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. Can I assemble them the night before, refrigerate, and bake in the morning?

    • I haven’t tried it and not sure what would happen…I’m sure you’d be fine, but ‘assembly’ literally takes 3 minutes. Unless you have a strong reason not to just budget that time into your morning, I would just do it fresh that day!

  2. I absolutely have to try nutella and cinnamon together now! Love how simple and quick this recipe is. I will definitely be passing this recipe along.

  3. Cinnamon rolls are one of my favourite sweets (them and cookies), and also some of the only sweet things I really crave. I have yet to make my mom’s cinnamon rolls that she made when I was a kid, but I intend to. Hopefully over my Christmas holidays.

  4. My husband has requested cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning–and while I like for our breakfast to be special that day, I also don’t want to spend my entire morning in the kitchen when I could be playing with my 5-year old and his new toys. :-) This seems like the perfect solution! Plus, who doesn’t like nutella?!?!

  5. This is a perfect solution for the cinnamon roll on busy days. I love the use of cresent rolls. Makes our job so easy. Thanks for sharing such a delicious,useful recipe.

  6. Simple but oh sooo tasty looking, perfect for my breakfast this weekend!

  7. This is just beautiful. Truly. Now I just need to buy some Nutella :)
    OH! Wait, I have cookie butter……………………

  8. What a coincidence Avery! I just saw these on foodgawker and thought they looked sooo good! And wow, so easy to make! Although since we dont get the dough here in Mexico I will have to make it form scratch…!

  9. Oh, snap. You’ve done it again! Genius!

  10. you had me at 15 minutes;-) I so so so want to make your homemade bread…but I am scared…why? who knows…lol…so I will start with this recipe of yours…and I have a jar of nutella so perfect!!!!

  11. Dam I already bought chocolate filled croissants for Christmas to make, but I want to make these instead! Perfect for Christmas morning!!

  12. Awww cinnamon rolls. They are the best thing ever. Adding nutella just turned the best thing ever up a notch!

  13. Oh Oh OHHHH I know what I am making for New Years! I always make ‘usually pre-made’ cinnamon rolls and now…I can make my own! YUMMY!

  14. I confess that I kind of like pre-made crescent rolls, but I never thought about adding Nutella to the equation! You’re a culinary genius! Plus, you remember Debbie Gibson. Awesome! (Bring on the slouch socks and quirky hats.) :D

  15. Uh…what’s not to love about this recipe? Easy, cinnamon rolls, nutella! It’s a win, win, win. It just so happens that my youngest absolutely loves nutella and cinnamon rolls, just never tried them together! Great idea and love how simple it is! :-)

  16. 15 minute cinnamon rolls?! I think that is the definition of dangerous. Plus the added Nutella means you can’t stop at just one. Tis the season!

  17. Yum! These look so good with the nutella and fast and easy too. That’s one thing I never got into is making bread by scratch.

  18. These look so good, Averie! Baking bread is one of my favourite things to do also, but sometimes we need a little shortcut!

  19. Your scratch breads are fabulous, but can’t blame you at all for taking a short cut while you’re in Aruba! I love the thought of nutella packed inside cinnamon rolls. My sis is a nutella addict, I’ll have to send her this recipe!

  20. cinnamon rolls with nutella- my husband will be in heaven!

  21. Averie, if you were right in front of me with a plate of these babies, I would kiss your face! ;)


  22. Love, love, LOVE the realisticness (is that a word?) of this post! Especially at this time of year, it’s SO helpful to be able to make quick recipes that are ALSO delicious. Thanks, Averie! These will be most certainly be a part of my holiday morning spread…

    • realisticness, or…being practical! There’s a time and a place for from-scratch but there’s a time and a place to be realistic and practical and not try to reinvent the culinary wheel at every.single.event or every recipe :)

  23. thank you thank you THANK YOU for using premade dough! Since starting my blog, I’ve been determined to make almost everything from scratch but seriously – sometimes a girl just doesn’t have the time or energy! I’m inviting a group of friends over to my place after Christmas for my annual day of baking. I’m already planning on making several cookies, cakes and bars (including your kick ass cranberry bliss bar) and I’m totally making these wonderfully quick ‘n easy rolls with Pilsbury. Happy holidays, Averie!

    • You’re making more Bliss Bars? Awesome! So glad you love them that much!

      And I total echo and understand everything you say. I’ve come to realize there’s a time and place for 100% from-scratch; and a time and a place to save sanity and use some premade dough :) If you try them, please LMK!

  24. I had already planned to make a few pans of cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning and now I know I need to bring these into the mix! Thanks!

  25. oh for heavens. Why do you tempt me so?!

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