I Tried Baked by Melissa’s Funfetti Cinnamon Rolls and It’s a Breakfast Party on a Plate
In my opinion, there’s something very nostalgic about Funfetti cake. I think it’s because it’s what I requested most when it was my turn to choose dessert for a birthday party or family get-together as a kid. So, when I spotted Baked by Melissa’s Funfetti cinnamon roll recipe during my daily leisurely scroll on TikTok, I knew I wanted to try my hand at them. I headed right to the grocery store, got the things I needed, and got to work.
How to Make Baked by Melissa’s Funfetti Cinnamon Rolls
Although Melissa didn’t share the exact recipe for her colorful version of cinnamon rolls, she did share the visual process for making them. Armed with that information, I opted to go with my favorite (and one of social media’s favorite) cinnamon roll dough recipe from Alton Brown and used that as my base for the Funfetti cinnamon rolls. This particular dough is a little time-consuming because of the amount of time it takes to rise, but your patience is rewarded in the end with a delightfully soft cinnamon roll.
To start, let your eggs and buttermilk come to room temperature for about 45 minutes. (This helps the ingredients get incorporated into the dough a little better.) Once those two things are at room temperature, get your mixer and combine the buttermilk, butter, sugar, and eggs. Once the wet ingredients are combined, add the flour, salt, and yeast.
When the first batch of dry ingredients are well-mixed, swap the paddle attachment for a dough hook, add another small batch of flour, and knead for five minutes. The recipe stated that the dough should be soft but not sticky, so you may need to add a small amount of flour and knead for another five minutes. Near the end of the second five minutes, you should add about a cup of multi-colored sprinkles. I used long sprinkles, but you could also use nonpareil sprinkles in the recipe.
After the sprinkles are incorporated and the five minutes are up, remove the dough from the bowl and knead it on the counter for about 30 seconds before forming it into a smooth ball and transferring it to a greased bowl. Find a warm, draft-free place (like your turned-off oven) and allow the dough to rise for about three hours.
Check the dough after two-and-a-half hours to ensure it is rising well and doubling in size. If it is, you can begin to make the Funfetti cake filling. Again, there was no exact recipe for this from Baked by Melissa, so I used a simple vanilla cake recipe and added some sprinkles to it to make it Funfetti cake. But you can use any of these tasty Funfetti recipes if you’d like.
When your batter is ready, set it to the side while you roll out the cinnamon roll dough.
Tip: I added about half a cup more flour than my cake recipe called for to make it a thicker batter that wouldn’t ooze out over the edges of the cinnamon roll dough when it was layered on.
To assemble the Funfetti cinnamon rolls, start by greasing a pan with cold butter. Consider using a pan that is larger than what you think you will need because the cinnamon rolls will rise one more time, and while they are baking, the cake batter will expand slightly. Roll out the dough to an 18×12-inch rectangle. The dough might look a little thin at this point, but don’t worry: Once it’s rolled into a log, it will look like a large cinnamon roll.
Next, carefully slather on the cake batter, ensuring that there is a 1-inch border at the top edge of the dough to seal the cinnamon roll log well. To roll the dough into a log, start with the long edge nearest you and begin slightly rolling from left to right, ensuring the roll is tight. When you reach the edge without any cake batter, pinch the roll closed, and roll the log so the seam is on the counter. Cut the cinnamon rolls into 2-inch rolls — which should equal eight pieces.
Arrange the rolls in the buttered pan, cut-side down. When all of the rolls are in the pan, cover them with plastic wrap and put them in the refrigerator overnight. The following morning, turn your oven on to 200°F. Once it reaches 200, turn the oven off and place the rolls inside for about 30 minutes. This is a second rise so they come out super fluffy. When the 30-minute rise is done, do not take the rolls out of the oven or open the door. Instead, set your oven for 350°F and let the cinnamon rolls bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes.
While the rolls are cooling slightly, make the glaze — which is a mixture of milk and powdered sugar. You’ll want to make it thick without it looking like school glue. The best way to know if you have the correct consistency is to use a spoon and pour some of the glaze back into the bowl. If it runs off the spoon like water, you need more powdered sugar. If it doesn’t come off the spoon quickly, you’ll need to add just a touch more milk. You’re looking for the glaze to glide off the spoon in a thick ribbon, similar to maple syrup.
Once the Funfetti cinnamon rolls are cooled slightly, pour the glaze over the top of the rolls, being careful to cover the entire top of the roll. Then you can either devour or add more sprinkles for an even greater sugar rush.
My Honest Review of Baked by Melissa’s Funfetti Cinnamon Rolls
This recipe is proof that sprinkles can make everything better. I loved that the recipe combined two of my favorite things — cinnamon rolls and Funfetti cake — into one sweet dessert-like breakfast. The cinnamon rolls were sweet and I couldn’t eat more than one, but I loved sharing these with my family so they could try them too. I also really enjoyed the contrast of textures with the soft, crumb-like cake, the slightly crispy top of the cinnamon rolls, and the crunchy sprinkles that are added to the top of the glaze. I would serve these for a kids’ birthday breakfast or as a dessert at a family get-together where something sweet and indulgent is what everyone is looking for.
Would I want to make these all of the time? No, but that’s mainly because my preference is traditional cinnamon rolls with the gooey centers — and the Funfetti cinnamon rolls lack that. Another thing to note is that after the Funfetti version cooled off all of the way, they dried out slightly and the glaze hardened up, making the cinnamon rolls less appealing.
Tips for Making Funfetti Cinnamon Rolls
- Use a cinnamon roll dough you already trust. Let’s be honest: Cinnamon rolls are challenging to make if you aren’t great at making bread. If you have a cinnamon roll dough you already rely on, use that instead of trying something new. This will increase your odds of success with the Funfetti cinnamon rolls.
- Choose the right sprinkles. If you want the sprinkles in the dough to be softer and possibly melt into the dough slightly, use the long kind. If you want to add more texture to your final product, however, use nonpareils. I also enjoyed finding sprinkles that had fun shapes and colors for the topping of the cinnamon rolls.
- You can still use a cinnamon filling. If you don’t like cake or think these cinnamon rolls sound too sweet with the addition of the cake filling, you can still use the traditional cinnamon filling. The Funfetti cinnamon roll dough will still look fun — especially since sprinkles don’t add a lot of flavor to anything — but you’ll still have those warm cinnamon notes luring you in to have another bite.