These Easy Pecan Rolls are a delicious morning treat made with crescent roll dough that requires zero proofing and is ready in under 45 minutes!
These easy Pecan Rolls are made with crescent roll sheets for an easy no-yeast cinnamon roll that just can’t be beat! A combo of light brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla makes for the ultimate filling. Then they’re baked up in a muffin liner with heavy cream and pecan pieces. Finish them off with a thick icing made with heavy cream and powdered sugar, and we’re in business!
Biting Into A Pecan Roll
Taste: A sweet brown sugar and cinnamon mixture is rolled up in buttery crescent rolls for a spiced sweet roll that’s coated with a sweet and sticky glaze. The addition of pecans gives it a cozy and comforting finish.
Texture: These delightful rolls are tender and slightly flaky, with a sticky and crunchy pecan bottom and a gooey glaze that seeps down into the layers of the rolls for a gooey and soft experience.
Easy Pecan Rolls Ingredients
- Crescent Roll Sheets
- Salted Butter
- Brown Sugar
- Ground Cinnamon
- Vanilla Extract
- Pecan Pieces
- Heavy Cream
- Powdered Sugar
The dough of these cinnamon rolls is just crescent roll sheets. These provide an easy base that requires zero prep or proofing.
The filling is made with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla which provides most of the flavor for these rolls.
The traditional “sticky pecan” bottom is made with pecans and heavy cream. Then as the rolls bake, some of the butter, sugar, and cinnamon leak down into the bottom of the rolls to create the scrumptious nutty base.
Even though traditional Pecan Sticky Buns aren’t made with icing, we really love using one for these. This icing is made with powdered sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla for a thick topping that seeps down into the rolls for a gooey and delicious treat.
How To Make Crescent Roll Pecan Rolls
Step 1: Roll the crescent roll dough sheets out on a clean surface with a rolling pin. Use a pastry or pizza cutter to neaten up the edges, and use any excess dough to reinforce any weak spots in the dough where the dough might have torn coming out of the can.
Step 2: Melt some of the butter and brush the crescent dough sheets.
Step 3: Mix together the remaining softened butter with the brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla until fully combined. Spread half of the mixture out on the dough to evenly cover the melted butter, leaving one of the short ends with a 1/2-inch border.
Step 4: Cut the dough with a pastry or pizza cutter and roll up the dough to make cinnamon rolls. Repeat steps 1 through 4 with the other sheet of dough.
Step 5: Add pecan pieces and heavy cream to bakery-style parchment wrappers. You can purchase the wrappers or make them by cutting them into 5×5-inch squares and then pressing them into the muffin tin wells to shape. Using a glass can help shape them, but they may still pop out of the wells a bit until they have been filled and have weight to hold them down.
Step 6: Add a roll to each liner and bake for 20 to 23 minutes.
Step 7: Once baked, allow them to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before whisking together the icing ingredients and spreading icing over the tops of the rolls. You can also sprinkle additional pecan pieces on top.
How To Serve
Enjoy these warm (the best) or at room temperature. They are perfect for serving for breakfast or brunch and go great with tea, coffee, and milk.
How To Store
Store these in an airtight container at room temperature and enjoy within 2 days.
Pecan Rolls FAQs
No, because of the rise of the rolls while baking and the filling ingredients, the higher bakery-style liners help hold the mixture in as it bubbles so that all the sticky goodness stays with the rolls and doesn’t spill out onto the edges of the pan.
No, You can also make these in a pie dish. Just cut the dough into four rolls each and add the pecans and heavy cream right into the bottom. You’ll need to increase the baking time by about 5 minutes. If making them in a pie tin, you can add an extra 1/4 cup of both pecans and heavy cream to the bottom.
No, if you’d like to make crescent roll cinnamon rolls without pecans, just prepare the recipe without them with no other changes.
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This post was originally published in January 2016 and was updated in April 2023 with a new recipe method and photos.
Easy Pecan Rolls
- 2 (8 oz.) cans Pillsbury Crescent Roll sheets or rolls with the seams pinched together
- 5 tablespoons salted butter softened, divided
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoons pecan pieces divided
- ¼ cup heavy cream divided
- Preheat oven to 350°F and cut parchment paper into 12 5×5-inch squares. Press each sheet of parchment paper into the well of a muffin tin. Use a cup to press down and rotate to help shape the parchment. The parchment will puff out of the pan until ingredients are added to it.
- Roll out one crescent roll sheet on a clean surface (I like to do it on a sheet of parchment paper). Melt 2 tablespoons of salted butter and brush the dough with it, leaving a ½-inch border at one of the short ends. There should be enough for the second dough, using about 1 tablespoon each.
- Combine 3 tablespoons salted butter, 1 cup light brown sugar, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a small bowl and sprinkle half of the mixture evenly over the buttered dough. Spread and pat it down so it covers as evenly as possible. Making sure to leave the same border on the short end that you did with the butter.
- Use a pastry or pizza cutter to cut the dough into 6 strips starting from the short end so they are long. Roll each strip up, so that they roll with the border end sealing the roll up, and repeat for the other sheet of crescent roll dough.
- Add 1½ teaspoons of pecan pieces and 1 teaspoon heavy cream to each muffin liner and then place a roll in each one.
- Bake for 20 to 23 minutes until bubbly in the creases and the rolls don't wiggle too much. You want tops to be a golden brown and the centers should read 200°F on an instant-read thermometer.
- Remove from oven and let cool on the pan for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Whisk together 1 cup powdered sugar 6 tablespoons heavy cream, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until desired consistency is reached, spread over cooled, but slightly warm, cinnamon rolls and sprinkle with additional pecans if desired.