Middle Of The Cinnamon Roll Muffins

So, we’ve all been there, right?  We have a nice big warm sweet-smelling cinnamon roll, and while sure, the outside layers are wonderful, the ultimate goal, the very best part, the delightful, delectable bite that we save for last is that part right in the center, where it is the most tender and sugary-cinnamon-gooey.  So it occurred to me…there should be a muffin that does this for us.  Takes us straight to the center of the cinnamon roll.  And lo, these Middle Of The Cinnamon Roll Muffins were born.

I made these one recent morning when the teenager had one of her best best best college friends over for a visit.  They were getting up early for some reason or another (and by early I mean before lunchtime…that is the college equivalent to the crack of dawn) and I figured that having warm muffins that tasted like the center of cinnamon rolls would soften the blow.  For teenagers, getting up “early” is almost as bad as losing your cell phone, or having the midnight show of The Dark Knight sell out before you nab your tickets.  For me, staying up past 10pm feels like I am pulling an all-nighter.  As a result, there is usually someone awake in my house 24 hours a day…we’re like a 7-1 At least until the teenager goes back to school.  (Sniffle.)

Anyway, back at the muffins, this is one of those happy recipes where I usually have all the stuff I need for them right in my cupboard.  The batter is a quick, basic sugar muffin batter…butter, eggs, flour, sugar and a few other things.  The inside of the cinnamon roll part comes from a separate mixture of ground pecans, cinnamon and brown sugar.  Once you have both of these mixtures together, you spoon them into paper muffin cups in layers – a scoop of batter, a scoop of cinnamon mix, a scoop of batter, a final sprinkle of cinnamon mix.  Don’t worry about getting the batter spread neatly over the cinnamon mix in the center…it’s all going to bake together just fine.

Once the muffins are out of the oven and cooled a bit, the last thing you have to do is mix up a quick little powdered sugar glaze…powdered sugar, a little milk and a little vanilla.  I like to spoon the glaze into a zip-close sandwich bag and snip off the end of the bag to make a little pastry bag…this lets you make artistic little squiggles.  But drizzling it off of the end of a spoon will taste just as scrumptious.

Now put them on a plate and watch everyone drift into the kitchen…if they weren’t waiting there already.  I may never feel the need to eat an entire cinnamon roll ever again!


Middle Of The Cinnamon Roll Muffins
Serves: 12 muffins
Muffin Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1¼ cups flour
  • 1¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ⅛ cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ⅔ cup milk
Glaze Ingredients
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons milk
Muffin Directions
  1. Line a muffin tin with 12 standard sized paper liners and preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix together flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon.
  4. Put butter in a mixer and beat on high speed until fluffy, about 30 seconds. Reduce speed to medium and slowly pour in sugar, scraping down the sides of the mixer as needed. Beat for about 2 minutes.
  5. Add egg, beating well, followed by vanilla.
  6. Reduce speed to low and alternately add flour mixture and milk in about 3 stages.
  7. Spoon one tablespoon batter into each muffin cup. Top with a generous teaspoon of cinnamon mixture. Spoon remaining batter on top of each muffin, and then sprinkle with a generous topping of cinnamon mixture.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool in the muffin tin until the muffins are cool enough to take out, and then remove and finish cooling on a rack.
Glaze Directions
  1. Mix sugar, vanilla and milk in a small bowl until smooth.
  2. Drizzle glaze over top of muffins (or you can make your own disposable pastry bag by filling a zip-close sandwich bag with the glaze, snipping off one corner with a scissors and squeezing the glaze out through the opening.


Want a photo beside your name? Go to Gravatar.com, sign up for a free account, and upload a photo. It's super easy!

  1. says

    Just the wonderful aroma wafting from your kitchen should be enough to have them sleepwalk to the table to enjoy one of these warm and tasty muffins. They sure do have it all!

  2. says

    These sound simply delightful. I think I will have to make them next weekend. Thanks for sharing and I pinned you on Pinterest!

  3. says

    I would always eat around the edges of the cinnamon roll, saving the insides for last…they are just so damn good! Love that you’ve turned them into muffins. This makes them especially breakfast-worthy.

    • Kate says

      Well, you can ALWAYS add bacon to anything. Have you seen my bacon cinnamon roll very naughy post? :)http://www.framedcooks.com/2010/09/bacon-cinnamon-rolls.html

  4. Chrissa says

    I just finished a still-warm-from-the-oven muffin, and had to come leave you a comment about them! These may very well be the best muffins I have ever had!!!! They are wonderful, I think I will be very popular indeed if I take these to my next morning meeting :-) I did cut the white sugar down to 3/4 c., and I don’t think anyone would notice. I also just eyeballed the icing amounts, and drizzled the muffins while still pretty warm. My icing kind of melted into the top layer of the cinnamon sugar,and made it kind of like the ooey-gooey part of a cinnamon roll. Fabulous! Thanks for the GREAT recipe! (off to go eat muffin #2) (or #3…) 😉

  5. Lynn says

    Made something similar last Sunday. Well, actually NOT so similar; the muffins were cinnamony and had jam in the middle, but!!!!! They were too cakey, and just didn’t DO it for my Cinnabon-loving husband. THIS looks just right. He loves the ooey gooey!!! THANKS once again, Kate!

