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Cinnamon Flop is an old-fashioned breakfast cake that deserves a new time in the limelight! A tender, moist cake is baked underneath a mountain of brown sugar streusel! It is sweet and the perfect complement to coffee.

Cinnamon Flop in antique baking tin sliced
pumpkin bread slices wooden board on marble counter.
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Part of me picked this recipe because the name Cinnamon Flop makes me giggle, another part of me picked it because who can turn down cake for breakfast, and the more mature part of me thought it would be an amazing addition to any Mother’s Day brunch.

Cinnamon Flop slice in front of vintage cake pan

But seriously though, who can turn down cake for breakfast? It says it right there in the recipe that, “Served warm, it makes a delicious breakfast bread.” Bread might be stretching the truth a bit too far. It’s cake, let’s be honest.

Cinnamon Flop slice on black surface

Reasons for choosing it aside, the Cinnamon Flop was delicious! The crust was sugary and it had the perfect amount of cinnamon. The cake was moist and fluffy. My Mom would love it. Unfortunately, she is half the country away.

Cinnamon Flop unsliced in vintage cake pan

As with any old recipe, there is a bit of trial and error involved, but that is why I am here: to make the errors for you so that your Cinnamon Flop is perfection! My oven is evil, and it does what it wants. Kind of like my cat but with worse consequences. As a result, the edges of my Cinnamon Flop (just can’t say it enough!) burned. Even the work of my overzealous oven couldn’t spoil the beautiful texture of the cake.

Cinnamon Flop sliced in vintage swans down cake pan
Cinnamon Flop slice on plate black background

If you tried this recipe and loved it please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it goes in the comments below. I love hearing from you; your comments make my day!

Cinnamon Flop in antique baking tin sliced
4.82 from 22 ratings

Cinnamon Flop

Cinnamon Flop is an old-fashioned breakfast cake that deserves a new time in the limelight! A tender, moist cake is baked underneath a mountain of brown sugar streusel! It is sweet and the perfect complement to coffee.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 16 people





  • Pre-heat oven to 425F.
  • Butter or spray an 8-inch square baking dish.

Make topping first:

  • Work brown sugar and butter together with your fingertips until well mixed. Then work in cinnamon. I over worked mine and when it was time to crumble the sugar mixture on top, mine wouldn’t crumble. Stop working the mixture a little before you see the perfect crumbs and add the cinnamon. Work as quickly as possible. This will depend on how softened your butter is.

To make batter:

  • Sift flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside. Mix sugar and butter with your fingertips until butter is well dispersed. It will look kind of like snow.
  • Stir in beaten egg thoroughly, then add flour and milk alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Pour into greased 8-inch square pan.
    Cinnamon Flop batter with wooden spoon

Finish the cake:

  • Sprinkle the topping over the batter. Yours will be the perfect crumble. Promise.
    Cinnamon Flop unbaked in tin with streusel
  • Bake in preheated oven for 25-35 minutes. Watch it carefully after 20. The old fail-safe bamboo skewer test doesn’t work perfectly because some of the topping will sink into the batter as it cooks and it will always stick to the skewer and look “un-done”. Just look for the wet white batter or crumbs. Serve warm.


Recipe from the American Heritage Cookbook
I remade this cake in 2022 and I stand behind the original baking time and temperature. The heat allows the cake to rise quickly and get a nice crust while keeping the center soft and tender. 


Calories: 232kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 137mg | Potassium: 64mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 171IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Calories: 232
Like this? Leave a comment below!

Hi, I’m Chef Lindsey!

I am the baker, recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Chef Lindsey Farr. I believe in delicious homemade food and the power of dessert!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I used your recipe to make Cinnamon Flop for the first time and it was amazing! The soft, gooey texture paired with the perfect amount of cinnamon and sugar made it the ultimate comfort food for breakfast or dessert.

    1. Hi Michelle! It is a really good comfort food isn’t it? Thank you for coming back and describing your experience!

    1. Hi Liz! I’m happy to hear that you and your husband enjoyed, thank you for coming back and commenting!

  2. 5 stars
    Cinnamon flop is a funny name. I love it! And I loved this recipe. It was surprisingly and everyone really enjoyed it! My husband even said he’ll make it next time. 😀 Thank you!

    1. Hi Erin! That’s a big deal that your husband will make it next time! I know, cinnamon flop is such a funny name but oh so tasty!

  3. 5 stars
    We made this for our tea time today and it was so delicious! My kids loved it and they were able to help make it because it was so easy.

    1. Hi Madison! This is perfect for tea-time, and I’m so happy to hear the kids could join in!

  4. 5 stars
    We are in love with your cinnamon flop. Soft and perfectly crunchy when need be.
    My husband d loves it with his coffee and I love it with my tea. Adding this to my recipe collection and will make it again soon.
    Thank you!

  5. 5 stars
    This was so easy and delicious. I had some fresh cardamom I added to it. Will definitely make again… It’s going to be great for Mothers Day brunch!

  6. 5 stars
    This is the most authentic recipe I’ve seen for cinnamon flop. And your supposed mistake is a feature of the recipe. My original specified the cinnamon, sugar, and butter had to be mixed with the fingers to a paste like consistency so that it would sink down into the dough as well as produce a glaze on the top. Its not meant to be a crumble. My recipe also had one more teaspoon of leavening which made it rise very high and then collapse- hence the flop.

  7. I just made this for breakfast this morning…several problems. The 425 is WAY too hot. The baking time is questionable, even at the higher temperature. At 25 minutes, my cake was still liquid in the middle! I lowered the temperature, and continued to bake. It wasn’t “done” until almost 50 minutes! (Actually, 48 minutes)It is now cemented to the bottom of the baking dish.
    I was able to finally get a piece out. It has good flavor, but I will be making several alterations the next time I make it: 375 rather than 425, lining the dish with parchment in addition to greasing, adding about 2 tablespoons of flour to the topping, and allowing 40-50 minutes for baking.