Cinnamon Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

I have a great cupcake recipe for you today, with a really fabulous flavor combo – cinnamon and vanilla bean, two of my favorites.  These cupcakes are a delicious and fun, yet very easy twist, on vanilla or yellow cupcakes.

Cinnamon Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

I wanted to come up with a few different cupcake flavors this week to make for a Teacher Appreciation Luncheon, something a little outside of the box, and these were a great choice.  The other two recipes coming later this week!

Cupcake Recipes

Everyone in my house is a cinnamon fan, so anytime I can work it into a recipe, I like to do so.

Cinnamon Cupcake Recipe

To keep these really easy, they start with a box cake mix.   While I love a completely from scratch cake, I also love to doctor cake mixes to create all kinds of variations on cakes and cupcakes.   If you can’t get your hands on vanilla beans or vanilla bean paste when making these, you can absolutely just stick with vanilla extract, they will still turn out great.   I’m all about making do with what you have on hand.

Cinnamon Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

24 standard size cupcakes

Cinnamon Vanilla Bean Cupcakes


  • 1 package (18 1/4 ounces) yellow cake mix
  • 1 package (4-serving size) vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoon McCormick® Cinnamon, Ground
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 piece (3 inch) McCormick® Gourmet Collection Vanilla Beans, Madagascar, split in half lengthwise and seeds scraped
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Frosting
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 piece (3 inch) McCormick® Gourmet Collection Vanilla Beans, Madagascar, split in half lengthwise and seeds scraped
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick® Cinnamon, Ground
  • 4 and 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons half and half or milk


Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease or line 24 muffin cups with paper baking cups.


Beat cake mix, pudding mix, water, butter, eggs, ONE tablespoon of cinnamon, vanilla and vanilla bean seeds in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed just to moisten, scraping sides of bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each cup 2/3 full.

Combine remaining 1 tablespoon of cinnamon with 2 tablespoons of sugar to create a cinnamon sugar mixture. Sprinkle a small amount on top of each cupcake.

Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely.


Beat butter, vanilla and vanilla beans in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Stir cinnamon into confectioners' sugar. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating until well blended after each addition and frequently scraping sides and bottom of bowl. Add half and half or milk; beat until light and fluffy. Once cupcakes are completely cooled, frost as desired.

Recipe adapted from McCormick Spice Golden Cinnamon Cupcakes.

Cinnamon and vanilla bean cupcakes

To finish off my cupcakes, I mixed some coarse sanding sugar with some cinnamon and sprinkled it on top of my frosting.    Love this recipe for transforming a boxed cake mix into something totally different and delicious.

If you love cinnamon, some other recipes you might enjoy include…

Cinnamon Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Sour Cream Coffee CakeCake Mix Waffles

Cake Mix WafflesApple Cinnamon Breakfast Cookies

Apple Cinnamon Breakfast CookiesCinnamon Caramel Swirl Bars

Cinnamon Caramel Swirl BarsPumpkin Banana Cinnamon Pecan Muffins

Pumpkin Banana Cinnamon Pecan Muffins


  1. Nicole says

    I am making these now and you forgot to mention in the instructions to add the milk in the cupcakes. Hope they turn out. They smell delish!


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