Easy Cinnamon Rolls Using Frozen Bread Dough

Homemade cinnamon rolls made with frozen bread dough.

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  • Total: 45 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Thaw and Proof: 6 hrs
  • Yield: 2 pans (20 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
94 Calories
5g Fat
13g Carbs
1g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 pans (20 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 94
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 8mg 3%
Sodium 18mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 1g
Calcium 16mg 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.)

A loaf of frozen bread dough makes cinnamon rolls an easy and delicious treat you can bake for any occasion. The thawed dough is rolled and filled with a combination of brown sugar, cinnamon, finely chopped nuts, and butter. If you like lots of icing on your cinnamon rolls, feel free to double the icing ingredients.

Plan to start this recipe as early as the night before you will be baking and serving the cinnamon rolls. The bread dough has to thaw for at least four to five hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.


  • For the Rolls:
  • 1 loaf frozen bread dough
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (finely chopped; or walnuts)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons butter (melted; plus more for the pans)
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream
  • For the Icing:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for easy frozen bread dough cinnamon rolls.
    Diana Rattray
  2. Place the frozen bread loaf on a greased pan; grease a piece of plastic wrap and place it over the top. Thaw the dough in the refrigerator overnight (10 to 12 hours) or for about 4 to 5 hours at room temperature.

  3. In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, finely chopped pecans or walnuts, and cinnamon; mix well to combine. Set aside.

    Brown sugar and cinnamon mixture in a bowl.
    Diana Rattray
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll the thawed bread dough out into an 18-by-6-inch rectangle. Brush the melted butter evenly over the dough.

    Brush the dough with the melted butter.
    Diana Rattray
  5. Sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture over the buttered dough.

    Cinnamon and brown sugar on cinnamon roll dough.
    Diana Rattray
  6. 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.
    Diana Rattray
  7. Arrange the rolls in the buttered cake pans; move to a draft-free place, cover with a kitchen towel, and let them rise for about 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in bulk.

    Cinnamon rolls in pans before rising.
    Diana Rattray
  8. When the rolls have nearly doubled in bulk, preheat the oven to 350 F.

    Cinnamon rolls ready for the oven.
    Diana Rattray
  9. Drizzle the cream evenly over the rolls—about 3 tablespoons for each pan—and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the cinnamon rolls to racks to cool until just slightly warm.

    Baked cinnamon rolls.
    Diana Rattray
  10. Meanwhile, make the icing. 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. It should drip slowly from a spoon.

    Icing for the cinnamon rolls.
    Diana Rattray
  11. Drizzle or spread the icing over the warm cinnamon rolls. Remove the cinnamon rolls from the pan while they are still warm.

    Spread the icing over the cinnamon rolls.
    Diana Rattray
  12. Serve the cinnamon rolls warm or at room temperature. 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.


  • The dough is quite elastic, so have patience 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.
  • These cinnamon rolls freeze beautifully. If you don't need both pans or have leftovers, freeze them for another day. Freeze them without the icing and add it when they are defrosted and warmed.


Recipe Variations

  • Omit the nuts or replace them with chopped dried raisins or cranberries.
  • Orange Icing: Omit the milk and vanilla and mix the powdered sugar with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed orange juice.