Nutella Cinnamon Rolls with Vanilla Glaze

There are times to make cinnamon rolls that are ready to go in four or five hours.

And there are other times to make cinnamon rolls that are ready to go in fifteen minutes. These are those.

Nutella Cinnamon Rolls from @Averie Cooks {Averie Sunshine}

I love making bread from scratch, posted four from-scratch bread recipes in November, and in fact, no other kitchen adventure gives me more joy and satisfaction. Kneading the dough, watching it rise, and observing the yeast work their magic is science-meets-baking at it’s finest. But I’m traveling this month and in Aruba and used a shortcut. I made these Nutella-filled rolls with the help of dough from a tube of refrigerated crescent rolls.

To make them, open a can of rolls, and wait for that glorious pop, signaling that your convenience food is ready. I used Pillsbury Big & Flaky Crescent Rolls, which claim to be fifty percent bigger than the standard size. I used that version because they were the last can of any crescent rolls in the grocery store, or perhaps on the island.

Carefully remove the crescent rolls from the can, place them on a clean work surface, and I didn’t even bother flouring my counter. If two triangles are stuck together, great; leave them that way. The goal is to create one long row of eight triangles, or four rectangles comprised of two triangles. Slightly overlap the triangles or rectangles, pinching seams and pieces together, and filling in gaps as best you can.


Nutella Cinnamon Rolls from @Averie Cooks {Averie Sunshine}Spread Nutella over the entire surface, leaving a small bare margin around the edges. It’s not necessary to measure the Nutella first, since that’s just another step and something else to wash, but it should be ample and fairly thick. Big, juicy, Nutella-filled cinnamon roll bites of are only possible if it’s used liberally in this step.

Then, generously sprinkle cinnamon over the surface. If you’re a cinnamon fiend, go nuts. I used about two tablespoons because I am and because Nutella is a robustly-flavored spread that can handle, and almost necessitates, plenty of cinnamon being added so that the flavor doesn’t get lost while baking.


Starting with a short side (the side closest to the bottom in the above photo) roll up the dough into a log. Roll the log as tightly as possible because this translates into finished rolls with more turns and coils. plus it helps the Nutella from leaking. Using a serrated knife, bench scraper, or even unflavored dental floss, which is an age-old trick for pinching off dough without compressing it, divide the log into eight equal-sized pieces. I find the best way to do this is make a cut in the center, and then divide each half into fourths, rather than trying to eyeball eight pieces working from end to end.

Arrange the pieces in a baking dish and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the rolls have puffed and are just beginning to turn golden. Don’t overbake them because they’re meant to be gooey. Cinnabon hasn’t turned into a multi-billion dollar empire because they serve dry, hard, or overbaked rolls, so take note.


While the rolls baked, I made a quick and easy glaze with melted butter, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla. It’s optional, but nicely complements the chocolate spread, and adds just a pop of sweetness. Plus, glaze on cinnamon rolls really isn’t optional. I thought about doing a cream cheese-based glaze but didn’t have any cream cheese on hand, and figured that with the Nutella filling, these would be plenty rich. I was right.

Scott declared these the best cinnamon roll he’s ever eaten, and I tend to agree, which is a double-edged sword. They’re everything I want in a cinnamon roll. They’re ridiculously tender, succulent, rich, soft, moist, gooey, doughy, chocolaty, decadent, and flavorful. And they’re so fast and easy.


They’re so easy, mindless, and goofproof that I wonder why I should make dough from scratch that will take four hours and that I’ll have to knead and babysit, when this method gives me everything I could ask for, virtually work-free. But I like a good challenge and it’s my mission to make rolls to top these, but they’re going to be a tough act to follow.

The Nutella adds a perfect amount of both chocolate flavor and sweetness to the dough, and since there’s no sugar sprinkled into the filling like traditional cinnamon rolls, the sweetness comes only from the Nutella and the glaze, and the rolls aren’t as intoxicatingly sweet as some.


What the rolls lack in sugar status, they make up for in richness. Nothing says rich decadence like chocolate-hazelnut paste. As the rolls bake, the Nutella melts into the crevices, seeping into the tender, succulent, and doughy epicenter. The bite at the very center of a cinnamon that I hoard and savor like no other.

