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7 Cinnamon Roll Tips

Hey there. Today I'm going to share my best cinnamon roll tips and improvements for turning store-bought cinnamon rolls, like the Pillsbury ones from a can, into something special. All of these ideas are totally company-worthy and delicious. 

These are also great for taking homemade cinnamon rolls up a notch - but what a pain that is. With these better-than-homemade canned cinnamon roll hacks, you'll never bother to bake them from scratch again.

Test out some of these ideas tomorrow. Won't it be nice to roll out of your comfy Amerisleep bed and dig into a mouthwatering cinnamon roll for breakfast? You can't get a better start to your day than that.

cinnamon roll photo for Pinterest

Cinnamon Roll Tip #1

Always cover your pan.

For some reason, the directions almost never say to bake your cinnamon rolls covered. This is the secret to soft, doughy rolls like at Cinnabon! You're not baking bread. If your favorite pan doesn't have a lid, foil will suffice. You'll need to extend the time in the oven (about 15 extra minutes for a lid, 7 for foil), but the end result is worth it.

Cinnamon Roll Tip #2

Don't use a pan that's too large - cinnamon rolls need to touch.

It's just like having your cinnamon rolls covered, but for the sides.

Cinnamon Roll Tip #3

The bottom can become the top. (Who knew?)

Before adding your cinnamon rolls to the pan, dot the bottom with pats of butter and sliced bananas. Sprinkle with a mixture of cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice - yum) and brown sugar, stir, and pop the pan into the oven while it preheats to bake the cinnamon rolls.  A cast iron pan is perfect for this. When everything is nice and melty, add your cinnamon rolls to the pan and bake. Caramelized bananas underneath my cinnamon rolls are always a welcome surprise.

Cinnamon Roll Tip #4

Cinnamon roll cobbler, anyone?

Before baking your cinnamon rolls, top them will dollops of canned pie filling, such as apple or cherry. Pumpkin butter (nod to Trader Joe's here - so yummy) is also a fabulous addition. At this point, you can keep the icing packet that came with your canned cinnamon rolls (it's an indulgent treat in your morning coffee, BTW) or you can drizzle it over the top of your already-decadent rolls. If you go with the latter (you sugar baby, you), be sure to wait for the cinnamon rolls to cool down, otherwise the icing just melts and disappears. It's still tasty, but not nearly as pretty.

cinnamon rolls with fruit topping
Cinnamon Roll Tip #4.5 - If you're going to photograph your creations to share on your blog, you might consider using a clean pan instead of one with years of baked on deliciousness. Whoops!

Cinnamon Roll Tip #5

Chocolate chips are overrated. (This is the only time you will ever see me pair "chocolate" and "overrated" here on my blog, I promise.)

It always sounds like a great idea to throw in a handful of chocolate chips with your cinnamon rolls, even pressing them between each roll for an unexpected chocolatey bite, but unless you eat them while they're still molten (not recommended), they just turn back into hard little rocks on your otherwise billowy puff of deliciousness. Instead, melt chocolate and drizzle it over the top, along with the icing.

Cinnamon Roll Tip #6

Remember Tip #5? Raisins are another story.

Love cinnamon raisin bread? (If you said no here, I really think you're missing out on one of the greatest pleasures of life. I'm looking at you, Sexy Nerd.) Soak raisins in water so they're juicy and plump, drain, and press into the sides of your cinnamon rolls before baking. An overnight soak is ideal, but 5 minutes in the Instant Pot works too if you didn't plan ahead. 

You could technically soak the raisins in brandy or rum for cinnamon rolls with an alcoholic twist, but you didn't hear that from me.

Cinnamon Roll Tip #7

Plain icing is exactly that. Plain.

Storebought cinnamon rolls can easily make the jump from casual to gourmet by tweaking the icing packet with a favorite ingredient, like cardamom, ginger, or sea salt. There's no need to make a mess mixing these together - just sprinkle on top while the icing is still wet.

close up photo of cinnamon roll additions
I'm writing this blog post while on the treadmill. These photos are reeeally not helping my healthy lifestyle resolve.



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