This shortcut puff pastry cinnamon rolls recipe is super quick and easy to prep, topped with a dreamy cream cheese frosting, and irresistibly buttery, flaky and delicious!
Puff Pastry Cinnamon Roll Ingredients:
- 1 (1-pound) package frozen or refrigerated puff pastry, lightly thawed (see notes below)
- 3 tablespoons melted butter, divided
- 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1–2 tablespoons milk (if needed)
- Prep the oven and baking dish. Heat oven to 400°F. Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
- Prep the cinnamon-sugar mixture. In a small bowl, combine the granulated white sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Whisk until evenly combined and set aside.
- Roll out the puff pastry. Lightly dust your work surface* with flour and unroll one sheet of puff pastry out so that it is in a single layer. Brush the sheet evenly with half of the melted butter. Sprinkle evenly with half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture, leaving an empty 1-cm border on the right side of the puff pastry.
- Roll and cut the puff pastry. Beginning on the left side, gently roll the puff pastry vertically to the right side. Gently press the border to seal the roll. Using either a bread knife or piece of dental floss*, slice off about 1/2 inch from each end (since the ends are usually fairly uneven). Then cut the roll into 8 evenly-sized rolls and place them in the parchment-lined baking dish.
- Repeat. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 with the second sheet of puff pastry and the remaining butter and cinnamon-sugar mixture.
- Bake. Immediately transfer the baking dish to the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the rolls are lightly golden on top and have puffed up considerably. Transfer the baking dish to a wire cooling rack.
- Prep the frosting. Meanwhile, while the rolls are in the oven, whisk all of the frosting ingredients together in a small mixing bowl until smooth. Add milk if needed to thin the frosting out to your desired consistency.
- Frost the rolls. While the rolls are still warm, lightly spread or drizzle the frosting generously over the tops of the rolls. Serve warm and enjoy!
Thawing the puff pastry: Here in Europe, puff pastry is typically sold refrigerated in single sheets, so you can roll them out and use it immediately after unwrapping. In United States, puff pastry is most often sold frozen and needs to be thawed before using, so you will need to plan a bit ahead. If you have the time, I highly recommend thawing the puff pastry in the refrigerator overnight, which will help it retain its best puffy texture after baking. But if you’re in a hurry, you can remove frozen puff pastry from its box (leaving on the parchment wrapper), set it on the countertop for around 20-30 minutes, or until it has softened to the point that your thumb will leave a slight indentation if you press the pastry. You do not want to try and unroll the puff pastry while it is still frozen (it will break). Nor do you want to let the puff pastry thaw all the way to room temp. It should be chilled and slightly softened, no longer frozen and hard.
Flouring your work surface: If your puff pastry seems to be sticking to the parchment, it’s best to transfer it to a floured work surface before adding the butter and cinnamon-sugar mixture so that it is easy to roll. But if it seems to peel off of the parchment quite easily, feel free to just do Steps 3 and 4 directly on the parchment paper.
Using dental floss to slice the rolls: Simply break off a piece of floss about 12 inches long. Then carefully slide the floss under the dough to the exact location you want to “cut”. Pull the ends of the floss up and cross over the top of the dough. Then give the floss a gentle tug to cut all the way through the dough.
Traditional Icing Ingredients: If you would like to make a traditional icing (without cream cheese), whisk together 1/4 cup melted butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, and 1-2 tablespoons milk until smooth.