Being drenched in gooey, warm, chocolate spread and fragrant cinnamon takes epicenter-bites to new levels.


The rolls would be especially perfect for a holiday breakfast or special brunch. I absolutely guarantee no one will ever guess a shortcut was used. The scent alone wafting through the house as these bake will put anyone into a blissed-out headrush state. The scent of bread baking, combined with chocolate and cinnamon, is mind-altering.

The fact they’re ready from start to finish in fifteen minutes is dangerous.


Nutella Cinnamon Rolls with Vanilla Glaze - Soft, gooey rolls that everyone loves. They're ready in 15 minutes & require zero planning! I love shortcuts!

Nutella Cinnamon Rolls with Vanilla Glaze
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
All the flavor of homemade cinnamon rolls, with none of the work or waiting period. The rolls use a handy shortcut by way of refrigerated crescent rolls, and are ready from start to finish in about 15 minutes. They're filled with Nutella spread, and are gooey, oozing, moist, succulent, and tender. After their short stint in the oven, the rolls are finished with an easy vanilla glaze. They're decadent and a ridiculously easy way to enjoy homemade cinnamon rolls in a hurry.
Serves: 8 rolls
  • For the Rolls
  • one 8-count can refrigerated crescent rolls (I used Pillsbury Big & Flaky Crescent Rolls)
  • about ⅔ cup Nutella (store brand chocolate-hazelnut spread may be substituted)
  • 1 tablespoon+ cinnamon
  • For the Glaze
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup+ confectioners' sugar
  • splash of cream or milk, optional
  1. For the Rolls - Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9- or 10-inch pie plate or baking dish, or a 9-inch square pan with cooking spray; set aside. Open the can of crescent rolls and carefully unwrap the dough. If two triangles are stuck together, keep them that way. Arrange triangles or rectangles (if two triangles are stuck together) in one long row on clean counter or work surface. Press the seams together, overlapping them slightly to close any large gaps. Generously spread Nutella in an even flat layer over the entire surface, leaving ½-inch margins around all borders. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon, to taste.
  2. Starting with a short side, roll up the dough into a log, rolling the log as tightly as possible. With a sharp knife (serrated works nicely), bench scraper, or unflavored dental floss (works nicely to pinch off pieces without compressing the dough log), slice log into 8 equal-sized pieces. I find the best way to do this is make a cut in the center, and then divide each half into fourths, rather than trying to eyeball eight pieces working from end to end. Place pieces in prepared pan, noting there will be gaps and spaces. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until rolls have puffed and are just beginning to turn golden; don't overbake because these are meant to be gooey.
  3. While rolls bake, make the Glaze: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine and until smooth, playing with butter and sugar ratios until desired consistency is reached. If desired, a splash of cream or milk may be added to help achieve desired glaze consistency; I don't use it and simply use butter, vanilla, and sugar. Rolls may be glazed immediately upon removing them from oven, resulting in glaze melting into the crevices; or glaze rolls after they've cooled a bit. Glaze may be drizzled on or spread on thicker with a knife or spatula, which is what I do after the photos are done. Serve immediately. Rolls are best eaten fresh, but may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Related Recipes:

Cinnamon Swirl Bread – This cinnamon swirl bread is as close to cinnamon buns as bread gets. Filled with a sweet cinnamon-sugar and butter mixture that’s swirled throughout, this is a tender, buttery, sweet loaf that even new bread-makers can successfully tackle

Cinnamon Bun Pie – Topped with cinnamon-sugar streusel, these cinnamon rolls use a shortcut. They’re ready from start to finish in less than 30 minutes and give Cinnabons a run for their money

Fudgy Nutella Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting – I use this brownie base for all my brownie recipes and it comes together faster than a boxed mix and tastes infinitely better, producing fudge-like, decadent brownies. This version is swirled with Nutella prior to baking and are then topped with thick layer of cream cheese frosting

brownies-14Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze – The flavor of warm, buttery, soft cinnamon rolls without any of the work. This moist, dense, and easy cake is like one big cinnamon roll, and includes ample crumble topping and a cream cheese drizzled over the top

cinnrollcake-56Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin Bread with Cinnamon Sugar Butter – If you’ve never made bread before, this is a goofproof, foolprood, no-knead bread recipe, loaded with cinnamon-sugar and raisins. You’ll never have a need for storebought English muffins again

