Get ready for the ultimate breakfast treat! These bourbon maple bacon cinnamon rolls feature all of your breakfast favorites in one - maple syrup, crispy bacon, and gooey cinnamon rolls. Enjoy this sweet and salty cinnamon roll for breakfast or dessert!
Homemade cinnamon rolls are my love language - especially when they're fun flavors like cinnamon rolls with coffee and cinnamon rolls with peaches. I wanted to take my classic cinnamon roll base and turn them into the ultimate breakfast recipe.
I stuffed them with candied bacon chunks, a hint of bourbon, and maple cream cheese icing. They are soft, gooey, and full of bacon flavor in every bite!
Why You'll Love These Bacon Cinnamon Rolls
- Every bite is packed with candied maple bacon, brown sugar, and cinnamon!
- Instead of regular cream cheese, these rolls are topped with a sweet maple frosting with a hint of bourbon.
- They are made with a super fluffy cinnamon roll dough, thanks to an Asian technique called tangzhong. It makes an easy to work with dough that stays soft and gooey for days. I use this same technique in my blueberry jam rolls!
- Bacon cinnamon rolls are perfect for any breakfast, brunch, or dessert; especially if you love a sweet and savory combo.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
Bourbon: Any brand of bourbon will work - feel free to leave it out, but it gives them another depth of flavor.
Brown sugar: I used light brown sugar but dark brown sugar can also work.
Whole milk: This ingredient brings moisture and richness to the cinnamon roll dough. I don't recommend substituting it or the dough may turn out more dry. I use whole milk in all of my cinnamon roll recipes, like my strawberry rolls!
Instant yeast: This kind of yeast gives the rolls a strong, yeasty flavor. You can use active dry yeast if needed - make sure to follow the instructions on the packet before using it!
Bacon: I recommend a thicker cut bacon for best results. I tested these bacon cinnamon rolls with a thinner sliced bacon and you will need to use more of it to get the best flavor!
Maple syrup: For more maple flavor, use a maple extract in the icing!
Find the full ingredient measurements and instructions in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Candy the bacon. Mix the brown sugar, black pepper, maple syrup, and bourbon; brush over the bacon slices (image 1 below). Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until crispy. Then transfer the slices of bacon to a wire cooling rack before chopping them into small pieces.
Step 2: Make the tangzhong. In a small pot, cook the water and all-purpose flour over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened. Set the tangzhong aside until ready to use (image 2 below).
Step 3: Mix the wet and dry ingredients. In a stand mixing bowl, knead the flour, sugar, yeast, salt, egg, warm milk, and tangzhong until a rough dough ball forms (image 3 below).
Step 4: Knead the dough. Knead in the softened butter until the dough looks smooth and feels tacky (image 4 above). The bottom should be sticking to the bottom of the bowl but not the sides!
Step 5: First rise. Transfer the kneaded dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover the top with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour (image 5 below).
Step 6: Roll out the dough. Use a rolling pin to roll the cinnamon roll dough into a 15x18 rectangle, with the longest side closest to you (image 6 below).
Step 7: Spread the cinnamon sugar filling. Dot the cinnamon sugar mixture across the surface of the dough (image 7 above), leaving a one-inch border clean at the top. Then use an offset spatula to spread the filling.
Step 8: Sprinkle the bacon. Evenly sprinkle the candied bacon bits across the cinnamon sugar filling (image 8 above).
Step 9: Cut and roll. Cut the dough into 1 ½ inch strips (12 total) and roll each one up. Transfer the cinnamon rolls to the prepared baking pan (image 9 below).
Step 10: Second rise then bake! Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place it in a warm spot to rise again until doubled; about 1 hour (image 10 above). Bake the bacon cinnamon rolls in the preheated oven until the tops are golden brown. Let the pan cool briefly on a wire rack while you make the glaze.
Step 11: Make the maple cream cheese frosting. Combine the softened butter and cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth. Then mix in the powdered sugar, maple syrup, and bourbon until smooth and lump-free (image 11 above).
Step 12: Frost the tops of the rolls. Spoon the maple glaze over the top of the warm cinnamon rolls, top with candied bacon pieces; then serve and enjoy (image 12 above)!
Expert Baking Tips
- Use a kitchen scale. Baking with a scale is much more accurate than cup measurements. To convert this recipe, click the "metric" button next to the ingredients title on the recipe card. If you do not have a scale, use a spoon to fluff the flour first, then spoon it into your measuring cup.
