5-Ingredient Brown Butter Cinnamon Rolls are a cinnamon-roll lover’s dream – and they take MINUTES to prepare. They’re incredibly soft, packed with cinnamon and sugar, nutty brown butter, and then slathered with a two-ingredient (four if you count salt and water) glaze that will make you weak in the knees.
Today’s recipe is part of a whole series of five-ingredient recipes, so be sure to check out all of them! We love these Peanut Noodles, these Blackened Cilantro Lime Chicken Burgers, this Chicken Piccata, this Gnocchi with Sausage and Peas. , and this Shrimp Alfredo.
5-Ingredient Brown Butter Cinnamon
When it comes to baked breakfast goodies, these 5-Ingredient Brown Butter Cinnamon rolls reign supreme. They’re:
- As soft and fluffy as a feather-down pillow.
- Almost as easy to make as any of your basic breakfast go-tos. (Oatmeal, cinnamon toast, even cereal.)
- Packed with enough cinnamon, sugar, and brown butter to make your knees weak.
- Covered in the most simple, yet completely addictive brown butter glaze.
Do I have you convinced yet??
Although. I do have a secret to confess.
The secret to soft, pillowy brown butter cinnamon rolls
There was a major shortcut in preparing these. I knew I wanted to use a store-bought dough, because five ingredients in the name of the game here. At first, I toyed around with buying pizza dough, or freezer bread dough, but I actually ended up loitering near all the canned biscuits, and swiped two cans of Pillsbury Crescent Dough in a burst of impromptu rebellion. And I have absolutely no regrets.
After the rolls are baked, there is literally no trace of the pre-packaged product, and all anyone will taste is the most buttery, soft cinnamon roll on the planet.
Not that I need to justify using crescent dough, because I’ve been making sticky buns, cinnamon rolls, sweet buns etc. for years, and I can honestly say these have yielded the softest end product yet. Do yourself a favor and hightail it to the store to buy the dough, I’m guessing you have all of the other ingredients on hand.
Our 5-Ingredient lineup
- canned crescent dough (the sheets not the triangles meant for rolling)
- white sugar
- ground cinnamon
- powdered sugar
- water + salt (free ingredients)
While I’ve waxed poetic about the actual dough, another star of the show? Brown butter. Which if we’re being perfectly honest, is always the star of the show thanks to its irresistibly nutty, delicious taste. (We’re big fans of brown butter, example here, here, here.) Similar to a lot of my five-ingredient recipes, the brown butter serves double duty for maximum flavor. First, as the “glue” that sticks the cinnamon and sugar to the dough, and second as the prominent flavor in the glaze.
Which brings us to…
The Brown Butter Glaze
Two ingredients. Brown butter and powdered sugar. Well, four if you count salt and water, which we don’t. I was not expecting much when I made this glaze. Naively, I just thought it would be the perfect, subtle compliment to the rolls, but between the brown butter and the generous amount of salt, it’s kind of a game changer. Now I will be slathering this on all of my sweet rolls, until eternity. Taste + ease wins every time.
How to Brown Butter
- Add butter to a small skillet. Heat to a medium-high heat. Once butter starts to melt and turns brown on the edges, swirl the pan.
- Continue to swirl the pan until the butter becomes a deep brown and smells very nutty. You want there to be some VERY dark specks.
- Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl. Cool slightly.
What if I can’t find sheets of crescent roll dough?
No worries. Just buy the triangles and press them together.
Substitutions and Tips and Tricks for Recipe Success
- Usually I have a ton of substitutions toggle you, but in today’s case, I’d stick to the ingredients listed.
- When browning butter, it’s easy to burn, so be sure to watch it carefully. After the butter turns a deep golden brown, I like to pull it off the heat and continue swirling it so it doesn’t burn. Remember, you can always cook it longer, but if you burn it into oblivion, you have to start all over.
- Don’t get the rolls too brown, just very lightly golden brown will do.
- Try to wait to glaze the rolls until they’ve rested for a few minutes. You want the glaze to melt into the rolls, but you don’t want it to completely liquify.
What to serve with 5-Ingredient Brown Butter Cinnamon Rolls
- 2 cans Crescent Dough Sheets (16 oz. total)
- 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
- 1/4 cup + 1/8 cup sugar
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp. water
- 1/4 tsp. coarse kosher salt
- Preheat to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with non-stick cooking spray or butter.
- Add 4 tablespoons butter to a small skillet. Heat to a medium-high heat. Once butter starts to melt and turn brown on the edges, swirl the pan. Continue to swirl the pan until the butter becomes a deep brown and smells very nutty. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl. Cool slightly.
- Take each crescent out of the can, and place one above the other. Overlap slightly. Use your fingers to pinch the edges together. You should have a rectangle approzimately 11x14 inches. If you need to roll it out a bit, sprinkle with flour and slightly roll it out with a rolling pin or glass.
- Add sugar and cinnamon to a bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Pour melted brown butter over the crescent dough. Brush over the entire surface. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture. Starting at the bottom, roll the dough up jelly-roll style. Pinch edges closed. Use a sharp knife to the the dough into 12 even rolls. Place the rolls cut-side down in the prepared pan. Bake for 15-18 minutes until cooked through and brown.
- While the rolls cook, brown the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Add powdered sugar to a medium bowl, along with melted brown butter and water to the bowl. Use a whisk to combine the powdered sugar into the butter and water. If needed, add a little bit of water until the glaze is smooth. Whisk in salt.
- When the rolls come out of the oven, let them cool for 2-3 minutes, then spread with glaze. Sprinkle with extra coarse salt if desired. (Highly recommend!)
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 255Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 204mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 1gSugar: 15gProtein: 3g