Brown Butter Cinnamon Roll Skillet Cake

Brown Butter Cinnamon Roll Skillet Cake | Once Upon a Recipe

Dear Time,

Why is there not more of you? Why must you move so quickly when I’m having fun and so slowly when I’m not? I’d like to please have the body of Halle Berry, but I don’t have the time to exercise like a maniac and count all of my calories (nor do I want to). I mean, I have time, but not that much time. I’d like to take up knitting and soap making and I’d like to really learn to play the guitar (and not just stumble my way through a few simple songs). I’d like to volunteer more. I’d like to take my pup to the dog park every morning so she can burn off more of her boundless energy. I’d like to organize my closet because it’s a jungle in there (and maybe a mouse. Help, I’m scared!). I’d like to read the 78 books on my “List of Books to Read” before I’m 78.

I’d like to keep my house in a more constant state of clean, rather than its constant state of chaos. I’d like to learn more about wine and beer and maybe even make my own. I’d like to host dinner parties and cook for my friends and family because that’s a whole lot more fun than eating cereal for dinner cooking for just me. I’d like to drink a green juice every morning, and not just the mornings that I “have time.” I’d like to take 15 minutes every day to try to meditate and clear my crazy brain. I’d like to handwrite letters to my friends from afar, rather than send them an occasional text message or email. I’d like to become a better photographer. I’d like to get out of the city once a month, even if it’s only for a few hours, to a town half an hour away. I’d really like to sleep more. I’d like to do all of these things and about a thousand more, but I. Need. More. Time.

Please consider stretching yourself out a bit?



Brown Butter Cinnamon Roll Skillet Cake | Once Upon a Recipe

Brown Butter Cinnamon Roll Skillet Cake | Once Upon a Recipe

Seriously friends, how do you all do it? You all make it look so easy – even those of you with children and a load of responsibilities twice the size of mine. Please tell me that it really isn’t as simple as you make it look, or at least share some of your secrets. How do you balance it all?

While I certainly don’t have the answer, I do have a new trick up my sleeve. One thing I definitely don’t have time for is making homemade cinnamon rolls on the regular. But imagine having a warm slice of cake that tastes exactly like a freshly baked cinnamon roll to stuff into your pie hole in only a fraction of the time?! Yes friends, that is what we call a win.

Brown Butter Cinnamon Roll Skillet Cake | Once Upon a Recipe

This skillet cake comes together lickety-split, quicker than you can say “but I don’t have time!” The first time I made this, I whipped it up when I woke up in the morning and baked it while I got ready for work. By the time I had to leave, it was cool enough to handle and transport. Dudes, it was still warm when we ate with our morning coffee. Now if that doesn’t make a work day better, I’m out of ideas.

Now, I recommend that you throw this cake together one morning when you need a little pick-me-up. Even during the crazy holiday season that is descending upon us, you can make the time. Browning the butter isn’t even necessary, but it does add a little something extra. However, I promise you it’s still completely delicious if you forego that step. Enjoy, sweet friends!

Brown Butter Cinnamon Roll Skillet Cake | Once Upon a Recipe

Brown Butter Cinnamon Roll Skillet Cake (recipe adapted from Crunchy Creamy Sweet)

A warm, fluffy cake, filled with little craters of brown sugar and cinnamon, reminiscent of a freshly baked cinnamon roll. If you don’t have a skillet, you can bake it in a 8 x 8 pan, or you can double the recipe and bake it in a 9 x 13 pan. Be sure to grease the pan well. And if you want to skip the step of browning the butter, just make sure it’s melted before you incorporate it into the rest of the batter. Serves 6.


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

Pinch of salt

3/4 cup milk

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 cup brown butter*


1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1 TBSP. all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon


1 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

2 TBSP. milk

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Mix all of the cake ingredients together, except for the butter. Slowly stir in the butter and mix just until incorporated (don’t overmix). Pour into a greased 10-inch skillet and spread out evenly. Mix the topping ingredients together until well combined. Drop by spoonfuls evenly over the batter and swirl with a knife. Bake for 25-28 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges.

Combine the glaze ingredients and drizzle over top of the cake while still warm. Serve immediately. Leftover cake can be stored for a couple of days if well-wrapped.

*If you’ve never browned butter before, here is a really great tutorial.

