Bacon Cinnamon Rolls

Prep 30 mins
Cook 50 mins
Rise 2 hrs
Total 3 hrs 20 mins

Moist cinnamon rolls are filled with brown sugar and bacon bits, smothered in a smooth cream cheese icing, and topped with sweet candied bacon. That’s right – Bacon Cinnamon Rolls are totally a thing, and they might just be the best breakfast ever!

Bacon cinnamon roll on a plate.

Fluffy Bacon Cinnamon Rolls

Friends. You are going to want to clear your breakfast schedules, because these Bacon Cinnamon Rolls cannot be missed. It would be a tragedy. These homemade cinnamon buns are perfect for any time of year, and they are the definition of a comfort food breakfast!

Let’s talk texture first. Bacon Cinnamon Rolls are SO incredibly soft and moist. The secret that’s not a secret here, is butter, which enriches the flavor. But, it also creates a soft interior to these cinnamon rolls, while simultaneously creating a lightly crispy top! And then there’s the savory bacon bits. The cooked bacon sprinkled throughout these rolls throws in a rich breakfast flavor, and it adds a little crunch/texture to each bite, too.

Before I wrap this up, I have to mention the ‘icing on the cake.’ A smooth cream cheese frosting tops these rolls off, which adds a sweetness to pair with the meatiness of the bacon.

In short, every bite is heavenly, and treating yourself to one of these chewy, pillow-soft cinnamon rolls is a must!

A round tray of iced cinnamon rolls.

The Bacon Takes These Buns Over the Top!

Cinnamon rolls are delicious all on their own, it’s true. So, why mess with a breakfast bun that’s already so great?

Because bacon makes everything better! Every. Thing. Thus, you see my need to try bacon cinnamon rolls. But not just regular old bacon-topped cinnamon rolls. No, I needed me some crispy-bacon-filled (infused?) cinnamon rolls with candied bacon on top.

In case it wasn’t clear already, they definitely did not disappoint. In fact, they absolutely wowed. This fabulous blend of bacon, brown sugar, and cinnamon is everything you’ve ever needed in a breakfast, and more – that’s a promise!

Ingredients for bacon cinnamon rolls.

What You’ll Need

Okay, now that you’re craving bacon and sugar like I am, what do we need to pull these bacon cinnamon rolls together? There’s quite a list of ingredients to go over, so bear with me! I’ve broken it down into three main parts:

For the Cinnamon Rolls

  • Milk: Whole milk is best used in this recipe however you could also use 2%.
  • Active Yeast: Active yeast is ideal for this recipe to provide a slow rise to allow the gluten to develop. I have not tested this recipe with fast acting yeast.
  • Sugar: I like to use granulated sugar both in the rolls and in the filling. I also add brown sugar to the filling though, because it sweetens and compliments the bacon perfectly.
  • Salt: To enhance the sweetness of the cinnamon rolls.
  • Eggs: Make sure these are room temperature to ensure that the mixture comes together smoothly.
  • Flour: This recipe has only been tested with all purpose flour. Gluten free flour cannot be substituted here as it does not contain the gluten which makes this dough double and rise.
  • Butter: You can use salted or unsalted, it doesn’t really matter which. Make sure the butter that you use in the filling is super soft or melted.
  • Ground Cinnamon: You can’t make cinnamon rolls without cinnamon!
  • Bacon: Little bits of bacon throughout the dough give this cinnamon roll an edge making it the perfect pairing. Plus, who doesn’t love bacon? I used hickory smoked bacon as a personal preference although I’m sure that applewood smoked bacon would also be divine.

For the Cream Cheese Icing

  • Cream Cheese: Make sure you soften this before starting on the icing.
  • Butter: Let it come to room temperature before you mix it in.
  • Powdered Sugar: Be sure to blend this in carefully so that it doesn’t fly everywhere.
  • Vanilla Extract: For extra sweet flavor in your cinnamon rolls.
  • Milk: Half & half can also be used here.

For the Candied Bacon*

  • Bacon: Use thick cut bacon for this part – thinly sliced bacon won’t work.
  • Brown Sugar: To provide that caramel-y, candied flavor.

