Easiest Cranberry Pecan Cinnamon Rolls


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. 

Cranberry Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Cranberry Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

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. 

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

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…

Cranberry Pecan Cinnamon Rolls in Pan

Cranberry Pecan Cinnamon Rolls in Pan

Here is how easy it is:

Roll out the dough to a 8 x 12 rectangle and smear it with cranberry sauce…

Cranberry Pecan Cinnamon Rolls--add sauce

Cranberry Pecan Cinnamon Rolls–add sauce

Toast pecans and sprinkle on top…

Pan toasting pecans

Pan toasting pecans

Add brown sugar and cinnamon, then roll it up…

Roll up cinnamon roll dough

Roll up cinnamon roll dough

Once rolled, cut in half, then each piece in half, then half again to make 8 rolls…

Cut into eight slices

Cut into eight slices

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). 

Cinnamon Rolls, starting to rise

Cinnamon Rolls, starting to rise

Then bake and drizzle with powdered sugar glaze (or cover the risen, but uncooked rolls and refrigerate to bake the next morning)…

Cinnamon Rolls with Glaze

Cinnamon Rolls with Glaze

Cranberry Pecan Cinnamon Rolls
Serves 8
If you are baking challenged, or simply busy, this recipe for Easy Cranberry Pecan Cinnamon Rolls, starting with pizza dough, is for you!
Write a review
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
3 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
3 hr
131 calories
24 g
0 g
4 g
1 g
0 g
45 g
62 g
21 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 131
Calories from Fat 32
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4g
Saturated Fat 0g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 62mg
Total Carbohydrates 24g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 21g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1 pizza dough (note: calorie counter is ignoring this, so add 120 calories/serving for whole wheat)
  2. 1/2 c cranberry sauce
  3. 1/4 c brown sugar
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  5. 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  6. 1/3 cup pecans, chopped and toasted
For the icing
  1. 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  2. 4 t skim milk or non-dairy milk (or a little more to create drizzle-able glaze)
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Grease 9 inch round cake pan or 8 inch square baking dish, set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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)..
  5. 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.
  6. After the rise, bake the rolls at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes. Let cool.
  7. For the icing: Whisk together powdered sugar, almond milk, and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Pour over the cinnamon rolls and serve.
  1. 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).
Adapted from The Frosted Vegan
Adapted from The Frosted Vegan
Art of Natural Living http://artofnaturalliving.com/
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  1. what a wonderful use for leftover cranberry sauce! i’ve never thought about using pizza dough for these–bravo!

    • Abby at TheFrostedVegan.com, who I got this from, is a most creative baker! Besides being practical, her recipes have given me new appreciation for how good things can be without any animal products.

  2. I feel like this post was created especially for me, Inger:) Yeast challenged, cans and cans of cranberry sauce from Marion’s last shopping spree, well you know the story, lol…I’m going to have to show this recipe to Marion. She will get a kick out of using pizza dough, lol…And, of course, she will want me to bake them too!!!

    Thank you so much for sharing, Inger…

    • I am laughing so hard now Louise! I usually wind up with some kind of a cranberry sauce excess this time of year, but I think you have me beat. There is another cranberry sauce recipe that I am working on–perhaps I’ll try to accelerate it in case it may be helpful too.

      • Accelerate away Inger! Marion was feeling so good yesterday that I was “forced” to take her shopping. Guess what was on sale? Cranberry Sauce!!! Four more cans to shove in the pantry. If you have any ideas for Cantaloupe I’m listening. Buy one get one free equals four Cantaloupe too, oh my…

        • Too funny! I usually eat my cantaloupe with cottage cheese for breakfast. Which reminds me that I have two in my fridge and no cottage cheese…

          • We’re way ahead of you on this one, Inger. Marion had cottage cheese, cantaloupe and crushed pineapples for breakfast this morning. I passed on such a dish:)

          • Such a healthy breakfast–two types of fruit even. We fruit and veggie counters are most impressed!

  3. So glad you made these! I’ve been curious ever since we talked about you trying them this way, so I’m happy to see they turned out beautifully : )

    • Thanks so much for sharing this Abby! Now I can’t wait for the next slumber party–I think these would be a perfect breakfast for a group of girls in sleeping bags!

  4. I always avoid yeasted dough recipes for breakfast foods due to the time but it NEVER occurred to me to use pizza dough! Can’t wait to try these!

    • Yes, having fresh baked yeasted sweet rolls for breakfast is something that happens in my fantasy world. Love having the option in the real world!

  5. looks wonderful and never thot of adding jam to cinnamon rolls! i am going to make some cinnamon rolls too but had to use a fixed recipe for a blog event..but really like that jam idea!

    • Thanks Lena–I’ll have to stop by and check yours out. Between the no work pizza crust dough and the no work cranberry sauce filling, these were soooo easy! If only I could figure out how to take out the calories!

  6. What tasty looking pecan rolls!

  7. The cranberry sauce brings this a special delight, I think. I always get so hungry visiting your posts, Inger.

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