  6. Pippa says

    Made these this morning and oh they are absolutely gorgeous, even though it was maybe the second time I’d used my cup measures (as I’m from the UK) and I’m not sure I got them quite right. Couldn’t believe they’d taste like the centre of a cinnamon roll, but they definitely do.

    I could have eaten so many! Thanks for the great recipe. :)

    • Kate says

      Pippa, I’m so glad these muffins made it all the way to the UK! (And they really do – it’s like magic, right?) :)

    • Kate says

      That’s why I only make things like this when there are lots of hungry teenagers around – I have no willpower! :)

  7. Shannan says

    These look super delicious. Totally want to try this recipe out. My brother is allergic to nuts though so I’ll have to leave the pecans out. Do you think that will affect the recipe greatly?

    • Kate says

      Not at all! I’d just increase the brown sugar a bit to make sure you have enough of the filling. Enjoy!

  8. Katie says

    Just made these, LOVE LOVE LOVE them! So good! Perfectly moist on the inside and crunchy on the outside. I had to cook them for the full 20 minutes and I made the glaze much thicker than the recipe called for, but I am in LOVE. BEST muffins!

  9. says

    Oh boy. . . I saw these via Foodgawker’s facebook page, at the perfect moment to print out the recipe and dream about them until Saturday morning breakfast rolled around.
    Much as I love traditional (yeasted) cinnamon rolls, the time involved isn’t feasible for a weekend breakfast. But I’ve found my new go-to for sure! My cinnamon roll loving husband let me know I was a “great cook” because of these, and the entire dozen was gone before the end of the day between the two of us!
    Next time I make these, I will make the glaze a little thicker — I’m another that lays it on warm, and it will run less that way! But again, AWESOME! And thank you for sharing this recipe. It will stick around in my recipe folder for a long time to come, I’m sure.

    • Kate says

      Tabitha, I’m so glad! And yes, aren’t they a great weekend treat? I love it when I have an easy go-to recipe where I’m always sure to have all the ingredients on hand. :)

      • says

        I just had to stop back and say it again — thank you for this recipe! I’ve made these for breakfast again this morning, probably the fourth or fifth time since July, and they are still a hit, and still a wonderful Saturday morning breakfast!

  10. Chrissa says

    I had to leave another comment and let you know that these make *amazing* cupcakes!!! I poked holes in the tops before carefully pouring the glaze on, making the middle a gooey, cinnamon-y surprise, frosted them with a fluffy maple buttercream, and lightly dusted the tops with a little cinnamon. They were fabulous! Thanks again for the great recipe! :-)

    • Kate says

      Chrissa! I love this idea – I’ll have to try them that way myself! I always say a good recipe can always be made better, and you proved that theory with this one! :)

  11. says

    Yum! Just made these for my kids and they were great. The only issue I had is that there is no way that batter made 12 muffins . . . I thought my pan was standard, but I got 9 smallish muffins from the recipe and it would have been perfect for 6. I’m definitely doubling it next time because with four of us, 9 wasn’t enough!

    • Kate says

      Hmm – I thought my pan was standard too. But of course doubling them is a great idea in any event – there’s never anything wrong with more muffins! :)

  12. Kathy N says

    Perfect for breakfast when there’s two feet of snow on the ground! Delicious and exactly what I wanted. Good thing I could shovel off the calories!

  13. Rachel says

    WHY do I never read a recipe through before starting?

    I totally missed that it was a layer of batter, layer of cinnamon sugar, batter, cinnamon sugar. I read to put one tablespoon of batter in each cup, and I did. But when I had extra batter, I just divided it up between all the cups. Then when it said to put a generous amount of cinnamon sugar on top, I did, but I thought to myself, “Wow! That’s definitely generous, and it looks nothing like the top of her muffins, but oh well, gotta use it all up.”

    THEN I read the rest of the instructions. *sigh*

    So, I gave each muffin a little swirl and turn, haha. And they’re in the oven now. Let’s hope it still turns out well. =)

    • Rachel says

      The verdict is in: These are absolutely DELICIOUS! Even with me fudging the instructions. =) Wonderful recipe! Thank you!

      I do see how they’d be even better if prepared as written, though, so that just means I’ll have to make them again soon. =)

    • Kate says

      Oh, if I could only tell you the millions of recipes I have messed up – and sometimes they turn out even better – you never know! :)


Let's Talk!

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