*This is optional but super tasty – I highly recommend making it!

How to Make Bacon Cinnamon Rolls

The instructions for these bacon cinnamon rolls are quite extensive, but you can totally make it through! You’ll just need to clear a bit of time in your schedule to truly do these cinnamon buns justice…

Deep breaths are also helpful. And, finally, you can keep these beautiful pictures around to remind you of the delicious goal at hand!

For the Dough

Warm the Milk: Warm milk for about 1 minute in the microwave until lukewarm. Once the milk is warm, mix in some sugar and the yeast. Set this mixture aside to bloom to determine that the yeast is still active.

Combine Flour and Salt: In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt, and set the bowl aside for later.

Mix Wet Ingredients Together: Once the yeast has bloomed and gotten fluffy, transfer it to the bowl of a stand mixer. Add in the eggs and sugar. Using a whisk or paddle attachment, whisk those together. Add in the flour and mix to incorporate. Switch to a dough hook attachment and let it knead on medium high speed for 2 minutes. Add the butter in a little at a time, giving it time to incorporate. Once all of the butter is added, continue to knead for 5 minutes on medium high speed.

Let the Dough Rise: After the dough is done kneading, scrape the sides down, spray the top with baking spray and cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and set aside to rise for an hour or until doubled in size. While the dough is rising, combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.

Cinnamon roll dough in a bowl.

Roll Out the Dough: Once the dough has doubled, turn out onto a floured surface. Using your hands, press the dough out into a rectangle, working to keep the corners as square as possible to make it easier when rolling it out. Use a rolling pin and roll the dough out into a long rectangle about ½” thick.

For the Bacon Cinnamon Rolls

Add the Filling: Spread the softened or melted butter over the entire surface of the dough. Top with the cinnamon brown sugar mixture. Once I have spread the sugar mixture over the dough, I like to gently press it down into the dough with my hands just so that it doesn’t boil out and into the bottom of the pan (this can result in blackened bottoms). Sprinkle with cooked bacon bits.

Roll the Cinnamon Buns: Roll the dough up starting at the bottom. Press the edge of the dough into the rolled dough to seal it. Slice into 2” thick rolls using a sharp knife. (See tips section below for the best way to do this.)

Let Rolls Rise: Place rolls into a greased baking pan leaving about ¼” of space between them to allow them to rise. They should not be stuffed into the baking dish as that will result in them rising up and over the sides. Cover with a damp towel and set aside to rise for 30-45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Bake: After the rolls have begun to rise, preheat the oven to 350 F. Once the rolls have doubled in size, place them into the preheated oven to bake for about 45-50 minutes, or until the edges are golden-brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. While the cinnamon rolls are baking, make the icing.

Let Cool: Once the cinnamon rolls are baked, remove them from the oven and set them on a cooling rack.

Baked, golden-brown cinnamon rolls in a pan.

For the Cream Cheese Icing and Candied Bacon

Make the Icing: In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla. Using the paddle attachment, beat the ingredients together on medium high speed for 2 minutes. Add in the milk or half and half and beat again for another minute.

And finally… the candied bacon. You’ll actually want to start on this while the dough is rising (after step 5 in the first section of the recipe card) so that it has time to cool before you add it to the cinnamon rolls.

Preheat the Oven to 375 F: Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Lay the bacon onto the baking sheet. Do not overlap the bacon. Sprinkle half of the brown sugar on top of the bacon. Place into the preheated oven for about 8-10 minutes or until the brown sugar has melted and begins to bubble. Remove from the oven and flip the bacon. Sprinkle the remaining brown sugar over the bacon and place back into the oven for another 10 minutes or until the brown sugar looks caramelized.

Bacon strips topped with brown sugar.

Let Cool: Remove it from the oven and let it cool completely to room temperature before using. I let mine cool for a minute then, using tongs, I removed it from the pan and placed it onto a plate. Once the bacon is cooled and the sugar has cooled, it becomes extremely difficult to remove it from the pan.

A tray of candied bacon cinnamon rolls.

