These cinnamon puff pastry swirls are my kryptonite! There are few things I love more in this world than a warm cinnamon roll- and when there’s a shortcut way to make them at home, you know I’m already on it!!!
You’ll love how these easy puff pastry swirls have all the delicious flavors of a regular cinnamon roll, just without the bready texture. Instead of mixing up a dough, this recipe uses store-bought puff pastry for a time saving trick. The results are a lighter, more flakey roll that in my humble opinion- just makes for an excuse to eat more than one at a time!!!
What is puff pastry?
Puff pastry is a light, buttery, flakey dough used in both sweet and savory dishes. Its flakiness comes from thin layers of butter trapped inside of thin layers of dough. You could 100% make your own puff pastry for this recipe but using a store-bought version here is the reason these cinnamon swirls only take 30 minutes to make!
I cannot think of a better way to start your day other than with one of these puff pastry swirls in your hand! You only need a handful of ingredients to make them and little to no equipment.
- Puff pastry sheets: using store-bought puff pastry is my secret weapon in this recipe!
- Softened butter: I like using salted butter but do whatever you prefer! Just make sure it’s softened to room temperature.
- Brown sugar: brown sugar is my favorite because it lends a nice molasses note to the cinnamon swirls.
- Ground cinnamon: make sure you are using fresh cinnamon here for the best flavor!
For the glaze:
- Powdered sugar: powdered sugar is great here because it dissolves to make a smooth glaze.
- Vanilla extract: for a little flavor boost!
- Milk: water will work here as well.
How to make easy cinnamon swirls:
- Mix the filling: combine the softened butter, brown sugar, and ground cinnamon to form a thick paste-like consistency.
- Prepare the puff pastry sheets: unroll the thawed puff pastry sheets, then use a rolling pin to gently roll them out to be another inch or two longer. This will also remove any creases that were there before.
- Spread the filling: using an offset spatula or butter knife, divide the filling evenly between both puff pastry sheets, then spread it out- leaving a 1-inch boarder on all edges of the puff pastry.
- Roll and slice: tightly roll the puff pastry as you would a cinnamon roll to create a log- seam side down. Cut off 1-inch from both ends and discard. Slice each log into 8 equal pieces.
- Bake: place the rolls on baking sheets lined with parchment paper and bake them at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.
- Glaze: while the rolls bake, make the glaze from powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and milk. Whisk until smooth and transfer to a Ziploc bag. Once the rolls are cooled, cut off one corner of the bag and drizzle the glaze on top.
If you’re feeling extra lazy:
Although I LOVE the cinnamon version of these puff pastry swirls- you can also fill the puff pastry sheets with Nutella for an even easier chocolate option! Just spread on a thin layer of Nutella rather than the butter, cinnamon sugar mixture onto the puff pastry, then roll and bake as the recipe instructs!
My top tips for the best cinnamon swirls:
- Let the puff pastry sheets thaw before beginning this recipe. If the puff pastry sheets are still frozen- you won’t be able to roll them into logs.
- Keep the puff pastry cool: Although you do want it to be thawed, you don’t want it to warm up too much because it’ll be difficult to work with. If you think your puff pastry is too warm, just place it in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
- Use softened butter: You’ll want to use softened butter in the filling because it’ll be easy to spread onto the puff pastry.
- Don’t be tempted to add more cinnamon to the filling. The quantities on the recipe card are correct! Over filling the pastry will result in a lot of leakage once they are baked. Make sure you seal the edge of the pastry roll before slicing, otherwise your cinnamon swirls can lose their shape while baking.
Check the consistency of the glaze: You’ll want it to have a runny consistency that’s slightly thick. A good way to test this is by mixing a spoon in the glaze then hold it up. it should slowly drizzle back down into the bowl and hold its shape momentarily before blending into the rest of the glaze in the bowl.
If you want the glaze to be thicker, add more powdered sugar. If you need to thin it out, add a little more milk!
These cinnamon swirls are best enjoyed day of- but you can always make them in advance and rewarm them in the oven when it’s time to serve. These will last for up to 3 days when stored in an airtight container.
I find mine at my local grocery store in the frozen novelties aisle. I like the pepperidge farm puff pastry.
Either the rolls were overfilled, or the puff pastry was too soft. You want to keep the puff pastry chilled the whole time prior to baking or else it won’t keep its shape while in the oven.
Puff Pastry Cinnamon Swirls
For the swirls:
- 2 sheets frozen puff pastry (1 box) thawed
- 4 tbsp salted butter softened
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
For the glaze:
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 5 tbsp milk or water
- Thaw the puff pastry ahead of time. You can do this by leaving it in the fridge overnight or let it sit at room temperature until thawed.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the softened butter, brown sugar, and ground cinnamon to form a thick paste-like consistency.
- Unroll the thawed puff pastry sheets, then use a rolling pin to gently roll them out to be another inch or two longer.
- Using an offset spatula or butter knife, divide the filling evenly between both puff pastry sheets, then spread it out- leaving a 1-inch boarder on all edges of the puff pastry.
- Tightly roll the puff pastry as you would a cinnamon roll to create a log- seam side down. Cut off 1-inch from both ends and discard. Slice each log into 8 equal pieces.
- Place the swirls on baking sheets lined with parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes.
- While the swirls bake, make the glaze from powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and milk. Whisk until smooth and transfer to a Ziploc bag. Once the rolls are cooled, cut off one corner of the bag and drizzle the glaze on top.
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