  3. Carefully roll the cake back up starting from the edge that has the cream cheese filling

  4. Wrap the saran wrap around the entire cake and place the cake on a dish with the seam down

  5. Cool in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours before serving



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