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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Cinnamon Rolls from Frozen Bread Dough | Rhodes Bread Dough | Holiday Brunch

"Homemade" Cinnamon Rolls
from frozen bread dough

There is nothing quite like homemade cinnamon rolls.  My mom is famous for her homemade cinnamon rolls - she makes the dough from scratch and tops them with cream cheese icing (recipe here).  For those of us that don't have the patience (or time) to make homemade dough like my Mom, I have a great shortcut for you : frozen bread dough.

Frozen bread dough and I go back a long time.  At our first "supper club" back in 2006 (?) I made "homemade" bread from frozen bread dough.  The guys (including my future husband, who I hadn't started dating yet...) went crazy.  They said they had never tasted anything so amazing - it was soft, moist, light, chewy... they went on and on.  Mike still talks about that bread to this day - maybe that was what attracted him to me! Sadly, I don't think I've ever made it for him since that night - oops!  Guess I'll have to put that on our list.  His birthday is coming up!

The point to that story (sorry...) is that I believe the appeal of "homemade" bread is not the fact that it is made "at home," but that it is fresh baked.  I use that very same frozen bread dough to make cinnamon rolls that taste, look and smell just like homemade dough - but the hard part is already done for me!  All I have to do is thaw the dough, roll it out, butter cinnamon and sugar, rise & bake.  It really takes no time at all - it just has to be done the night before to allow for the rolls to rise. So, whether you want to call them "Homemade" or "Fresh Baked" Cinnamon Rolls - they will definitely be a "Keeper" recipe, I'm sure!

Stop by my Everyday Occasions, The Store for more of my baking essentials for making really easy "homemade" desserts.

"Homemade" Cinnamon Rolls

from frozen bread dough
, makes 24 large rolls

3 loaves of frozen bread dough, thawed (it comes 3 to a bag)
8 tablespoons of butter, softened
1 1/2 cup of brown sugar
4 tablespoons of cinnamon
butter icing glaze (recipe below)

Thaw three loaves of frozen bread dough in the refrigerator or on the counter (there are directions for thawing on the bag).  Allow the thaw dough to rise for 1-2 hours in a warm area covered with a damp cloth.  Roll the dough out into a rectangle onto a floured surface.  Spread softened butter on the rolled out dough.  Sprinkle sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon over the dough.  Roll up the dough into a log.  Slice into 2-inch thick rolls.  Place into a buttered pan, or one lined with parchment paper.

Cover with a warm damp towel and allow to rise 1-2 hours in a warm area.  If you are preparing the night before and baking in the morning, keep them in the refrigerator and let them rise about 1 hour before baking.  When the rolls have doubled in size, bake them at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes until they begin to brown.  Top with Butter Icing Glaze.

Butter Icing Glaze
for cinnamon rolls

2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of milk
powdered sugar

Melt butter with milk in the microwave for 30 seconds.  Add powdered sugar until the glaze is the right consistancy - it should pour, but not be runny.  The heat from the cinnamon rolls will help the glaze to melt over them easily.  


Rhodes frozen bread dough can be found everywhere.  There are 3 loafs in each package.

I made a large batch and used all three loafs.  This is what they'll look like when they've risen.

I rolled them out 1 at a time.   This has the butter and sugar on it.

Now the brown sugar.

And the cinnamon.  Then roll up the dough into one long roll.

Your roll can be longer or shorter - it doesn't really matter.

I made different sized batches in different pans.  I plan to bake them and put them in the freezer for various occasions.  This one has 5 large rolls.

I like how to rolls bake in muffin pans - they are very pretty and more individual.

This is what the rolls look like when they have risen overnight - doubled in size.
Stop by my Everyday Occasions, The Store for more of my baking essentials for making really easy "homemade" desserts.


  1. these look amazing. i'm going to give them a whirl next weekend. quick question, do you thaw the dough on counter or in fridge? do you find one way makes a difference? i've never bought frozen bread dough before. thanks!

  2. You have so many wonderful recipes. This one is a must for me and I would love it if you had a printer friendly version of it :-)

  3. Anonymous7:27 PM

    I just made these after dinner tonight and they tasted wonderful. I didn't have any powdered sugar so i found a recipe for a sticky bun glaze with brown sugar and it worked well with them. Glad I came upon this recipe.

  4. making these only letting rise for a tiny bit though lol i want them now!

    1. Jenny9:56 AM

      Yes, the waiting game is the worst part!


  5. Thanks Jen! Such a great recipe for Christmas morning! And if anyone wants an easy weekday special treat, Rhodes makes cinnamon rolls that you pop in a cold oven for 25 minutes with a great frosting! But I am making yours! Absolutely love your blog!!

    1. Jenny9:55 AM

      Thanks, Kris! When I made these last weekend, I said to Mike, "It smells like Christmas morning!"


  6. These look amazing!! Can we also get the recipe for your "homemade" bread? I'm so intrigued now! Absolutely love your blog!

  7. Um this is amazing! I love this idea and I hope I can find this bread! Hope all is well in the new home/move. MA is missing you though ;)


  8. Yum. We grew up using that bread dough for fried dough (with syrup and powdered sugar) on Christmas morning.

    1. Anonymous2:28 PM

      ohhhh Lindsey can I have that reciepe for the fried dough, I need to try it! Thanks

    2. Anonymous3:13 PM

      We call them dough gods use good lard cast iron skillet stretch dough out fry butter sugar on top when done

    3. We called them doughboys growing up. My mother put powdered sugar on them.

  9. Love that white baking dish! Can you tell me where you found it? These look yummy - cannot wait to get some in the oven :)

    1. Hope - it is an Emile Henry pan... it cleans up beautifully - nothing sticks to it!

  10. Can you make these and then freeze them without baking?


  11. Hi Jenny! Happy New Year... love your blog and I've been holding on to this Post in my inbox for a few weeks now.
    I would like to make these for a breakfast I will be hosting. I have several other dishes to juggle that morning but still want the fresh-baked flavor and smell! Can I prepare the rolls ahead of time (but not bake), freeze and then thaw overnight... bake fresh in the morning?
    Thanks so much.

  12. Hi Jenny, I'm planning to make these for a brunch shower I'm hosting this weekend. You mentioned making them the night before and letting them rise overnight, to be baked the morning of... Am I supposed to let them rise overnight in the fridge? Or are they really ok to sit on my counter overnight?

    Thank you so much for all the time and detail you put into your posts! You provide so much inspiration and help for me. -Jessi in North Florida

    1. Jessica -

      Yes, you can leave them on your counter overnight... but, depending on the time of your party, you can leave them in the fridge overnight and they will rise just a little bit, then you can leave them out in a warm spot for just an hour or two and they will finish rising, then you can bake.

      Good Luck!

    2. Thank you! They're prepped, covered with plastic wrap and in the fridge now. Will pull out tomorrow morning to come back to temp and rise again before baking. These cinnamon rolls are such an easy trick! All my guests will LOVE them! Thank you again for the help. -Jessi

  13. Anonymous4:27 PM

    Jenny your recipe description says to sprinkle both white sugar and brown sugar but your recipe measurements does not reference how mach white sugar. How much should I use?
    Love your blog!

  14. Hi Jenny! Getting ready to make these this weekend and I see that you reference white sugar, but I didn't catch how much? Is it equal amounts brown and granulated sugar? Thanks so much!


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