These easy crescent roll cinnamon rolls look and taste homemade. You’ll never wait for dough to rise again!

Crescent roll cinnamon rolls in a white baking dish.

Everyone loves fresh cinnamon rolls! Soft, sweet, gooey, and swirly, cinnamon rolls have been a favorite pastry for years and years, and for good reason. 

Traditional cinnamon roll recipes take several hours and lots of waiting for the dough to rise. This shortcut cinnamon roll recipe uses refrigerated crescent rolls so you can skip the wait and get your sticky buns in the oven.

If you’re looking to put a little more time into your baking, try these blueberry rolls with lemon curd – yum!

If you’re looking for an even easier cinnamon roll recipe, try our fun cinnamon roll waffles!

About this recipe

This foolproof recipe ensures that your cinnamon rolls have an even texture and consistency every time you make them. You simply lay out the entire roll of crescent dough in a single sheet, spread and sprinkle your fresh cinnamon roll filling onto the dough, and then roll and cut just like you would for any cinnamon roll recipe. 

The result is a fresh and delicious cinnamon roll that looks and tastes like you’ve been baking all day. Top it with the included from-scratch icing recipe, and you’ve got a winning roll on your hands.

You can also bake these rolls up in a muffin tin, or create mini cinnamon rolls with this easy-to-divide, easy-to-use cinnamon roll recipe. It’s so versatile and user-friendly that you’ll come back to it time and time again. 

Just imagine: hot cinnamon rolls straight from the oven, frosting melting into every swirl, and you hiding away with the entire pan so you don’t have to share a single bite…ok, maybe not that last part, but don’t be surprised if your people are asking for a second pan before they’ve even finished the first one!

Make sure to have scrambled eggs (or over easy eggs!), bacon, and mimosas (or mimosa mocktails) at the ready too!

Cinnamon roll on a plate with another in the background.

What you need

For the rolls and filling:

  • 2 cans of crescent rolls (or dough sheets): Any brand will do! If you use crescent rolls, just lightly press the seams together and you’re ready to go.
  • The good stuff: Granulated sugar, light brown sugar, and cinnamon.
  • Unsalted butter: You’ll want the butter to be softened, so it’s ready to spread on the cold dough.

For the icing:

  • More unsalted butter
  • The classic icing ingredients: Vanilla extract, powdered sugar, milk
Ingredients needed for cinnamon rolls.

How to make them

Preheat oven to 350℉.  Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine granulated sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon.  Set aside.

Sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.

Place a piece of parchment paper on your work surface.  Unroll 1 can of crescent roll dough onto the parchment paper and press all the seams together, making a solid sheet of dough.

Crescent rolls spread flat.

Spread half of the softened butter, about 3 tablespoons, onto the crescent dough sheet.

Crescent rolls spread with butter.

Sprinkle half of the sugar and cinnamon mixture onto the dough, leaving a small border around the edges.  Press down lightly to ensure the sugar mixture sticks to the butter.

Crescent rolls sprinkled with cinnamon sugar mixture.

Beginning with the short end, roll the dough to form a log.

Process of cinnamon rolls being rolled.

Cut the log into 6 equal pieces and place each section, cut-side down, into the prepared baking dish.  

Cinnamon roll being cut into pieces.

Repeat the process with the second roll of crescent dough.  

Cinnamon rolls unbaked in a square baking dish.

Bake for 25-30 minutes.

While the rolls are baking, beat melted butter, vanilla and powdered sugar until combined.  Add 1-2 tablespoons of milk until desired consistency is achieved and icing is smooth. 

Icing before and after mixing.

Spread over warm rolls.

Cinnamon rolls before and after adding icing.

FAQs

Is there a difference between cinnamon buns and cinnamon rolls?

According to some, a cinnamon roll has a vanilla or cream cheese frosting, while a cinnamon bun has a brown sugar glaze on top. This recipe uses a mix of granulated and brown sugar to add a caramel flavor as the rolls bake. Delicious!

How to make these shortcut cinnamon rolls your own

  • If you like a cream cheese frosting, add softened cream cheese to your icing.
  • To make mini cinnamon rolls or bites, you can cut them smaller and bake them in a muffin tin until browned on top and cooked through.
  • Since you’re in charge of the filling, you can add your favorite ingredients, like nutmeg, walnuts, or a smidge of hazelnut spread
  • If you have dough sheets at home, you can use these instead of crescent rolls and you won’t need to press the seams together!
  • If you spill a little sugar while filling your rolls, just sprinkle it right on top of your dish before it goes into the oven. It will add a nice crunchy topping.
Cinnamon roll cut to show inside texture.

Make Ahead Ideas

If making ahead to serve later, store the frosting and the rolls separately. Frost these cinnamon rolls right before you serve them.

Storage Suggestions

Store leftovers at room temp in an airtight container for up to 2 days or refrigerate for up to 5 days.

You can also freeze leftovers in an airtight container, wrapped in freezer wrap or freezer storage bags for up to 3 months.

Reheating Tips

Microwave for 20-30 seconds to reheat.

More cinnamony recipes

Crescent roll cinnamon rolls in a white baking dish, one on a spatula.

Get the Recipe: Crescent Roll Cinnamon Rolls

These easy crescent roll cinnamon rolls look and taste homemade. You’ll never wait for dough to rise again!
4.67 from 3 votes

Ingredients

For the rolls and filling:

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cans crescent rolls or dough sheets

For the icing:

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350℉. Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine granulated sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
  • Place a piece of parchment paper on your work surface. Unroll 1 can of crescent roll dough onto the parchment paper and press all the seams together, making a solid sheet of dough.
  • Spread half of the softened butter, about 3 tablespoons, onto the crescent dough sheet.
  • Sprinkle half of the sugar and cinnamon mixture onto the dough, leaving a small border around the edges. Press down lightly to ensure the sugar mixture sticks to the butter.
  • Beginning with the short end, roll the dough to form a log.
  • Cut the log into 6 equal pieces and place each section, cut-side down, into the prepared baking dish. Repeat the process with the second can of crescent dough. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
  • While the rolls are baking, beat melted butter, vanilla and powdered sugar until combined. Add 1-2 tablespoons of milk until desired consistency is achieved and icing is smooth. Spread over warm rolls.

Notes

  • Crescent Roll dough sheets will work just as well and you don’t have to press the seams together!
  • Any excess sugar mixture that has spilled out while rolling the dough can be sprinkled over the top of the rolls once they’re placed in the dish. It creates a crunchy topping.
  • Cinnamon rolls are best stored without icing. Frost right before serving, and refrigerate any extra icing separate.
  • Store at room temp in an airtight container for up to 2 days or refrigerate for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze in an airtight container, wrapped in freezer wrap or freezer storage bags for up to 3 months.
  • Microwave for 20-30 seconds to reheat.
Serving: 1roll, Calories: 229kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 25mg, Sodium: 42mg, Potassium: 20mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 32g, Vitamin A: 297IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 19mg, Iron: 1mg