How to Make Cinnamon Rolls with Crescent Rolls

Cinnamon rolls made with crescent rolls are a quick and delightful twist on the classic sweet treat. Using pre-made crescent roll dough simplifies the process, making it simple even for baking novices. The dough’s inherent flakiness adds a wonderful texture that complements the soft, sweet filling of cinnamon and sugar. This method is perfect for when you crave homemade cinnamon rolls without the extra time and effort that traditional recipes demand.

You’ll find the convenience of using crescent rolls is a game-changer in the kitchen. It allows you to focus on the filling and the icing, the components that really give cinnamon rolls their signature taste. With just a few ingredients and a simple procedure, you can serve up warm and gooey cinnamon rolls that everyone will love. Whether it’s for a special breakfast, a cozy weekend treat, or a delightful dessert, this shortcut will have you enjoying your homemade sweets in no time.

Table of Contents

Gathering Your Ingredients

Before you start, it’s essential to pick the best quality crescent rolls and properly mix your cinnamon sugar to ensure your cinnamon rolls taste delicious.

Choosing the Right Crescent Rolls

When selecting crescent rolls, opt for fresh cans of dough; they puff up better and yield soft, fluffy rolls. Look for brands with a reputation for quality, or consider organic options for a natural choice.

Preparing the Cinnamon Sugar Mixture

For the perfect cinnamon sugar blend, mix 3 tablespoons of ground cinnamon with 3/4 cup of granulated sugar. Ensure the mixture is well combined to create a consistent flavor throughout your cinnamon rolls.

Additional Ingredients for the Filling and Icing


  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar: This will add depth to the filling.
  • 1/4 cup of softened butter: To spread over the dough before sprinkling the cinnamon sugar mixture.


  • 4 ounces of cream cheese: For a rich and creamy base.
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar: Ensures a smooth texture.
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract: Adds flavor.
  • 1-2 tablespoons of milk: Adjust for desired consistency.

Collect all these ingredients before you begin to make the process smooth and enjoyable.

Assembling the Cinnamon Rolls

When making cinnamon rolls with crescent roll dough, your primary tasks are preparing the dough, adding the cinnamon sugar filling, and rolling and cutting the dough into perfect portions.

Preparing the Crescent Roll Dough

Begin by preheating your oven to the required temperature, usually around 375°F (190°C), to ensure it’s ready for baking. Next, take the crescent roll dough out of its package and lay it flat on a clean surface. Press down along the perforated seams to seal them together, transforming the individual triangles into a single sheet. This step is critical because it prevents the filling from leaking out.

Adding the Cinnamon Sugar Filling

Brush a generous layer of melted butter over the entire surface of the dough to add moisture and help the cinnamon sugar adhere. Then, sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture liberally across the buttered dough, covering every inch. The filling is what gives the cinnamon rolls their signature flavor, so be thorough in this step.

Rolling and Cutting the Dough

Once your dough is coated with the cinnamon sugar filling, carefully roll the dough tightly starting from one end, ensuring it forms a log. Apply even pressure to avoid displacing the filling. With the log shaped, use a sharp knife to cut the dough into even slices, approximately 1 to 2 inches thick.

Transfer these slices into a greased baking dish, placing them cut side up and spaced slightly apart. They will expand as they bake, so give them room to grow into that golden brown perfection. Now, your cinnamon rolls are ready to be baked according to your recipe’s instructions.

Baking and Icing the Cinnamon Rolls

Transforming your crescent rolls into mouthwatering cinnamon rolls culminates in the baking and icing process. Ensure your oven is preheated properly, bake to a luscious golden brown, and top with a smooth, sweet icing.

Preheating the Oven and Baking

Begin by setting your oven to 375°F (190°C). This optimal temperature will cook your cinnamon rolls evenly, allowing them to rise properly and develop a golden brown exterior.

  • Position the cinnamon rolls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Make sure they are placed at least 2 inches apart to give them enough space to expand.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes. Keep an eye on them and remove when they’re golden brown.

Creating the Perfect Icing

The icing is the crowning glory of any cinnamon roll. A simple yet delectable glaze can be made with just a few ingredients.

  • In a bowl, whisk together:
    • 1 cup of powdered sugar
    • 2 tablespoons of milk
    • 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • For a thicker icing, add more powdered sugar until you reach the desired consistency.
  • If you prefer it thinner, gradually mix in small increments of milk.

Applying Icing to the Warm Rolls

As soon as your crescent cinnamon rolls are freshly baked and still warm, it’s time to drizzle them with icing.

  • Let the rolls cool for a few minutes but not completely—icing them while warm ensures it melts into the grooves.
  • Spoon the icing over the top or use a piping bag for more control.
  • Aim for even coverage to envelop every roll in a silky layer of sweetness.

Serving Suggestions and Storage Tips

Fresh from the oven, your cinnamon rolls made with crescent rolls are bound to impress. Let’s make sure they taste as good as they look and that any extras last as long as they should.

Presentation and Pairing

To serve your cinnamon rolls for breakfast or brunch, arrange them on a platter while warm. Drizzle with icing for that extra sweet touch. For nutrition information, you can refer to the recipe card. They pair beautifully with a cup of coffee or cold milk.

  • Breakfast: Place on a decorative plate and dust with powdered sugar.
  • Brunch: Offer with a side of fresh fruit to complement the sweetness.

Storing Leftovers

If you have leftover cinnamon rolls:

  • Room Temperature: Store in an airtight container for up to two days.
  • Freezer: Wrap rolls individually with plastic wrap and place them in an airtight container before freezing for up to 1 month.

Be sure to label the airtight container with the storage date!

Make-Ahead and Reheating Instructions

You can make these rolls ahead of time.

  • Make Ahead: Assemble the rolls and store them in the refrigerator overnight before baking.
  • Reheating: Warm leftovers in a toaster oven or regular oven at 350°F (175°C) until heated through.

For servings, remember individual rolls can be reheated as needed, preserving that fresh-baked taste any day of the week.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, you’ll find concise answers to some of the most common questions about enhancing and customizing your crescent roll cinnamon rolls.

What is the best way to add cream to crescent roll cinnamon rolls?

To enrich your crescent roll cinnamon rolls, drizzle heavy cream over the rolls before baking. This adds moisture and can yield a more decadent treat.

Can I make mini cinnamon rolls using crescent dough?

Absolutely! Simply slice your crescent roll dough into smaller pieces before rolling them up with the cinnamon filling. This will create delightful bite-sized treats.

How can I create cinnamon rolls in a muffin tin with crescent rolls?

Press individual pieces of crescent dough into the cups of a muffin tin, fill with cinnamon sugar mixture, and then roll them up. This method gives your rolls a perfectly portioned and attractive shape.

What’s the recipe for making sticky buns with Pillsbury crescent rolls?

For sticky buns, mix brown sugar and melted butter and spread it in the bottom of a pan. Lay the crescent roll pieces on top, bake, then flip the pan over to reveal gooey caramelized sticky buns.

Is it possible to substitute crescent rolls for puff pastry in recipes?

While crescent rolls are not as flaky as puff pastry, you can use them as a substitute in a pinch for recipes requiring a light, buttery dough, with a slight modification to the baking time if needed.

What are the steps to improve Pillsbury canned cinnamon rolls?

To enhance Pillsbury canned cinnamon rolls, add extra cinnamon to the filling, top with a homemade cream cheese frosting, or incorporate nuts or raisins for added texture and flavor.

Written by Laurie Graves

Laurie is a 50-something wife and boy mom, who loves to share easy recipes, DIY home ideas, and food hacks. She truly believes that with a little inspiration, anyone can make their home and meals feel special.