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Cinnamon Snickerdoodle Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream

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Cinnamon Snickerdoodle Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream

We celebrated my husband’s birthday this week – our 4th quarantine birthday! We definitely need some good treats for a quarantine birthday when there aren’t a lot of other things to do or restaurants to visit. We love cakes to celebrate around here.

I’m not sure I can ever go back to normal frosting after making this Swiss Meringue Buttercream. It’s honestly so creamy and light – it just has a different texture and flavor profile than American Buttercream which is just too sweet.

Combined with this light and fluffy Cinnamon Snickerdoodle Cake, this was agreed by my family as one of the best desserts we’ve ever had. Please tell me you’ll make this!

The frosting is a little more intricate than American Buttercream, but once you get the hang of it I’m not sure you’ll ever want to go back! Read through my full recipe for the frosting to get all the troubleshooting tips.

If you can, try to get this Heilala Vanilla Bean Paste for the frosting – it takes the vanilla to another level. If you don’t have it, you can use extract no problem, but this vanilla has become my favorite.

Vanilla Bean Paste for Baking - Heilala Vanilla, the Choice of World's Best Chefs & Bakers, Using Sustainable, Ethically Sourced Vanilla, Hand-Selected from Polynesia, 2.29 oz

And the cake… whoa. It gets this kind of crispy cinnamony edge on it after baking. It was my husband’s favorite part of the cake.

Cinnamon Snickerdoodle Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Author Shannon Lyon


Cinnamon Snickerdoodle Cake

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 box white cake mix (just the dry mix)
  • 1 4 oz. box cheesecake pudding (dry powder)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Vanilla Swiss Merinuge Buttercream

  • 7 egg whites (separate carefully to make sure no yolk gets in)
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • cups unsalted butter (3 sticks, make sure it's unsalted)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla paste or vanilla extract


Cinnamon Snickerdoodle Cake

  • Preheat oven (see temps below for various pan sizes). Line cake pans with parchment paper and grease well with nonstick cooking spray (this cake can make 2 layers, 3 layers, a bundt cake, or a 9×13" cake pan – see baking times below).
  • Mix all ingredients before eggs, in a large bowl with a large spoon.
  • Then mix in eggs. Then add sour cream. Mix with spoon until well combined.
  • Pour into well greased, parchment-lined pan(s).
  • Bake times for various pan sizes below:
    – 9×13 pan: bake at 325° F. for 40-45 minutes
    – 8/9 inch layer pans: bake at 350° F. for 35-45 mins
    – bundt pan: bake at 350° F. for 50-55 minutes
  • Cake is done when middle springs back to the touch. Continue baking until your cake reaches this stage.
  • Once done, remove and let cool 30 minutes before removing from pan. Before frosting, make sure cake is well cooled.

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • Swiss Meringue Buttercream can seem like a lot of steps, but once you get the hang of it, it will become your new favorite kind of frosting to make. See my tips below if you have any issues.
    Make sure to start with very clean/dry bowls. Any fat that gets into the meringue can keep it from setting up.
    If you have a stand mixer, you can heat the egg whites and sugar right in it, over the double boiler. If not, use a mixing bowl and then a hand mixer to make the meringue.
  • Start by getting the butter out of the fridge. Cut up each stick into 1 tablespoon-sized pieces (8 pieces per stick). If you get the butter out right before you make it, it should be the perfect temperature by the time you're ready to add it. It needs to be slightly cold but slightly softened. I've found if I get it out right at the beginning of this process and cut it up, it ends up being perfect.
  • Next, put a small pot on the stove with 2 inches of water. Bring it to a simmer over medium heat while you separate the eggs.
  • Separate the eggs into a small bowl one at a time (then if any yolk gets into the bowl, you only have to throw out 1 egg and not all of them). Once you separate an egg white, then pour it into the larger mixing bowl of your stand mixer.
    *Be sure to not get any yolk into the whites. Any fat in the meringue can keep it from setting up.
  • Add the 2 cups of white sugar to the egg whites in your mixing bowl. place over the simmering water (make sure the water isn't touching the bowl so it doesn't scramble the eggs).
  • Use a whisk to constantly mix the egg whites and sugar for 6 minutes over the simmering water. At first it will be a thicker paste and it will heat to be a thinner, frothy white liquid. Heat over the double boiler for 6 minutes. After this time all the sugar granules should be dissolved (when placed between your fingers you shouldn't feel any granules – keep heating for another minute if it still has granules after 6 minutes).
  • Once done, remove from heat. You will transfer your warm mixing bowl with the warmed egg whites and sugar to your stand mixer, and add the whisk attachment. Turn it on to medium-high speed and whisk for 10-20 minutes, until stiff peaks form. The time this takes will depend on how humid it is outside, how hot your house is, and how long it takes the meringue to cool down. Keep checking it every couple of minutes to see if stiff peaks have formed. If after 20 minutes stiff peaks still haven't formed, place the mixing bowl in the fridge for 10 minutes and then continue mixing. Your mixture is probably still too warm.
  • Once you have stiff peaks, you'll need to change out the whisk attachment for the paddle attachment. This will help beat the butter in and make it smooth.
  • Once you have the paddle attachment on, you will add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time. At this point, the butter should be slightly softened but still a little cold.
  • Set the mixer to medium-high speed and add 1 tablespoon of butter at a time, mixing each tablespoon until fully incorporated and smooth. Once mixed in, then add next tablespoon. Continue this until all the butter is added. Keep mixing for a minute to make sure the frosting is smooth. Scrape down the sides if needed and mix for another minute. It should be smooth.
    *If for any reason your mixture starts to curdle, keep mixing it. It will reincorporate. If that doesn't work, place the bowl in the fridge for 20 minutes and then then try mixing again.
  • After butter is smoothly incorporated, add salt and vanilla (or any other extract you'd like) and mix for another minute.
  • Mix until fully incorporated. Your Swiss Meringue Buttercream is now ready to frost your cake! It works best to use it right after you make it. If you chill this frosting it will get pretty solid, so you'll need to bring it back to room temp before using it again. I frost my cake and then chill it overnight. Then I get it out of the fridge about an hour before cutting so the frosting has a little time to soften up.
  • Hope you love this cake and delicious frosting as much as we do!

I hope you love this Cinnamon Snickerdoodle Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream as much as our family did! Be sure to let me know if you make this cake and tag me @plumstreetcollective on Instagram. Happy cake making!

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