Tasty Ways to Make Cinnamon Rolls Even Better

Cinnamon rolls are one of life’s greatest pleasures. They’re soft pillows of sweet, rich, yeasted dough spiraled around a buttery, spiced filling and topped with sticky, sugary goodness. These buns are not those buns. These buns are for the people who just can’t leave well enough alone. These buns are for the adrenaline junkies, the tinkerers, the over-the-top decadence seekers. These are cinnamon buns on steroids; they’re for when you need a little excitement in your life. From tweaking the filling to enhancing the dough, from little changes to big leaps of delicious faith, these 7 cinnamon buns are even better than the old standby. Try something exciting. Make these buns.

1. Nutella Cinnamon Rolls With Vanilla Glaze

cinnamon rolls

Cinnamon roll | iStock.com

You could look at these cinnamon rolls from Averie Cooks in one of two ways. You could stand there and sneer because cinnamon rolls are not meant to be made with tubed crescent roll dough, and how dare we suggest you blaspheme your kitchen with such nonsense. Or you could look at this recipe and say holy cow, I could have cinnamon rolls slathered with Nutella and dusted with cinnamon and drizzled with vanilla glaze in 20 minutes start to finish. Seriously. When you get to the end of this article and you’ve drooled over 6 other recipes, come back and tell this one that you’re going to wait 5 hours to make your dough from scratch.

Ingredients:

Rolls

  • 1 (8-count) can refrigerated crescent rolls
  • About ⅔ cup Nutella
  • At least 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Glaze

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • Splash of cream or milk

 

See recipe directions at Averie Cooks

2. Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

pumpkin cinnamon rolls

Pumpkin cinnamon rolls | iStock.com

Mixing pumpkin puree into the cinnamon roll dough adds both moisture and flavor for extra tender, extra delicious rolls. These rolls from Sally’s Baking Addiction are perfect for gooey roll lovers. The cinnamon is complemented by other pumpkin pie spices like nutmeg and topped with a maple cream cheese glaze because, let’s face it, we’re doing this thing until it’s done. Eat these warm and get covered in sticky deliciousness because you know how to live.

Ingredients:

Dough

  • ⅓  cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup 100% pure pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2½ cups flour

Filling

  • ½ cup dark or light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Glaze

  • 3 ounces full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

See recipe directions at Sally’s Baking Addiction

 3. Chai Spice Cinnamon Rolls

cinnamon rolls

Cinnamon rolls | iStock.com

These cinnamon rolls have the most wonderful mixture of chai spices in the filling and are topped with a lightly spiced cardamom glaze to complete the theme. They’re both exciting and mysterious, with just enough coziness to not be alarming. They’re perfect for breakfast. The Baker Chick uses the best method for making individual buns that don’t unravel into each other when you pull them apart: muffin tins!

Ingredients:

Dough

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 2½ cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar

Filling

  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cardamon
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • 1½ teaspoons ginger
  • 1 cup brown sugar

Glaze

  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamon
  • Splash of milk
  • Extra butter for greasing bowl and pan

See recipe directions at The Baker Chick

4. Quick Chocolate Espresso Cinnamon Rolls

Chocolate espresso cinnamon rolls

Chocolate espresso cinnamon rolls | iStock.com

Joy the Baker makes these cinnamon rolls by cutting just enough corners to be quick while still being homemade and delicious. Rather than letting the dough rise for an hour to develop gluten and flavor, she cuts right to the chase and only lets the dough relax for 10 minutes. The result is a slightly denser roll, but delicious and more than acceptable for a cinnamon roll emergency. We’ve all been there.

Ingredients:

Dough

  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1½ to 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg yolk

Filling

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • ¾ teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • ⅓  cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Glaze

  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream or enough to make a pourable glaze

See recipe directions at Joy the Baker

5. Cranberry Orange Breakfast Rolls

dough

Dough | iStock.com

These rolls from Smitten Kitchen aren’t really allowed to be called cinnamon rolls, since there’s no cinnamon in them. With the bright tartness of fresh cranberries and the sunny zestiness of orange wrapped in sweet dough, these rolls taste like springtime. You’ll refrigerate these overnight before baking, which means you have to be patient. The reward is a blast of orange flavor in the dough and ready-to-go breakfast rolls in the morning!

Ingredients:

Dough

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 large whole egg
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted, plus additional to grease pan
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • Zest of 1 orange, finely grated, divided
  • 3¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting counter
  • 1 packet instant dry yeast
  • 1¼ teaspoons coarse or kosher salt, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon oil for bowl

Filling

  • 1½ tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • Orange zest leftover from above

Icing

  • 3½ tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

See recipe directions at Smitten Kitchen

 

6. Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls

chocolate cinnamon rolls

Chocolate cinnamon rolls | iStock.com

Let’s say that Joy the Baker’s chocolate espresso rolls whetted your appetite but that you’re serious about your chocolate consumption (even for breakfast). In that case, these chocolate cinnamon rolls from Bakerella are for you. Rather than being dotted with little pockets of chocolate chips, these rolls are stuffed with 6 full ounces of bittersweet chocolate for some serious snacking. To complement that punch of chocolate, the glaze is flavored with vanilla. These don’t have to be refrigerated overnight, but there’s nothing wrong with chocolate cinnamon rolls ready to pop into your oven at breakfast time.

Ingredients:

Dough

  • 1 cup milk, warmed
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups sifted all-purpose flour

Filling

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 6 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Icing 

  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

See recipe directions at Bakerella

7. Butterscotch Glazed Cinnamon Rolls

cinnamon rolls

Glazed cinnamon rolls | iStock.com

The actual cinnamon bun recipe here is fairly standard, with just a few extra warming spices, but the topping is anything but typical. The glaze of these cinnamon rolls from The New York Times isn’t fooling around: It adds the depth and complexity of brown sugar and a splash of bourbon to the usual powdered sugar affair. These rolls are cut particularly thin for an even distribution of that glaze in every bite.

Ingredients:

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour, more as needed
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 large egg
  • 1½ tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon or apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

See recipe directions at The New York Times

 

More from Culture Cheat Sheet:

More Articles About:   , , , ,