lazy girl’s cinnamon rolls 3 ways

January 10, 2012 · 23 comments

in breakfast, food, recipes

i have a little confession.

even though i love food and cooking and sharing recipes, i don’t often get overly excited when reading recipes. don’t get me wrong, i love reading food blogs and getting inspiration from them, but my favorite blog posts are more personal or at least tell a bit of a story along with a great recipe. that’s why i was so surprised when i literally squealed a clapped my hands when i saw diana’s recipe for these quick cinnamon rolls.

(part of the squealing was definitely excitement at a good idea to use up a box of puff pastry from my freezer stash, but still…)

anyway, i had to make them on sunday morning.

but then i went a little crazy.

i made three completely different flavors hoping at least one would turn out… and they were all fan.tas.tic. and you’re in luck because i’m going to tell you about all three of them today!

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there’s a basic “recipe” to follow for all three. just the fillings and glaze (of course there are glazes!) for each variation is different.

first up, the classic.

cinnamon & sugar roll


  • prep time: 10 minutes
  • cook time: 20 minutes
  • yield: 12 small rolls (2-4 servings)


for cinnamon rolls

  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry (thawed)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • all-purpose flour for dusting counter and rolling pin
  • cooking spray

for topping/flavor

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tsp cinnamon

for glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp skim milk (add more if glaze is too thick)


  • place puff pastry in refrigerator the night before making rolls. if you puff pastry comes in packages of two (like trader joe’s brand), i suggest thawing on counter for 10 minutes and then separating the sheets and thawing the rest of the way separated. otherwise they will stick together in the morning.
  • preheat oven to 400*.
  • coat 12-muffin pan with cooking spray.
  • flour your workspace and rolling pin.
  • roll out each sheet slightly (just smooth it out)
  • melt butter in microwave and brush on surface of puff pastry
  • in small dish, mix together sugars and cinnamon. dust onto puff pastry leaving a small border around the edge without any toppings.

20120108-2012-01-08 007

(this roll had two of my tested flavors on it, but yours would just have one topping combination covering the whole sheet)

  • roll up dough keeping the sugar and cinnamon on the inside of the roll.
  • trim off ends and slice each puff pastry roll into 6 equal cinnamon rolls.
  • lay each roll into muffin pan on its side.
  • bake for 20-25 minutes until top is browned.
  • remove from oven and allow to cool on cooling rack.
  • prepare the glaze by whisking together milk and powdered sugar. if glaze is too thick, you can add more milk until desired consistency is reached. drizzle glaze over roll and serve.

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20120109-cinnamon rolls - 1 row 2 horizontal

this flavor was delicious and would have definitely satisfied us, but i was feeling extra creative and whipped up these two other flavor combinations as well. (very good call on my part…)

ginger citrus breakfast rolls


prepare as described above. replace topping/flavor ingredients with:

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp minced candied ginger
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

and use this combination for the glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp milk (add more if glaze is too thick)
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon extract (could substitute lemon juice if you don’t have extract)

peanut butter cup breakfast rolls


while the other two flavors are pretty typical sweet breakfast fare, this flavor is even more of an indulgence.

prepare as described above. replace topping/flavor ingredients with:

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter and milk chocolate chips (or just use peanut butter chips if you can’t find the mix)

and use this combination for the glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter (warmed slightly in microwave for ~20 seconds)
  • 2 tsp milk (add more if glaze is too thick)

i dare you to try to choose a favorite.

20120109-breakfast rolls - 3 ways

actually, i didn’t think it was that hard. i loved the ginger citrus one! but brad liked the traditional and the peanut butter ones the best, so it’s hard to say which flavor wins.

either way, they are all delicious. plus, people will think you slaved all morning over them, when really, it takes less effort than preparing a traditional omelette + bacon + breakfast potatoes meal. win-win.

now go make some breakfast rolls.

good luck choosing which kind to try first!


do you like sweet or savory breakfasts?

during the week, i guess i have sweet meals to start my day – my overnight oats are definitely not savory. on the weekend i usually go for omelettes, egg sandwiches, and breakfast potatoes, but i really enjoyed changing it up this time.

