My cinnamon roll casserole is utter coziness in a pan, and the ultimate warm breakfast treat fit for a leisurely weekend. A breeze to put together using store bought cinnamon rolls, this sweet casserole is prepared with a cinnamon-spiced vanilla custard base, plump golden raisins, pecans, plus a creamy icing to drizzle over top!
Cinnamon Roll Casserole, a Sweet and Cozy Breakfast
I just love whipping up a sweet, comforting and decadent breakfast to indulge in on those precious weekends when the mornings are chilly, slow-paced and relaxing...
A brekky that's a bit on the “naughty” side is usually what my soul craves, one that is a perfect sweet partner to a steaming cup of fresh, hot coffee and the tranquility of a peaceful Saturday or Sunday morning—what a treat!
While I quite enjoy taking my time preparing a breakfast that is more involved on a leisurely weekend morning, sometimes just combining a few staple ingredients with some store-bought items makes life a lots easier, allowing me a little more time to enjoy some of life's other pleasures.
My cinnamon roll casserole is just such a simple, semi-homemade treat, one that bakes up to puffy, spicy-sweet perfection, and tastes like autumn in a pan.
It incorporates pre-packaged cinnamon rolls cubed and combined with a creamy vanilla and cinnamon-infused custard, as well as some plump golden raisins.
Then, once baked, this scrumptious cinnamon roll casserole gets a little drizzle of good quality store-bought caramel sauce and an easy homemade creamy icing, along with crunchy toasted pecans. A treat so fragrant and inviting to cut into large squares and enjoy while warm!
For me, this cinnamon roll casserole is the perfect easy breakfast casserole to bake up when my hubby and I long to enjoy a taste of something a bit sweet and filled with TLC while still in our robes and slippers!
A Sweet Breakfast Casserole with a Creamy Icing
This breakfast casserole recipe takes its queue from other sweet casseroles such as French toast casserole and bread pudding, which I really adore.
I figured if I typically use challah or brioche bread when preparing those, why not substitute store-bought cinnamon rolls for added spicy-sweet flavor and bit more decadence?
When I experimented with this little twist of pre-packaged cinnamon rolls and cut them into cubes as I do the challah or the brioche bread, I loved the result...
They puffed up with lots of additional spicy-sweet aroma when combined with the custard, creating an almost “souffle”-like, puffy and tender texture.
And to really take this recipe over the top, I added a small drizzle of good quality caramel sauce once hot out of the oven, then drizzled over a creamy, homemade icing and sprinkled over some chopped, toasted pecans.
I know my mouth is watering...have I enticed you yet? 😉
Here's a sneak peek at my cinnamon roll casserole recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get things started, I whisk together the ingredients for my easy creamy icing, and set that aside.
- Next, I add my cubed cinnamon rolls, along with my raisins, to a large bowl, and whisk up the ingredients for my custard base; then, I combine the custard with my cubed cinnamon rolls.
- I pour the mixture into a prepared casserole dish and bake, covered, for 35 minutes; then, I uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes or so until puffy and golden, and baked through.
- While warm, I drizzle over a small amount of prepared caramel sauce, then drizzle over that my creamy icing, finishing with a sprinkle of pecans.
- Finally, I cut into squares and serve warm.
Cinnamon Roll Casserole
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 6
Nutrition Info: 640 calories per serving
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Cinnamon Roll Casserole Ingredients:
- 6 cinnamon rolls (a total of 18 ounces), cut into medium-large cubes
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 6 large eggs
- 3 cups half & half
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch salt
- 1/4 cup good quality, prepared caramel sauce
- 1/4 cup toasted pecans
Creamy Icing Ingredients:
- 3/4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons half & half
- Prepare the creamy icing: whisk the powdered sugar together with the half & half until thick and creamy. Keep covered.
- To prepare the casserole: preheat the oven to 350°, and butter a medium-large baking dish.
- Place the cubed cinnamon rolls and the raisins into a large bowl. Set aside for a moment.
- Prepare the custard by whisking together the eggs, half & half, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and pinch of salt; then, pour this mixture over the cinnamon rolls and raisins, mix gently together with hands to incorporate the custard into all of the cinnamon roll cubes, and allow the mixture to stand for about 10 minutes to soak the custard up a little.
- Pour the mixture into your prepared baking dish, and bake the cinnamon roll casserole covered with foil for about 35 minutes; then, uncover and bake another 30 minutes until set, and golden-brown and puffy.
- Remove the casserole from oven and allow it to just slightly cool for about 10 minutes; to finish it, drizzle the top with the caramel sauce and the creamy icing, and top with the toasted pecans. Serve while warm.
Tips & Tidbits for my Cinnamon Roll Casserole:
- Pre-packaged cinnamon rolls: When I choose store-bought cinnamon rolls, I opt for a package that is slightly more than 1 pound, about 18 ounces total. I love the pre-packaged cinnamon rolls from Trader Joe's that they typically have in their baked goods section, but any cinnamon rolls will do. And if they're a couple days old, then great! They'll absorb the custard even better.
- Tasty add-ins: I've opted for plump golden raisins here, but you can use regular raisins, or even substitute dried cranberries or cherries, or even dried apples, chopped up. But feel free to leave the dried fruit out altogether, if you prefer.
- Good quality caramel sauce: I just open up a jar of good quality caramel sauce as part of the topping here (once again, Trader Joe's has a tasty Fleur de Sel caramel sauce that I love), and only use about 1/4 cup, drizzling it evenly over the baked casserole. A little goes a long way.
- Toasted pecans, or other nuts: Feel free to use your favorite variety of nut for this cinnamon roll casserole. I love pecans, but walnuts work great—even a combo of the two!
- Make ahead cinnamon roll casserole: If you'd like to have even less work the morning that you're looking to enjoy this cozy breakfast, then prepare it the evening before. Just combine all of the ingredients, spoon into a prepared casserole dish, and keep in the fridge covered with foil or plastic wrap. Take the casserole out a couple of hours before you'd like to bake it to bring it to room temp, then bake as directed. (You can prep your creamy icing the day before as well and keep that in the fridge, bringing it to room temp along with the casserole.)
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2013, and has been updated with even more love!