Baking Recipes,  Bread-making,  My Favourite Ingredients,  My favourite things,  Yeasted breads

The bacon-lover’s cinnamon rolls

Around this time of the year I get a very real urge to make cinnamon rolls. Cinnamon is a very all-year-round type of spice but it gets especially warm and cozy as the countdown to Christmas begins. I’ve made a couple of cinnamon roll variations before, starting with the easy classic version, then a pumpkin version that immediately became a favourite, so I thought I would try for a unique approach this time.

There have been so many awesome new flavour combinations in desserts and pastries lately and to someone who wants to make them all but doesn’t have that much time on their hands (me!) it can be pretty frustrating. But one of the more recent trends to have struck me the most was the addition of everyone’s favourite breakfast meat to cakes, cupcakes, ice cream, and even chocolate bars!

Bacon. Why didn’t I think of this sooner?!

Okay, confession time first. I used to love bacon as a kid, but ever since I got into the whole fitness and exercising thing I became picky about what I put in mu mouth. Luckily I don’t really like sweets so I gladly gift the things I make because I absolutely MUST satisfy my baking urges. I’ve also gotten used to cutting out fast food (haven’t eaten some in a looong time!) and oily food from my life. Sadly that includes bacon during most days. This was one of those things that reminded me just how much I actually used to love bacon, especially for breakfast.

What’s your favourite way to eat bacon, by the way? Mine’s when the bacon is still lightly reddish and kind of stringy– halfway from being just cooked to being cooked to a dark crispy bacon. I sometimes eat it crunchy as well but I like it better chewy because it’s more savoury that way. For the bacon in this recipe, you can cook it to the mode you prefer, and the more bacon bits you’ve got in your rolls, the better! I think I used a little less bacon than I should have for my filling so sometimes the cinnamon overpowers the bacon a little, but it can easily be rectified by adding more bacon.

More bacon’s always good!

These rolls are lightly sweet but savoury at the same time thanks to the bacon. They taste amazing fresh with the oozing glaze, but they taste just as well reheated in the toaster. As they cool, the rolls develop a crust but stay soft inside. Now THIS is what I call breakfast fit for champions!

Bacon Maple-Cinnamon Rolls

These crunchy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside cinnamon rolls are lightly sweet but savoury at the same time thanks to the bacon. Remember to enjoy with the maple frosting!


For the dough

  • 1 ⅛ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ½ cup warm milk, heated 30-40 seconds in the microwave
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, or up to 2 1/2 cups, as needed

For the filling

  • 12 slices uncooked bacon, 2 slices reserved for topping
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • cup brown sugar
  • ½ tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • teaspoon maple extract *

For the frosting

  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • teaspoon maple extract *
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons milk, optional


Prepare the dough

  • 1. Add the yeast to the warm milk and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes, until foamy.
  • 2. Using the paddle attachment, mix the butter, sugar, salt, and eggs in the bowl of a mixer. Add the yeast-milk mixture and stir until the ingredients are relatively combined.
  • 3. Switch to the dough hook and add the flour slowly. Wait until the first cup has been roughly mixed with the wet ingredients then add the second cup. This well prevent the wet ingredients from absorbing too much flour too quickly and making your rolls tough. Add up to an extra 1/2 cup if needed for the dough to come together. ** Once it pulls away from the sides of the bowl it is ready. The dough will be supple and sticky, but not so much that it can't be handled.
  • 4. Spray another large bowl with cooking spray, then place the dough inside and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm and draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 to 2 hours.

While the dough is rising, prepare the filling

  • 5. Dice the raw bacon. Place in a medium-sized frying pan and cook about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned or until it’s the doneness you prefer. Transfer to a plate covered with paper towels to drain.
  • 6. Add rest of the filling ingredients (except bacon) to a small bowl and stir with a fork, until mixture forms a thick paste. Set aside until ready to use.

To assemble

  • 7. Once the dough has doubled, place on a lightly-floured surface and roll it into a rectangle of about 10x14 inches. Make sure the rolling pin is lightly floured as well to avoid sticking or damage to the dough.
  • 8. Spread the filling evenly on the surface of the dough and sprinkle evenly with bacon.
  • 9. For smaller rolls, starting at the long end, roll the dough tightly. Starting at the center, slice into 12 equal rounds. *** For bigger rolls, starting at the short end, roll the dough tightly. Slice into thirds and then thirds again, for a total of 9 rolls.
  • 10. Place rolls in a 9x9” baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Let the rolls rise for 1 more hour at room temperature, roughly covered with plastic wrap. (After the second rise, dough can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight for baking the next day. Remove from the refrigerator and let sit on the stove while it is preheating, then bake.)
  • 11. About 20 minutes before the end of the second rise, preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Bake about 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden.

While the rolls are baking, make the frosting

  • 12. Beat together butter and powdered sugar. Mix in maple syrup and both extracts until smooth. If a more runny glaze is desired, whisk in milk until desired consistency is achieved.
  • 13. Spread frosting on warm cinnamon rolls and sprinkle with bacon bits.
  • Storage: Rolls are best eaten on the day they are made, more specifically a few minutes after coming out of the oven. However rolls can also be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in a toaster over until warmed through before serving.


* I omitted maple extract when I made the rolls because I have no idea where to buy them, and they still taste great all the same!
** I only needed 2 cups of flour and my dough came together nicely. The danger in putting too much dough is that bread may come out tough. Aim for dough that is supple and still slightly sticky, but not too sticky that it can't be handled.
*** I made 12 rolls that ended up as big as my palm and I thought these were perfectly-sized. Go for the bigger rolls if you're looking for something more Cinnabon-sized.
Adapted from Crazy For Crust blog
Bacon overload is an awesome way to open the day. I think a lot of people would agree!

I am so excited to make more bacon recipes!

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