These easy Puff Pastry Cinnamon Rolls offer a simple twist on the classic breakfast treat, skipping the yeast, rising time, and waiting around. Using puff pastry results in an ultra-buttery and flaky cinnamon roll, with a swirl of cinnamon sugar and a simple cream cheese glaze as a finishing touch.
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You can have all of the best parts of a cinnamon roll, with none of the hassle! These Puff Pastry Cinnamon Rolls take a shortcut to deliver delicious cinnamon roll flavor in a flaky, layered, buttery, gooey breakfast sweet in a fraction of the time. While this website is no stranger to cinnamon roll-inspired creations (see this Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie and Cinnamon Roll Cookies), these pastries take the cake for getting the closest to the real thing with the least amount of work.
So, let's get to making it, shall we? The article below details all the information you need to know to make these successfully, concluding with the recipe at the end. You can jump around using the menu below, or skip to the end of the article for the full recipe.
Do They Taste Like Regular Cinnamon Rolls?
Not exactly, because they aren't regular cinnamon rolls, they're made with puff pastry! This easy recipe is a speedy alternative that transforms puff pastry into breakfast with minimal ingredients and sweet cinnamon flavor.
Ingredients Needed and Substitutions
Here is a brief overview of the ingredients needed for this recipe. The full recipe with quantities is listed below this text in the recipe card.
- puff pastry (if you're going for simple, store-bought puff pastry is the way to go--however, I also have a recipe for a simple rough puff pastry which is amazing, as well as a traditional puff pastry recipe if you're feeling ambitious)
- heavy cream
- an egg (this is for an egg wash, see more about this in the section about assembling the dough)
- brown sugar + granulated sugar (a mix of sugar adds depth of flavor and texture, but you can use just one if desired)
- ground cinnamon + salt (if you are interested in reading more about the different types of cinnamon, see this Cinnamon Ice Cream recipe)
- powdered sugar
- mascarpone (or cream cheese)
- flour (for rolling out the dough!)
Assembling the Dough
These cinnamon rolls are shaped similarly to traditional cinnamon rolls, but, of course, without the yeasted dough. One step that might appear different to experienced bakers is using an egg wash instead of melted butter on the dough. Similar to these Cinnamon Twists or Puff Pastry Cheddar Straws, when working with a thin pastry that already contains a significant amount of butter, using an egg wash instead of melted butter enhances adhesion and prevents the filling from melting out during baking.
For this recipe, use a full box of puff pastry. Note that the quantity varies by brand—typically one folded 14-ounce sheet or two folded 8-ounce sheets.
These instructions can be adjusted to fit whatever brand you buy. The important steps to remember are to thaw the pastry in the refrigerator overnight and to keep it cold when shaping to maintain the pastry's quality.
Step 1: Prepare the puff pastry and brush on an even layer of egg wash, except for a small strip on the edge of a long side.
Step 2: Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar onto the brushed pastry.
Step 3: Spread it in an even layer, leaving that top strip empty.
Step 4: Cut 9 strips of dough, about 1 ½ inches wide.
Step 5: One at a time, roll up the pastry from bottom to top.
Step 6: Take the eggwash-free end and pull and stick it to the bottom of the rolled pastry.
These cinnamon rolls are rolled up individually, which is just a personal preference for a prettier and easier process, in my opinion. While I haven't tried the traditional method of rolling up the sheet into a log and then cutting it into individual rolls, that should work fine if that's how you want to do it.
How to Bake Them
When assembling, space the cinnamon rolls at least 2 inches apart on a rimmed baking sheet or 9-inch baking pan. More space yields crispier rolls, while placing them closer together creates softer ones. Note that puff pastry needs room to cook properly; insufficient space may result in gooey and underbaked pastries.
If possible, briefly freeze the cinnamon rolls for 15 minutes before you bake them. This is not strictly necessary but it does make the puff pastry bake up higher, and it's a trick I always use when working with puff pastry (like with these Peach Turnovers or Cherry Turnovers).
The cinnamon rolls are done when they have puffed up and are lightly golden all over.
Making the Glaze
Adding the cream cheese icing is the final step that makes them truly taste like a cinnamon roll. It's made simply in a bowl; just make sure your cream cheese (or mascarpone) is softened before you start. Making a glaze can sometimes be a bit of trial and error to get the consistency that you want.
If your glaze is too thin, simply add in more powdered sugar a tablespoon at a time. If it’s too thick, add in more cream.
Either dollop the icing on top of the warm cinnamon rolls, or drizzle over the top. They're delicious both ways.
Serving + Storing
Cinnamon rolls made from puff pastry are best enjoyed fresh and warm on the day they are made (when they're still a bit crisp on the edges and gooey in the middle).
But, leftovers can be kept in a covered container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. Reheat in a toaster oven before serving.
Make Ahead + Freezing Suggestions
Puff pastry freezes really well. These rolls can be assembled and frozen before baking for up to 3 months, or frozen baked for up to 1 month.
To freeze them before baking: assemble the cinnamon rolls completely, then freeze them flat on a sheet tray for 24 hours. Then, transfer to a freezer bag with as much air removed as possible.
To bake them after freezing: arrange the cinnamon rolls on a parchment lined baking sheet. Let them sit at room temperature while the oven preheats. Then bake as directed, adding additional time as needed.
More Puff Pastry Recipes
More Cinnamon Recipes
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