Cinnamon Orange Swirl Cake

A light airy cake swirled with buttery graham cracker, cinnamon, and brown sugar layers. The frosting is a delicious cream cheese delight flavored with a hint of orange. Together, this Cinnamon Orange Swirl Cake is a scrumptious dessert that will have your guests asking for the recipe.

Cinnamon Orange Swirl Cake

Baking with a boxed cake that you doctor up yourself to create something unique is both fun and easy.

This dessert is just that: some measuring, but not a lot. Easy, but still not your ordinary boxed cake.

Then the frosting is made from scratch with a splash of orange extract that compliments the cake perfectly.

A frosted and decorated dessert in a 13 x 9" baking dish.

Making a Cinnamon Orange Swirl Cake

Choosing your boxed cake mix

I used a white cake mix for this recipe, but you can also use a yellow, orange, or vanilla.

I highly suspect a banana cake would be scrumptious in this recipe, which I’ll have to try next time.

Please comment if any of you try the banana cake version before I do. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Also, you don’t have to use a boxed cake for this recipe. You can, instead, use your favorite cake batter.

Cinnamon Orange Swirl Cake

Whichever cake mix you use, make the batter according to the directions on the box.

Actually, when I made the white cake, I used 3 whole eggs, not the egg whites per directions.

I’m naughty that way, but switching it up that way is perfectly fine.

Leave the batter in the bowl and set aside for now.

Meanwhile, in a different bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter together.

Graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter.

Pouring the layers into the 13 x 9″ baking dish

Spray the baking dish with non-stick spray or lightly grease bottom and sides.

Pour 1/2 the batter into the dish. It’s going to look thin and you might have to spread it some.

Sprinkle 1/2 the swirl mixture evenly over the batter.

Next, pour the remaining batter over the top, then sprinkle the remaining swirl mixture.

Four layers, done.

Now, take a butter knife and run it through to swirl the cake batter with the swirl mixture.

Don’t over-think this part, you can’t hurt it.

Also, you won’t necessarily see the swirls when you do this.

Actually, you don’t even have to swirl it if you don’t feel like it.

It’s going to taste amazing and that’s all that matter.

Layers of cake batter with cracker crumbs, brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter.

Bake the cake per directions on the box.

While the cake is cooling, start the frosting.

Bring on the frosting!

Sure, cake is good, but frosting is awesome!

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter, and orange extract until light and fluffy.

What is “light and fluffy?” All lumps are gone, the color is consistent, and the beaters make pretty designs in the cream cheese.

Start adding the powdered sugar until you reach the consistency you love.

You’ll need the frosting on the creamy side for spreading across the top.

That’s because of the crumbly swirl mixture on top. Having a creamy frosting is easier for spreading.

If you want to decorate with any remaining frosting, you’ll likely have to thicken it so it holds it shape.

Dessert Recipes Galore:

If you love dessert, and I know you do, check out the desserts section on my site,or click here.

You can also use the “search” bar at the top of the site to enter key words to help you find what you’re looking for.

Additionally, you can always reach out to me if you’re looking for something specific.

If I don’t already have a recipe for it, maybe I’ll blog about it.

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5 from 2 votes

Cinnamon Orange Swirl Cake

A light airy cake infused with a swirl of buttery brown sugar, graham cracker crumb, and cinnamon, topped with an orange cream cheese frosting.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time28 minutes
Cooling time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 48 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: boxed cake, brown sugar, cinnamon, comfort food, cream cheese
Servings: 18
Calories: 350kcal
Author: Sweet Ordeal



  • 1 box white cake mix, (plus water, eggs, oil per box directions)


  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted


  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. orange extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 13 x 9" baking dish with non-stick spray.


  • Make cake batter according to package directions. Leave in bowl and set aside.


  • In bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter until thoroughly blended.
  • Pour 1/2 of cake batter into baking dish. Sprinkle 1/2 of swirl mixture over batter. Pour remaining batter on top, then sprinkle remaining swirl mixture over top.
  • Run a butter knife through it to swirl layers.
  • Bake according to package directions. Allow to cool completely on wire rack.


  • Beat cream cheese, butter, and orange extract until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar until desired consistency. Spread over cooled cake. Enjoy!


You will need to double recipe for decorating purposes.


Calories: 350kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 308mg | Potassium: 59mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 406IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @sweetordeal or tag #sweetordeal!

Cinnamon Orange Swirl Cake

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Happy baking and have a blessed day.

Cinnamon Orange Swirl CakeCinnamon Orange Swirl CakeCopyright © Sweet Ordeal. All content and images are copyright protected. Do not use any images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, make sure to re-write the recipe in your own words and only list ingredients making sure to link back to this post for the original recipe and directions.

5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. This cake is amazing! The cake is spongy and packed with flavor resembling a cinnamon roll swirled throughout The flavors are nicely balanced and not overpowering. It is paired with a sweet cream frosting with a hint of orange. The frosting is neither too thick or too thin and provides the proper level of sweet. Friends, family and coworkers will all love this cake and want you to make it again and again.