It’s the morning of a holiday. I don’t know about you, but on holiday mornings I love to be able to rest and relax with the rest of my family. I also usually have quite a bit of cooking ahead, so one of the last things I want to do is spend a ton of time prepping breakfast. That’s where these shortcut cinnamon rolls come in. Much quicker to make than traditional rolls, but still just as fluffy and satisfying as if you made everything yourself.
This recipe starts with a loaf of frozen bread dough. I personally used the Rhodes brand white bread, but I’m sure other similar loaves would work well, too. I actually love storing these in my freezer for whenever I need to add a little something to dinner, and they bake up beautifully! My kids love then, and they also aren’t too bad on the macronutrients. A serving of the loaf (9 servings total) is 120 calories and 1.5F/24C/3P.
To prepare this loaf for using, you’ll need to spray a loaf pan or even a bowl that will hold the loaf with cooking spray. Then, take the frozen bowl and place it inside. Cover it with plastic wrap and stick in the fridge overnight to allow it to thaw. You’ll need at least 6 hours to let it thaw. I personally take it out when I’m cleaning up the kitchen for the night and allowing it thaw for 12 or so hours. And seriously, that’s it! No need to do any dishes, get out any flour, knead, or deal with yeast!
In the morning (hopefully after sleeping in and some coffee) is when you’ll begin the work on the cinnamon rolls. Flour a surface and use a rolling pin to stretch out the dough to a rectangle, about 14 x 8 inches.
After they’re all rolled out is when the deliciousness starts to happen. Spread 3 tablespoons of softened butter all over the rolled out dough. Then sprinkle with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon. From there, it’s time to roll up those rolls right. You’ll roll them up lengthwise, or when I was a teacher, we used to call this hot dog bun style. You would your dough to be in the shape of a hot dog bun vs a hamburger bun (width-wise).
After rolling them up, you’ll cut them into 12 equal shapes. A little tip for this is I always break up the cutting into sections. First, I cut the rolls in half. Then I divide those halves into two. Then I’ll score out three equal-sized pieces with my knife before cutting them up. This helps ensure the rolls are similar sized.
After the dough is cut into rolls, you’ll place them on a baking sheet and allow them to rest for 60- 90 minutes. You’re looking for them to double in size. Around 60 minutes, turn on your oven to ensure it is hot and ready to go. Bake, ice, and enjoy!
For this icing, I happened to have some Neufchatel cream cheese on hand, so I went with a cream cheese icing. If you don’t have any in your fridge, feel free to use a half cup of powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla, and 1-2 tablespoons of milk to thin it out. Also, if you are a BIG frosting fan, you might want to consider doubling the recipe. Just remember it’ll cost you some extra macros. HA!
For 1 cinnamon roll (12 total in the recipe) the macros are rounded to 5F/28C/3P and 163 calories. When you pair one of these with some other lean protein and some fruit for volume, they are very easy to fit into your day. We went with turkey bacon and strawberries. The trick is they are so fluffy, gooey, and irresistible, I bet you’ll want more than one!
Shortcut Cinnamon Rolls
- 1 loaf Rhodes frozen white bread
- flour, for dusting the surface
- 3 T butter, softened (42 g)
- 1/4 cup sugar, granulated or light brown (50 g)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
For the Cream Cheese Icing
- 2 ounces Neufchatel Cream Cheese, softened
- 60 g powdered sugar (1/2 cup)
- ~1 T milk (I used almond milk) (15 g)
- The night before you plan to have cinnamon rolls, spray a loaf pan or a bowl with cooking spray. Place the frozen loaf in the prepared dish, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to thaw in the refridgerator overnight, about 6-12 hours.
- In the morning, lightly flour a work surface. Place the dough on top and lightly flour again. Roll the thawed loaf into a rectangel approximately 14 X 8 inches.
- Once rolled out, spread the dough with the softened butter. Combine in a small bowl the sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle it evenly over the dough.
- Tightly roll the dough up length-wise. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces.
- Spray a 9X9 or medium baking pan with cooking spray. Place the cut rolls into the pan. It is ok if they are touching! Cover with a clean towel and allow the rolls to double in size, approximately 60-90 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the rolls for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.
- While the rolls are baking, prepare the icing. Mix the softened cream cheese with the powdered sugar until combined. Slowly add in milk to create a glaze. A tablespoon was perfect for me, but you may need to add more or less. Pour prepared icing over the warm cinnamon rolls. Enjoy!