Kitchn Love Letters

For Extra-Gooey Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls, I Always Break This One Rule

published Mar 8, 2024
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Credit: Patty Catalano

If breakfast pastries were a love language, cinnamon rolls would be mine. There’s little that the spiraled soft dough with tangy icing can’t solve. They can make a Saturday morning, reverse a bad mood, and turn a brunch into a party (I always serve them when people come over). I’m not precious with my cinnamon rolls: I’ll make a homemade batch if I’m feeling up for it (we tried some famous cinnamon rolls to determine who has the best recipe), but more often than not I reach for a can of Pillsbury (because who doesn’t love the classic can, really?).

It’s been years since I’ve actually followed the instructions on the can, though. Ever since the viral trick surfaced in 2022 of pouring over heavy cream before baking, I have never skipped this extra (tiny!) step. You add the unbaked cinnamon rolls to a baking pan (I like to use a 9” round cake pan so I can squish ‘em together nice and tight!), then pour over 1/2 cup heavy cream — allowing any excess cream to pool in the pan. And then comes an important moment: Don’t read the instructions on the can. We did a very scientific test of the best way to hack canned cinnamon rolls (see, science is fun!) and determined that baking the rolls uncovered for 15 minutes at 350°F was the best (versus the recommended 400°F). Let them cool for a couple of minutes, then frost as usual.

Credit: Patty Catalano

What Makes This Cinnamon Roll Trick So Good

Most of us can acknowledge the deliciousness that is a Cinnabon cinnamon roll (this copycat Cinnabon recipe is worth trying if you’re a big fan) — but who wants to trudge to the mall to get one? This hack lets you enjoy the same gooey goodness with a can of Pillsbury from the store. With this trick, the rolls absorb the heavy cream as they bake, making the texture absolutely incredible; they really plump up! Imagine your favorite part of a cinnamon roll — that impossibly gooey center — and then imagine the entire roll tasting like that. If that sounds incredible (which it is), this hack is for you. And you can see that it’s wildly simple. The only extra effort is making sure you have heavy cream in your fridge for when you bake the rolls. 

Everyone I know who has tried this says they’ll never bake cinnamon rolls another way — it’s just too simple a step to skip for such a big delicious payoff.

Get our tips and watch the video: Viral Baked Cinnamon Roll Hack