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5 from 2 votes
A baklava cinnamon roll
Baklava-Inspired Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
Rising Time
3 hrs
Total Time
4 hrs

This soft and fluffy Baklava Cinnamon Rolls recipe fuses together elements of baklava with elements of your favorite cinnamon roll.

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Swedish, Turkish
Author: Vedika Luthra
For the Dough
  • 1 cup (8 fl oz/240 mL) whole milk (110°F/45°C)
  • 6 tablespoons (3 oz/86 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
  • cup (2 ½ oz/71 g) unsalted butter (melted and slightly cooled)
  • 2 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ½ cups (22 ½ oz/639g) bread flour
For the Filling
  • 1 cup (6 oz/170 g) light brown sugar (packed)
  • ½ cup (roughly 2 oz/60 g) unsalted pistachios (shelled, finely chopped, and packed)
  • ½ cup (roughly 2 oz/60 g) unsalted walnuts (finely chopped and packed)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cardamom
  • teaspoon salt
  • cup (2 ½ oz/71 g) unsalted butter (softened at room temperature)
For the Cream Cheese Glaze
  • ½ cup (4 oz/115 g) cream cheese (at room temperature)
  • 3 tablespoons honey*
For the Dough
  1. Begin by warming the milk until it reaches 110°F or 45°C. I like to do this in the microwave, then check with a kitchen thermometer to make sure it’s the right temperature. If you don’t have a thermometer handy, what you’re looking for is a tepid temperature, the kind you can comfortably place a finger in without feeling too much heat.

  2. Whisk together the milk, sugar, and yeast, until combined.

  3. Next, pour in the melted butter, eggs, and salt, continuing to mix.

  4. Finally, add the flour. I like to do this a cup at a time, stirring first with a whisk and then switching to a wooden spoon when it gets thick.

  5. When all the flour is incorporated into the dough, you can tip the mixture onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it with your hands (if the floured surface doesn’t suffice, you can oil your hands to prevent the dough from sticking- essentially you want to make sure you don’t add too much extra flour) until the dough forms a smooth, elastic ball and no longer sticks. It will take around 7-10 minutes of kneading. If you prod/press the dough slightly, it should spring back.

  6. Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl (I grease it with flavorless oil), then cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a relatively warm place. The countertop at our house suffices. Let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, around one and a half to two hours (keep an eye on it).

For the Filling
  1. At this point, you can prepare the filling. Start by combining the sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, walnuts and pistachios, and salt. Set aside.

Assembling the Rolls
  1. Begin by preparing your baking tray. I use a 9x13 inch (approx. 23x33 cm) tray. Grease it with butter or baking spray, and/or line with parchment paper. An aluminum tray tin is best for this to ensure even baking, but I have also used a ceramic baking dish, and that works fine too.

  2. Once the dough has risen, gently peel the plastic wrap from the bowl and tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a large, rectangle approximately 12 x 18 inches (it doesn’t need to be perfect). If you’re having trouble rolling out the dough (it keeps pulling back), stop what you’re doing, let the dough sit for 10 minutes, then try rolling again. This relaxes the gluten.

  3. Spread the rectangle with the softened butter, then sprinkle atop the cinnamon-sugar leaving a ¼ inch margin of the dough un-sugared.

  4. Starting with the longer side, tightly roll the dough into a log, working from the middle and then outwards the edges, using your fingertips to make sure it is tight.

  5. Using a sharp knife, cut the log into 12 pieces, each roughly 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) long. I like to start in the middle, then divide the log into quarters, and each quarter into thirds.

  6. Place each roll into your prepared baking tray, and if you like, spoon any filling that escapes in transit back into the roll.

  7. Cover the rolls with a tea towel or plastic wrap, then let them rise again for 45 min to an hour or until doubled in size. It’s okay if they stick together, that ‘pull apart’ texture is what you are looking for!

  8. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).

  9. Place the rolls in the middle rack/lower third of your oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or until they are golden. Just to be sure, you can try to remove one of the rolls to check for doneness (depending on your oven the rolls may brown before the bottom cooks). If the rolls are browning too quickly, place a sheet of foil then back into the oven for a couple of minutes. Let the rolls cool for around 10 minutes while you prepare the glaze.

For the Cream Cheese Glaze
  1. For the glaze, stir together the honey and cream cheese until smooth. Note that the mixture will be quite thin (at least if you use a more spreadable variety of cream cheese). I found that 3 tbsp was perfect for the consistency, any more and it became too thin. However, if the consistency is too firm or not sweet enough, add more honey as needed.

  2. Drizzle the rolls with the cream cheese glaze when they are still warm and enjoy fresh. These are best the day they are made.