Frozen Bread Dough Cinnamon Rolls

Easy Cinnamon Rolls Using Frozen Bread Dough

The Spruce / Loren Runion

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Thaw and Proof Time: 6 hrs 30 mins
Total: 7 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 20 servings
Yield: 2 pans
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
105 Calories
6g Fat
12g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 20
Amount per serving
Calories 105
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 13mg 4%
Sodium 4mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 14mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 27mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Beautifully fluffy cinnamon rolls make a decadent breakfast, afternoon treat, or accompaniment to a hearty brunch menu. Perfect when warm, cinnamon rolls are a fun baking activity and our recipe makes it a breeze. There's no need to make a dough because you'll be using frozen bread dough. Simply unwrap, thaw, assemble and bake. You'd still need to let the dough rise, but this shortcut can put cinnamon rolls on your table without much stress. For our process, you can either thaw the dough overnight in the refrigerator or thaw it at room temperature for 4 to 5 hours. Both routes will yield pillowy and delicious rolls.

Frozen bread dough is a great item to have in your freezer, as you can make all sorts of dishes with it, from calzoni to deep dish pizza, flatbreads, focaccias, pretzels, or breadsticks. Cinnamon rolls are just one of the many recipes you can make with store-bought dough. The trick to all of the recipes is to be patient, let the dough thaw, and allow it to rise, too. As with any yeasted dough, the yeast needs to bloom; if you bake it right from frozen, the yeast will die and you'll end up with a flat gloopy mess. Yeast goes dormant in cold temperatures and dies in environments of 130 F or higher, so allowing it to thaw and rise at room temperature is key to a great result.

Our decadent recipe has a filling of brown sugar, finely chopped nuts, and butter, plus a sugary icing that makes these easy rolls irresistible.

Ingredients

For the Rolls:

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold

  • 1 loaf frozen bread dough

  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, or walnuts

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream

For the Icing:

Steps to Make It

Make the Rolls

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for easy frozen bread dough cinnamon rolls.
    Diana Rattray
  2. Using some of the cold butter, grease a pan. Place the frozen bread loaf inside and grease a piece of plastic wrap to place over the dough. Thaw the dough in the refrigerator overnight from 10 to 12 hours, or for about 4 to 5 hours at room temperature.

    bread dough in a greased pan covered in plastic

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  3. Once the time has elapsed, use the remaining cold butter to grease 2 8-inch round cake pans.

    greased cake pans

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  4. In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, finely chopped pecans, and cinnamon. Mix well to combine and set aside.

    brown sugar, finely chopped pecans, and cinnamon in a bowl

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the thawed bread dough into an 18x6-inch rectangle. The dough is quite elastic, so be patient when rolling it out to the recommended size. Let the dough rest for a few minutes now and then and it will relax and be easier to roll. Brush the melted butter evenly over the dough.

    melted butter brushed on the bread dough

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  6. Sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture over the buttered dough.

    cinnamon and pecan mixture spread on top of the bread dough

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  7. Starting at the long end, carefully roll the dough up to form a log. Slice the log into 20 to 22 uniform slices.

    cinnamon roll log on a marble counter top

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  8. Arrange the formed rolls in the buttered cake pans. Move the pans to a draft-free place, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let them rise for about 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in bulk.

    cinnamon roll pieces inside greased cake pans

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  9. When the rolls have nearly doubled in size, preheat the oven to 350 F.

    cinnamon rolls in cake pans, after rising

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  10. Drizzle the heavy cream evenly over the rolls—about 3 tablespoons per pan—and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the cinnamon rolls to racks to cool until just slightly warm.

    cream drizzled over the cinnamon rolls

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

Make the Icing

  1. While the rolls cool off, sift the powdered sugar into a medium bowl, add the milk and vanilla, and stir until well blended. For thinner icing, add more milk, a few drops at a time. To thicken, add more powdered sugar.

    cinnamon roll icing, sugar, milk and vanilla mixture

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  2. Drizzle or spread the icing over the warm cinnamon rolls. Remove the cinnamon rolls from the pan while they are still warm and serve.

    icing drizzled over the Easy Cinnamon Rolls Using Frozen Bread Dough

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

How to Store Cinnamon Rolls

Cover leftover cinnamon rolls with plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. If you plan on freezing some, bake, do not use icing, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm up in a 250 F oven for a few minutes. Drizzle the icing and serve.

Nut-Free Rolls and Alternative Icing

For an allergy-friendly version, omit the nuts or replace them with chopped dried raisins or cranberries. Alternatively, use the same amount of unsalted and roasted sunflower seeds.

A tangy icing also pairs beautifully with these rolls. Use 1 1/2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed orange juice and powdered sugar to make the icing, omitting the milk and vanilla extract.