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Maple Bacon Cinnamon Rolls

After making my first batch of quick yeast cinnamon rolls earlier this year, they’ve become a part of our weekend routine. This weekend I decided to play around with the flavor and make maple bacon cinnamon rolls!

I love bacon, so the idea of baking some right into a batch of cinnamon rolls sounded great!

The salty sweet combination of cinnamon sugar and strips of salty bacon is absolutely delicious. Then you top it all off with a delicious maple glaze and you’re in heaven!!

image of coffee cinnamon rolls covered in coffee glaze

The Secret To Making These Maple Bacon Cinnamon Rolls

While you might think you can just roll some bacon into cinnamon rolls, it’s actually not that simple!

I’ve found that adding entire strips of bacon can make the cinnamon rolls really hard to cut and eat. It also leaves you with bacon that isn’t very crispy.

I am a firm believer that bacon should be crispy and I wanted the bacon in these cinnamon rolls to have that wonderful crunch.

The best way to do this is to bake up a crispy batch of bacon and chop it into small pieces. It’s kind of like bacon sprinkles and that’s a concept I can get behind.

Adding small bits of crispy bacon allows you to easily roll and cut your cinnamon rolls and doesn’t compromising the texture of the bacon.

How Much Flour Am I Supposed to Use??

One part of this recipe that can be a bit daunting or hard to interpret is the amount of flour this recipe uses. As you can see on the recipe card, it isn’t a set amount.

I tried so hard to find the perfect amount, but the truth is it will vary batch to batch, and kitchen to kitchen.

I’ve made these by hand and with a stand mixer. Each time I use a slightly different amount of flour.

Now, the amount of flour you start with is set at 3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour.

As you add in your wet ingredients and the egg, a sticky dough ball forms and you will need to add additional flour.

I add in 1 tablespoon of flour at a time as I knead the dough. You need to add enough flour to create an elastic, workable dough that you can roll out.

However, if you add too much flour you can end up with dense, chewy cinnamon rolls that are difficult to roll.

This is why it’s a range. When using my stand mixer with this recipe, I usually add in 2-3 additional Tbsp. With that being said, in some batches I’ve used less and in a few I’ve used the full additional 1/2 cup of flour.

image of cinnamon roll dough that's been resting to relax the gluten before being rolled out

Making These Cinnamon Rolls By Hand vs.Stand Mixer

My first couple batches of cinnamon rolls were made when I was home for the holidays and I didn’t have a stand mixer.

This recipe can be made by hand or with a dough hook / stand mixer.

It is definitely easier to make using a stand mixer, but a little elbow grease never hurt anyone.

Whichever method you use to make the dough, just be sure to knead or mix the dough until it gets an elastic texture and pulls away from the bowl or counter.

Once you get to this point, stop and let the dough rest for about 10 minutes. This little break allows the gluten to relax bit and makes the dough easier to roll out.

image of cinnamon roll dough being rolled out on a floured surface.

If you continue to work the dough, the gluten strands can become too tight. Just like adding in too much flour, this can also lead to dense cinnamon rolls.

It’s pretty easy to sense when the dough is ready if you’re kneading by hand.

However, if you’re using a stand mixer keep a close eye on your dough to ensure you don’t overwork it.

Topping These Cinnamon Rolls

The finishing touch on any cinnamon roll has to be its topping!

A cinnamon roll isn’t complete without some type of melty icing. I decided to top these maple bacon cinnamon rolls with a delicious maple glaze.

image of maple glaze on a whisk

While I was tempted to use my cream cheese buttercream, for some reason a maple glaze just felt right. You can use a more traditional frosting if you prefer your cinnamon rolls that way though!

If you opt to make a maple glaze, you want the consistency to be just right. The glaze should be thick enough to drizzle over your finger and keep its shape.

I use this finger test everytime I make a glaze. If the glaze keeps its shape once it’s drizzled over your finger, you know it’s the right consistency.

Substitutions and Swaps

While I love this recipe just the way it is, I know you might not have all of these ingredients on hand.

image of ingredients laid out on a counter ready to make maple bacon cinnamon rolls

Below are some swaps and substitutions that can be made in this recipe.

