I’m going to let you in on my secret for my favorite, easiest cinnamon buns ever. They’re soft, chewy, ooey, gooey, supremely buttery, and divinely sugary. And they’re a cinch to make. I take a shortcut by using storebought dough, so they can go from oven to in-my-belly as soon as humanly possible. And as a bonus, they can be made the night before and popped in the oven the next morning. These are my go-to cinnamon buns for special occasions (like Christmas), and today, I’m making them for my sweet friend Caroline’s virtual baby shower!
Caroline blogs at Chocolate & Carrots, and I got to meet her (and her sweet baby bump!) a few months ago at a blogging conference, Blissdom. We split a giant cinnamon bun (along with about 16 other pastries and treats!) one afternoon on a massive dessert taste-testing spree. Caroline’s friend Erin put together this sweet surprise baby shower for her, and I was thrilled to participate. Plus it gave me the excuse to share my favorite cinnamon buns with you guys! Let’s make these bad boys.
Here’s my secret! I use Pillsbury crescents for the dough. It’s a super quick shortcut, and I happen to think it makes the best cinnamon roll dough ever. These decadently light and fluffy rolls turn out so unbelievably soft and chewy. They’re everything I love in a hot, gooey cinnamon bun. I’ve tried so many homemade recipes for cinnamon roll dough, and for some reason I just can’t get mine to turn out soft the way I like them. And of course, using storebought crescent dough makes these cinnamon buns super quick and easy! No waiting around for the yeast to rise. :)
First you’ll need a stick of softened butter. I hardly ever remember to set butter out on the counter to soften in advance, so I almost always end up softening my butter in the microwave. Here’s how I do it: Leave the butter in the wrapper and place it on a plate. Microwave this, rotating the butter to a new side every five seconds until soft. It usually takes about 20-25 seconds, or one full rotation.
Now place half of that butter into the bottom of a pie plate.
And stick the plate back in the microwave to melt the butter. Then add 1/4 cup brown sugar.
And stir to combine.
This will give the cinnamon buns that incredibly gooey, buttery crust that I absolutely cannot resist!! :)
Now unroll the crescent roll dough…
And pinch together the little seams. Does anyone remember Pillsbury Recipe Creations? It was just like their crescent dough, except it was one big sheet so you didn’t have to pinch the seams together. I use to buy that darn stuff all the time, until my grocery store stopped carrying it. Does yours still have it? It seems like someone was telling me recently that their grocery store stopped carrying it as well, but they were able to find it somewhere else. Only now I can’t remember where that somewhere else was.
Anyway! Now you’re going to slather that puppy with the rest of the softened butter.
And sprinkle of a beautiful mixture of cinnamon sugar.
Tightly roll the dough back up, and cut into 8 perfect slices.
And place into that magnificent buttery and sugary pie plate.
If you had any leftover cinnamon sugar, just sprinkle it right onto the cinnamon buns. At this point you can cover tightly and place in the refrigerator until ready to bake.
When ready, bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, let’s make my absolute favorite powdered sugar glaze ever. You’ll need powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla. If you don’t have cream, don’t worry — you can just use butter and milk instead. It turns out fantastic, and it’s perfect if you don’t want to buy a whole thing of cream just to use a little in this recipe. Of course I am a bad, bad girl and I pretty much always have cream on hand. *blush* Anyway! I’ll tell you the exact amounts for the butter and milk in the recipe below.
But oh, so good.
Now here they are, fresh out of the oven!
See that beautiful, gooey crust? I die.
Scoop one on a plate and you know what to do next. Top with that sweet vanilla glaze.
It seeps all down in there and gets even sweeter and gooeier.
Oh my gosh. These are the best cinnamon buns ever.
Warning. Do not leave yourself alone with these bad boys. Just take my word for it, okay? That’s all you need to know.
Baby Cinnamon Buns
1 can Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter, divided
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in the bottom of a pie plate. Add the brown sugar to the butter and stir to combine. Unroll crescent dough and pinch seams together to create one big sheet. Spread with remaining softened butter. Combine white sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the buttered dough. Roll the dough back up into a log, and cut into 8 cinnamon rolls. Place rolls in prepared pie plate. Sprinkle with any remaining cinnamon sugar. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Top with vanilla glaze (recipe follows) and serve warm. Store leftover cinnamon buns (who am I kidding??) at room temperature.
1 cup powdered sugar
4 tablespoons heavy cream (or 2 tablespoons milk + 1 tablespoon butter)
1 teaspoon vanilla
With a fork, stir together sugar, cream, and vanilla until smooth and pourable. Add one tablespoon of milk if needed to thin. If using milk and butter instead of cream, heat the milk and butter in the microwave to melt the butter, then add to the sugar and stir in vanilla.
Here’s a round-up of all the other friends participating in the virtual baby shower for Caroline. Take a peek at these delicious treats they’re bringing!
Food Doodles - Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Filled Whole Wheat Cream Puffs
Kevin & Amanda - Baby Cinnamon Buns
Baked by Rachel - Mini Lemon Lime Cheesecakes
Bake Your Day- No Bake Lemon Cheesecakes with Lemon Blueberry Sauce
Eat Good 4 Life - No Bake Mini Raspberry Cheesecakes
Fearless Homemaker - Angel Food Cupcakes with Whipped Vanilla Cream
Itzy’s Kitchen - 10 Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies
Keep It Sweet - Peanut Butter Cake with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Icing and Chocolate Ganache
Texanerin Baking - 100% Whole Grain Chocolate Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Thanks so much to our wonderful hostess Erin at Texanerin Baking for putting this together. Congratulations Caroline!