Cinnamon Sugar Crust Cream Cheese and Jelly Danish Squares – Tastes like an Entenmann’s danish, with a crispy and crunchy cinnamon-sugar coating, and is filled with smooth cream cheese and jelly. The squares use a shortcut and are a snap to make

Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze – A cross between a Krispy Kreme donut and a Cinnabon cinnamon roll. Yeast-free, easy and although I haven’t tried personally tried muffin pans, I’ve had readers write saying they’ve baked them as muffins with success

Cinnamon Oatmeal Date Bars with Chocolate Chunks (no-bake, vegan, gluten-free) – Like cinnamon oatmeal, but in bar form, with a prominent cinnamon flavor. To keep these lighter, feel free to omit the chocolate topping and the base of these bars is a perfectly healthy, no-bake, vegan, gluten-free, granola bar with no refined sugar added

Nutella and Peanut Butter Graham Bars with Chocolate Frosting (no-bake) – Nutella, peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs, and chocolate are combined in an easy, dense, and rich no-bake bar



Do you have a favorite cinnamon roll recipe? Or Nutella or crescent roll recipe?

Please link or tell me about your favorite recipes. After I’m back home in San Diego, I plan to try a few new cinnamon roll recipes. If you have any gems, I’d love to hear about them.

Thanks for the Heilala Gourmet Vanilla Giveaway entries and the Handmade Luxury Chocolate Giveaway entries – both giveaways end Tuesday

155 comments on “Nutella Cinnamon Rolls with Vanilla Glaze”

  1. I admire your baking skills so I thank you from the bottom of my heart for making cinnamon rolls with canned crescent rolls legal =)

    Very much looking forward to baking up my own batch of Averie’s Nutella Cinnamon Rolls with Vanilla Glaze.

  2. Oh boy, do I love a good cinnamon roll! It has to have lots of ooey, gooey cinnamon and I personally like pecans too. Mmmm. Great, on-the-easier-side recipe! :)

  3. I love any recipe using canned crescent rolls–they can go savory or sweet! Traditional cinnamon rolls can be a little too sugary for my husband, so I think these would suit him. Now for a shocker–I’ve never tried nutella!!! I’ve made countless batches of my own nut butter and tried some different commercial spreads and blends, but somehow nutella has escaped my grocery cart. Great shortcut recipe!

    • Oh Paula, you will love Nutella. It’s like nothing else. It’s not like chocolate peanut butter, not like cookie butter/biscoff, nothing like almond butter – it’s its own delicious treat. And yes, it’s sweet, but not like chocolate frosting sweet. And because this dough wasn’t already sweetened and starts as crescent rolls these arent over the top sweet. Plenty sweet, yes!! but not ridiculous. LMK if you try them!

  4. Sometimes convenience food is called for! I love the nutella in this Averie, YUM!!!

  5. so many things i love about these! my husband loves cinnamon rolls, but i always think, who has the time?! problem solved. nutella + 15 minute cinnamon rolls = perfection.

  6. I would gladly face plant into these any day!

  7. These look amazing! I go bananas for anything “nutella!”

  8. The only cinnamon rolls I ever made came from one of those tubes LOL. I had a step dad that was really into sour dough breads and made sour dough cinnamon rolls from time-to-time. And I think I could go for a slice of that cinnamon bread right now.

  9. Ok Miss Averie, I was JUST laying awake in bed last night thinking about how I was going to use up a jar of homemade nutella and you havethe answer to this burning question! I can’t wait to make these little gooey rolls!

  10. Nutella may be the greatest invention ever and my kids will happily mow down anything covered in Nutella deliciousness. I just so happen to have a jar in my cupboard and a tube of crescent rolls in the fridge. These would be great for a decadent breakfast treat on Christmas morning. Thanks Averie!

  11. I don’t know if I love the nutella more or the fact that you made these in 15 minutes! A great and indulgent breakfast for the holidays. We usually ski pretty hard this time of year so a few extra calories is just fine!!!

  12. Hi Averie. I am loving the look and ease of these rolls. You know I still haven’t tried attempting to make yeast breads yet. I’m waiting till 2013 for that. That’s going to be one of my goals. I do love how the pillsbury rolls just pop to life when you open the can. I use to make those croissants all the time when the kids were little. They loved them. I am making these for the next sleepover because they are a cinch, but look so fancy and I know they will be kid approved, big time. My kids are not pancake and waffle kind of kids. They love their donuts, sugar- crusted popovers and cinnamon rolls.

