Cinnamon Butterflake Rolls are flaky, pull-apart rolls baked with cinnamon and sugar and topped with vanilla icing. If you are looking for more of a dinner roll, check out my buttery Butterflake Rolls.
Cinnamon Butterflake Rolls
If you love cinnamon rolls then you will love these easy pull-apart rolls. These flaky rolls are made by cutting and stacking strips of dough and baking the stacks in a muffin tin. The end result is twelve rolls that fan out into multiple layers of deliciousness! And then, when you drizzle the vanilla icing over the tops of the rolls, you have a sweet roll! These would be a yummy breakfast or snack, or even a sweet dessert.
There are three parts to this recipe–the dough, the cinnamon sugar topping, and the icing.
Flour: All-purpose flour is what we used in this recipe. We have not tested the rolls with other kinds of flour, so I can’t speak to their effectiveness.
Yeast: Use instant yeast, which is also called quick rise or fast-rising yeast.
Egg: Make sure the egg is at room temperature for best results.
Milk: I tested this recipe using whole milk. You could use 2% milk if that is what you have on hand.
Topping: Brush some melted butter over the top of the rolled-out dough with a cinnamon and sugar mixture sprinkled over the top.
Icing: The vanilla icing is so simple but adds some more sweetness to the rolls. However, you could enjoy them without the icing, too.
How to Make the Dough
To get the dough made, start by adding 3 cups of flour, yeast, sugar, egg, and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Next, heat up the milk to a temperature of 110°F-120°F. Add the warm milk to the flour mixture, kneading for a couple of minutes, stopping to scrape down the bowl, adding another 1/2 cup of flour, and kneading for a couple of additional minutes.
Finally, add the remaining 1/2 cup of flour, kneading just until fully incorporated. The dough should be pulling away from the sides of the bowl at this point. If not, add another 1/4 cup of flour. You may have to add another 1/4 cup of flour if the dough is still not pulling away from the bowl. The dough should not look wet.
Once the dough is ready, place the ball of dough into a bowl that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Cover the dough with a towel and let it rest for 30 minutes, or until almost doubled in size.
How to Make Cinnamon Butterflake Rolls
After the dough has risen, roll the dough out into a square or rectangle that is about 1/2-inch thick. Brush the melted butter on top of the dough and sprinkle the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt mixture over the top of the butter. Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into 12 equal-sized strips. Next, create two stacks of the strips with six strips in each stack. Then, cut each of the stacks into 6 separate pieces. So, you will now have a total of twelve stacks of dough. These will be the rolls.
Place each stack of dough strips on their side into the cups of a greased muffin tin. Think about an accordion…as the rolls bake, they will fan out. After you have placed the stacks of rolls in their sides in the muffin tin, cover the tin with a piece of greased plastic wrap. Let the dough rest for 30-40 minutes, or until the dough is about an inch higher than the muffin tin. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven.
When ready, bake the rolls for 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown. As the rolls are baking, make the vanilla icing.
The Icing on the…Rolls!
To make the vanilla icing, simply use a whisk to mix together the confectioners’ sugar, a tablespoon of milk, and vanilla. Add more milk, if needed, to reach your desired consistency. Drizzle the icing over the tops of the warm rolls. You could also dunk the tops of the rolls into the bowl of icing if you prefer.
How to Freeze Baked Cinnamon Butterflake Rolls
Bake the rolls according to the recipe below, but do not add the icing on top. Let them cool completely in the pan, then wrap them tightly in aluminum foil. (Do not use plastic wrap here; it could trap in condensation and make the rolls soggy.) Place the rolls in a freezer bag or storage container and freeze for 2-3 weeks. Be sure to label and date the packaging.
Can I Use Store-bought Rolls?
Yes! To save some time, you could grab some Rhodes rolls and make 4 to 5 cuts on the tops of the rolls. Then, add some of the cinnamon and sugar topping in each slit that you just created. Place the rolls into the muffin tin and bake! These will still be impressive sweet rolls to serve and share!
Looking for More Rolls Recipes?
Cinnamon Butterflake Rolls are flaky, pull-apart rolls baked with cinnamon and sugar and topped with vanilla icing.
- 4 cups (512g) all-purpose flour, or more if needed, divided
- 2 envelopes (about 4½ teaspoons) instant yeast
- ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1½ cups (367g) whole milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1½ cups confectioners' sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine 3 cups flour, undissolved yeast, sugar, egg, and salt in a large bowl or in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with dough hook.
Heat milk until very warm (110°F to 120°F).
Add warm milk to the flour mixture. Knead 2 minutes at medium speed, scraping the bowl occasionally if needed. Add ½ cup flour; knead for 2 more minutes.
Add the remaining ½ cup flour and continue kneading until the dough is pulling away from the sides of the bowl and very soft. (If the dough seems too wet you may need more flour. Add in ¼ cup increments until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl while kneading.)
Spray a bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Place the dough into the bowl and cover with a clean towel. Let it rest 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.
When ready, roll the dough into a square that is about ½-inch thick. Brush the melted butter over the top of the dough so it covers the entire surface.
In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
Spread brown sugar mixture over dough making sure it covers the entire surface.
Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 12 strips of equal size, approximately 1½ inches wide.
Group and stack the strips into 2 separate sections (6 strips each stack). Cut each stack into 6 pieces for a total of 12 stacks of dough. Each stack will be a roll.
Place each stack into the prepared muffin tin on their sides, cut-side up.
Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rest 30-40 minutes, or until the dough doubles in size. (Each roll should be about 1 inch higher than the muffin tin.)
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown.
While the rolls are baking, mix together the icing.
In a medium bowl, combine confectioners' sugar, 1 tablespoon of milk, and vanilla. Add more milk if needed to reach your desired consistency.
Drizzle the icing over the rolls while they are still warm. Enjoy!