Ah, cinnamon rolls. Is there anything better than a fresh cinnamon roll, dripping with frosting, hot from the oven for breakfast? The thing about cinnamon rolls is that they do take time to make. I love them but I rarely make them (much less first thing in the morning) because of the time element. If I could figure out a way to freeze cinnamon rolls so I could still have them fresh in the morning, it would make me quite happy.
So, as part of my freezer cooking series, I decided to do some research on this precise topic. I am happy to share with you all that I learned today in this – How to Freeze Cinnamon Rolls!
First of all, the techniques that I am about to share can be used with your favorite cinnamon roll recipe. My favorite cinnamon roll recipe is the Pioneer Woman’s. Her recipe is delicious, although it does make lots of cinnamon rolls (between 40 and 50). This actually makes it a perfect freezer recipe. I will note that this time I did modify Ree’s fabulous recipe slightly. Instead of using melted butter, I used slightly less butter and I only softened it. It eliminated some of the general oozing problems. Her frosting is delicious as well (even without the coffee flavor), so I highly recommend you try Ree’s recipe for cinnamon rolls.
Now, throughout my Pinterest and online research, I discovered there were three variations of ways to freeze cinnamon rolls. Over achiever that I am, I decided to try all three methods to see which I preferred. Here are the methods for freezing cinnamon rolls.
1. Bake and frost cinnamon rolls as indicated in directions. Allow to cool and wrap tightly for the freezer. Freeze. Take your pan of cinnamon rolls out of the freezer the night before you are ready to serve. Warm individual rolls in the microwave to serve.
2. Freeze cinnamon rolls in the pan – after a slight rise but before baking. In this method, take the pan out of the freezer the night before and allow them to thaw and rise on the counter overnight. Then, bake in the morning and frost as usual.
3. Flash freeze individual cinnamon rolls. Cut your cinnamon rolls and place them on a cookie sheet. Freeze them for 30 minutes or until firm. Remove the rolls from the cookie sheet and place in a large gallon freezer bag. Then, when ready to serve, remove the specific number of rolls you want and set in a baking pan. Cover and allow to thaw on the counter overnight. Bake and frost as specified.
For the sake of research, I tried all three methods and you will see them packaged for my freezer below. I also made my frosting ahead of time and froze it (hence the large yogurt container in the picture). Any of the three methods work, but here is my thoughts on freezing cinnamon rolls.
Ree recommends the first method of baking and frosting them before freezing. This is the most convenient. Everything is taken care of already and you can certainly rewarm the rolls in the microwave as you are ready to eat them.
Freezing your rolls in the pan before baking (method two) works well but it does take up more space in your freezer. Besides, if you don’t have disposable pans, this ties up another pan as it will be in the freezer. It’s easy enough to plan ahead a bit and pull the pan out the night before. The clear advantage to this method is that your cinnamon rolls are truly hot from the oven in the morning.
Jessica recommends the third method of flash freezing individual cinnamon rolls. This was the first time I had heard of this and it now my favorite freezing method. This works especially well when you are baking a large batch of cinnamon rolls and don’t want to tie up additional pans. It also takes up less freezer space. With this method, not only do you get hot cinnamon rolls in the morning but you can decide exactly how many you want. I pulled out four cinnamon rolls yesterday so my husband and I could have a hot Saturday morning breakfast. Plus, there aren’t leftovers…unless you want there to be!
So, there you have it. My analysis on the various methods of freezing cinnamon rolls. As I said earlier, there is a lot of flexibility given here. Use your favorite cinnamon roll recipe and chose what method works best for you. If my recipe was a small recipe, I would chose method one or two. If I continue to use a large recipe (like I plan to with Ree’s), then I will chose method three.
It’s so nice to have hot, homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast! And when you utilize your freezer, it’s just as fast – and so much better – than opening up a can.
For all my other freezer cooking recipes, click on the button below to view the rest of my recipes from 31 Days of Freezer Cooking.