Queenie Cooks: Pizza Dough Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

By: Terry Harris | Email: Click Here
Posted: January 28, 2020 | 8:00 a.m.

WELL – these might just as well be called Desperation Cinnamon Buns as I made them when I was seriously craving carbs and there was not a cookie, piece of cake, NOTHING in the house that would suit my sweet tooth.  

SOOOO… after ransacking the pantry, the cabinets, the car, and several purses for something that might do the trick, I started searching the fridge for the makings of… something.  And peeking out from behind the Duke’s I spotted the can of Pizza Dough I had purchased a couple of weeks earlier for something a friend wanted me to try.  Hmmm…  Not a fan of canned dough of any kind, but I had butter, which I love, as well as pecans – also a favorite.  And there’s always cinnamon in my house.  Sooooo…  why not put those together somehow with the already-made pizza dough for some kind of cinnamon buns?  

Why not indeed?  I ran to my computer to see what sort of recipes I might dig up as a starting point and immediately scored one that looked pretty promising. It actually called for leftover made-from-scratch dough, but I had neither time nor inclination to go through the proofing, rolling, rising, etc. so, I decided I could make that work. And I did!  Eventually…

Sprinkle nuts over all and roll tightly in preparation for cutting

First, I found another, somewhat similar recipe that actually called for pre-made, canned dough.  Well, again, not a fan of canned doughs, but since I had that one on hand and was already determined to use it, I figured I might as well make use of information from experts on working with the stuff.  Seems logical enough, right?  Not necessarily.  

Some of the directions were helpful.  But the one about letting the can of pizza dough reach room temperature before opening to make it easier to roll out?  Well, let me just say this about that.  If those experts followed their own advice, their “room temperature” must be considerably cooler than mine, because when I opened that can of pizza dough and tried to extract it from that scary roll of cardboard, things got interesting – fast.  It was so soft that when I turned it sideways the center started to ooooooze out like melted marshmallows squeezing their way through cracks.  But the ends still were stuck in there.  And when I turned the can upright to work one end out, the whole roll started pouring out, slow motion, like one of those “It’s fun! It’s exciting!  Make your own slime!” commercials on tv for kids.  

Anyway, I finally got it out on the counter, rolled it out a bit, and started brushing on melted butter.  That went well enough, as did sprinkling on the cinnamon sugar.  I’m not sorry that I decided to add pecans, because they tasted great, but cutting the fairly delicate, soft, raw dough into buns with all those pecans inside was a bit of a challenge!

I did finally get them all cut, placed them in the buttered dishes, (Note –  use metal pans.  The glass ones I used made them cook unevenly) and popped them in the oven.  And sure enough, pretty soon I had cinnamon buns!  Sort of.  They TASTE like cinnamon buns, and the pecans were a nice touch.  Next time, I may also add raisins.  They are not soft like most from-scratch ones, though, as the pizza dough makes them a bit chewier.  And, honestly, the way I cooked them they ended up a bit more like big, soft cookies than buns.  I think a shallow bowl of water in the bottom of the oven would help with that, so next time I’ll definitely do that.

All baked up and ready for an eye-opening breakfast!

As for the glaze, I found that I preferred these plain.  But I don’t like an overly sweet taste, so you might find that the addition of the glaze makes them just right.  I also suspect that these would be nice with honey drizzled over them for another slight variation on the norm.

SOOOOO… did this make me an absolute convert to canned dough?  Not really.  So if you’re not either, or you plan to serve these at some fancy gathering, you might want to make your own pizza dough for this one. However, if you’re looking for something quick and easy to make for the kids (or in a carb-crave emergency), they actually are pretty tasty. And for a quick sweet treat, they still beat most anything you can find ready-made at the grocery store.  And in a pinch?  I’d say these were, as Goldilocks would say, just right!  Enjoy!!!

Pecan Pizza Dough Cinnamon Rolls


  • 1 Cup +/- chopped pecans
  • 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon (or to taste)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 pound homemade or store-bought pizza dough, at room temp (or maybe a little cooler, if canned)


  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 Tablespoons hot water (until desired consistency)

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Grease an 8×11-inch baking dish with unsalted butter.

Stir cinnamon and sugar together and set aside. 

Roll out dough on lightly floured counter top or table and then roll it into a rectangle roughly 10x 15 inches. Brush thoroughly with melted butter.  Sprinkle on cinnamon-sugar and as many chopped pecans as you want!  (I used about ¾ cup) mixture. 

Starting with the long end and tightly roll the dough away from you to form a log. Cut that log into 12 rolls, about 1 1/2-inches each. (I cut mine into pieces about ½ inch wide, which may explain the cookie-like end product.) 

Arrange roll in prepared baking dish about 1 inch apart.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes until the dough is fully cooked, then take out of oven to cool while you make your glaze.

For your glaze, stir together butter, powdered sugar and vanilla and then quickly whisk in hot water a little at a time until it reaches the consistency you like.  Drizzle over slightly warm cinnamon rolls and serve immediately.

Copyright 2020 by Womack Publishing
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