Sorta from Scratch Cinnamon Rolls

Sorta from Scratch Cinnamon Rolls

I LOVE cinnamon rolls. And, like anything else, firmly believe that homemade beats store bought any day. The problem is that as a full time working women, with a house to keep clean, a furbaby to keep alive, hubby to feed, and a bajillion other holiday season events…from scratch cinnamon rolls seemed like too much work. So instead I have came up with the perfect solution “sorta” from Scratch Cinnamon Rolls. Or “semi-homade” if you will.

This is our first Christmas in our new home. I loved decorating our little abode for the season. When I discovered that we would actually be home for Christmas morning this year, I couldn’t help but dream up the perfect cozy Christmas scene which of course included gooey warm cinnamon rolls and fresh brewed coffee.

Here’s the secret to these decadent breakfast staples….

Sorta From Scratch Cinnamon Rolls


  • 1 loaf frozen white bread dough
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 8oz package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sugar


  1. Allow dough to rise in a greased bowl per the package directions. 

  2. After dough has risen, roll out on lightly floured wax paper. Mix together sugar and cinnamon. 

  3. Melt butter and spread across dough until well coated. Cover in sugar mixture (there will be some leftover). 

  4. Roll dough to form a log. Cut into 2 inch wide sections and lay in greased baking dish. Allow to rest for 30 minutes. 

  5. Bake at 350 for approximately 20 minutes or until lightly golden. 

  6. While rolls are baking combine cream cheese, vanilla, milk and sugar in a mixer. Beat until well mixed and the icing begins to form soft peaks. Let cinnamon rolls cool slightly and then ice. 

Related: Omelet Bagel Sandwich

Dough in a greased bowl

Store bought white bread dough.

Yup, I mean the frozen loaves you can find in the freezer section of the grocery store. My mom used to buy these loaves all the time growing up. They actually make really tasty, soft, delicious bread.

But the idea came to me that I could also use this dough for other things (like sort-of from scratch cinnamon rolls) and cut out half the time prepping.

So here’s what I did…

First I put the frozen loaf of white bread dough in a greased bowl (I just sprayed the inside with cooking spray). Covered the bowl with plastic wrap that had also been greased, and went to work (as in my actual 9-5 job).

When I came home the dough was thawed and beginning to rise.

The bread dough package tells you to allow the dough to rise for 8 hours. We ended up going to a movie that night so I let the dough rise even longer until it filled the entire medium sized bowl. (You can store it in the fridge as it is thawing too…this will just take longer).

Rolled dough sprinkled with Cinnamon Sugar

Once thawed and risen (or proofed in fancy bread baking terms) I rolled the dough flat on a piece of lightly floured waxed paper.

Next I brushed the top of the dough with melted butter and then coated it with my cinnamon sugar recipe. Finally comes the fun part: making the rolls. First, I simply rolled the flattened dough into a log and pinched the sides down to keep the cinnamon sugar inside.

Pro Tip: When you cut these Sorta from Scratch Cinnamon Rolls, use dental floss to make a smooth cut.

To do this simply lift the log and pull the floss under the cinnamon roll log. Then wrap the floss around the log so that the ends of the floss cross over. Pull tight until the floss has cut completely through the log and voila, a beautiful swirl. This process sounds like a lot of work but I did all of it in less then 15 minutes.

Read Next: Whole30 Cinnamon Roll Latte

After the rolls are cut and placed in a greased baking pan they will need some time to rest and rise again. Basically I set the pan on the counter to rise for the last hour before I went to bed. Then I popped them in the fridge overnight.

The next morning I pulled them out of the fridge, gave them 30 minutes to come to room temperature, then baked them in a preheated oven for 20 minutes. While this happened I also whipped together the cream cheese icing (crazy easy and only 4 ingredients).

All in all these deliciously decadent breakfast beauties took me 20 actual minutes of work but tasted super impressive.

I think they are the perfect sweet to add to your line up for this year’s Christmas morning. And if you aren’t at your own place this year? No problem, whip they up the day before, and bring them to bake at your mother in laws. You’re sure to please the crowd and they never even have to know that you didn’t make they dough.

Above Cinnamon Roll

If you love this recipe and want some more great breakfast ideas, check out my killer Hippie Breakfast Hash, or my hubby’s favorite Best Ever Omelet Bagel Sandwich.

Don’t forget to subscribe to get my monthly love note with recipe previews and kitchen tips!!!

Until we bake again,

~ Chloe M.

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