Upgrade Canned Cinnamon Rolls With One Creamy Ingredient

Canned cinnamon rolls are exceptional in their own right. The hardest part about making them is not knowing when the can will release its pressure and burst open, scaring the pants off you in the process. The dough is pre-mixed, pre-flavored, and pre-rolled. All you need to do is put them in a pan and bake them. They're quick, sweet, and good — but they could be even better. All you need to up the stakes and make a good thing better is a little heavy cream.

When you pour silky heavy cream over unbaked cinnamon rolls, a couple of things happen: Some of the cream is absorbed into the dough, making the cinnamon rolls bigger and fluffier and enriching their overall flavor and texture. Additionally, any cream left on the bottom of the pan naturally combines with the cinnamon and sugar from the rolls, creating a sort of syrupy sauce that makes the rolls positively decadent. The result of adding this simple ingredient is a surprisingly homemade taste people can't seem to get enough of, judging from the idea's popularity on various social media platforms. 

Space your cinnamon rolls out for bigger results

The directions on cans of cinnamon rolls typically direct you to place the unbaked rolls in a circular pan so each roll touches the other as they go into the oven. While you can use the same type of pan when adding heavy cream to the mix, you will get much bigger cinnamon rolls if you place the dough in a larger, rectangular baking pan. Separate each roll so they have room to expand, then pour the heavy cream generously over the top of each roll and onto the bottom of the pan.

Heavy cream is one fantastic secret ingredient — but it isn't the only one people are adding to upgrade their cans of cinnamon rolls. In addition to the cream, some pour a mixture of butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar over the top before the buns bake, creating an even thicker and sweeter sauce for the rolls to bake in. Once baked, you can drizzle the tops with a simple vanilla icing or use the prepared icing that comes with the canned rolls. 

Heavy cream is just one addition for better buns

Once you see how adding a single ingredient to a can of cinnamon rolls can make a world of difference, you may be excited to discover other ways to liven up this classic breakfast treat. For starters, grown-ups can add some booze, like spiced rum or bourbon, to the heavy cream with butter, brown sugar, and orange zest. Pour caramel sauce on the bottom of the pan, place the unbaked dough on top, and then drizzle them with more caramel for a gooey, sweet breakfast that doubles as dessert.

Dried fruit can add a layer of tartness. One classic choice is raisins, but dried cranberries or cherries would also be a great route. However, if you place dried fruit on top of the rolls, they could burn. To combat this, consider unrolling each bun and pressing the fruit inside before rolling them back up. If fresh fruit is more your style, blueberries make a delicious topping. Chopped nuts, like walnuts or pecans, add a satisfying layer of crunch and can be sprinkled on the bottom of the pan, in the dough, or on top of the buns. 

No matter the additions, a splash of heavy cream is always a good idea since its flavor creates a neutral foundation. This ingredient is more about texture than flavor; it makes them puffy and rich, which is one thing we love most about a good cinnamon roll.