The Best Trick for Slicing Cinnamon Roll Dough Perfectly

published Apr 16, 2022
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
baking dish with cinnamon buns in them
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Prop Styling: Nicole Louie; Food Styling; Pearl Jones

Few things will get you up and out of bed in the morning quicker than freshly baked cinnamon rolls. Dishes like French Toast Casserole, Chocolate Chip Pancakes, and Fluffy Belgian Waffles all come close. But to me, the scent of warm cinnamon is arguably the best wake-up call. If you’ve ever made cinnamon rolls from scratch, then you know that they require a little bit of patience. The work you put into them is totally worth it, though.

Aside from letting the dough rise properly, one of the most crucial things when making cinnamon rolls at home is getting cleanly sliced rolls. After you’ve rolled the dough and cinnamon filling into a log, you’ll likely be tasked with cutting it into 1/2-to-1-inch-thick slices.

Many recipes call for using a sharp chef’s knife to make the cuts, but I’ve found this isn’t always the best method, especially if you don’t have particularly sharp or high-quality knives. If you try to slice dough with a dull knife, you’ll end up smushing the dough, creating misshapen, too-flat rolls. There is an easy solution to this — you just have to make a trip to your bathroom cabinet.

To make easy and clean slices on cinnamon roll dough, use unflavored and unwaxed dental floss to slice the dough. That’s right, dental floss doesn’t always need to stay put next to the toothpaste and brush — you can reserve a cheap container of floss (sans the mint flavoring) in the kitchen for working with cinnamon rolls and for other kitchen tasks.

How to Slice Cinnamon Roll Dough with Dental Floss

Once you have the log assembled, use either the floss or a butter knife to make light marks at the top to use as a guide for slicing the rolls. Then, slide a piece of the dental floss underneath the log, so it’s positioned below the first mark at one end of the log. Holding one end of the floss in each hand, cross the two over each other to slice through the dough. Repeat this process under each mark on the log of dough, until you have individual rolls.

This trick also works well with savory garlic swirl rolls, and for slicing goat cheese logs, watermelon, and more.

Cinnamon Rolls and Other Sweet Roll Recipes to Try