Puff pastry cinnamon rolls are the lighter, flakier cousin of traditional cinnamon rolls. And, they're so much easier to make; all you need is a box of puff pastry and a few simple ingredients to make gooey, flaky cinnamon swirls that are totally dairy free.
I love cinnamon rolls! They're the ultimate breakfast when you're in the mood for something sweet, but you don't have the time to make pancakes or muffins. But, traditional cinnamon rolls take so much time and effort to make.
That's where puff pastry cinnamon rolls come in. You can literally make them in about 15 minutes with minimal ingredients. They're buttery, sweet and tick all the sensory boxes of a traditional cinnamon roll, but with minimal effort. What's not to love?
💚Reasons You'll Love This Recipe
💚This recipe uses store-bought puff pastry, which saves loads of time on making the dough from scratch. It's a simple and straightforward recipe that can be whipped up in no time.
💚Puff pastry is accidentally vegan, which mean vegans can enjoy this recipe, which isn't the case with most traditional cinnamon rolls.
- Pecans: Pecans are a part of the walnut family. Their rich, distinctive, buttery taste make them the perfect candidate for pastries and desserts...think pecan pie!
- Brown Sugar: You can use light or dark brown sugar in this recipe. Both contain molasses, but dark brown sugar contains more. Along with more molasses comes a darker color and richer, deeper caramel undertones.
- Vegan Butter: Any plant based butter will work here. I'm using Vitalite, which I tend to use a lot.
- Salt: Salt provides balance to sweetness in baking. It also enhances the complexity of the other flavors, so don't skip it!
- Puff Pastry: Puff pastry sheet dimensions vary by country. I'm using Jus Roll which comes in boxes with one sheet that measures 350mm x 250 mm (approximately 14 inches by 10 inches). By contrast, USA brands such as Pepperidge Farms have smaller sheets, measuring approximately 10 x 11 inches. So, if you're using a smaller sheet you'll need to reduce the filling ingredients by a quarter, and you'll end up with 10 rolls, not 12. You can also buy gluten free puff pastry. If your puff pastry is frozen you need to let it defrost in the fridge overnight. Don't try to make puff pastry cinnamon rolls with frozen puff pastry.
- Powdered Sugar (Icing Sugar): Powdered sugar, also referred to as icing sugar or confectioner's sugar is just granulated sugar that's been finely ground, making it perfect for producing smooth frostings and glazes.
- Vanilla: Vanilla is a staple in baking and a favorite for making glazes. Think glazed donuts ...that's powdered sugar and vanilla. You get the idea!
- Almond Milk: I usually thin glazes intuitively, adding liquid to the powdered sugar until I get the desired consistency. That being said, the standard glaze ratio is 3-4 parts powdered sugar to one part liquid.
👨🍳How To Make Puff Pastry Cinnamon Rolls
- Spread the pecans out on a parchment lined baking tray and roast them in a 375 degree (200 F) oven for 8-10 minutes. Stir them occasionally, keeping a close eye on them to make sure they don't burn.
- In a medium sized bowl, mix together the melted butter, dark brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon and salt. You can do this by hand, or with a mixer. I used a mixer to make sure that any chunks of brown sugar were fully broken down and incorporated.
- Set aside the vegan cinnamon roll filling and chop your pecans with a knife or a food processor.
- Now take your puff pastry out of the refrigerator and roll it out on the paper it comes in with the folds going left to right. Spread the filling evenly over the pastry leaving about a cm of pastry free from filling. Sprinkle the half the pecans over the filling.
- Roll the pastry up tightly from the side closest to you,ending with the seam side down. Trim off any untidy ends with a sharp knife.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the roll into 12 pieces. Use a chopping motion with your knife as opposed to a sawing motion or you'll ruin the shape of your puff pastry cinnamon rolls.
- Next, lay them out on a parchment lined baking tree, leaving ample room between them to allow for them to spread out. Pop the whole tray into the fridge and chill for at least 15 minutes.
- Bake for 20-23 minutes, resisting the urge to peek until the cinnamon rolls are near the end of their baking time.
- While your puff pastry cinnamon rolls are baking, let's make the glaze. All you need to do is to whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla and almond milk.
- When the cinnamon rolls are done baking, let them cool off for at least 10 minutes. If you put the glaze on too soon, it will soak into the rolls making them soggy.
- Finally, drizzle the glaze over the top and sprinkle with the remaining pecans. Alternatively, you can put dollops of vegan cream cheese frosting over the top of your cinnamon rolls. Enjoy!
Want to get creative with your puff pastry cinnamon rolls? Try these ideas:
- Fruit-Filled Rolls: Add a layer of your favorite fruit preserves or jam over the cinnamon sugar filling before rolling up the pastry. Try raspberry, apricot, or apple or date jam for a fruity twist.
- Chocolate and Nut Rolls: Sprinkle chocolate chips or chocolate shavings over the cinnamon sugar filling and add chopped hazelnuts or almonds for a decadent chocolate and nut version.
