With their gooey cinnamon sugar cores and creamy icing, cinnamon rolls are great no matter where they’re from. But nothing beats homemade. The problem is that not everyone has the time to mix, knead, and proof their own dough. There is a compromise, however — one that can make the store-bought cinnamon rolls taste homemade.
The Hack: Add Heavy Cream
According to a popular Reddit post, the secret ingredient is heavy cream. The process is simple. Arrange the rolls in a round pan without crowding them, the post reads. Then add “approximately 1/4 cup of heavy cream (also known as whipping cream) on top of and in between the rolls.” Bake the rolls according to the package’s instructions … and voila.
By the time your house starts smelling like sweet, sweet cinnamon sugar, you’ll find that the rolls are “twice the size and fluffy.” (
We even tried the hack ourselves, find out here how our cinnamon rolls turned out.)
@saraannsutton Viral Canned Cinnamon Roll Hack 😋 this is such an easy way to make canned cinnamon rolls taste like they are homemade and super gooey! #cookinghacks #cinnamonroll ♬ Sunday - HNNY
Other Store-Bought Cinnamon Roll Hacks
Although this hack was recently (re)popularized on Reddit, it’s been around for a while on the internet, with a bunch of TikTok videos coming out in 2022. The original recipe hack seems to have included three things: heavy cream, melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. But, as with most viral recipe trends, each person has their own spin. We’ve compiled some of the most popular variations below.
1. Use Coffee Creamer
On the suggestion of a fan, @KITCHENTOOL subbed heavy cream with Starbucks’ caramel macchiato creamer. Gilding the lily? Perhaps. But if you’re going to eat cinnamon rolls, you might as well go all out.
2. Cut the Cinnamon Rolls Into Bite-Sized Pieces
For cinnamon roll bites, follow @shashas_sweets’ lead and use kitchen scissors to cut the dough up into a bunch of tiny pieces. You’ll be left with rich, donut-hole-sized cinnamon delights.
3. Add Apple Pie Filling
You can also elevate your store-bought cinnamon rolls by mixing bite-sized pieces of dough with canned apple pie filling, making for a hybrid between an apple pie and a cinnamon roll bake. For more information, check out @introvertssweets viral video.
4. Add Extra Icing
As @1carmenjones shares in her recipe TikTok, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and milk is all it takes to make a little extra drizzle for your store-bought pastries.
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@kitchentool Reply to @helenahndbaskt 🤯 😋 #viral #starbuckscreamercinnamonrolls #cinnamonrollhack #foodhack #pecancinnamonrolls 😛 #hack #fyp #tryit #yum ♬ original sound - @KITCHENTOOL
The Internet’s Top-Rated Store-Bought Cinnamon Roll Recipe
If you’re looking for a more formal breakdown, then follow this top-rated recipe from House of Nash Eats:
Step One - Prepare the Baking Dish
Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with baking spray.
Step Two - Arrange the Cinnamon Rolls
Open the cans of refrigerated cinnamon rolls and arrange them in the prepared pan with space between each for rising. Set aside the icing that comes with the rolls.
Step Three - Add Cream
Pour ¾ cup of heavy cream over and around the cinnamon rolls, ensuring the bottom of the pan is covered.
Step Four - Make the Topping
Melt 6 tablespoons of butter, then mix with ¾ cup brown sugar and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon. Spoon this mixture over the cinnamon rolls.
Step Five - Bake
Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 30-40 minutes. If needed, remove the foil in the last 5-10 minutes for additional browning.
Step Six - Prepare the Icing
While rolls bake, beat 2 ounces of softened cream cheese and 2 tablespoons of softened butter until smooth. Add the reserved icing, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 cup powdered sugar, mixing until combined.
Step Seven - Frost and Serve
Let cinnamon rolls cool for 3-5 minutes after baking, then top with prepared icing and serve warm.
The Bottom Line
You don’t have to spend hours to bake picture-perfect cinnamon rolls at home. With just a bit of heavy cream — plus a few other artery-clogging toppings — you can transform a boring old batch of store-bought rolls into fluffy, gooey works of culinary art. And with so many variations of this recipe online, you can find a recipe that works for you.