Monday, April 2, 2012

Not-From-Scratch Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

This recipe just came to me because I had a hankering for cinnamon rolls, but didn't have any pre-made cinnamon roll dough in my fridge, just plain crescent roll sheet dough.  As it turned out, they were very yummy and relatively simple to make, and this is an excellent way to get "homemade" rolls while skipping a few steps along the way (i.e. making the dough from scratch, letting it rise, etc.). Enjoy...  :)

Cinnamon Roll Dough - 
1 tube Pre-made crescent roll dough (continuous sheet is best, but can use perforated kind)
2-3 Tbsp margarine or spreadable butter
½ C brown sugar
 C granulated sugar
3 Tbsp cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
½ C finely chopped pecans (optional)

The dough I had sitting in the fridge that I started with

Simple Icing -
2 Tbsp milk
¾ C powdered sugar
½ tsp vanilla

This is the brand of spreadable butter I used, but you can use whatever suits you.

Blend ingredients for Simple Icing until smooth. Pour into air-tight container and place in refrigerator.

Mix sugars, salt, and spices together, eliminating any lumps that might be present (such as with the brown sugar). Add vanilla; mix until liquid has been fully incorporated and there are no discernable lumps.  Divide and place half into an airtight container to be used later.

The cinnamon sugar mixture, right after I incorporated the vanilla.

Lay out a sheet of plastic wrap, long enough to completely encompass the full length of dough.  Take dough out of tube; carefully unroll onto plastic wrap.  (If using tradtional crescent roll dough, use extra care that the unrolling does not make the perforations larger.) "Fix" any holes in the dough by gently pressing the dough together to seal the holes.  Using a soft/flexible spatula, liberally spread margarine over entire dough surface.  Take cinnamon sugar mixture and spread as evenly as possible over the margarined surface; use your hands if needed to make the spread cover the margarine. Spread the sugar mix as thick as possible.  Do not skimp on this part - the thicker the cinnamon sugar layer, the better.  If adding pecans, sprinkle over sugared surface at this point. Carefully, and as tightly as possible, roll the dough, using the plastic wrap to tuck the dough into itself so that it forms a log. If necessary, add another sheet of plastic wrap over the already-wrapped log so that it is completely sealed.  Place flat in a freezer and freeze for a minimum of 1 hour to firm up.

The dough rolled out a little crooked, but it tasted just fine in the end. ;)

Once dough is frozen, preheat oven to 375°F.  Lightly spray bottom of 7"x11" (or similar size) glass baking dish with cooking spray.  Remove icing out of the refrigerator to let warm up to room temperature.  Take dough out of the freezer and let rest for 5-10 minutes.  Unwrap dough from plastic, place onto a chopping board or plate and slice roll into 3/4- to 1-in thick slices.  Place slices flat onto baking dish and space evenly (about 1") apart.

Sliced-up rolls, ready for the oven

Bake for 17-20 minutes or until rolls are a dark golden brown color and start to look "dry." Cinnamon should be bubbling at this point.  Remove from oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes.

Just out of the oven

Drizzle icing over rolls and serve warm.

Makes 12 small rolls.



  1. Looks YUMMY and very easy :) When you measure the brown sugar, is it packed or not?

  2. good posting about Not-From-Scratch Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

  3. What do you do with the other half of the Sugar/Cinnamon mixture that you set aside for later? The next time you make the rolls?