Cinnamon Roll Convenience Without the Can

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Cinnamon Rolls are the ideal cold-weather breakfast or snack. Everyone loves them, so much so, that they’re willing to pay big bucks at the mall or suffer mediocre rolls in a refrigerated tube. No more! You can have the convenience of the store variety with all the wholesome goodness of homemade.

Cinnamon Roll Convenience Without the Can | Good Cheap Eats

The following post is written by Amy of The Finer Things in Life.

“I would love to make cinnamon rolls, but I just don’t have time.”

“Oh, how I wish I could treat my family to hot cinnamon rolls in the morning without getting up at 4 to make them.”

“Our family enjoys cinnamon rolls, but they go stale before we can eat them all.”

If you’ve been hesitant to break out your leaveners and whip up a batch of hot, gooey cinnamon rolls for any of those reasons, I might have a solution that both your schedule and your family will appreciate.

Baking two dozen cinnamon rolls from scratch takes me about 2 1/2 – 3 hours total. Much of that time is in the rising, though. They certainly aren’t labor intensive! But 3 hours before breakfast? Um, I’m not willing to get up at 4 AM, either.

Homemade cinnamon rolls are not known as a convenience food, but I do know of two pretty simple ways to enjoy hot, fresh rolls for breakfast without popping open a can!

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Refrigerator Method: If you have some time in the evening, go ahead and mix up a batch of dough. Give it a rise, roll them out, then stick your rolls in the refrigerator covered with a lightweight towel. They will slowly rise through the night. In the morning, set them in a warm place for 30 minutes to an hour to finish rising, and bake.

Freezer Method: Mix your dough at any time. Once you’ve flossed your rolls, lay them in a pan and freeze them immediately.

Cinnamon Roll Convenience Without the Can | Good Cheap Eats

Once frozen, bag your rolls and stick them back in the freezer.

Cinnamon Roll Convenience Without the Can | Good Cheap Eats

To bake, simply place the desired number of frozen rolls on a pan and set out overnight on the counter, covered with a lightweight towel. They’ll be ready for the oven in the morning!

Convenience without the can!

Here are some favorite sweet roll recipes:

Tools to help you make these cinnamon rolls:

— Amy is a tiny-town wife and mother of three with a new little one on the way. Enjoying a hot batch of cinnamon rolls is one way she Embraces the Extraordinary in Every Day. You can find her writing about just that over at The Finer Things in Life.

Want the dish onΒ freezer cooking? Check out The Ultimate Freezer Cooking Collection of Recipes and Tips.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe great meals don't have to be complicated or expensive. There's a better way, and it won't take all afternoon.

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  1. Martha A. says:

    I have never done this!!! i am going to so have to try it!

  2. Kelly says:

    Thank you SO much for this! We used to use the canned every weekend, but stopped when I couldn't find any good info on freezing them. [I felt like the store bought were probably overpriced and less healthy than homemade] Time to return to cinnamon rolls! Yay!

  3. April Driggers says:

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for this! You know I’ve been yearning to try Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon rolls but I hear it makes 7 pans…and I didn’t know if you could freeze them or not! Who in the world wants SEVEN PANS of cinnamon rolls? NOT ME! This is SUCH FANASTIC NEWS!!!

    I am SO digging your site! I think I”m going to link to every single one of your recipes as I make them and blog about them!!!

    I even started my household binder.. it’s still being tweaked but I’m loving it!

    • Jessica says:

      Yeah for the household binder! And yes, I was surprised to find your comment in moderation. I know you’re on LAM, but this must have been a secret I was keeping from you. πŸ˜‰

  4. Shanna C says:

    Found this via Pinterest…and I can’t believe I never thought of doing this. I, too, will NOT get up early to make homemade cinnamon rolls but I so love the early morning smell of them baking in the oven πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing your ideas!

  5. Shonda says:

    The recipe links take me to a site that is under maintenance! I would love to make these. Hmmmm

  6. Kyo says:

    you have just made my life easier! thanks so much

  7. KT says:

    Thank you! This is so helpful! I have used it with both cinnamon and peanut butter rolls.

  8. Kelly says:

    Thanks for the freezing tips and the recipe links! I’m definitely making these for Thanksgiving breakfast (start the day out with as many calories as possible! haha) It will be wonderful getting some preparations done ahead of time.

  9. Casey says:

    Hey! Hopefully you get this… But I was wanting to make my cinnamon rolls two days in advance… would they last in the fridge or should I freeze them?

