Snickerdoodle Cake with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buttercream

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At some point, a friend sent me a link to an awesome-looking cake. It was a Snickerdoodle Cake with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buttercream frosting. I hadn’t thought of making a cinnamon-flavored layer cake, and I was excited to try it. Snickerdoodles remind me of my friend Dave, and so I told him that I would make it whenever he came to town to visit.

If you follow the link, you’ll see that the cake was a 4-layer cake (2 rounds split in two). The frosting alone had 4 sticks of butter – over a pound! I baked the cake recipe as it was, but there was no way I could bring myself to make such a rich frosting.

snickerdoodle cake with brown sugar cinnamon buttercream
Snickerdoodle Cake disappears quickly

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The cake involved both all-purpose and cake flours (cake flour for a finer, more tender crumb), a tablespoon of cinnamon, a tablespoon of vanilla extract (I got to use into my homemade extract!), and some milk (I used 2%). I mixed the batter in my stand mixer with the paddle attachment, but a hand mixer would work fine as well.

This was my first time using the leftover butter wrappers to grease pans, and let me tell you that it works amazingly well! I baked this in two greased and floured 8-inch round pans; I used my scale to weigh the pans as I split the batter between them because I wanted to be that precise. Halfway through baking them, I rotated the pans from front to back and side to side. I jerked a pan as I pulled it out and the batter was not set at all; it was very close to becoming a snickerdoodle disaster in the oven. I baked the cake exactly 35 minutes, and it was done; I think it would have been overbaked if I’d been using 9-inch pans.

I made these layers late the night before I wanted to frost the cake. You’re supposed to remove the layers from the pans after cooling them slightly, but I didn’t want the cake to dry out so I left them in the pan. I made the frosting and assembled the cake the next afternoon. My oven slants, so I had a fair amount of cake to cut off to level each layer.

As I said, the frosting was a little frightening. An entire stick of butter between each layer?! I’m sure it was delicious, but I don’t like frosting that much, and it seemed a little too indulgent. I decided not to split the layers, and make it a two-layer cake instead. I also decided to make frosting from the Betty Crocker Cookbook (affiliate link) but adapt it, making about half as much.

This was just enough frosting for me to frost the two-layer cake, but I made the center layer of frosting a little light.

snickerdoodle cake with brown sugar cinnamon buttercream
Snickerdoodle Cake

This was a very tasty cake. We all really enjoyed it. The cake layers were tender and flavorful. The frosting was cinnamon-y as well. Reviews of the frosting noted that it was a little gritty, to imitate the crunch of sugar on the outside of snickerdoodles; I didn’t have much trouble with that with my version of the buttercream. The brown sugar gave it a little crunch, but it wasn’t overwhelming. I’m really glad I cut down on the frosting, because I can’t imagine how sweet it must have been. I stored the cake in the fridge, and we finished it two days after I frosted and cut it. It wasn’t as tender and moist then, whether due to the cold or just time elapsed – but it was still tasty.

Honestly, my favorite thing was eating the pieces of cake that I cut from the layers to even them out. I personally don’t even need frosting. This wasn’t too difficult to make if you’ve make a cake from scratch before – and it’s a great cake to share with company.

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buttercream

This delicious frosting has a little crunch from the brown sugar. Makes just enough to lightly frost a 2-layer cake. 

Author: Leona Konkel
  • 8 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons half and half
  1. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon into the butter until it was light and fluffy. Add vanilla. Add powdered sugar, half cup by half cup. I added some half and half when the stand mixer started to complain. I would consider actually adding more half and half to make the frosting more spreadable, because it was a little stiff.

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