When you need a little extra sparkly sweetness in your life, whip up these unicorn funfetti cinnamon rolls! Who can resist colorful one hour cinnamon rolls?
Baking with kids is so much fun! My favorite thing about it is how into it they get. Kids get so engrossed in the process because they are learning, but they add a creative abandon that takes everything to the next level. These unicorn funfetti cinnamon rolls are a perfect example, because they were designed by one of the coolest girls I know.
Miss C is a friend’s daughter who loves to help in the kitchen. She really loooves to bake, and I promised her she could come help me one day. One day happened, and I invited her over to help me make my one hour cinnamon rolls. I figured we would make the rolls, throw a few sprinkles on top for fun, and call it a day. But why?
As soon as Miss C took a look at my sprinkle stash and we started talking about options, her face lit up! And you know me, I love kitchen creativity, so we just went with it. We ended up with these totally magical unicorn funfetti cinnamon rolls! Sprinkles in the dough, a multicolored cream cheese frosting, MORE sprinkles, and CAKE GLITTER! Perfection. Also, she dubbed them unicorn cinnamon rolls, and so this is what they are. Artists get to name their creations.
What exactly are Unicorn Funfetti Cinnamon Rolls?
They are a quick 1 hour cinnamon roll recipe from scratch with LOTS of sprinkles! We added sprinkles in the batter for a funfetti dough, colored the frosting before spreading on the still-warm rolls, and added lots more sprinkles on top.
Miss C felt they were definitely a unicorn inspired breakfast treat because of all the sprinkles and colors. I agree. If I were hosting a unicorn themed brunch party, these delicious cinnamon rolls would be a must on the menu. Of course, you don’t have to be limited to unicorns. Get creative! If you feel stuck and need some help, ask a kid for inspiration.
Unicorn lover or not (seriously???), these funfetti cinnamon rolls are sure to bring a smile to your face.
Funny side story before I leave you with the recipe…
The Godfather was home with my girls and I was walking Miss C home, and we were stopped on the sidewalk by neighbors who were outside because they had to know what was in the tray! Lucky them, I had another batch baking so my princesses could have colorful cinnamon rolls, and so everyone had a little fresh unicorn funfetti fun for dessert that evening. These cinnamon rolls stop (sidewalk) traffic.
I hope you enjoy creating these unicorn inspired treats! If you share on social media (and you should because they’re pretty…) don’t forget to tag me because I love to see pictures. <3
For the Dough
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup warm water or milk (any dairy or non-dairy version will do)*
- 1/3 cup jimmies sprinkles (the long ones)
For the Pan and Filling
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
Cream Cheese Glaze
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- food coloring in your choice of colors
- LOTS of sprinkles!
- Pulse together the dry dough ingredients, except the sprinkles, in your food processor until combined. This takes about 4-5 pulses.
- With the food processor running, slowly pour in the wet ingredients until a shaggy dough forms. You'll want to run the food processor about 2-3 minutes until the dough forms a smooth ball. If you have some dry ingredients not being incorporated, stop the processor and scrape the sides with a spatula. The dough should be a smooth, not too sticky ball.
- Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead in the sprinkles. Don't over-work the dough, just make sure to fold until the sprinkles are evenly distributed. Shape the dough into a large rectangle, using your fingers to make little indentations throughout. Fold it in thirds by folding in one side and then the other. Cover in plastic wrap and allow to rest 10-15 minutes while you preheat your oven to 350 F and prepare your filling.
- In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar and cinnamon, set aside.
- Use a pastry brush or square of parchment paper to spread the softened butter around the bottom and sides of an 11x7 inch baking sheet. Use this size if you'd like the rolls to touch, if you prefer the rolls don't touch, use a 9x13 inch baking sheet.
- Once your oven has come to temperature, roll out the dough into a 9x13 inch rectangle. Spread the filling evenly over the dough, leaving about an inch up top for sealing.
- Starting at the long end closest to you, roll the dough into a log, being sure to not roll too tightly. Cut the log into 12 even sections and arrange on your baking sheet.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until the tops are just starting to color at the edges and the rolls are baked through. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack.
- Once the rolls have been removed from the oven, it's time to make the cream cheese frosting! Beat together the softened butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl and stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla.
- Separate the glaze into different bowls and color with your choice of food coloring (gel gives the boldest color). Dot onto the still warm cinnamon rolls and spread gently to blend.
- Top your cinnamon rolls with ALL the sprinkles! Enjoy!
- These are best the day they are made, but will keep up to 3 days. Store extra cinnamon rolls loosely covered in the refrigerator and reheat before serving.
*I have made this recipe using water, milk, soy milk, and nut milk... there's very little difference in the final result, although the milk or milk alternatives do provide a tiny bit of flavor.
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