Easy Cinnamon Rolls with Browned Butter Icing

[Photograph: Alexandra Penfold]

These easy cinnamon buns use pizza dough to decrease assembly time and bacon for added flavor.

The beauty of using leftover pizza dough (you can even, ahem, make these with dough procured from your favorite local pizzeria) is you don't need to wait for a second rise (your dough will have already done that). Just fill, assemble, and bake. This recipe can be prepared the night before and refrigerated until baking. They are best served warm and fresh.

About the author: Alexandra Penfold is mild-mannered literary agent by day, food ninja by night. Never one to skip dessert she's the Brownie half of Blondie & Brownie, a Midtown Lunch contributor, and co-author of New York à la Cart: Recipes and Stories from the Big Apple's Best Food Trucks. You can follow her on Twitter at @BlondieBrownie.

Every recipe we publish is tested, tasted, and Serious Eats-approved by our staff. Never miss a recipe again by following @SeriousRecipes on Twitter!

Easy Cinnamon Rolls with Browned Butter Icing

About This Recipe

Yield:Serves 15
Active time:30 minutes
Total time:1 hour and 10 minutes
Special equipment:9- by 13- inch baking pan, rolling pin
This recipe appears in: American Classics: Easy Cinnamon Rolls with Browned Butter Icing


  • For the buns
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 pounds pizza dough
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 8 strips cooked thick cut bacon (optional)
  • For the Icing:
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces confectioners sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk


  1. 1

    Move oven rack to the center position and preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. 2

    Whisk sugars, cinnamon, and vanilla into the melted butter—you should have a nice thick paste. If it looks too soupy/buttery, add a few more tablespoons of dark brown sugar.

  3. 3

    Divide dough into two balls. On a generously floured surface, roll out each dough ball into a large rectangle about 1/4-inch thick. Use a pastry brush to completely coat the surface of the dough with your butter mixture.

  4. 4

    If you're including bacon in your buns, lay out two strips of bacon horizontally about 1/2-inch from the long side of the dough that's closest to you, repeat with two more strips of bacon at the midpoint of your dough rectangle.

  5. 5

    Roll up the dough along the short side so you have a long skinny roll. Use a serrated knife to cut 15 cinnamon coils from your roll and place them in baking dish. Brush the buns with milk then bake until the tops are golden brown and crispy, about 30 to 40 minutes.

  6. 6

    While the buns are baking, brown the butter for the icing in a saucepan over medium heat, swirling the pan every so often. Once the butter has browned, transfer it to the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Let the butter cool slightly then beat butter with confectioner’s sugar and vanilla on medium high. Add a little more sugar if your frosting looks too buttery. Cool the cinnamon buns for 5 minutes then frost and serve warm.


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