Tender, flaky cinnamon rolls are filled with raisins and pecans in this recipe for Easy Puff Pastry Cinnamon Rolls with Raisins and Pecans.
Most mornings my kids make their own breakfasts, but the other day, as she went upstairs after breakfast, my 8-year-old daughter Paige asked if I would make breakfast the next day. Even though it would be a school and work day, I agreed. How could I not?
What did I make? Easy Puff Pastry Cinnamon Rolls with Raisins and Pecans. They take about 10 minutes to assemble — or less — and bake up in about 25 minutes. Since I rise well before my kids, this was an easy morning recipe to pull off.
Of course, it helped that I used refrigerated puff pastry dough, which only needs to sit for a few minutes before being used. If you’re using frozen dough, you’ll need to build in a little more time (about 45 minutes) to let it defrost before using.
I’ve had cinnamon rolls on the brain ever since I saw a batch of them on the counter at Paige’s friend’s house. They looked so fluffy and gorgeous, perfectly risen and swirled with just the right amount of sweet filling. I love making cinnamon rolls like that — there’s a certain fluffiness you just can’t duplicate with store-bought dough. (Looking for homemade rolls with a homemade yeast dough? Here’s mine: Overnight Cinnamon Rolls)
But when you are short on time, puff pastry is a great alternative to homemade dough. It offers much of the fluffiness and flakiness, without the same time commitment. They won’t rise as much in the oven (though they do rise), but they’ll have the right texture and flavor.
And the combination of flavors in these? It’s just right.
Once the dough is ready, it all comes together so quickly.
For these rolls, I start by brushing the dough with butter. Then, I fill them with a mixture of cinnamon sugar (I buy it premade in the spices section, and use it for things like this bread as well as sprinkling on toast, pancakes, waffles, etc), raisins and pecans.
Finally, they are rolled up and cut into six swirls, which I place in an oven-safe glass baking dish. They’ll rise and expand while they’re cooking so you want to give them plenty of room to do so.
Look at those just-baked swirls! I want to dig right in to their pastry goodness.
But first, they need one more thing: Glaze! I make a super simple glaze with just milk and powdered sugar. You could use something more complicated, but this simple mixture works best for me.
Then you enjoy. Because if you’re going to eat something, you should always really savor it.
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1 sheet puff pastry
- 2 tbsp cinnamon sugar
- 2 tbsp raisins
- 2 tbsp chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tsp milk
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush the inside and bottom of an 8x8-inch glass baking dish with melted butter (do not use it all!).
- Spread the puff pastry out on a cutting board, and brush with remaining melted butter. Sprinkle all over with cinnamon sugar, raisins and walnuts, distributing it evenly over the dough. Roll the dough along the long side into a spiral. Slice into six pieces, about 1-inch each. Place in the prepared baking dish.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden and cooked through.
- Stir together the icing ingredients -- powdered sugar and milk -- and pour over the cinnamon rolls. Enjoy immediately.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of four cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to a tween and a teen, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.