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Easy cinnamon cupcakes (made with box cake mix)

Are you curious about what more you can make with your box cake mix? Well, how about using that cake mix to bake cinnamon cupcakes? 

Yes! Yes, that’s a thing. 

I’m a big fan of baking in that delicious cinnamon flavor. 

Using a cake mix to make other baked goods such as cupcakes or cookies is the best baking hack that I know. 

Who doesn’t love a homemade cupcake.

When using a cake mix you’re still “scratch” baking because you’re mixing ingredients in your kitchen and actually baking the cake.

We’re not baking snobs here. As a matter of fact, Andi makes the most delicious bunt cakes and she almost always starts with a box cake mix.

This turned out to be one of our favorite cupcake recipes.  With a recipe this simple we don’t even wait for a special occasion to make cupcakes. 

How do you make cupcakes with a cake mix?

You don’t need to change anything about the cake mix when using it to make cupcakes. The only thing that changes is the pan you use and how long you bake the cupcakes. So in this instance, you are using cupcake pans instead of a cake pan. 

When making cupcakes from a cake mix, cut the initial baking time in half. Then check the cupcakes to see if they are done. If they aren’t keep baking on your cupcakes in 3-minute increments. 

To clarify: Cupcakes don’t take nearly as long to bake as a cake does.

Is cupcake mix and cake mix the same?

This is such a popular question and the answer is yes. Cupcake mix is exactly the same as cake mix or vice versa. Remember, cupcakes are nothing more than tiny individual cakes.


Cake mix – For this recipe use either a white or a yellow cake mix. I personally lean towards the yellow. But I’ll also use whatever, I have on hand at the time. 

Brown sugar – Let’s be honest right now. Brown sugar just makes everything better. It will make your cupcakes moist and soft. 

Cinnamon – This is the spice that makes this cupcake recipe what we love.  Putting cinnamon along with brown sugar makes a moist and delicious cupcake.

How to make cinnamon cupcakes with a cake mix

Making cupcakes out of cake batter is pretty easy to do. With our recipe we are making cinnamon cupcakes. 

So we are taking a yellow cake mix and simply adding in cinnamon and brown sugar. 

Instead of baking a cake with the cake mix though, we will use a cupcake pan and make cupcakes with it.

Step one: Preheat the oven to 325. 

Step two Place cupcake liners in a cupcake pan. If you are not using cupcake liners, then spray the pan with baking spray. 

Step three First thing is to follow the directions of the cake mix to make the batter. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl first. Most cakes mixes require: eggs, oil and water. I recommend using a large bowl because you will be adding more ingredients. 

Step four Once the initial cake batter is fully mixed, fold in the brown sugar and cinnamon. Mix until fully combined. Be careful not to over beat the mixture. Try beating it at a low speed with your electric mixer.

Step five Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 the way full. Be as careful as you can to evenly distribute the batter. By filling the cupcake slots evenly the cupcakes will bake more evenly as well.

Step six Bake the cupcakes at 325 for 18 minutes.

Step seven The cupcakes are done when you poke them halfway through with a toothpick in the center of the cupcake and the toothpick comes out clean. 

Step eight Remove the cupcakes with the liners, from the pan and place them on an elevated cooling rack. Allow them to cool completely.

Step nine Once the cupcakes are completely cool you can ice them as desired. We love to use a butter cream frosting on ours. 

Note: I’ll admit that these are so delicious that they don’t need much frosting

Other tips

• Don’t over mix your cupcake batter. Mix it slow and on low. If you overbeat it, there won’t be any air bubbles and they will be dense instead of airy and fluffy.

• Push the pan to the center of the oven. This where they will bake best. Sometimes there is a temptation to leave the pan near the front of the oven. Don’t do that. Go ahead and give it a bit of a shove and center it.

• Allow the ingredients to come to room temperature before mixing the batter. This way nothing will clump together. It will mix smoother and easier and you won’t feel the need to overbeat the batter.

• When filling the cupcake pan, fill each cup about 2/3 full. Be sure to be as even as possible when you scoop the batter so that the cupcakes bake evening. 

• I highly recommend using cupcake paper liners. The cupcakes will not turn out as brown on the edges. They are worth the pennies that they cost.

• Transfer the cupcakes to an elevated cooling rack as quickly as you can. 

• If you don’t have a toothpick you can use another trick to check if the cupcakes are done. Gently press on a cupcake and if it springs right back up, it is likely done. 

• Don’t frost a hot or even slightly warm cupcake. I know that you are excited but patience is needed. Even a slight amount of heat is enough to melt that frosting.

Cinnamon cupcakes

Cinnamon cupcakes

Yield: 2 cupcakes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes

This is our easy cinnamon cupcakes recipe that is made with a box cake mix.


  • 1 yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 325.
  2. Place cupcake liners in a cupcake pan.
  3. Follow directions on the box mix adding 1 c water, 3 eggs and 1/2 c oil. Mix the batter but be very careful not to overmix. 
  4. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon to the batter and mix in thoroughly. 
  5. Fill the cupcake slots 2/3 the way full.
  6. Bake for 18 minutes or until the cupcakes are done.
  7. Transfer the cupcakes to a cooling rack.
  8. Once they are completely cool serve them or ice them


If you prefer you could use a white cake mix.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1149Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1920mgCarbohydrates: 258gFiber: 3gSugar: 156gProtein: 10g

Did you make this recipe?

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The bottom line

Making cupcakes at home doesn’t need to be a dramatic chore. You can easily make homemade and delicious cupcakes using a cake mix.

By the way, you don’t even need to use a piping bag for the perfect cupcake. The perfect cupcake is the one that puts a smile on your face. 

If you enjoy the baking, your family will enjoy the treat. 

We love making a cake mix taste better by adding in our own personal mix of spices and flavors. In this instance we added brown sugar and cinnamon.

This is a great way to make cupcakes fast.  Also, it’s just an easy recipe to follow. That makes me happy.

Easy cinnamon buttercream frosting
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