    • Waffles & pancakes require stovetop babysitting. I am all about anything I can bake, or pop into the oven; or anything that makes a pan-size amount rather than one-by-one; so much faster! I know you’re going to love bread making when you start! If you can make popovers like the ones I’ve seen, I KNOW you will be a natural at bread!

  13. I am WAY overdue for some cinnamon rolls in my life, and with nutella…?! Yea… we might be eating these for breakfast tomorrow.

  14. Well this is simply brilliant. Why I have not thought to do this before is beyond me. I am obsessed with Nutella and will try to incorporate it into every meal. Making cinnamon rolls with Nutella seems like a no brainer, but thank you for making the light bulb go off in my head! And using pre-made crescent rolls is a huge plus for saving time. Lord knows I need more of it this week!

  15. Averie, you evil genius, you. This rolls are fantastic. While I can appreciate and applaud those people who wait five hours or so to make from-scratch cinnamon rolls (like you! or like me with your honey butter rolls which were SO worth it!), I am a quick-I-want-it-now kind of brat ;) these rolls are perfect for me! And the Nutella and cinnamon filling with a simple vanilla glaze? ALL. OVER.IT.

    • Yes when you’re in a hurry, 15 mins is about perfect. And I do LOVE those honey rolls and I know you did too, but you’re right, it’s a totally different mindset and if you’re not in that mindset, these Nutella rolls are a good one to be in :)

  16. Something must be in the air because I see cinnamon rolls or their variations everywhere. I loved Sally’s raspberry rolls and now these! Nutella deliciousness – my kind of breakfast! PS: I just put a batch of my favorite rolls ( with a holiday spin ) into the oven!

  17. I will never say no to a cinnamon roll in any form – nutella, fruity, buttery, pecan, caramel, from scratch, from a can, you name it. These look so wonderful Averie and I am all about ease and shortcuts when I can get them – especially when the finished product doesn’t taste like a shortcut was used. A recipe like this is a gift from the gods when hosts are scrambling to get something on the table first thing in the morning. The infamous “pop” of the pillsbury tubes. I love that part. I always get startled every time – I know it’s coming but I still jump a bit when it opens. ;)

    PS: nutella for breakfast is the smartest choice one could ever make.

    • I loved!! your recent rolls but for my current kitchen conditions, time mgmt, and just…overall ease (and the Nutella for breakfast thing!) these were a win. And yes, for party hostess’ or anyone who’s scrambling for a last minute dessert or brunch idea, these are a fabulous no-brainer. I still am just coveting your rolls, though!

  18. This does look like a perfect breakfast to add to a holiday brunch table!

  19. Great idea! Leave it to you to come up with an easy way to make such a complicated recipe. I love cinnamon buns but dislike all of the prep required. Now, pilsbury just needs to come up with gluten-free products!

    • I bet there is some form of pre-made refrigerated and/or frozen GF dough that could be make-shifted into these – I just don’t look for it or source it, but it probably exists. Or that’s a new business venture for you :)

  20. You nailed it, Averie! All of my favorite things in one cinnamon roll – these are perfection :).

  21. Cinnabon, eat your heart out!

    This is such a throw-together on a lazy Sunday morning kind of recipe. I love it! I bet it would be awesome with almost any spread in it too – pb, sfsb, biscoff, etc. Nutella is a bit on the sweet side for me these days, but I keep intending to make my own. Filberts/Hazelnuts are expensive though!

    • Exactly – you can’t even buy enough hazelnuts to make your own pure hazelnut butter that cheap. $3.99 for a big jar of Nutella give or take and it would take you 9.99 in raw nuts, not to mention, the cocoa powder :)

      And of course, they’d be good with any spread – with PB (for most people who are expecting a ‘cinnamon roll’) a touch of sugar would probably be a good call since it’s not sweetened.

  22. Just…..

    Ahhhhhhhh I’m so hungry now!

  23. you had me at nutellla xoxxoxooxox

  24. you must be a mind reader! i was JUST thinking bout using nutella in cinnamon rolls yesterday!

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