Grandbaby Cakes: Cinnamon Roll Pound Cake

Jocelyn Delk Adams grew up traveling between her home in Chicago and the Mississippi home of her beloved grandparents, Sid and Maggie Small (a/k/a Big Daddy and Big Mama), where she spent hours in the kitchen as Big Mama worked her magic. Adams was the “Grandbaby,” and apparently an apt student, because now, at the age of 34, she is the creator of the popular food blog, Grandbaby Cakes, and the author of a charming – and gorgeous – new cookbook, “Grandbaby Cakes: Modern Recipes, Vintage Charm, Soulful Memories(Agate Surrey, 2015; $22.95).

The book is filled with recipes that must be made RIGHT NOW. Not because Adams insists – she is far too gracious – but because her eye-catching photographs, delightful family stories, evocative prose and easy-to-follow recipes demand it. Even “The Chew”’s Carla Hall (Hootie hoo!) is a fan – so much so that she wrote the foreword to the book. Adams takes classic desserts and recreates them with a spin, intensifying and layering flavors. Think Roasted-Raspberry Cupcakes, Cornmeal Pound Cake with Honey-Butter Glaze, Pineapple Upside-Down Hummingbird Pound Cake and Peach Cobbler Shortcake. I’ll give you a moment.

Of her Cinnamon Roll Pound Cake, Adams says, “This cake is a tribute to good ol’-fashioned gooey rolls, soft and full like fluffy pillows, piping hot out of the oven, entwined with ribbons of spiced cinnamon sugar, sticky with dripping icing …” (“Grandbaby Cakes,” p.33). Who could read that and not run immediately to preheat the oven? Not me. Time to bake!

Cinnamon Roll Pound Cake

Serves 12-16


  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Cinnamon Swirl:

  • 1/3 cup (5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Liberally prepare a 12-cup Bundt pan with the nonstick method of your choice.

2. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter for one minute on high speed. Slowly add the granulated sugar. Cream together for an additional five minutes, until very pale yellow and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, combining well after each addition and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.

3. Turn your mixer down to its lowest speed and slowly add the flour in two batches. Add the salt and baking soda. Be careful not to overbeat. Add the sour cream, oil, and vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix the batter until just combined. Be careful not to overmix. Set the batter aside.

4. For the cinnamon swirl: In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients until well combined. Set aside.

5. To bake, pour 1/3 of the batter into the prepared pan. Drizzle half of the cinnamon swirl over the batter. Using a butter knife or skewer, swivel the mixture through the cake batter, creating a flourish pattern. Repeat with another 1/3 of the batter and remaining cinnamon swirl. Top with the remaining batter.

6. Bake for 75 to 85 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out mostly clean. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert onto a serving plate. Let cool to room temperature. Lightly cover the cake with foil or plastic wrap so it does not dry out.



  • 2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk (can be whole, 2 percent, or even refrigerated coconut milk)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Clean your stand mixer bowl and whisk attachment. In it, beat the cream cheese and butter for two minutes on medium-high speed. Reduce your mixer speed and carefully add the confectioners sugar in two batches, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Once the sugar is fully incorporated, turn your mixer back up to medium-high speed. Add the milk and vanilla extract and beat until the icing is smooth and pourable.

2. Drizzle the icing over the cooled pound cake. Serve at room temperature.


Reprinted with permission from “Grandbaby Cakes” by Jocelyn Delk Adams, Agate Surrey, 2015.

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