What’s better for a special breakfast than homemade sticky rolls? Of course yeast baking can be intimidating, not to mention time consuming. But if you are baking challenged or simply busy, this recipe for Easy Cranberry Pecan Cinnamon Rolls is for you.
By starting with prepared pizza dough (I get mine at Trader Joe’s), and ready-made cranberry sauce (or other sweet filling), more than half the work is done–and all the scary is gone!
The inspiration came from Abby, one of my local blogging buddies. She made Vegan Cinnamon Rolls, using pizza dough and swapping mashed banana for the butter! When I made them, I was flabbergasted that something so healthy could be such a tasty (and practical) substitution for the 1000-ish calorie commercial style roll. Yes, I was seriously impressed–and I even used whole wheat dough.
So with a pile of cranberry sauce in my fridge, along with some pecans left from my Maple Bourbon Pecan Tart, I decided to try a cranberry variation. Cinnamon rolls two ways–life is good.
Out of cranberry sauce? Banana, like in the original, or jam in a flavor of your choice (raspberry sticky rolls, anyone?), would be a wonderful substitution–just reduce the sugar a bit if you use jam, which tends to be sweeter. Hmmm, now I know what to do if my homemade jam doesn’t disappear…
Here is how easy it is:
Roll out the dough to a 8 x 12 rectangle and smear it with cranberry sauce…
Toast pecans and sprinkle on top…
Add brown sugar and cinnamon, then roll it up…
Once rolled, cut in half, then each piece in half, then half again to make 8 rolls…
Place in a baking dish to rise in a warm place (in the winter, I use the microwave with the light on) from 1 to 3 hours (here I learned that fresh pizza dough rises much faster than dough that’s been in your refrigerator past the expiration date).
Then bake and drizzle with powdered sugar glaze (or cover the risen, but uncooked rolls and refrigerate to bake the next morning)…
- 1 pizza dough (note: calorie counter is ignoring this, so add 120 calories/serving for whole wheat)
- 1/2 c cranberry sauce
- 1/4 c brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/3 cup pecans, chopped and toasted
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 4 t skim milk or non-dairy milk (or a little more to create drizzle-able glaze)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Grease 9 inch round cake pan or 8 inch square baking dish, set aside.
- Roll out refrigerated pizza dough on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 12 inches by 8 inches. If dough is too cold to roll out, let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes.
- Once the dough is rolled out, spread the cranberry sauce evenly over the rolled out dough, leaving an inch or so edge along the dough. Sprinkle with pecans, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and allspice.
- Roll the dough up into a log, starting at the long side. Cut the rolled up dough into 8 even slices. Place slices into greased baking dish or pan (it's okay if they don't touch--they will expand as they rise)..
- Let rise in a warm spot for 1 - 3 hours. At this point, the rolls can be placed into the refrigerator to be baked the next day or a few days later or baked immediately.
- After the rise, bake the rolls at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes. Let cool.
- For the icing: Whisk together powdered sugar, almond milk, and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Pour over the cinnamon rolls and serve.
- Note: the calorie counter is ignoring the pizza crust, so you will need to add 120 calories/serving for a more accurate calorie count (I have emailed them about this).