5 fun takes on cinnamon rolls for conference morning

Several cinnamon roll varieties.
Several cinnamon roll varieties.
Ellie Smith

Enjoying a delicious breakfast during the morning sessions of general conference just feels right to me. You get to listen to the word of God while you enjoy some tasty tender mercies on your plate. And my family tends to stick to our favorite classic: the cinnamon roll. It’s got enough bread to be filling, but enough sugary cream cheese frosting to land solidly in the dessert category. And that little piece at the center? Heavenly.

But after having had cinnamon rolls for almost every conference weekend, I’ve wanted to try other fun and special breakfast options. Croissants, pain au chocolate, maybe even a quiche Lorraine? However, I think we can all agree that no one wants to spend their entire morning whipping up an elaborate French pastry. My solution? A fun spin on the old classic.

And it turns out there are quite a few variations to the classic cinnamon roll; the birthday cake roll takes the same shape and gives it a confetti twist; the orange roll brings a zesty surprise; heirloom apple rolls feel right at home with pumpkin pie and falling leaves; imitation Cinnabon can certainly sweep me off my feet; and cinnamon bun popcorn makes for easy munching throughout conference weekend.

So let’s bake things up a notch this general conference with one of these many tantalizing cinnamon roll spin-offs from some of our favorite cookbooks!

Birthday Cake Cinnamon Rolls by Christy Denney
Christy Denney
Birthday Cake Cinnamon Rolls

From Scrumptious Cookbook

Prep time: 90 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes | Makes: 12 rolls


  • 1 ¼ cups warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
  • 1 (.75-ounce) package active dry yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons)
  • 1 (15.25-ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 2 to 3 cups flour


  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles, plus more for topping


  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk


  1. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, combine warm water and yeast. Let mixture stand for 5 minutes until mixture gets foamy.
  3. In a large bowl, add cake mix and 2 cups flour. Mix in yeast mixture. Add up to 1 more cup flour a little at a time until dough pulls away from sides of bowl and forms a ball. You may not need to add all of the flour.
  4. Once mixture is in a ball, cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour until doubled in size.
  5. Roll dough into a large rectangle, about 18x10 inches.
  6. Brush softened butter on dough. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture and rainbow sprinkles on butter.
  7. Roll up jelly roll style, starting with long end. Slice into 12 rolls and place in prepared pan. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  8. While rolls rise, preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare frosting. In a medium bowl, beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk. Mix slowly at first, then increase speed until fluffy. Add more milk if needed.
  9. Bake rolls for 15 to 20 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Let cool 5 minutes before frosting.
  10. Frost cinnamon rolls and sprinkle with rainbow sprinkles.


If you can’t be left alone with warm cinnamon rolls or a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies, or if you enjoy creating photos of your culinary creations almost as much as eating them, Christy Denney, the blogger known as “The Girl Who Ate Everything,” has the perfect cookbook for you.

From unforgettable Sunday brunches with Banana Muffins, to easy weeknight one-pan dinners like One-Pan Chicken Enchilada Skillet, to low-carb meals like Egg Roll in a Bowl, to rolling out the works for a game-day crowd, including her NFL-husband’s favorites like Jalapeno Popper Bread and Garlic Parmesan Wings, this is the family-friendly cookbook for anyone looking to plan quick-and-easy meals and wants a way to bring people together, feasting on food which can only be described as scrumptious.

Heirloom Apple Rolls by Cade and Carrian Cheney
Heirloom Apple Rolls

From Our Sweet Basil Kitchen Cookbook

Prep time: 40 minutes | Cook time: 40 minutes | Makes: 8–12 rolls


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled shortening or butter, diced
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 cups grated apples (about 3 to 4 apples)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups water


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Add the shortening or butter pieces and cut in with a pastry cutter or fork until the mixture becomes sand-like in texture (the shortening or butter should be pea-sized). Add the milk and stir to form a soft dough.
  4. On a floured board, roll the dough in an oblong sheet 1/4-inch thick, and brush with melted butter.
  5. Combine cinnamon and brown sugar in a small bowl.
  6. Cover dough with grated apples and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Set aside.
  7. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the water and sugar to create a simple syrup. Heat through and stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Pour mixture into a 9x13-inch baking dish.
  8. Roll dough out jelly roll style, cut in slices 1½-inches thick, and place cut side down in the pan of sugar water.
  9. Bake for 40 minutes or until the rolls have enlarged to fill the entire pan. Serve warm in a bowl with milk or cream.

‘Our Sweet Basil Kitchen’

Cade and Carrian Cheney are the husband-and-wife team behind the popular Oh, Sweet Basil food blog. Carrian grew up in the Pacific Northwest and prefers garden-fresh produce, natural ingredients, and healthy eating. Cade, raised in South Carolina, loves all things Southern—particularly if it involves a grill.

Together, they have collected more than 100 recipes that combine their love of fresh ingredients with unexpected flavor combinations and mashups of tried-and-true family favorites. Their innovative dishes will elevate and reinvigorate your everyday recipes.