Tips for Success

Still with me? I know this is a lot, but we’re almost done! Here are a few tips that will help you make the best bacon cinnamon rolls:

  • How to Tell If the Milk is Too Hot (1st Step): My go-to test to determine whether the milk is too hot is to place a clean pinkie finger halfway into the milk. If it’s too hot to leave there for more than 3 seconds, it’s too hot. If it’s cold, continue to heat it in 15 second increments.
  • Dough Rolling Tip: The longer your dough rectangle is, the more spiraled and thicker your rolls will be. If your rectangle is wider and not as long, you’ll have more cinnamon rolls with less spirals.
  • How to Get Same-Sized Cinnamon Rolls: The easiest way to have same-sized cinnamon rolls is to start by cutting the ends off, cut directly in the middle, and then cut in the middle of each middle to have 4 sections of rolls. Slice 4 rolls from each section.
  • How to Slice the Cinnamon Rolls: Use a really sharp knife dipped in flour to do this. Pull it through the dough and start again, pulling the knife through with each slice. Let the knife do the work – don’t push the knife down through, and do not saw through the dough. This will result in misshapen rolls.
  • Optional Baking Method: I like to bake my cinnamon rolls for 25 minutes, then cover them with tin foil for the remaining time. If, when they are done baking, they aren’t browned enough, I remove the foil and let them bake for another 2-3 minutes to further brown. Tenting some tin foil over the rolls will steam them, allowing them to bake through and preserve the softness.
  • Adding the Icing: Spread the cream cheese icing on top of the bacon cinnamon rolls right away for a thin, “melted” layer, or wait for 15 minutes for a thicker icing. You could also wait until they are completely cooled to ice so that it stays thick, but, personally, I can’t wait that long!

How to Store Homemade Cinnamon Buns

These bacon cinnamon rolls should be stored in an airtight container or baggie in the fridge for up to 7 days. For freshness and optimum softness, warm leftover cinnamon rolls up for 30 seconds to a minute after they have been stored.

Can I Freeze These?

Sure you can! Let them cool completely before doing so, though. These cinnamon rolls can be frozen for about 2 months, in an airtight container. Thaw them overnight in the refrigerator before enjoying again, and then warm them as described above.

A bacon cinnamon roll on a plate with a bite taken out of it.
Yield: 18-20 cinnamon rolls

Bacon Cinnamon Rolls

Bacon cinnamon roll on a plate.

Moist cinnamon rolls are filled with brown sugar and bacon bits, smothered in a smooth cream cheese icing, and topped with sweet candied bacon. That's right - Bacon Cinnamon Rolls are totally a thing, and they might just be the best breakfast ever!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Rise Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

For the Dough:

  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon active yeast
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, separated
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 7 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, room temperature

For the Filling:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, super soft or melted
  • 1 cup cooked and chopped bacon (about 8-10 slices of bacon)

For the Cream Cheese Icing:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 5 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk (or half & half)

For the Candied Bacon (optional):

  • 6 slices thick cut bacon (must be thick cut)
  • 1 cup brown sugar

Instructions

For the Cinnamon Rolls:

