Easy Caramel Pecan Cinnamon Rolls have been a family favorite for years! Simple to make with frozen bread dough and they are overnight cinnamon rolls, which means you can make them ahead of time. Brown sugar cinnamon rolls topped with a homemade gooey caramel sauce and chopped pecans. You won't need any yeast for this easy cinnamon roll recipe!
Caramel Pecan Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
My family loves cinnamon rolls but I don't love waking up at the crack of dawn to make cinnamon rolls with a yeast dough and all the rising time. Which is why we LOVE these caramel pecan cinnamon rolls because you prep them the night before, refrigerate overnight, and then bake in the morning.
I am not the best baker when it comes to yeast so if you want an easy, no-fail cinnamon roll recipe then you need to try these!
Brown sugar cinnamon rolls that start with frozen bread dough, and topped with a gooey homemade caramel and chopped pecans.
What You'll Need
Thanks to the frozen bread dough, the list of ingredients needed is pretty short!
- Frozen Bread Loaves : I use the Rhodes brand of frozen bread loaves. Thaw according to package directions but do not let the dough rise. Just thaw it.
- Powdered Sugar + Heavy Cream : This is what creates that gooey caramel sauce. Trust me, it's delicious!
- Pecans : You need 1 cup of chopped pecans for this recipe. Chop them small or leave them larger depending on preference.
- Brown Sugar : I use light brown sugar in this recipe.
- Ground Cinnamon
- Melted Butter : I use salted butter but unsalted butter can be used if that's what you prefer.
How To Make Easy Overnight Pecan Cinnamon Rolls
See how easy it is to make these caramel pecan cinnamon rolls! Be sure and watch the recipe video down below if you want a visual on how to make these.
Caramel : Combine the powdered sugar and heavy cream. It will be a thick paste, which is normal. Spread into the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
Pecans : Sprinkle pecans over the thick paste you just spread.
Cinnamon Rolls : Unroll the thawed bread dough. In a small bowl combine the melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Working with one bread loaf at a time, spread half of the brown sugar mixture. Repeat with the other bread loaf. Roll up the dough starting at the longer side. Cut each log into 8 pieces. Place the 16 cinnamon rolls on top of the pecans in the baking dish. Do 4 rows of cinnamon rolls with 4 in each row.
Overnight : Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap, that's been sprayed with cooking spray, and refrigerate overnight.
Morning : Let the baking dish sit out at room temperature for 1 hour before baking in the morning. Bake according to recipe instructions below. Invert the cinnamon rolls onto a large platter or serving tray (you can also use a cutting board). Serve warm!
Tips For Success
Here are a few of my most helpful tips that will help you make this recipe in your own kitchen.
- Dry Cinnamon Rolls? : Don't be alarmed if the top of the cinnamon rolls look dry and plain when you take it out of the oven. Once you flip those cinnamon rolls over, the gooey caramel and pecan pieces will fall into the cinnamon rolls and the top will actually become the bottom of the cinnamon rolls.
- Use Heavy Cream : I have never used a substitute for the heavy cream in this recipe so I can't recommend anything to replace it. You want that richness and luscious texture that heavy cream offers.
- Thawing Bread Dough : Make sure that you plan ahead and thaw the bread loaves before you make the cinnamon rolls. Because these are overnight rolls, I will thaw the bread dough (using the refrigerater method that's listed on the package) the morning of and then I will prepare the rolls that night. Don't let the bread dough rise at all. You just want it thawed. It takes about 4-5 hours in the fridge. Be sure and cover the bread dough with plastic wrap while it's thawing.
- How To Flip The Cinnamon Rolls : The key to this recipe is inverting, or flipping over the cinnamon rolls, before serving. To do this you can use a large cutting board or serving platter. Flip the baking dish over onto the serving platter or tray. You can either just turn the baking dish over onto the platter or tray, or place the serving tray on top of the baking dish and turn both the baking dish and tray upside down. The baking dish will end up on top and you can just take it off. Then the rolls will pull-apart for serving.
- Chopped Pecans : Chop these as small as you want or leave them larger if you want more texture in the cinnamon rolls. I use finely chopped pecans as I like the smaller bits of pecan mixed in with the caramel.
