Cinnamon roll pie is an amazing breakfast or dessert treat with warm and gooey cinnamon rolls baked inside a flakey pie crust and then covered with a sweet cream cheese frosting! This is a crowd pleasing dessert that everyone will love.
When Cracker Barrel came out with their seasonal cinnamon roll pie in November I was instantly intrigued. It is the perfect breakfast for Christmas morning.
Cracker Barrel is only keeping this pie on their recipe until Christmas Eve, but now you can recreate this pie at home. Make homemade cinnamon rolls and bake them inside a pie crust and serve dessert for breakfast!
This recipe includes homemade frosted cinnamon rolls because they are soft and delicious and full of melty brown sugar, butter and cinnamon flavor. And they are easier to make than you think! But it you want to make the pie with pre-made cinnamon rolls I include directions for that also.
Is Cinnamon Roll Pie for Breakfast or Dessert?
Both! Cinnamon rolls are a sweet treat that are suitable for either breakfast or dessert! Most people won’t serve something like brownies for breakfast, but cinnamon rolls are considered breakfast appropriate.
This is probably just because of tradition, but why not take advantage of tradition? Especially for special occasions like Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day or another holiday meal, serve pie for breakfast or brunch. Your family will love it!
For exact amounts needed see the recipe card below
The ingredients for this pie are all baking staples, including milk, white, sugar, yeast, butter, egg, flour, salt, brown sugar, cinnamon, pie dough, cream cheese and powdered sugar. There are just a few things to keep in mind:
- I chose to use a premade pie crust, but you can make homemade pie crust if you prefer.
- The butter is divided between the dough and the filling.
How to Make Cinnamon Roll Pie
1. Proof the Yeast
Since this is a yeast based sweet bread the first step is to proof the yeast. For this you need the liquids to be hot, but not so hot it kills the yeast!
Start by melting the 1/3 cup of butter for the dough in the microwave. Set it aside to cool. Then warm up the milk until it is just warm to the touch.
I find using the microwave in 20 second intervals to be the best way to warm up the milk. Mix the warm milk with the 1/3 cup of sugar and the yeast.
Let it sit for about 10 minutes to let the yeast start to grow and bloom.
2. Make the Dough
Stir the by now cooled butter into the yeast mixture. Then add the egg and beat it into the mixture.
Add the flour and salt to the mixture. Use a stand mixer or do it by hand if you prefer. The dough will be very thick.
Knead the dough for about 3 minutes with the mixer or by hand. Then put it in a bowl and cover it with a dish towel or plastic wrap. Let it rise for about 45 minutes.
If you are making homemade pie crust make it while the dough rises. If you are using store bought crust get it out of the refrigerator so it comes to room temperature. Also get the cream cheese for the frosting out of the refrigerator now.
3. Make the Cinnamon Rolls
When you are ready to roll out the dough first melt the 1/4 cup of butter for the filling. Set it aside so it cools slightly. Then combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
Put the dough on a cutting board and roll it out into a rectangle about 12 inches long. Use flour or a little oil to keep the dough from sticking.
Brush the dough with the melted butter and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the top. If there is leftover butter drizzle it on top of the sugar mixture.
Roll up the dough from the long side so that you have a log about 12 inches long.
Cut the log into 7 slices, trying to keep the size more or less even.
4. Assemble the Pie
Take your pie crust and put it into your pie pan. Fluting the edges of the pie is not difficult and it makes it look fancier.
Put the cinnamon rolls in the pie pan, spacing them out evenly with one in the center and six around it.
5. Bake the Pie
Put the pie in a cold oven and set it at 375 degrees F. Using a cold oven helps give the cinnamon rolls a little bit of extra rise time.
Bake them for 20 minutes until they are golden brown and have risen to fill the pie pan.
6. Frost the Pie
The pie needs to cool for 5-10 minutes before frosting. To make the frosting put the room temperature cream cheese in a mixing bowl with the milk. Gradually mix in the powdered sugar until it is smooth and creamy.
Then spread the frosting over the pie.
How to Serve
At Cracker Barrel they offer this as a complete breakfast with eggs, bacon and fried apples, which sounds like an amazing breakfast to me! You don’t have to serve it for breakfast or brunch though, it makes a great decadent dessert too.
Like cinnamon rolls, this pie will taste best served warm. You can heat up a slice by microwaving it for about 30 seconds.
