Saturday, February 26, 2011

Shortcut Cinnamon Rolls

Cleaning out the pantry, freezer or fridge can be a great source of recipe inspiration. And when I found a loaf of frozen bread dough (from who knows when) in the freezer this afternoon, I knew immediately what to make: cinnamon rolls!

I fully intend to make cinnamon rolls from scratch someday (they've been added to my recipe bucket list), but this shortcut is perfect when you've got to have one quick. It's super fast and super easy.

Technically, when you find a frozen loaf of bread dough in the freezer you're supposed to allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. But I set mine out on the kitchen counter for a few hours and it thawed just fine. If you can wait until the next day for your cinnamon rolls, thaw your dough the traditional way. If you're impatient, thaw it my way.

Shortcut Cinnamon Rolls
1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk

Heat oven to 200 degrees and prepare a cast iron skillet by spraying it liberally with cooking spray.

Sprinkle some flour on a clean surface and roll out your dough. I can't give you the exact dimensions, but you should end up with a rectangle about the size of a standard cookie sheet.

Brush almost all of the melted butter over the dough; reserve about a tablespoon. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle over butter. Roll the dough jellyroll-style, then slice into about a dozen buns. Set them in your skillet, cover loosely with a towel, and allow them to rise on your warm oven for about 1 hour.

During the last few minutes of rising, turn the oven up to 400 degrees. Pour reserved melted butter over rolls. Place the rolls in the oven and cook for 18 minutes.

Remove rolls from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. In a small bowl, make the icing by combining confectioners' sugar and milk. Drizzle icing over warm rolls.

I dare you to resist these cinnamon rolls long enough for them to cool! I'm suffering from a bit of a burnt tongue right now because I couldn't keep my hands off of them. I swear they taste just like Cinnabon cinnamon rolls (though I'm sure they have a fraction of the fat and calories). We'll have to see how my from-scratch version stacks up against this shortcut soon :)


  1. This almost seems doable to me! Probably the ready dough :p Is this the same dough you made your bread from?

    Do you have your own recipe for cream cheese icing for these?

  2. No, actually this was store-bought frozen bread dough! (I probably should have specified that in the recipe. I believe the most popular brand that you can find in most stores is Rhodes, in case you want to look for it.)

    And of course I have a recipe for cream cheese icing! In fact, next time I make them (which I promise will be soon) I'll make them with cream cheese icing and include the recipe.