  • All Purpose Flour – I haven’t tested this recipe out with gluten free flour, but it should work if you use a good blend like King Arthur’s GF flour. Just be sure to knead the dough a bit longer to help give it structure.
  • Instant / Rapid Rise Yeast – You can use active dry yeast in place of the instant yeast in this recipe. Just allow the dough to rise for an extra 15 minutes (active yeast takes longer to rise than instant).
  • Unsalted Butter – If you only have salted butter on hand you can use it in place of the unsalted butter. Just be sure to omit the salt that this recipe calls for.
  • Whole Milk – Most alternative milks work fine in this recipe, including soy, oat, and almond milk.
  • Granulated Sugar – I don’t recommend changing the type or amount of sugar used in the dough.
  • 1 Large Egg – This is an enriched dough, so it uses an egg. You can use a flaxseed egg in its place.
  • Brown Sugar – You can use light or dark brown sugar to make the filling for these cinnamon rolls.
  • Bacon – I prefer using normal bacon because it gives you the most crunch once it’s cooked. However, you can use thick cut or turkey bacon if you prefer!
  • Maple Extract – If you don’t have maple extract you can use 1 Tbsp maple syrup in place of the maple extract.
image of espresso cinnamon rolls glazed and ready to be served

Tips for Making the Best Maple Bacon Cinnamon Rolls:

  • Use a ruler to make sure your dough is rolled out to the right size (12in x 18in) and cut into even pieces.
  • Use dental floss to easily cut each cinnamon roll rather than a knife.
  • Only cut 9 cinnamon rolls from your log to create tall and fluffy cinnamon rolls
  • Bake the cinnamon rolls in a greased square pan (mine is 8in x 8in)
  • Let the cinnamon rolls cool for about 5-10 minutes, then add the maple glaze. This will allow it to perfectly melt over your cinnamon rolls
image of cinnamon rolls that have been cut very cleanly using floss instead of a knife

Making These Maple Bacon Cinnamon Rolls in Advance

If you want to make these maple bacon cinnamon rolls ahead of time use regular yeast rather than instant yeast and double the amount.

Some of the yeast may be damaged when frozen, so doubling the amount ensures your cinnamon rolls will rise properly.

You can freeze the cinnamon rolls after they have been cut and proofed in a greased or lined pan.

image of coffee cinnamon rolls in a pan ready to be proofed

Place the cinnamon rolls in an airtight container and freeze for up to a week.

To thaw, take them out 2 hours before you plan to bake them, then follow the recipe instructions to bake. Keep in mind they make take a few extra minutes to fully bake through.

You can also bake the cinnamon rolls, then let them cool and freeze them individually. This is what I do with our leftover cinnamon rolls. I leave the leftover rolls unglazed, then tightly wrap each roll in a layer of plastic wrap then foil.

I move individual cinnamon rolls from the freezer to the fridge the night before I want to eat them. Then in the morning, I unwrap the cinnamon roll and heat it up in the microwave until it’s warm and gooey (usually about 30 seconds!).

image of a coffee flavored cinnamon roll on a plate

Let Me Know What You Think!

If you try this recipe for maple bacon cinnamon rolls, I’d love to hear what you think! Please leave a rating and a comment with your thoughts.

Tag me on social media @chelsweets or use #chelsweets so I can see you creations!!

image of coffee cinnamon rolls covered in an espresso glaze

Other Recipes You Might Like:

Yield: 9

Maple Bacon Cinnamon Rolls

image of coffee cinnamon rolls covered in coffee glaze

These maple bacon cinnamon rolls are filled with bacon, and are soft and fluffy with gooey centers! They're frosted w/ a maple cream cheese icing that is to die for!!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 28 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 3 minutes

Ingredients

Cinnamon Roll Filling

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (56 grams)
  • 3/4 cups packed light brown sugar (150 grams)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp ground cinnamon (9 grams)
  • 2 tsp cornstarch (optional, but helps the filling stay in place while the rolls bake)
  • 18 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped into small pieces