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Mellissa January 10, 2012 at 8:03 am

These are making me so hungry! I love cinnamon rolls but never make them because they are so labor intensive.
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Jessica @ Healthy Dairyland January 10, 2012 at 10:19 am

Zomg. Peanut butter. I wish I was in town this weekend so I could make those!
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Christin@purplebirdblog January 10, 2012 at 2:04 pm

I completely agree… I love food posts, but more and more I find I’m drawn to the real person behind the blog! Hence why I’ve been trying to incorporate more posts about me and my life too. :) Oh, and my mega-procrastinating ass (can I say ass in your comments?) finally shipped off your prize today. It’s officially on its way to you!
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Rebekah @ Making Miracles January 10, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Oh how FUN!! Those all look wonderful – tasty and creative!! And for breakfasts I usually go for savory, but love a good sweet and savory mix (usually cinnamon rolls or muffins with some cheesy scrambled eggs.) :)
Rebekah @ Making Miracles recently posted…Our Pregnancy: 29 Weeks!My Profile


emily (a nutritionist eats) January 10, 2012 at 3:26 pm

So cute! I’m a savory girl all the way! :)
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Asmita January 10, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Wow, I have been wanting to make these rolls for some time, your’s look awesome!


Courtney @ The Granola Chronicles January 10, 2012 at 6:29 pm

STOP IT! These look so indulgent and perfect for a weekend breakfast. I love the idea of using puff pastry!
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Lisa @ Fit in the Midwest January 10, 2012 at 8:50 pm

I don’t really like reading just recipes on blogs either. I enjoy other stories that go with them as well. I saw this recipe the other day and starred it too. Definitely want to try it in the future!
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Sarah January 18, 2012 at 2:41 pm

i’m definitely big on getting to know the blogger behind the scenes, ya know?! otherwise it’s hard to relate to them no matter how delicious their recipes look…

did you try these yet?! i’m going to trader joe’s this weekend & i’m crossing my fingers that they still have some puff pastry!


Aparna B. @ Not A Leaf January 10, 2012 at 9:28 pm

These looks so delicious! For me, it really depends on the morning. During the week I just eat yogurt, a nutri-grain bar, banana, or something like that with a cup of coffee. On the weekends, if we go out for brunch, it’s either eggs and something traditional or French Toast. …Ok that didn’t answer your question very well haha. Let’s just say I’m always so indecisive about food!
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Denise January 11, 2012 at 3:00 am

Love them all. This is such a simple, clever idea. Need to try it asap!


Sarah January 18, 2012 at 2:38 pm

let me know if you try them – i’m hooked on the citrus ones & brad keeps asking for more of the chocolate peanut butter!


Anónomo January 13, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Why is this dessert called “Lazy GIRL’s….”?


Sarah January 13, 2012 at 4:17 pm

because it’s EASY! no making dough with yeast, no kneading, no waiting for it to rise. just thaw a puff pastry and go!


Roma January 21, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Um, do you mean to put the puff pastry dough in the refrigerator the night before?


Sarah January 21, 2012 at 1:30 pm

oh my gosh, yes i do! thanks for catching that mistake – i corrected it on the post & in my recipage. :)


Jesica@ Pencil Kitchen February 9, 2012 at 5:01 pm

I’m definitely going to try this out! :)


Sarah February 10, 2012 at 10:20 pm

i hope you like it! please let me know what you think when you try it. and thanks for checking out my blog! :)


Jessica June 19, 2012 at 9:17 pm

mmmm these look delish!
I will definatly be making these with my daughter!
Maybe I’ll even bring some to the fiance for morning tea at his work for some brownie points!


David October 18, 2012 at 3:51 am

Firstly i want to say i always looked for the blogs that have good rolls recipes as i’m fond of making rolls.. great, i found a good varieties of rolls in your blog that really helped me in making at home itself..i’m fond of cinnamon rolls and just want to give thanks for sharing the blog..
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Karen April 8, 2013 at 9:39 am

Thank you! Home with a sick kid today (just sick enough not to go to school, not sick enough to not be “bored” by 9am!) Had puff pastry in the freezer so a quick google search found this. Just made the cinnamon rolls and they are fabulous! Thank you! I’m going to keep an eye on your blog now!


sarah April 10, 2013 at 8:02 pm

this comment made my day, karen! i’m glad you enjoyed the cinnamon rolls! :) i hope your sick kiddo is feeling better.


Leslie November 28, 2013 at 11:18 am

These cinnamon rolls are absolutely delicious! They were sweet enough without the glaze. The cinnamon sugar mixture is so sticky and gooey! It was a quick and easy treat!


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