Brown Butter Cinnamon Roll Skillet Cake | Once Upon a Recipe


  1. Amanda, this looks AMAZING. There is always time for a quick cake 😉

  2. bakeorbreak says:

    Oh, my. Yes, I definitely need this. Maybe this weekend. (And, I have zero help for you on the time question. I never have enough time to do all the things I want to do.)

  3. I hate waiting for cinnamon roll dough to rise!!!! It is the bane of my carb loving existence! This is the PERFECT solution! I also would like you to sign that letter to time from me too! I totally agree with everything you said. I have no idea how so many people do it all or even pretend to look like they do it all! HA!

  4. I have given up on trying to catch up with time but with this cake makes me want to cherish the mornings.

  5. I can certainly make time for this! It looks delicious. I wish I had a slice to snack on right now 🙂

  6. This is genius, all of it. From the skillet to the brown butter (!) to avoiding kneading, and rising, and rolling. Amazing. Thanks for posting it! (And if you ever figure out where all the time goes, be sure to tell me.)

  7. Oh baby, I need this in my life! Along with more time please!

  8. Yummmm! Anything with brown butter is amazing. Definitely going to try soon!

  9. I love it! Brown butter makes everything better! So glad you got to try this cake! It’s always a huge hit. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Amanda!

  10. This looks SO good!

  11. Wow, this looks amazing.. lovely pictures.

  12. I can’t believe you made a cinnamon roll skillet, it’s like all my dreams come true! This is being pinned! Can’t wait!

  13. Oh my God, Amanda, this looks sooooo good! You need to open up your own cafe!

  14. This sounds sooooo good! And I love that it doesn’t take a lot of time, because you are so right, it’s always in short supply. Oh, and the fact that it has brown butter makes me soo happy. Pinned!

  15. Made this today….how easy…and it turned out amazing…thank you, this is now a family favourite, didn’t last long.. will have to make another one

  16. This looks like the perfect Xmas morning breakfast. Drooling.

  17. This looks absolutely beautiful. Perfect breakfast for a chilly December morning. I’m not sure what’s going on but time is flying by way too quickly this season. I’m going to slow down and enjoy this breakfast though! Thanks for sharing

  18. WOA. It’s recipes like this that make me want- I mean NEED- a skillet. Sounds delicious. Looks like I’m gonna have to borrow one if I want this for brunch this weekend. Thanks for the recipe!

  19. I so agree. So much!

    Do you watch tv? I killed my tv and now I get way more done in a day 😉

    • Ha ha, I cancelled my cable about 4 months ago (don’t miss it a bit), but I do have Netflix. It can be a time sucker, but I’m pretty good about limiting my time on it. More tips, more tips! 🙂

  20. I am WITH you on the lack of time. We are barreling towards Christmas and i just want to slow things down! Preferably with an entire skillet of this cake.

  21. I’m convinced everything should be served in a skillet with a fork.

  22. Lily Keller says:

    Oh my! I made this today for breakfast and it is divine! Thanks for the recipe!

  23. This looks so good Amanda! I have such a weakness for cinnamon rolls–so the fact that I can now basically make a cake that tastes like them really quickly in a win-win. Love it.

  24. I made this tonight for dessert. It was a hit!! Will be a return hit. Thanks for the recipe.

  25. I’d like to co sign that letter addressed to time too. Seriously it’s all going too fast, but literally everyone I know (even the cool ones) are struggling, so I guess thats just the way it is.
    This roll skillet cake looks fantastic, by the way 🙂

  26. I love your letter to Time, seriously, I think we all need more of it! And not just in the way of living longer, but perhaps, say – squeeze an extra couple of hours into our days (or get to finish work a few hours earlier? I know I certainly wouldn’t mind!). That cake looks deeeelicious, and I could only imagine how ridiculously good it was!

    • Unfortunately my letter to time hasn’t yielded any longer days, but at least we’ve got this cake. I hope you have the chance to try it out!

  27. i made this for the second time today! it was great again as expected. I did add pecans and a small handful of mini chocolate chips. It added another level of flavor that i was looking for. Next time i am going to try some gluten free flour and see how that turns out. Thank you for the quick and easy sweetness i sometimes want at breakfast. 🙂

    • Yes! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I love the idea of adding pecans and chocolate chips! Let me know how your gluten-free version turns out!

  28. Naomi Morse says:

    Looks wonderful. Which size skillet do you use?

  29. Rebecca says:

    What size skillet?

  30. Rebecca says:

    I found skillet size.


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