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The world’s easiest cinnamon rolls

This is a sponsored post for Pepe’s Bakery. I have been compensated, but I absolutely promise that all opinions are my own.

First, get out your yeast. Ah! Gotcha! I’m lying. The truth is you only need 5 simple ingredients for these warm, soft world’s easiest cinnamon rolls. So there’s no need to be freaking out over making dough and complicated rising times. It’s just plain old easy and plain old good. 

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a baking pan with filled with cinnamon rolls on a white and red napkin

You know those Pillsbury cinnamon rolls? The ones in the can? They’re they best you’ve ever been able to do when it came to making a warm cozy morning treat for your family. And that’s been okay. But you know it–deep down in your heart.

That those things taste like the cardboard tube they came out of.

Because they’re biscuits. Imposters.

But you never had the time to try anything else and you sure weren’t going to use yeast. Lord help us.

You did the best you could.

But the truth is, a real cinnamon roll is made from a yeasted dough. Something soft–and not made with those flaky cinnamon-chunky things on the top. And even though you doubt that there will ever be a time in your life that you’ll be that mom (or dad or grandma) who would get up on a school day and make cinnamon rolls, I’m going to let you in on the secret that will change your home-baked imposter world. 

Don’t pass out.

It’s pizza dough.

one cinnamon roll on a blue plate with a fork

Did you know that pizza dough has yeast in it? Yep. Did you know that when you use it that means you don’t have to do anything but thaw it, roll it out and put the cinnamon, butter and sugar in it?

AND…did you know you can make these in about 10 minutes one evening and have them in the fridge for morning? Just stick them in the oven and go about getting ready for your day. 30 minutes later you’re ready to eat.

Gosh Rachel…what dough should I use?

My favorite dough for this is the wonderful Pepe’s Bakery frozen dough.  I use it faithfully. This dough is the perfect blend of stretchy-chewy and will pass for homemade exactly 110% of the time. It’s my go-to dough and has been for about two years now.

You should be able to find Pepe’s dough in the freezer section of your Walmart. It comes perfectly measured in 1-pound balls and only needs to thaw overnight in the fridge and will be ready to use in your world’s easiest cinnamon rolls for guaranteed “Mom these are great!” success.

one cinnamon roll on a blue plate with a pan of cinnamon rolls in the background

For this recipe, I find it easier to roll the dough out on an un-floured surface so the dough doesn’t spring back and make you mad and cause you to call me mean names.  A little sticking helps and it will work in your favor here.  Once they’re rolled and sliced, they only need 30 minutes to sit out and rise a bit before you bake them, and you can make a simple glaze (see recipe below) if you want to or you can leave it off–either way it’s up to you.

So here’s to fall, warm desserts and the most versatile, amazing pizza dough you’re gonna find this side of the Mississippi.

No yeast! No tough dough work! Use my simple trick for the fastest, easiest cinnamon rolls you'll ever eat. No special skills required.

Easy Shortcut Cinnamon Rolls

Take a shortcut to sweet, easy shortcut cinnamon rolls that are better than any can that explodes when you open it and is NOT a biscuit covered in those little brown bits of stuff--these are hardly any more work but taste so much better. 
4.6 from 10 votes
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Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 5
Calories: 622kcal
Author: Rachel Ballard


  • 1 1- pound ball frozen pizza dough
  • 1/2 cup stick softened butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon water


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Roll your pizza dough on an un floured surface to a 12" by 8" rectangle.
  • Mix the sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla in a small bowl, set aside.
  • Spread the butter evenly over the dough and sprinkle with the sugar mixture.
  • Starting at the long end, roll up tightly and pinch the seam shut.
  • Slice 2" thick slices and place them in a greased 9" round cake pan about 1/2" apart.
  • Let them rise on the counter for 30 minutes, then bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 20-25 minutes.
  • To make the glaze, mix the powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, and water and spread over the warm rolls. 


Calories: 622kcal
Recipe Rating


Thursday 24th of June 2021

Hi is this with vanilla sugar or vanilla extract?

Rachel Ballard

Friday 25th of June 2021

Extract. I don't have access to vanilla sugar and haven't ever made any myself. It's not an ingredient I'd ask my readers to find for just one recipe. --Rachel


Thursday 3rd of September 2020

I love this idea? I rarely bake these days. Some things are missed so much and need to be homemade, or at least home baked. Thanks so much for this easy and delicious recipe.


Monday 8th of June 2020

Salted or unsalted butter? And does it make a difference? I’m fixing to make these. So I’m going salted. I’m super excited. I figured my children are all asleep, my husbands off work & still asleep & I thought I’d make something special. Thank you for this recipe! I hope mine turn out as delicious as yours look:)

Rachel Ballard

Monday 8th of June 2020

Hey Ashley no it makes zero difference. Sounds like you talked yourself through your own question. :) --Rachel


Thursday 14th of May 2020

If I want to refrigerate before I bake them do I let them rise before or after refrigeration?

Rachel Ballard

Friday 15th of May 2020

I'd refrigerate before rising. They will rise some in the fridge regardless so you may not even need a second rise at all. As long as they are doubled in size they can be baked. --Rachel

Jackie butler

Sunday 10th of May 2020

No where in the recipe does it tell you what to do with the cinnamon mixture you've set aside...


Saturday 3rd of October 2020

Jackie Butler...step 4.

Rachel Ballard

Sunday 10th of May 2020

That would be in step 4 where it says "sprinkle on the sugar mixture" Jackie.

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