Cinnamon Swirls deliver that signature cinnamon roll flavor you know and love, only without a time-consuming yeast dough thanks to store-bought puff pastry!
With spiraling layers of flaky, buttery pastry dough and cinnamony-sweet goodness inside, these puff pastry cinnamon rolls are eons better than anything you could ever pop out of a can, yet still easy to make. The perfect recipe for make-ahead mornings and brunch-time entertaining!
PUFF PASTRY CINNAMON ROLLS
Cinnamon Swirls are really just a quick-fix version of homemade cinnamon rolls. Rather than taking the time to make a yeast dough from scratch, we’re enlisting the friendly-freezer staple, puff pastry.
While cinnamon rolls from scratch are entirely worth it, they are indeed time-consuming. So, if those cinnamon roll cravings just can’t wait, puff pastry cinnamon rolls it is!
Many Cinnamon Swirl recipes call for a filling of melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. This is indeed a delicious trio, however, not the best in combination with buttery puff pastry.
The three ingredients don’t adhere properly to the puff pastry and ultimately ooze onto the baking sheet, creating a sticky, burnt mess on the bottom of each swirl.
If you want Cinnamon Swirls with a filling that actually stays in place, a cream cheese filling is the way to go! The cream cheese suspends the brown sugar and cinnamon in place and makes for a filling that actually stays put.
HOW TO MAKE CINNAMON SWIRLS
- Make the egg wash.
- Make the cinnamon-sugar cream cheese filling.
- Roll out the puff pastry.
- Add the filling and roll into a log.
- Chill, then slice.
- Bake the Cinnamon Swirls.
- Make the icing, drizzle, and allow to set!
1. MAKE THE EGG WASH
The first thing you’re going to do for this Cinnamon Swirls recipe is knock out some simple prep work by making the egg wash and the filling.
The egg wash is important as it helps to hold the Cinnamon Swirls shut.
To make an egg wash, all you have to do is combine 1 large egg and 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl. Just use the tines of a fork to mix it up and you’re all set!
2. MAKE THE CINNAMON-SUGAR CREAM CHEESE FILLING
Now, it’s on to the filling! The filling is a quick and easy combo of cream cheese, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
Remember, it’s important that the cream cheese is at room temperature! Room temperature cream cheese ensures that both the brown sugar and cinnamon can incorporate evenly throughout it.
To make the filling, add the cream cheese, brown sugar, and cinnamon to a medium-sized mixing bowl and mix with a handheld mixer until well-combined. You could also use a whisk if you’d prefer.
3. ROLL OUT THE PUFF PASTRY
Once your prep work is out of the way, we can move on to the puff pastry. Puff pastry can be found in the freezer section of your grocery store alongside other bread-type ingredients like frozen pie crusts, rolls, etc…
Each puff pastry package will come equipped with two puff pastries individually wrapped inside of it. We will use both for this recipe.
It’s best if you can remember to set your puff pastry in the refrigerator to thaw the night before you intend to make your Cinnamon Swirls, but if you forget, that’s ok! You can also set it out to thaw on your counter, and it should be ready to work with after about 30 minutes or so.
Once your puff pastry is thawed, transfer one of the sheets to a floured work surface. Dust the top of the pastry sheet with flour as well. Roll out the pastry so it is about 9×13″. Then, turn the pastry (if needed) so that one of the short ends is facing you.
4. ADD THE FILLING AND ROLL INTO A LOG
Now, it’s time to bring it all together. Add half of the cinnamon-sugar cream cheese mixture to the center of the puff pastry and spread to the edges, leaving a bare 1″-thick strip on the short end closest to you.
Brush the bare 1″ strip with the prepared egg wash and begin rolling the opposite end tightly toward yourself. Pinch the seam to seal the pastry and place it seam-side down on a flat surface lined with wax or parchment paper (such as a baking sheet). Then, repeat the entire proccess with the remaining puff pastry sheet.
5. CHILL AND SLICE INTO CINNAMON SWIRLS
Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and transfer the logs to the refrigerator to chill for about 1 hour or up to overnight.
Remove the Cinnamon Swirl logs from the refrigerator and transfer them to a work surface. Cut them into 3/4″ to 1″ slices using a sharp knife, and place them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet about 2″ apart from one another. A serrated knife works best for this task!
6. BAKE THE CINNAMON SWIRLS
Bake in a preheated oven set to 375°F for about 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Set them aside to cool on a wire rack and move on to the icing!
7. MAKE THE ICING, DRIZZLE, AND SET
You absolutely cannot have Puff Pastry Cinnamon Rolls without that drippy vanilla icing!
In a small bowl, mix powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, and salt and whisk until it becomes liquified. Once your icing is all set, drizzle spoonfuls across the top of each Cinnamon Swirl and let it drip down the sides.
Note, if you try to add the icing before the Cinnamon Swirls cool completely, it will likely melt away!
Once the icing has set, you can dig in!
6 MORE SWEET BREAKFAST RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Banana Bread Pudding
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
- Cinnamon Muffins
- Cinnamon Scones
- Apple Crumble Cake
- Apple Strudel Recipe
These easy puff pastry Cinnamon Swirls come spiraling with layers of flaky, buttery pastry dough and cinnamony-sweet goodness! They’re eons better than anything you could ever pop out of a can, yet still easy to make! It’s the perfect recipe for make-ahead mornings, brunches, and even snack time!
- 1 large egg
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2-3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, for dusting
- 1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed overnight in the refrigerator
- 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of fine sea salt
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg with 1 tablespoon of water.
Set aside. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Use a handheld mixer at medium-high speed to mix until well-combined. Set aside.
On a large floured work surface sprinkle one sheet of puff pastry lightly with flour and roll out into a rectangle about 9"x13". Turn so that one of the short ends of the pastry is facing you.
Add half of the cream cheese mixture to the center of the pastry and spread to the edges, leaving a bare 1" strip on the short edge closest to you. Brush the bare strip with the egg wash. Starting from the far short-end, tightly roll the pastry toward you. Pinch the seam to seal.
Transfer seam-side down to a flat surface lined with wax or parchment paper (such as a baking sheet) and repeat with the other puff pastry sheet. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hour, or until chilled.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Remove from the refrigerator and use a sharp, serrated knife to cut the log into slices about 3/4-1" thick.
Transfer the wheels to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, spacing each one about 2" apart. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden and puffed.
Once the Cinnamon Swirls have cooled, transfer them to a sheet of wax paper and make the icing.
To make the icing, add the powdered sugar, milk, vanilla extract, and sea salt to a small mixing bowl. Whisk to combine
Drizzle a small spoonful of the icing over each Cinnamon Swirl. Allow to set (about 15-20 minutes), then serve, and enjoy!
Makes about 24 Cinnamon Swirls.