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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

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
pumpkin bread slices wooden board on marble counter.
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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
4.80 from 24 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
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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. 4 stars
    When I made it this time it took forever to bake and the brown sugar topping was all over the bottom of the pan. Don’t know what happened. Still tasted good though

    1. Hi Lorraine, that is just the nature of the dish. It does take a long time to bake. I’ve tried it many different ways but I stand behind how the recipe is written. The reason it is called a “flop” is because the topping sinks through into it. It feels like the precursor to modern coffee cake to me. 🙂 ~Lindsey