Shortcut: Pizza Dough Cinnamon Rolls

It’s July. While the rest of the country is baking, I’m baking.

After investing last Sunday morning in baking pane Toscano, this week, I wanted something quicker, something between a 3-hour commitment and the half hour drive to Top Pot for a pershing. I’ve been thinking about non-pizza uses for pizza dough. So, first stop, cinnamon rolls. It’s a well-worn road by the looks of Google, so I went with Kristen’s recipe over at Batter Licker as a starting point.

With a shortcut, these don’t have the tenderness or the ooey-gooey of a traditional, from scratch cinnamon roll, but they’re a notch above the ones in a tube. You control the butter. You control the spices. Want a little nutmeg and clove along with the cinnamon? Maybe some raisins? Go for it.

BTW – does that glaze drizzle look like a sea turtle?

The how-to here is not complicated. It’s just a matter of rolling out the dough in a ~12 inch rectangle, giving it a good rubdown with softened butter and a generous sprinkle of cinnamon, sugar and salt. You dot each roll with a little more butter before it goes into the oven and then 15-18 minutes later, they’re done.

The important tips:
1. Buttering your pan. Be generous, but you don’t have to go crazy. I wouldn’t just spray it with non-stick vegetable spray, you want to make sure those little babies will come out of the pan.

2. Roll it tightly and be mindful as you get to the end, this is where I had a little big of sag and had to re-roll.

3. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture all the way to the edges. You want to make sure even your ends will have good cinnamon coverage.

Shortcut: Pizza Dough Cinnamon Rolls
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12
  • 1 bag Trader Joe's pizza dough
  • 6 T. butter, softened
  • 3 T. sugar
  • 1 T. ground cinnamon (or Apple Pie Spice)
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Take the dough out of the fridge and let sit on the counter for 40 minutes to an hour. Butter a 9 in. round cake pan with 1 T. of the butter and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the cinnamon, sugar and salt.
  3. Lightly flour your board and roll the dough into a ~12 rectangle, about ¼ of an inch thick. Give the dough a good rubdown with 3 tablespoons of butter. Sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar mixture evenly across the rectangle from end-to-end.
  4. Roll tightly into a log, ensuring the end does sag. Using a sharp knife, cut the log into 1 in. pieces. Place the slices in the pan, about an inch apart. Dot the top of each roll with the remaining 2 T. of butter.
  5. Bake for 15-18 minutes until the tops of the rolls just begin to brown.


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  1. joan rose says:

    Thank you so much. Just made these buns …added 1/2c of crushed almonds and
    1/2c pecans on top of the cinnamon mix . delish !

    • Michelle says:

      Hi Jane – I haven’t tried it, but I don’t see why chocolate wouldn’t work. Like I mentioned in the post, with the pizza dough, you don’t get quite the same texture as a legit cinnamon roll, but this is also faster. Hope that helps! If you give it a shot, let me know how it comes out!

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