The Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls’ missing ingredient… Bacon

Written by Becky

Ree Drummond, from The Pioneer Woman, is known for many of her recipes, but I think one of her most beloved recipes are her Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing. Cinnamon rolls are a staple to many special Christmas morning breakfasts but with cinnamon rolls you must also have a side of something savory. This is just what the Pioneer Woman is missing… bacon. So, I decided to make a new version of these famous cinnamon rolls, Bacon Maple Cinnamon Rolls.

If you look at the ingredients, all of the essential elements for a tasty breakfast are included…maple, coffee, a perfectly sweet pastry and now, bacon. For those of you who have already been embracing the savory and salty combo in your sweets and baked goods, this is somehow normal. To others, this may seem strange. Let me explain…

For quite some time now, crazy people (like myself) have been sprinkling salt on their brownies, mixing salt in their caramels, and even molding bacon into fine chocolate bars. So, this isn’t too far of a stretch. The Cinnamon Rolls are still perfectly sweet with just a touch of crispy, salty bacon in each bite. I know I’ve asked you to trust me on many of my recipes so I hope I’ve saved up some currency in our relationship. Now I’m spending it. These must jump to the top of your list to try for this Christmas morning! Thank you to the Pioneer Woman for her inspiration.


Bacon Maple Cinnamon Roll Recipe
Prep Time
1 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time
18 mins
Total Time
1 hrs 48 mins

Try adding bacon to the favorited Pioneer Woman's Maple Cinnamon Rolls.

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 25 rolls
  • 6 strips of bacon, cooked to crisp and crumbled
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 package Active Dry Yeast, 0.25 Ounce Packets
  • 4 cups plus 1 extra cup, all purpose flour, separated
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, heaping
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, scant
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt, heaping
  • 1/2-3/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1/8 cup of Cinnamon
maple frosting:
  • 1/2 bag powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoons maple flavoring
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/8 cup melted butter
  • 1/8 cup brewed coffee
  • dash of salt
  • 4 aluminum disposable pie pans
  1. For the dough, heat the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat to just below a boil. Set aside and cool to warm. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on the milk for 1 minute. Add 8 cups of the flour. Stir until just combined, then cover with a clean kitchen towel, and set aside in a relatively warm place for 1-2 hours (depending on your altitude).
  2. While the dough is rising cook the bacon until crisp, then crumble and set aside.
  3. After 1 hour, add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the remaining 1 cup flour to the dough. Stir thoroughly to combine. Use the dough right away, or place in a mixing bowl and refrigerate for up to 3 days, punching down the dough if it rises to the top of the bowl. (Note: dough is easier to work with if it’s been chilled for at least an hour or so beforehand.)
  4. To assemble the rolls, remove the dough from the bowl. On a floured baking surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 30 x 10 inches. The dough should be rolled very thin.
  5. To make the filling, pour 1/2 -3/4 cup of melted butter over the surface of the dough. Use a pastry brush or your fingers to spread the butter evenly. Generously sprinkle the ground cinnamon and sugar over the butter. Then sprinkle generous crumbles of BACON over the dough. Don’t be afraid to drizzle on more butter or more sugar! Gooey is the goal. 

  6. Now, beginning at the end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly towards you. Use both hands and work slowly, being careful to keep the roll tight. Don’t worry if the filling oozes as you work. When you reach the end, pinch the seam together and flip the roll so that the seam is face down. When you’re finished, you’ll wind up with one long buttery, cinnamony, sugary, gooey log.

  7. With a sharp knife, make 1/2-inch slices. One “log “will produce 20 to 25 rolls. Pour a couple of teaspoons of melted butter into disposable foil pie pans and swirl to coat. Place the sliced rolls in the pans, being careful not to overcrowd. (Each pan will hold 7 to 9 rolls.)
  8. Cover all the pans with a kitchen towel and set aside to rise on the countertop for at least 30 minutes before baking. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 

  9. Once rested for 30 minutes, remove the towel and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown. Don’t allow the rolls to become overly brown.

Maple Icing
  1. While the rolls are baking, make the maple icing: In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, butter, coffee, and salt. Splash in the maple flavoring. Whisk until very smooth. Taste and add in more maple, sugar, butter, or other ingredients as needed until the icing reaches the desired consistency. The icing should be somewhat thick but still very pourable.
  2. Remove pans from the oven. Immediately drizzle icing over the top. Be sure to get it all around the edges and over the top. As they sit, the rolls will absorb some of the icing’s moisture and flavor. Sprinkle with more bacon crumbles. They only get better with time… not that they last for more than a few seconds.
Recipe Notes

This recipe is adapted from Pioneer Woman, using half of her recipe.


Comments (8)

  1. Pioneer Woman's recipe is my go-to when it comes to cinnamon rolls, hers is the best! I love the idea of adding bacon, going to have to try it next time.

  2. Found you on tastespotting. Love your blog and I will subscribe to it! I've just started blogging too and it's awesome to see so many people making gorgeous food like this. Have a great Christmas! Feel free to pop over and say hi sometime x

  3. At the risk of seeming stupid, where does one add the bacon? I checked the instructions a few times, but didn't see where to add. Are we sprinkling on the top after we ice or is the bacon added to the filling before we roll it up. I'm kinda inclined to do both…Taste-testing must ensue.

  4. Hi Sunshine, add the bacon along with the cinnamon & sugar before you roll up the dough. Then add more on top of the rolls once they are out of the oven. Enjoy!!

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