Cake Mix Easter Cinnamon Rolls

Ally Billhorn
by Ally Billhorn
14 Rolls
1 hr 32 min

Serve this fun pastel Easter themed breakfast this year! A shortcut is taken with these cinnamon rolls making them fun and easy.

Collage of colorful cinnamon rolls in a round pan and one a white plate with a bite on a fork.

Easter is a big food holiday. Last year my Easter Bunny Cinnamon Rolls (using Pillsbury refrigerated rolls) took OFF and became a quick crowd pleaser. This year I wanted another Easter themed breakfast treat for you guys and while this one has a few more steps, I promise it will be one of the easiest cinnamon roll recipes you ever make. And apparently cinnamon rolls are my thing. Some of my most popular ones include my Nutella Overnight Cinnamon Rolls and my Quick & Easy Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls. Both equally different and delicious.

Easter cinnamon rolls cut on a cutting board.

The reason this recipe came to life was because I had a faint memory of how my Mom used to "extend" a cake mix with flour so that it would fit a big sheet pan to make a bigger cake. She called it her extender cake recipe. Not only did it work, but it was super yummy. So I thought - I make my Cake Mix Cookies all the time (a kid favorite) I wonder if I could make cake mix cinnamon rolls too? So I did a bit of research and made it happen.

Fresh Easter cinnamon rolls baked in a round cake pan.

Now listen, these aren't pure magic. They still require yeast and some rising time - but honestly in just a few steps they come together easily. To make them shine for the Easter holiday I added pastel sprinkles to both the dough and on top of the frosting. All the pretty, muted colors for Easter - pink, blue, orange, green and purple. And would you believe they only take 12 minutes to bake? The full recipe yields 14-16 rolls (depending on how tight you roll and cut them). So it will feed your Easter brunch crowd! Even better they can be made the night before if you'd like to cut out time in the morning.

Aerial shot of cinnamon rolls in a round pan, plus one on a white blue rimmed plate with fork.

And just when you thought the cake mix shortcut couldn't get any better, I have another one for you. An easy way to extend (there's that word again) the frosting! How to Make Canned Store Bought Frosting Fluffy Again, I wanted this recipe to be easy so I'm also sharing my technique to make store bought canned frosting taste well...not store bought! Here's how you do it. Take one can of store bought cream cheese frosting and place it in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment or a bowl using a hand held mixer. Then whip that frosting on HIGH for one minute. You will, almost immediately, see that frosting get fluffy and double in size. By whipping the frosting fast it allows air to incorporate into it - giving it a fluffy, airy texture.

Easter Cinnamon Rolls in cake pan next to an Easter tea towel.

These Cake Mix Easter Cinnamon Rolls are fluffy, yet slightly dense and loaded with cinnamon flavor. Each bite is soft and delicious. Not a dry roll in the house! Use my frosting trick and these become even better. It's up to you if you'd like to add additional pastel sprinkles on top, but they do make them fun! I'm looking forward to see how much you love these. Please leave a star rating below on the attached recipe card. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Cake Mix Easter Cinnamon Rolls
Recipe details
  • 14  Rolls
  • Prep time: 80 Minutes Cook time: 12 Minutes Total time: 1 hr 32 min
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For the Dough
  • 1 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 pkg. active dry yeast
  • 1 boxed white cake mix
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup pastel sprinkles
For the Frosting
  • 1 16 oz can store bought cream cheese frosting
For the Cinnamon Rolls
In a large bowl combine the cake mix + 2 cups of the flour and most of the sprinkles (leaving some left over if you want to sprinkle them on the frosting later).
In a bowl combine the warm water and yeast packet, stirring to dissolve. Let this sit for 5 minutes.
Add the yeast mixture to the bowl and gently start stirring. Add in the remaining 1/2 cup of flour, continuing to stir until the dough forms a ball. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let this rise for 1 hour in a warm place.
After an hour, punch down the dough and reshape it into a ball. Let it rest another 5 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease two round cake pans with cooking spray.
In a bowl melt the butter and stir in the brown sugar and cinnamon.
On a large floured surface roll out the dough to a rectangle. It will be large enough when the thickness measures around 1/4 inch thick. Spread the melted butter combo onto the dough. Starting at the bottom (long side) gently and tightly roll up the dough.
Using a sharp knife slice into 14 rolls, around 1 inch thick. Place the rolls into the round pans.
Bake for 12 minutes and allow to cool on a wire rack. Spread with the frosting and sprinkles. Keep covered until ready to serve.
For the Frosting
Empty the canned frosting into a stand mixer or bowl with a whisk attachment. Whip on high for 1 minute. The frosting should double in size and look very fluffy.
Ally Billhorn
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