  1. Warm milk for about 1 minute in the microwave until lukewarm. My go to test to determine whether the milk is too hot and will kill the yeast is to place a clean pinkie finger halfway into the milk and if it is too hot to leave there for more than 3 seconds, it is too hot. If it is cold, continue to heat it in 15 second increments until it is warm enough to bloom the yeast. Once the milk is warm, mix in 1 Tbs of sugar and the yeast. Set aside to bloom to determine that the yeast is still active.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Set aside.
  3. Once the yeast has bloomed and gotten fluffy, transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer. Add in the eggs and sugar. Using a whisk or paddle attachment, whisk those together. Add in the flour and mix to incorporate. Switch to a dough hook attachment and let it knead on medium high speed for 2 minutes. Add the butter 2 Tbs at a time giving it time to incorporate. Once all of the butter is added, continue to knead for 5 minutes on medium high speed.
  4. After the dough is done kneading, scrape the sides down, spray the top with baking spray and cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and set aside to rise for an hour or until doubled in size. The dough will be very soft and sticky at this point.
  5. While the dough is rising, combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.
  6. If you would like to make candied bacon, do so now while the dough is rising so that it has time to cool down completely.
  7. Once the dough has doubled, turn out onto a floured surface. Using your hands, press the dough out into a rectangle, working to keep the corners as square as possible to make it easier when rolling it out. Use a rolling pin and roll the dough out into a long rectangle about ½” thick. The longer your dough rectangle is, the more spiraled and thicker your rolls will be. If your rectangle is wider and not as long, you will have more cinnamon rolls with less spirals. Spread the softened or melted butter over the entire surface of the dough. Top with the cinnamon brown sugar mixture. Once I have spread the sugar mixture over the dough, I like to gently press it down into the dough with my hands just so that it doesn’t boil out and into the bottom of the pan which can result in blackened bottoms. Sprinkle with cooked bacon bits.
  8. Roll the dough up starting at the bottom. Press the edge of the dough into the rolled dough to seal it. Slice into 2” thick rolls using a sharp knife. The easiest way to have same sized cinnamon rolls is to start by cutting the ends off, cut directly in the middle and then cut in the middle of each middle to have 4 sections of rolls. Slice 4 rolls from each section. The best way to cut through the dough so that you do not seal the cinnamon rolls closed is to use a really sharp knife dipped in flour and pull through the dough and start again, pulling the knife through with each slice. Let the knife do the work. Do not push the knife down through and do not saw through the dough. This will result in misshapen rolls.
  9. Place rolls into a greased baking pan leaving about ¼” of space between them to allow them to rise. They should not be stuffed into the baking dish as that will result in them rising up and over the sides. Cover with a damp towel and set aside to rise for 30-45 minutes or until doubled in size.
  10. After the rolls have begun to rise, preheat the oven to 350 F. Once the rolls have doubled in size, place into the preheated oven to bake for about 45-50 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. I like to bake mine for 25 minutes, cover with tin foil and bake for the remaining time. If, when they are done baking, they aren’t browned enough, I remove the foil and let them bake for another 2-3 minutes to further brown. Tenting some tin foil over the rolls will steam them, allowing them to bake through and preserve the softness.
  11. While the cinnamon rolls are baking, make the icing.
  12. Once the cinnamon rolls are baked, remove them from the oven and set them on a cooling rack. Spread cream cheese icing on top right away for a thin, “melted” layer or wait for 15 minutes for a thicker icing. You could also wait until they are completely cooled to ice so that it stays thick, however, most of us cannot wait that long for a hot cinnamon roll.
  13. If you chose to make the candied bacon, garnish the cinnamon rolls with a small piece of bacon. Serve and enjoy!


Icing:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla. Using the paddle attachment, beat the ingredients together on medium high speed for 2 minutes. Add in the milk or half and half and beat again for another minute.


For the Candied Bacon:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Lay bacon onto the baking sheet. Do not overlap the bacon. Sprinkle half of the brown sugar on top of the bacon. Place into the preheated oven for about 8-10 minutes or until the brown sugar has melted and begins to bubble. Remove from the oven and flip the bacon. Sprinkle the remaining brown sugar over the bacon and place back into the oven for another 10 minutes or until the brown sugar looks caramelized.
  2. Remove from the oven and let cool completely to room temperature before using. I let mine cool for a minute then, using tongs, I removed it from the pan and placed it onto a plate. Once the bacon is cooled and the sugar has cooled, it becomes extremely difficult to remove it from the pan.

Notes

  • Cinnamon rolls should be stored in an airtight container or baggie in the fridge for up to 7 days.
  • For freshness and optimum softness, warm cinnamon roll up for 30 seconds to a minute after they have been stored.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

18

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 514Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 309mgCarbohydrates: 88gFiber: 2gSugar: 43gProtein: 12g

Categories

More Breakfast Ideas

Need some more breakfast inspiration? Here are a couple of my favorite recipes:

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

Related Posts

Comments

Share a Comment

Welcome!

Jessica
I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
Novice Chef eCookbooks
Skip to Recipe