Hi, I’m Heather.

Welcome to Fresh Baked Yum - the lovechild of my brain and my typing fingers. Follow along on my cooking journey and share the joys of food with me.

Brown Sugar Bacon Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing

Brown Sugar Bacon Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing

I’m one of those people who love sweet and salty together.  I think people either love it or hate it and I’m definitely in the love it category.  My friend S is definitely in the hate it column and when I told her about my idea for this cinnamon roll recipe, she said they sounded gross.

I believe her exact words were, “Ewww.” Haha, her loss.

Despite how my blog looks, I generally don’t eat much sugar at all.  I absolutely love baking sweet things but my body doesn’t agree with me so much when I eat them, so I mostly either rely on others’ opinions on my recipes or I make my recipes less sweet than normal so that I can eat them, too.  When I’m baking other bloggers’ recipes for my family, I usually cut out about 30% of the sugar called for.

If I’m going to have something sweet, it’s going to be barely sweet, semi-sweet, or sweet and salty.  Like kettle corn. Mmm… kettle corn.

HOWEVER, in this recipe, I included ALL the sugar.  These rolls full of brown sugar and bacon-y goodness deserve all the sugar.  There’s not really any place to cut down on the sugar, so just know going in these are sweet.  Sweeter than what I normally eat but absolutely amazingly delicious and SO worth it.

When I was thinking about how I could twist cinnamon rolls (something I used to LOVE to eat back in my sugar gorging days) into something sweet AND salty, I thought bacon.  I mean, have you seen those maple bacon bar donuts? I’ve never actually tried one because I don’t eat donuts unless they’re baked because of my dietary restrictions, but I’ve always been intrigued by them.

Brown Sugar Bacon Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing

It just made sense.  Bacon, brown sugar, maple, cinnamon, and vanilla all go together so well that I had to put them all into a cinnamon roll and see what happens.

I’m not gonna lie, these rolls are a little labor intensive.  They take about three hours from start to finish, but it’s SO worth it.  If you’re thinking of these for breakfast, I’d make them the night before and re-heat in the morning.  

Brown Sugar Bacon Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing

When I tried one of these brown sugar bacon cinnamon rolls for the first time, I thought, “breakfast in a cinnamon roll.” That’s how they taste.  Sweet, sticky, and with that salty smokiness that comes from the bacon. It’s a good way to balance out all the sugary sweetness that comes along with these rolls.

I especially love making cinnamon rolls from scratch because I really enjoy kneading dough and this dough needs to be kneaded (hahaha) for about 3-4 minutes so you can work out any aggression you’ve got going on, or you can count it as your workout for the day in preparation for eating these delicious bombs of flavor.

Making these rolls from scratch is not hard at all, but they do take time so prepare yourself for that going in.

Brown Sugar Bacon Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing

Oh, and a quick last tip: For the icing, I used Trader Joe’s vanilla bean infused maple syrup which gave my icing those cool vanilla bean seed flecks, but you can use whatever syrup you’ve got on hand.  Real maple syrup is always a better choice than the maple flavored corn syrup shit so if that’s all you’ve got, I’d maybe leave it out.

the best cinnamon roll recipe

Now that you’ve prepared yourself, give these a try and see if you’re in the “love it” or “hate it” category for sweet and salty combos.


best brown sugar bacon cinnamon rolls recipe

Brown Sugar Bacon Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing

The perfect combination of sweet and salty, this unique cinnamon roll recipe will quickly become a special breakfast treat.

Makes: 12 rolls

Prep time:

Cook time:

Dough Ingredients:
  • 1/4 oz dry yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp)
  • 1 c warm milk (100-110 degrees F)
  • 4 1/2 c AP flour
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1/3 c butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp salt

Filling Ingredients:
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1 c bacon, crumbled
  • 1/4 c butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon

Icing Ingredients:
  • 3 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 1/4 c butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/8 tsp salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix together the yeast and milk in your mixer bowl or a large bowl. Let sit for 5-7 minutes until bubbles form on the surface of the milk. If bubbles don't form, start again.
  2. Add flour, brown sugar, butter, eggs, and salt. Mix on medium until combined. If using a mixer, attach dough hook and mix for 2 minutes. If not using a mixer, stir with a firm spoon (dough will be firm) such as wooden for 2 minutes.
  3. Turn dough out onto the counter and knead for 3-4 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.
  4. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough into the bowl and cover with kitchen towel or paper towels. Rise for one hour.
  5. While your dough is rising, make filling. Mix brown sugar, butter, bacon, and cinnamon in a medium sized bowl. Mix with hands to get the most even mixture. Set aside.
  6. Turn dough out of bowl onto counter and roll into a rectangle until dough is roughly 1/4" thick. Rectangle should be about 20" x 16" but this isn't a strict rule. Just eyeball your measurements until you have a large rectangle.
  7. Spread filling mixture on dough rectangle, leaving about 1" around all edges without filling.
  8. Beginning with the long side at the top of the rectangle, start rolling the rough toward the bottom of the rectangle creating a tube.
  9. Slice the roll into 12 even slices, about 1 to 1 1/2 inches tall. Place into greased 13x9" baking pan.
  10. Let the rolls rise in the pan on top of the stove for 30 minutes more.
  11. Bake for 20 minutes. While rolls are baking, create icing. Stir cream cheese and butter together. Add maple syrup. Add powdered sugar and stir until fully combined and no lumps remain. Add salt and stir to combine.
  12. Remove rolls from oven and let cool roughly 5 minutes. Spread icing on top of rolls and serve warm or cover and reheat the following day.

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