    • Jessica says:

      That’s a tough call. Def. to fridge one day in advance. Otherwise freeze. OR bake them a day ahead.

  10. Jonna says:

    I am trying this out today! We have dramatically cut our grocery budget for the four of us, but with fresh cinnamon rolls throughout the month, it won’t seem so bad! I linked this page to my blog and I hope that is okay. I just wanted to share this great idea with my readers!

    • Jessica says:

      Absolutely. Link away. πŸ™‚

      • Jonna says:

        @Jessica, I made these and they were fabulous! So delicious! I am so pleased that I will be able to offer these to my family on a regular basis without having to toil away each morning. These cinnamon rolls may become a Sunday morning tradition! πŸ™‚

  11. lisa says:

    How long will they last in the freezer? I have made the pioneers woman’s recipe for awhile now and yes it is 7 pans but i have alot of people come over and take their own pan home…lol. I have never tried freezing them but i will now but again how long do you think they will last and do you think freezing them in a freezer bag or a tray like you showed in the picture?

    • Jessica says:

      I typically freeze them in bags. Remove as much air as you can first. They should be fine for a month in the refrig/freezer or 2-3 months in the deep freeze.

  12. I never thought about freezing them! My recipe is from a cookbook and makes jumbo sized, but it’s hard for us to get through a whole pan before feeling like we’ve OD’d on sugar. Freezing half and baking half is the perfect solution! Thanks!

  13. Holly says:

    Thank you! I have been wondering for a while now if I could freeze my cinnamon rolls and have them still be good when baked. I wasn’t sure of the best way to thaw and finish rising.
    Now I do! Thank you again.

  14. I make homemade cinnamon rolls and keep them in the freezer. 10 minutes or so in the oven and you have hot fresh homemade rolls. It only takes a little while to make homemade ones every couple of months. And, it’s so worth it – taste and health wise. πŸ™‚
    Here’s my recipe:

  15. Tiffany says:

    What do you do about the icing? Do you put it on the rolls and then freeze them?

    • Jessica says:

      Add the icing when you serve them. Just make the rolls and freeze before they rise. Thaw and rise simultaneously. Bake. Cool. Then frost.

      • Tiffany says:

        Alright I started making these tonight using the big batch recipe and the dough was extremely sticky after adding the 7 cups of flour so i added more and it was still sticky! Did I do something wrong or is it okay for it to be like that?

        • Jessica says:

          @Tiffany, did you use my recipe or Amy’s? It’s a guest post. I would just add more flour as you work the dough on the surface until you can easily manage it. It often has to do with the humidity in the air.

        • Tiffany says:

          I used Amy’s. And I just kept adding flour until it wasn’t so sticky. Hopefully they turn out alright! Thanks for your help!

  16. PAT says:


    • Jessica says:

      Freeze as soon as you roll. Then they will rise as they thaw.

  17. Melanie says:

    We do homemade cinnamon rolls almost every week and always when company comes over. For the 3 of us- I make a batch of 2 dozen once a month and freeze them. I have found an even simpler method tho…I use my bread machine on the dough cycle and let it only go through the first rise. Right after it beeps to let me know it’s punching down the first rise, I remove dough, roll it out on lightly floured surface, add all mixed ingredients, roll up and cut and freeze. The night before, I preheat my oven to 350. I mix up a basic carmel mix, grease and pour the carmel mix in the bottom of my pan, cover w/ a damp towell, turn off oven (or just set on counter if warm) and leave in all night to finish rising. In the morning, just remember to remove towell and turn on the oven. When they are done, I take it out of the oven, put the lid on the pan and flip it over so all the carmel goodness is on the top and drizzels down on all sides…enjoy! =) FYI- I don’t recommend refridgerating the leftovers (if they exist) w/ the carmel topping, but it seems to last about 3-4 days on the counter w/ just puting the pan back on the lid.

  18. Well, bless your cinnamon lovin’ heart. I have never made them in advance like this but I LOVE that it’s possible. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

  19. Timna says:

    Question: When freezing do you let it raise once then roll out, cut and freeze?

  20. John says:

    A question, what would be the steps for doing this without a bread machine?

    • Several of the recipes referenced in the post will give you instructions on making the dough by hand.

  21. Tiffany says:

    How long do these last in freezer before hindering the rising process?

  22. Joella says:

    looking forward to trying this!! I have guests coming on the weekend and need a simple quick breakfast… πŸ™‚

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