- Citrus Glaze: Replace the traditional icing with a citrus glaze by mixing powdered sugar with freshly squeezed lemon or orange juice. Drizzle the glaze over the baked rolls for a zesty and tangy flavor.
- Savory Puff Pastry Cinnamon Rolls: For a savory variation, skip the cinnamon sugar filling and instead spread a layer of pesto or tomato sauce over the puff pastry. Top with shredded vegan cheese and chopped spinach before rolling up. Bake until golden brown, and enjoy savory puff pastry rolls.
- Vegan Royal Icing: Glazing these cinnamon rolls with vegan royal icing that's been slightly thinned.
⏰Make Ahead Instructions
If you want to make puff pastry cinnamon rolls ahead of time, and pop them in the oven in morning, here's the instructions:
- Prepare the Filling and Pecans: Follow the recipe instructions to make the filling by mixing together the melted vegan butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Chop the pecans finely with a knife or food processor.
- Roll the Cinnamon Rolls: Remove the puff pastry from the refrigerator and unroll it with the folds going left to right. Spread the filling evenly over the pastry, leaving a 1 cm clear border. Sprinkle half of the chopped pecans over the filling. Roll up the pastry tightly from the bottom (longest) edge.
- Chill in the Refrigerator: After rolling up the pastry, cut it into even pieces and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving ample room between them. Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate it for at least 15 minutes to chill.
- Store Overnight: If you plan to bake the cinnamon rolls the next morning, you can cover the chilled baking sheet with plastic wrap or foil and store it in the refrigerator overnight.
- Baking: When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (200 degrees C). Bake the cinnamon rolls for 15-18 minutes until they are golden brown and fully cooked.
- Icing: While the cinnamon rolls are baking, you can prepare the icing by mixing together the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and almond milk in a small bowl.
- Final Touches: Once the cinnamon rolls are out of the oven and have rested for 10 minutes on the baking sheet, drizzle the icing over the rolls and sprinkle the remaining chopped pecans on top.
- By following these steps, you can have freshly baked puff pastry cinnamon rolls ready for breakfast the next morning without the need for last-minute preparation. Enjoy your delicious and easy morning treat!
Refrigerator Storage (Short-Term): Once the cinnamon rolls are baked and cooled, store any leftovers in an airtight container or tightly wrapped with plastic wrap. Refrigerate them for up to 2-3 days. Before consuming, you can gently reheat them in the microwave or oven to restore their freshness.
Freezer Storage (Long-Term): To freeze the cinnamon rolls, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until firm. Once they are firm, transfer them to a freezer-safe container or resealable freezer bags, separating each layer with parchment paper. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. To reheat, let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then warm them in the microwave or oven.
Frequently Asked Questions About This Recipe
Assuming there's any left...you can store your cinnamon rolls in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. They can also be cooled and then frozen for up to a month.
Absolutely! Once the pastry is rolled into a log, do not cut the individual cinnamon rolls. Simply wrap the cinnamon roll log in cling film. It will stay fresh in the freezer for up to two months. When you're ready to make your cinnamon rolls, let the log defrost in the fridge before cutting it into individual cinnamon rolls and baking. Add your glaze at the end.
The answer is yes! Let them cool completely and lay them out on a parchment lined baking tray and freeze for at least three hours before transferring them to an airtight container. Reheat from frozen in your oven at 375 F.
When working with puff pastry, the key tips are to keep the dough and ingredients cold throughout the process to preserve the flaky layers. Work quickly and avoid overhandling the dough to prevent the butter from softening. Always follow the recipe's instructions for folding and layering to create the characteristic flakiness, and bake in a hot oven to ensure a good rise and puffing. Additionally, be mindful of thawing frozen puff pastry properly in the refrigerator before use to maintain its quality.
Need More Vegan Breakfast Ideas?
Puff Pastry Cinnamon Rolls
For The Puff Pastry Cinnamon Rolls
- ½ cup pecans
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter
- 3 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
For The Icing
- 1 cup powdered sugar (icing sugar)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-2 tablespoon soy milk (or plant based milk of your choice)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (200 degrees C).
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread the pecans out evenly on one of the trays and toast in the over for 8-10 minutes, turning once halfway through.
- While the pecans are cooking, prepare the filling. In a small bowl, mix together melted butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
- Chop the pecans finely with a knife or food processor.
- Remove the puff pastry from the refrigerator and unroll it with the folds going left to right. Using a knife, spread the filling evenly over the pastry leaving 1 cm clear of filling. Sprinkle half the pecans over the filling and roll up tightly from the bottom (longest) edge. Cut the roll into even pieces and place them on the prepared baking sheet, leaving ample room between them. Now, put the baking sheet in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes to chill.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes. Resist the temptation to peek!
- Allow the cinnamon rolls to rest on the baking sheet for 10 minutes.
- In a small bowl mix together the powdered sugar, vanilla and almond milk. Drizzle over the cinnamon rolls and sprinkle the remaining pecans over the top.