Orange Rolls by Sarah Wells and Kate Jones
Orange Rolls

From Savoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites Cookbook

Prep time: 1 hour | Cook time: 20 minutes | Makes: 14 rolls


  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks
  • 3¼–3½ cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 (0.25-ounce) package instant or rapid rise yeast (about 2¼ teaspoons)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg


  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest


  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Enough orange juice to reach desired consistency


  1. For the dough: Place milk and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat 1 minute 30 seconds on high. Butter should be at least partially melted. Stir and set aside.
  2. Whisk together 2 cups flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. When milk mixture has cooled to warm (not hot; about 105–110 degrees F.), add it to the flour mixture along with the egg. Beat until well combined, using the paddle attachment—about 1 minute.
  3. Switch to the dough hook. Add the remaining flour only until dough barely leaves the sides of the bowl. It should be very soft and slightly sticky. Continue to knead dough with mixer for 5 minutes or turn dough onto floured surface and knead for 5 minutes by hand. Allow to rest about 10 minutes while you make the filling.
  4. For the filling: Combine ingredients in a small bowl.
  5. To assemble: Roll dough into a rectangle about 12 x 14 inches. Spread filling mixture over the surface and use your fingers or the back of a spoon to gently spread around. Roll up from the longer side of the rectangle and pinch edges closed. Use a piece of dental floss to score the roll into 12 equal pieces and then slip the floss under the “log” and cinch off each piece with the floss to cut into rolls. Place in a 9 x 13-inch pan that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Cover pan with a clean towel and let rise in a warm place about 30 minutes or until visibly increased in size. In the meantime, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. When rolls have finished rising, bake 15–20 minutes or until light golden brown.
  7. For the glaze: Melt butter in a small saucepan or in microwave. Add the powdered sugar and enough orange juice to reach a smooth pouring consistency. Drizzle over warm rolls.

‘Savoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites’

The award-winning food bloggers and authors of Our Best Bites are at it again, this time with all-new recipes focused around the seasons of the year. Savoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites will help you cook up a storm for your family and friends the whole year round using fresh, healthy, seasonal ingredients. Recipes specific to the various holidays abound as well as delightful food crafts to make and enjoy.

Imitation Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll
Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

From Copycat Cooking with Six Sisters’ Stuff Cookbook

Prep time: 5 hours | Cook time: 20 minutes | Makes: 15 cinnamon rolls


Cinnamon Rolls

  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk


  1. Mix yeast, sugar, eggs, milk, melted butter, and salt in a large bowl. Add 4 cups all-purpose flour. Mix well with a spoon, cover bowl with plastic wrap, and allow dough to rise 4 to 6 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Do not knead the dough.
  2. Roll out dough into a long, thin rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Spread on ¼ cup softened butter. Mix together brown sugar and cinnamon. Spread evenly over the dough. Tightly roll into a jelly-­roll shape, starting at the long end of the dough. Use a string or floss to cut dough into 1-inch pieces and place in a greased 9x13-inch baking pan. Cover and let raise an additional 30 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, butter, and salt until smooth. Set frosting aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting while still slightly warm.

‘Six Sisters’ Stuff Copycat Cooking’

The popular Six Sisters’ Stuff bloggers come to the rescue with a new collection of more than 100 easy-to-make recipes of popular restaurant dishes and take-out favorites for busy families.

Includes copycat recipes for Texas Roadhouse Cactus Blossom, Panda Express Orange Chicken, Olive Garden Chicken Parmesan, Disneyland Monte Cristo Sandwich, Chili’s Molten Hot Lava Cake, and Sprinkles Red Velvet Cupcakes.

Cinnamon Bun Caramel Corn
Cinnamon Bun Caramel Corn

From Our Best Bites Cookbook

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 30 minutes | Serves: 24 small individual servings


  • 12 cups popped popcorn (about 1⁄2 cup un-popped kernels, popped) (see tip below)
  • 1 cup roughly chopped pecans
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 cup real butter
  • 1⁄4 cup light corn syrup (honey makes a good substitution)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 squares almond bark


  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. Place popcorn and chopped pecans in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a 2-quart capacity microwave-safe bowl. Mix well. Chop the butter into chunks and place on top of the sugar mixture. Pour corn syrup over everything. Microwave on high for 30 seconds and then stir to combine. Return to microwave and heat for 2 minutes. Remove and stir and then microwave for 2 minutes more.
  4. Remove from microwave and add vanilla and baking soda. Stir to combine. The mixture will foam and rise. Pour the caramel mixture over the popcorn and pecans and stir very well so everything is well coated.
  5. Spread popcorn mixture onto a foil-lined jelly roll pan. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven and spread mixture out on a large piece of parchment, waxed paper, or foil sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
  7. Melt the almond bark according to package instructions. Drizzle over popcorn mixture. When the almond bark is hardened and popcorn is cool, break into chunks and enjoy!

Tip: You can use air-popped or microwave popcorn. If using microwave, try to find a natural flavor that’s low in butter and salt.

‘Our Best Bites’

Our Best Bites bring together more than 150 recipes for delicious, easy meals and snacks that are fun to make, include healthy, fresh ingredients, and are more popular with families. The authors share their tips and tricks (mixed with an abundant sense of humor), and step-by-step, full-color photographs for each recipe.

▶ You may also like: 4 wonderfully easy lunch recipes for general conference weekend

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