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Last Updated on April 28, 2021 by Chenée Lewis
Back at it again with another puff pastry recipe! You may ask, “why more puff pastry?” And I’m asking, “Why not?” Puff pastry is everything. It’s easy to work with, easy to find in the store, incredibly versatile, and SO delicious. Case in point: these cinnamon puff pastry rolls are the perfect solution to your cinnamon roll craving, and they’re ready in 30 minutes!
Ok, so full disclosure: these cinnamon rolls with puff pastry are not the same as a traditional cinnamon roll. Puff pastry has a very different texture than typical cinnamon roll dough. Unlike cinnamon roll dough, puff pastry has no yeast, no eggs, no milk — you get the idea. It’s totally different. And yet — when I bite into these puff pastry cinnamon rolls I get that same warm, fuzzy feeling that I love from cinnamon rolls. And in a fraction of the time. So this recipe is ideal for those days when you want a cinnamon roll and you want it NOW.
The best part: right when you take these cinnamon puff pastry rolls out of the oven, you’ll spread them with a delicious cream cheese frosting that melts into the pastry and makes them so soft, rich and gooey! I’m telling you, these puff pastry cinnamon swirls are heavenly. They’re perfect for weekend brunch with the family, an easy dessert for guests, or just to satisfy your cinnamon roll craving!
- puff pastry – we’ll be using one sheet of thawed store-bought puff pastry. I use Pepperidge Farm puff pastry for these cinnamon rolls. It’s easy to find anywhere, but you can also use any brand of store-bought puff pastry that you like.
- salted butter – we’re melting salted butter for the cinnamon filling. I like to use salted butter to offset the sweetness of the frosting and the puff pastry cinnamon swirls themselves. If you use unsalted butter, just add a pinch of salt to your cinnamon-sugar mixture.
- ground cinnamon – this is the star of our cinnamon puff pastry rolls! You can adjust the amount as you like to give them even more cinnamon flavor.
- brown sugar – feel free to use light or dark brown sugar, whatever you have. I love the molasses flavor that brown sugar adds to this cinnamon filling.
And for that luscious cream cheese frosting, you’ll need:
- cream cheese – it should be softened to room temperature. See below for a tip to soften it quickly!
- salted butter – also room temperature. As I mention above, if you use unsalted butter, just add a pinch of salt to taste.
- pure vanilla extract – be sure to use a good-quality vanilla extract — it’s a big part of the cream cheese frosting for these puff pastry cinnamon swirls. Even better — check out my post on how to make vanilla extract at home — it’s cheaper and tastes SO good!
- powdered sugar – make sure to measure your powdered sugar correctly. If you don’t have a kitchen scale (which I highly recommend), you should sift your powdered sugar and fluff it up before using the spoon-and-level method.
These cinnamon rolls with puff pastry are a pretty simple recipe, so not too many special tools are needed. You’ll need a rolling pin to roll out the puff pastry dough, and a pastry brush to brush on the melted butter. You’ll also need an electric mixer to whip up your cream cheese frosting while the cinnamon puff pastry rolls are in the oven!
Tips and F.A.Q.
To soften your block of cream cheese for this these cinnamon puff pastry rolls, just remove it from the foil and place on a microwave-safe plate. Heat in the microwave for 15-20 seconds or until softened. It should be ready to add to your cream cheese frosting!
That’s what we’re doing with these cinnamon puff pastry rolls! Puff pastry dough is so versatile — you can do so much with it! Check out some of my favorite puff pastry recipes!
Because we’re making these cinnamon rolls with puff pastry, it’s important to bake them at a high heat for the maximum puff. That’s why we’re baking these at 400 degrees! If you find that your puff pastry cinnamon swirls don’t have the light, flaky, puffed-up texture you want, double check your oven temperature with an oven thermometer to make sure it’s not running a bit cold.
Not really — cinnamon buns are just another name for cinnamon rolls! So when you make these cinnamon puff pastry rolls, call them whatever you like!
They’re so quick to prep, but if you’re on a tight schedule, you can roll the cinnamon puff pastry dough up, without cutting it into pieces, the night before. Just keep it in the fridge in an airtight container and cut into 9 rolls when you’re ready to bake!
The texture of the puff pastry works best the day of, but you can store them in the fridge in an airtight container for up to three days. You can pop them in the microwave for a few seconds to warm and soften them before serving.
My love for puff pastry doesn’t end with these cinnamon rolls! If you love working with this magic ingredient, you should definitely check out my Peach Turnovers with Smoked Sugar. As we get closer and closer to summer (my favorite season!), I live for the flavor combination of juicy peaches and smoky turbinado sugar. They’re so easy to make, thanks to the store-bought puff pastry, and so delicious!
I also love the versatility of puff pastry! This savory pear tart highlights that so well. It’s got fresh pears, caramelized onions, walnuts, blue cheese, and a drizzle of honey, all on a bed of buttery, flaky puff pastry. It’s perfect for your next celebration!
Equipment you may need
- Preheat oven to 400°F and line an 8×8 or 9×9 baking pan with parchment paper.
- Open puff pastry sheet onto a floured surface and use a floured rolling pin to roll out to 10 x 15” rectangle, with the short side facing you.
- Brush melted butter onto pastry, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides.
- Whisk cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl. Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly over buttered pastry.
- Beginning with the side closest to you, roll pastry up tightly.
- Use a serrated knife to cut roll into 9 even pieces.
- Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown. While rolls are baking, prepare cream cheese frosting.
Prepare Cream Cheese Frosting
- Beat butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, about two minutes. Mix in vanilla extract until well blended.
- Gradually add in powdered sugar, mixing on low, until combined. Beat another minute to a smooth and creamy consistency.
- Spread frosting over warm cinnamon puff pastry rolls right out of the oven, and serve immediately.
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