- Morning Tip : The baking dish needs to sit out at room temperature in the morning for 1 hour before baking. Plan ahead and don't skip this step! The dish needs to come closer to room temperature and the dough will soften up slightly for baking.
I love to serve these cinnamon rolls for a relaxing weekend breakfast, when we have guests over, or my kids will usually request them for a birthday morning treat or on Christmas morning.
Serve with some scrambled eggs and bacon for a sweet & savory breakfast.
You can also make this sausage breakfast casserole to serve alongside these cinnamon rolls. I love the sweet and savory when it comes to a fancy breakfast for the weekend or a Holiday.
Caramel Pecan Cinnamon Rolls FAQ's
- Can I Use a Different Nut Besides Pecans?
- Yes, of course you can! Walnuts or even almonds are good substitutes. Although I am very partial to the pecan in this recipe because it really is the best! You can also use some mixed nuts if you want some variety.
- How Do I Store Leftovers?
- Store leftover cinnamon rolls at room temperature in an air-tight container. We rarely have leftovers and if we do they are only around for like a day. If you're keeping leftovers longer than a day, then I would store them in an air-tight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. Warm up the cinnamon roll in the microwave if stored in the fridge.
- Can I Freeze Caramel Pecan Cinnamon Rolls?
- Yes you can freeze these cinnamon rolls. I have never frozen these but I think it would work just fine. Prepare according to the recipe but instead of refrigerating overnight, tightly wrap the baking dish in tin foil. I like to do a double layer of plastic wrap and then a double layer of tin foil. Freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw the baking dish in the fridge. Let the rolls sit out at room temperature for 1 hour prior to baking. Bake according to directions below.
- How Do I Thaw Frozen Bread Loaves?
- The package comes with instructions for thawing, but here is what I do. Place the frozen bread loaves into a large loaf pan (I use a 9x5) or you can just put the loaves on a plate. Cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray (the side that will touch the bread loaves). Place in the refrigerator and let thaw for 4-5 hours. You don't want the dough to rise at all, you just want it thawed but still cold.
Supplies You Need
Here are a couple supplies that you will need to make these easy overnight caramel pecan cinnamon rolls. These are an affiliate link, meaning that if you purchase, I will make a very small percentage from the sale. As always, I appreciate the support for the free recipes I post. I will only recommend things that I personally own and love! Promise.
9x13 Baking Dish : I love this bakeware from USA Brand. I own several of them and they are perfect!
Ceramic Baking Dish : I love to use pretty ceramic baking dishes when I make cinnamon rolls. I love the colors of these ones.
Rolling Pin : This is just a classic rolling pin that does the job.
Nut Chopper : One of my favorite kitchen tools ever! I can't say enough good things about this. Easy to chop any kind of nut into small or large pieces.
Easy Caramel Pecan Cinnamon Rolls
- 1¼ cups powdered sugar
- ⅓ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup pecans coarsely chopped
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2 frozen white bread dough loaves thawed
- 3 tablespoons butter melted
- Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, mix together the powdered sugar and heavy whipping cream. It will be a thick paste, which is normal. Spread into the baking dish using a spoon or spatula.
- Sprinkle pecans over top.
- Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in small bowl, set aside.
- On a surface, sprayed with cooking spray & lightly floured, roll out 1 loaf into a rectangle [roughly the same size as the 9x13 pan]. Pour half of the butter onto the dough and spread it out. Sprinkle half of the cinnamon/sugar mixture over the butter.* You may need to let the thawed dough sit at room temperature for a few minutes to make it softer and easier to roll out.
- Roll up the dough [roll up from the longer side of the rectangle shape, not the shorter sides] and cut dough roll into 8 pieces. Place each piece in the pan on top of the pecans. Do 4 rows of 4 cinnamon rolls in each row.
- Repeat with the 2nd loaf of bread.
- Cover the dish with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray [the part of the plastic wrap that touches the rolls].
- Leave in fridge overnight. In the morning, let the baking dish sit out, covered, at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes.
- Let the baking dish cool for 5 minutes.
- Carefully take your pan and turn it upside down, over a serving platter or cutting board, and serve warm.
This recipe has been updated with better pictures and more helpful text in November 2021. Recipe is the same and has not changed. Old photo below.