A magical wand of cinnamon and fairy dust (or…butter…) gets waved over leftover pizza dough to transform it into thick, hearty homemade cinnamon rolls. Since you’re in charge of your own breakfast destiny, you can go the traditional butter-cinnamon-brown sugar route, or try a new twist on the classic that’s filled with date caramel and pecans. You could probably even smear it with peanut butter, banana slices, and a handful of chocolate chips, but despite how difficult it is to limit myself to just two options, we’re talking cinnamon rolls TWO WAYS today.
Friday night is pizza night in our house, and that means we always throw together a batch of my whole wheat pizza dough on Thursdays. Since it’s usually just the two of us, there is always leftover pizza dough. Sure, I could just do the logical thing and make less dough, but then I wouldn’t be able to make calzones, dinner rolls, breakfast pizzas, or cinnamon rolls whenever we want them. Come to think of it, having leftover pizza dough around is actually the best.
Pizza dough cinnamon rolls aren’t quite the light, airy rolls you’d get in a blue can from the grocery store. The whole wheat pizza dough is a little more dense, making these cinnamon rolls more like mini rolls of cinnamon swirl bread as opposed to airy breakfast pastries. To me, that just means they’re equally as delicious drizzled in icing as they are slathered in butter. It also means they’re a bit more filling than your standard cinnamon roll. I can eat one of these rolls and feel pretty full, rather than wanting to eat 5 more and finding myself hungry an hour later. They’re also still pretty fluffy and decadent tasting, regardless of their pizza dough origins.
You’ve probably already figured out how simple this recipe is in the time it took me to ramble on about pizza dough: just slather thinly rolled dough with your fillings of choice, tumble into a log, slice into discs, and give it a little alone time to rise. All that’s left is to bake, frost, and eat these beauties. I made a super simple frosting out of grass fed butter + raw honey, but you could certainly go a more traditional route of powdered sugar + a drizzle of cream or milk. The butter-based frosting is wonderfully thick and fluffy, but will melt if you put it onto hot rolls. Be warned.
The whole point of this recipe is to use up leftover pizza dough, but if you wanted to, you could make a whole batch of dough just for the rolls. You could even use store-bough pizza dough if you’re feeling the urge to make these cinnamon rolls RIGHT NOW. Either way, I think you’re going to love these simple, not-too-sweet, bread-y breakfast treats. Let’s start a new tradition where we eat pizza on Fridays and cinnamon rolls on Saturdays. Deal? Deal.
As always, I’d love to hear how these turn out for you! Comment below or tag me #bakedgreens on Instagram so I can see all your swirly cinnamon babies!
- Cinnamon Rolls
- Leftover pizza dough (1/2 a batch of my Whole Wheat Pizza dough* yields 8 cinnamon rolls)
- Softened butter + cinnamon + coconut sugar/sucanat/brown sugar (amount varies depending on how much pizza dough you have)
- Date caramel* + chopped pecans + cinnamon (amount varies depending on how much pizza dough you have)
- Equal parts raw honey and grass fed butter (I used 3T of each), plus a drizzle of vanilla.
- 1. Roll out pizza dough into a large rectangle, at least 1/4 inch thick or less. The size of your rectangle will depend on how much pizza dough you have.
- 2. Spread dough with your choice of fillings, or do like me and make it half and half. Make sure the dough is fully covered with either butter or date caramel, and there's plenty of cinnamon covering the butter/caramel. Sprinkle on nuts/sugar last. Don't be afraid to load these up with plenty of filling!
- 3. Roll up the dough into a tight log. Use a knife to cut 2-inch pieces off the log, then transfer the cinnamon rolls to a baking dish. The cinnamon rolls should be close together, but still have room to rise. Cover and let sit at warm room temperature for 30 minutes, or until the rolls have risen and are now touching (see photos). The pizza dough won't fully double in size, but they should still rise quite a bit.
- 4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, then bake the risen rolls for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before adding icing.
- 5. Make Icing: whisk together softened butter, honey, and vanilla until thick and fluffy. This frosting will melt on the rolls, which isn't a bad thing, but can be solved by frosting the rolls when they've cooled a bit. If you want a more traditional icing, mix 1/2 cup powdered sugar + 2 Tablespoons of heavy cream and drizzle over rolls.
- *Recipes for my pizza dough and date caramel are linked above in the body of this blog post.
Did I say cinnamon rolls every Saturday? I meant every day. Let’s make it happen!