How to Make Cinnamon Roll Pie Ahead
If you want to have this for Christmas morning breakfast you can easily make it ahead of time. I suggest making the pie and baking it the day before, but don’t add the frosting.
Then in the morning put it in a preheated 250 degree F oven for 10-15 minutes. Take it out, spread the frosting over the top, and serve. This holiday treat will be warm with melted cinnamon sugar filling and a yummy cream cheese frosting.
I use premade pie crust for this recipe, because let’s face it, the pie crust isn’t the main attraction here! You could simplify it even more with either of these two short cuts:
You can buy store bought cream cheese frosting. Spread about 1/2 a can of the frosting on the warm pie for an easy way to finish off the dessert.
Making Cinnamon Roll Pie with Canned Cinnamon Rolls
1. Put the pie crust in the pie plate and use a fork to poke it with holes. Then bake it for 5 minutes in a 375 degree oven.
2. Place the refrigerator cinnamon rolls in the pie crust with the cinnamon topping side up. Bake it at 375 F for 15-17 minutes until the rolls are golden brown.
3. Let it cool for 5 minutes before frosting, then top it with the icing that came with the cinnamon rolls.
Pre-made cinnamon rolls bake a little more quickly than homemade, so prebaking the pie crust ensures it isn’t undercooked.
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- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1 tablespoon instant dry yeast
- 1/3 cup butter melted
- 1 egg
- 3 2/3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup butter melted and cooled
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- Refrigerated pie dough
Frosting (you can substitute store bought frosting)
- 1 (8 ounce) block cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons milk
- Use a microwave in 20 second intervals to heat the milk until it is just warm to the touch. Test it with your finger after each interval. Melt the 1/3 cup butter in the microwave. Set it aside to cool.
- Put the warm milk, ⅓ cup white sugar and the yeast in a large mixing bowl. Let it sit for 10 minutes so the yeast starts to grow.
- Add the melted butter from step #1, which should now be cool, to the milk mixture.
- Stir the egg into the milk mixture.
- Add the flour and salt to the mixing bowl and mix with a stand mixer on low speed or with a wooden spoon.
- Once the dough has come together in a thick dough knead it for 3 minutes. Either use the mixer or knead it by hand on a cutting board.
- Put the dough back into the bowl in a big ball. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean dish towel. Let the dough rise for about 45 minutes.
- While the dough rises get the pie crust and cream cheese out of the refrigerator to come to room temperature.
- After the resting time melt the 1/4 cup of butter and set it aside to cool while you roll out the dough.
- Put the dough on parchment paper or a large cutting board. Use a rolling pin to roll it out into a rectangle about 12 inches x 8 inches in size. Use a little oil on the rolling pin if necessary to stop it from sticking.
- Brush the dough with the melted butter. Then combine the brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle the mixture all over the dough.
- If there is any leftover butter drizzle it over the cinnamon sugar on the dough.
- Roll up the dough from the long side until you have a long roll.
- Slice the dough evenly into 7 pieces.
- Unroll your pie dough and put it into your pie pan. Flute the edges of the dough if you like to make it more decorative.
- Place the cinnamon rolls in the pie dough, with one in the middle and other others around the edges.
- Place the pie in a cold oven and turn it on to 375 degrees.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until it is golden.
- Make the cream cheese frosting while the pie bakes. Use a mixer to combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar and mix well.
- When the pie is done baking let it cool for 5-10 minutes. Then drizzle the frosting over to top.
Making Cinnamon Roll Pie with Canned Cinnamon Rolls
Refrigerator cinnamon rolls bake a little more quickly than homemade, so prebaking the pie crust ensures it isn't undercooked.
1. Put the pie crust in the pie plate and use a fork to poke it with holes. Then bake it for 5 minutes in a preheated 375 degree oven.
2. Place the canned cinnamon rolls in the pie crust with the cinnamon topping side up. Bake it at 375 F for 15-17 minutes until the rolls are golden brown.
3. Let it cool for 5 minutes, then top it with the icing that came with the cinnamon rolls.
Make Ahead Directions
Make the pie and bake it the day before serving, but don't add the frosting. Then put it in a preheated 250 degree F oven for 10-15 minutes. Take it out, spread the frosting over the top, and serve.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 676Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 536mgCarbohydrates: 106gFiber: 3gSugar: 46gProtein: 10g
Nutrition facts are estimates.