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These Easy Crescent Roll Cinnamon Rolls are made with store-bought crescent roll dough and a few basic pantry staples to make the best gooey cinnamon rolls with minimal effort! A great, quick and easy sweet treat for breakfast, dessert, or celebrating holidays with family. 

completed Cinnamon Rolls plated against a white surface

​Happen to have a tube of crescent rolls and a deep craving for sweet, ‘buttery’ cinnamon rolls? Today I’ll teach you how to turn these basic canned rolls into a delicious breakfast treat in under an hour. They’re perfectly light, fluffy, gooey, and complete with a cinnamon filling – everything homemade cinnamon rolls should be! 

​Have a couple cans of crescent rolls? Make my Apple Crescent Rolls and Mini Vegan Pot Pies next!

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Why You’ll Love These Crescent Rolls

  • Semi-homemade cinnamon rolls. Cinnamon rolls made from scratch are undeniably delicious, but they’re also a lot of work. Skip the time-consuming work of preparing your own dough and swap in a pop-can of crescent rolls. Perfect for lazy weekend mornings or Christmas morning!
  • Requires just a handful of ingredients. Just 7 simple ingredients required, including making your own sweet vanilla glaze from scratch! 
  • No rising time. The key to making fluffy cinnamon rolls from scratch is raising the dough until doubled in size (sometimes twice!). This gooey cinnamon roll recipe requires no rise time and can be made start to finish in less than an hour.
  • Make ahead friendly. ​This easy cinnamon roll recipe can be prepped the night before and refrigerated until ready to bake the next day. 
  • Naturally vegan. It may come as a surprise that most tubes of crescent rolls are accidentally vegan (made with oil or vegetable shortening instead of animal-based butter). This easy breakfast treat is accidentally vegan and is one the whole family will love. 

The Ingredients

ingredients for Cinnamon Rolls measured out against a white surface
  • Crescent rolls: Pillsbury’s original crescent rolls are naturally dairy-free and vegan. If you are in the United States, Trader Joe’s also has a vegan-friendly crescent roll pop-can dough.   
  • Vegan margarine: Use any softened dairy-free margarine or vegan butter. Vegan margarine softens faster than stick vegan butters, but use what you have. 
  • Cinnamon: Ground cinnamon is an essential in any cinnamon roll recipe!  
  • Brown sugar: Combine with the cinnamon to make the gooey brown sugar filling. Light brown sugar, dark brown sugar, and coconut sugar all work well.  
  • Powdered sugar: Used to make the vegan frosting. If you cannot find powdered sugar in stores, make Homemade Powdered Sugar yourself with a mixture of cane sugar and cornstarch.  
  • Plant-based milk: Any plant-based milk of choice will work, but unsweetened vegan milks will work best for a neutral-tasting frosting. 
  • Vanilla extract: Optional, but adds additional flavor and sweetness to the vegan frosting.

How to Make Crescent Rolls

  • 1) Open the crescent rolls can and roll the dough into a ball, kneading it to work out the perforations. 
ball of Cinnamon Rolls against a brown surface
  • 2) Using a rolling pin, roll the crescent roll dough into a large rectangle. 
  • 3) Spread 1 tablespoon of softened vegan margarine over the dough. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon, then sprinkle it over the dough on top of the vegan margarine.
  • 4) Roll the dough into a long roll, then use a sharp knife to cut it into 1-inch discs. 
  • 5) Place the cut cinnamon rolls into a lightly oiled muffin tin or place on a baking sheet with a bit of space in between each roll. Transfer the muffin tin or baking sheet to the oven and bake the crescent roll cinnamon rolls until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool, then prepare the icing. 
  • 6) In a small bowl, combine the softened vegan margarine with 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar with a hand mixer. Add in the plant-based milk, vanilla, and remaining sugar, beating until smooth. Add additional plant-based milk or sugar to get the consistency you prefer. 
  • 7) Drizzle or spread the frosting over top the mini cinnamon rolls and enjoy immediately while warm.  

Recipe FAQs

Is there a difference between crescent rolls and croissants?

There is a difference between crescent rolls and croissants. Both are flaky pastries, but crescent rolls are made with a more basic yeast dough whereas croissants are made with a laminated dough and consists of hundreds of layers of butter and dough. Each is delicious, but serves different purposes. 

Should you roll cinnamon rolls tight?

Yes. This will help keep the rolls from unrolling while baking and ensures the cinnamon sugar filling remains inside. 

​Should I bake the cinnamon rolls on the top or bottom rack?

Cinnamon rolls are best baked on the middle rack. If the rolls are baked on the top or bottom rack they will brown too quickly and overcook on the outside.

Do you have a vegan cream cheese frosting recipe?