Cinnamon Roll Dough

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour + up to 1/2 cup addition flour (added later in process) (455-520 grams)
  • 2 1/4 tsp or 1 packet instant dry yeast (7 grams, 1/4 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (100 grams)
  • 1 tsp salt (6 grams)
  • 1 cup whole milk (245 grams)
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature (56 grams)
  • 1 large egg, room temperature (56 grams)

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/4 cup full fat cream cheese (2 oz), room temperature (56 grams)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (56 grams)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (4 grams)
  • 2 tsp maple extract (8 grams)
  • 1/4 tsp salt (>1 gram)
  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream (30 grams)
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (190 grams)

Instructions

Cinnamon Roll Filling

  1. In a medium sized bowl, mix together 3/4 cups packed light brown sugar, 1 1/2 Tbsp ground cinnamon and 2 tsp cornstarch and set aside.

Cinnamon Roll Dough

  1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 3 1/2 cups of flour, 1 packet instant dry yeast and 1 tsp salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup softened butter, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar and heat for 1 minute in the microwave. Stir to combine the ingredients.
  4. Slowly pour the warm milk mixture into the flour mixture and mix on medium speed with a dough hook.
  5. Add in 1 large egg and mix on a low speed until a sticky dough ball forms.
  6. Continue to mix on a medium-low speed for 2-3 minutes until the dough becomes more elastic.
  7. As the dough mixes, add additional flour 1 Tbsp at a time until the dough begins to leave the sides of the bowl.
  8. Cover your bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.
  9. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it into a large rectangle that's 12 in x 18 in. It should be about 1/2 cm thick. 
  10. Spread 1/4 cup of softened butter over the dough, leaving 1/2 inch of dough on the long side of the rectangle uncovered (this will help you seal off the roll and keep it tight).
  11. Sprinkle the filling (instructions above) evenly over the buttered area. 
  12. Top with small pieces of cooked bacon, saving a few to sprinkle over the top of the glazed cinnamon rolls.
  13. Tightly roll the dough horizontally, toward the uncovered strip.
  14. Cut 9 equal pieces and place in a greased 8 in x 8 in pan.
  15. Turn the oven off! I REPEAT, TURN THE OVEN OFF.
  16. Cover the cinnamon rolls with foil and place in a the oven for about 30 minutes to give them an assisted rise.
  17. Remove from the oven and take off the tinfoil. Turn the oven back on and heat to 350 degrees.
  18. Bake for 26-32 minutes or until rolls are golden brown.
  19. Maple Cinnamon Roll Frosting

    1. To make the frosting, stir together 1/4 cup of cream cheese, 1/4 cup of butter, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 2 tsp of maple extract with a spoon or electric mixer.
    2. Stir in 1 cup of powdered sugar, then add 2 Tbsp of heavy cream. Mix in the remaining 1/2 cups powdered sugar and stir until the frosting is smooth.
    3. Let the cinnamon rolls cool for 5 minutes, then spoon the frosting over each cinnamon roll and serve warm.
    4. If desired, sprinkle a few bits of bacon over the top of the glaze!

Notes

Be sure you are using instant yeast! It comes in tiny packets that can usually be found in the refrigerated section of your grocery store.

Making These Cinnamon Rolls in Advance:

If you want to make these cinnamon rolls ahead of time, be sure to use regular yeast rather than instant yeast, and double the amount (some of the yeast may be damaged when frozen, so doubling the amount ensures your cinnamon rolls will rise properly). Freeze the cinnamon rolls after they have been cut and proofed in a greased pan.

Cover the cinnamon rolls with an airtight lid or plastic and freeze for up to a week. To thaw, take them out 2 hours before you plan to bake them, and then follow the recipe to bake.

Recipe Yield

If you want to make smaller cinnamon rolls, cut the rolled dough into 12 pieces.

Nutrition Information

Yield

9

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 685Total Fat 29gSaturated Fat 15gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 12gCholesterol 97mgSodium 799mgCarbohydrates 91gFiber 2gSugar 46gProtein 16g
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