- Use room temperature ingredients. Using room temperature ingredients creates a smooth, fully blended dough that will result in a uniform texture and even baking.
- Be patient! I know these cinnamon buns may be time-consuming, but if you've tried my cookie cinnamon rolls, you know they're well worth the effort. If you're short on time, try my cinnamon roll muffins instead!
- Rise times will vary. Every kitchen is different and warmer or cooler than others. You may need a longer rise time if your kitchen is colder than usual.
Store leftover bacon cinnamon rolls in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. They can be reheated in the oven or microwave until warm before serving!
This can happen if your yeast is old or if there is too much flour in the dough. Always use a fresh pack of yeast and use a kitchen scale to measure the ingredients for the best results!
You can either refrigerate the dough after kneading it or after the cut rolls have been arranged in the baking pan. Wrap the top of the pan tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The next day, let the rolls come to room temperature and double in size before baking.
Make sure your yeast is fresh and active. Yeast that is old or expired will result in a dough that doesn't rise.
Bourbon Maple Bacon Cinnamon Rolls
- 1 lb bacon
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 4 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoon bourbon
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
Cinnamon Sugar Filling
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- ⅔ cup light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup crumbled candied bacon
Bourbon Maple Frosting
- 4 tablespoon unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 oz cream cheese room temperature
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- ½ -1 teaspoon bourbon
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ cup candied bacon strips
Make the Candied Bacon
- Preheat the oven to 375 F/ 190 C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay the uncooked bacon strips on the pan.1 lb bacon
- In a small bowl, combine the sugar, maple syrup, bourbon, and black pepper; spread it over the bacon slices. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the bacon is crispy. Remove the pan from the oven and use tongs to transfer the bacon to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. If your bacon is thinner, it may bake quicker. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn!½ cup brown sugar, 4 tablespoon maple syrup, 2 tablespoon bourbon, 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- Once cool, cut a few pieces into strips for the tops of the rolls (about ½ cup) then chop the rest of the bacon into crumbs (discarding any blackened ends).
Make the Cinnamon Roll Dough
- In a small saucepan, whisk together the water and all-purpose flour. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, for 4-5 minutes until the mixture is a paste-like slurry. Scrape it into a bowl and set it aside until ready to use.¼ cup all-purpose flour, ¾ cup water
- In a stand mixing bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt until combined. Add the egg, milk, and tangzhong to the bowl. Knead on low speed with the dough hook for 2 minutes until it forms a rough dough ball.3 ½ cups all-purpose flour, ⅓ cup granulated sugar, 2 teaspoon instant yeast, ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt, ½ cup whole milk, 1 egg, Tangzhong from above
- With the mixer running on low, add the softened butter ½ tablespoon at a time, letting it fully incorporate into the dough before adding more. Then continue kneading for another 8-10 minutes or until the dough looks smooth and elastic. The dough should be sticking to the bottom of the bowl. If it seems too wet and is sticking to the sides of the bowl, add flour one tablespoon at a time. If the dough seems dry, add half a tablespoon of milk at a time.4 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Remove the dough from the bowl and pull the sides down into the bottom center to create a smooth round ball. Place it seam-side down into a large lightly buttered bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm spot for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- Roll the dough out into a 15x18 rectangle, with the longest side closest to you.
- Combine the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon until smooth. Use an offset spatula to spread the cinnamon sugar filling across the dough, leaving a 1-inch border clean at the top.½ cup unsalted butter, ⅔ cup light brown sugar, 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Sprinkle the crumbled bacon over the top. Then use a pizza cutter to cut 12, 1 ½ inch strips. Roll each strip away from you, then carefully transfer them to a parchment-lined 9x13 baking pan.1 cup crumbled candied bacon
- Cover the pan with plastic wrap and set it aside to rise for another hour or until the rolls double in size. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325 F/162 C.
- Bake the rolls for 24-30 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Let the pan cool on a wire cooling rack while you make the glaze.
- In a medium bowl, combine the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Then mix in the powdered sugar. Once combined, whisk in the maple syrup and bourbon. Add more or less bourbon depending on how strong you want it! Spread over the warm cinnamon rolls, then sprinkle the reserved bacon slices on top. Enjoy!4 tablespoon unsalted butter, 2 oz cream cheese, ¾ cup powdered sugar, ½ -1 teaspoon bourbon, 2 tablespoon maple syrup, ½ cup candied bacon strips
The calorie information provided for the recipe is an estimate. The accuracy of the calories listed is not guaranteed.