We don’t have a vegan cream cheese frosting recipe on the blog, but try this easy Cream Cheese Frosting recipe by Minimalist Baker. Or, you might like this Vanilla Vegan Buttercream Frosting. Not vegan cream cheese, but it has a similar thick and creamy consistency. 

Top Recipe Tips 

  • Use a very sharp knife to cut the rolls. If the knife is dull, the cinnamon roll dough will squish down and the filling will likely spill out. A serrated knife can be useful to cut the dough with very little pressure.
  • Bake until just golden brown. Over baked crescent rolls can become dry, hard, and crumbly in texture. Begin to check the cinnamon rolls around the 12-minute mark and monitor closely. Once the rolls become lightly golden, pull them from the oven. As they cool they will continue to cook! 
  • Cut into 9 rolls. The bake time for these cinnamon rolls is based on cutting the crescent rolls dough into 9 rolls. If you choose to cut them into more or less rolls, the bake time will need to be adjusted accordingly. 
completed Cinnamon Rolls plated against a white surface

Serving Suggestions 

These easy crescent cinnamon rolls can be served just like your favorite traditional cinnamon rolls. Enjoy on their own with a cup of coffee or tea, or serve with a few of your favorite breakfast sides like fresh fruit or a dollop of coconut yogurt. 

Storage Instructions and Make Ahead Tips

Leftover crescent roll cinnamon rolls will keep at room temperature for up to 24 hours or in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Before storing, allow the cinnamon rolls to cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container

If you’d like to prep these cinnamon rolls the night before holiday mornings or weekend brunch, follow the recipe through recipe step 4. Place the cut cinnamon rolls in a prepared muffin tin or spread on a baking sheet and tightly cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight. The next morning, allow the rolls to come to room temperature while the oven preheats, then bake and frost as usual. 

More Sweet Breakfast Recipes 

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

Crescent Roll Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

5 from 61 votes
Prep: 35 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings: 9 rolls
These Easy Crescent Roll Cinnamon Rolls are made with store-bought crescent roll dough and a few basic pantry staples to make the best gooey cinnamon rolls with minimal effort! A great, quick and easy sweet treat for breakfast, dessert, or celebrating holidays with family. 

Ingredients 

  • 1 tube of crescent rolls in a tube (Pillsbury is vegan)
  • 2 Tablespoons of vegan butter divided
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons of powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of soy/almond/rice milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Pop open the crescent rolls and roll the dough into a ball, kneading it to work out the perforations.
  • Using a rolling pin, roll it out into a rectangle.
  • Spread 1 tablespoon of margarine over the dough. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon, and then sprinkle it onto the margarine.
  • Roll the dough up into a long roll and use a sharp knife to cut it into 1-inch discs.
  • Put the discs into a lightly oiled muffin tin (a baking sheet will do if you're short a muffin tin), and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
  • While cooking, mix the margarine and 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar with a hand mixer (by hand is fine, too). Alternate milk, remaining sugar, and vanilla, beating until smooth. Add more plant-based milk or sugar to get the consistency you prefer.
  • Frost the cinnamon rolls.

Notes

  • Use a very sharp knife to cut the rolls. If the knife is dull, the cinnamon roll dough will squish down and the filling will likely spill out. A serrated knife can be useful to cut the dough with very little pressure.
  • Bake until just golden brown. Over baked crescent rolls can become dry, hard, and crumbly in texture. Begin to check the cinnamon rolls around the 12-minute mark and monitor closely. Once the rolls become lightly golden, pull them from the oven. As they cool they will continue to cook! 
  • Cut into 9 rolls. The bake time for these cinnamon rolls is based on cutting the crescent rolls dough into 9 rolls. If you choose to cut them into more or less rolls, the bake time will need to be adjusted accordingly. 

Nutrition

Calories: 127kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 1gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.5gSodium: 220mgPotassium: 4mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 0.3IUVitamin C: 0.004mgCalcium: 4mgIron: 0.3mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Author: Toni Okamoto
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Method: Oven
Diet: Vegan
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂
About

Toni Okamoto

“They say you are what you eat, so I strive to be healthy.
My goal in life is not to be rich or wealthy,
‘Cause true wealth comes from good health and wise ways…
we got to start taking better care of ourselves ” – Dead Prez

More about Toni Okamoto

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I am so excited to find an easy cinnamon roll recipe! I needed a last minute dessert for brunch and everyone loved these!

  2. 5 stars
    I used oatmilk and a little more vanilla cause I love vanilla and boy, they were great. I love that they’re pretty low in carbs too!!

  3. 5 stars
    Perfect as part of a brunch spread for the weekend! These cinnamon rolls are delicious and I love that I can make these for my best friend who is vegan.

    1. Definitely would make for a great addition to a brunch spread! So glad you enjoyed them!