Warm aromatic spices, the natural sweetness of bananas, and decadent crowning glory of creamy peanut butter frosting make these Banana Bread Cinnamon Rolls the ultimate way to use up those ripe bananas. Tender, moist, and completely irresistible. These are sure to become a new favorite.
There is a reason banana bread is such a comfort food. The combination of warm spices and sweet bananas is always a winning duo. Whether it’s Banana Bread Pancakes or these fully loaded over the top cinnamon rolls, it’s a full sensory experience. From the way it perfumes the entire kitchen to that first warm, tender bite it has the power to keep you coming back for more. These pillowy and tender cinnamon rolls will give you all the feels you love about traditional banana bread and so much more.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Accessible Ingredients – Not only do you have complete control of the ingredients, but this cinnamon roll recipe also requires common pantry staples like butter, flour, and sugar.
- Straightforward Process – While there are a few steps to making these banana bread cinnamon rolls, they’re easy to follow. The hardest part is the inactive parts of this recipe as you eagerly anticipate that first bite.
- Versatility – This recipe can be made with regular flour and dairy, be made Gluten Free but with full dairy, or Dairy Free with regular AP flour. It fits whatever your personal dietary needs are.
- Meal Prep – Cinnamon rolls are a great make ahead for breakfast, brunch, or a sweet treat. They can be enjoyed at room temperature or heated up.
Banana Bread Cinnamon Rolls with Peanut Butter Frosting are decadent yet comforting. Combining pantry staples with familiar flavors, this is a celebration of the classics while being completely new and exciting. Just be warned, it will be love at first bite and they will become a part of the regular rotation.
- Butter – Adds richness to the dough itself along with lending to its tender texture. It’s also used for the brown sugar spice filling.
- Milk – Makes this cinnamon roll dough extra tender.
- Honey – Helps feed the yeast while giving the dough delicate sweetness.
- Spices – Cinnamon and allspice add warmth to the rolls themselves while cinnamon adds warmth to the brown sugar filling. I use Spiceology for the freshest spices with maximum flavor. You can receive 10% off your order with the code SALTY
- Warm Water – You want your water at around 110 degrees to activate your yeast.
- Kosher Salt
- Ripe Bananas – Gives sweetness to the dough while also keeping it moist.
- Instant Active Yeast
- Brown Sugar
- Heavy Cream – This ingredient is optional but can be added if you want a Cinnabon style cinnamon roll. It helps caramelize the bottom of the rolls and make them extra puffy and decadent.
- Cream Cheese – Adds creaminess and tang to the peanut butter frosting.
- Powdered Sugar – Easily dissolves into the cream cheese and peanut butter.
- Vanilla Extract – The higher the quality the vanilla extract, the more pronounced the flavor.
- Peanut Butter – What goes better wit bananas than peanut butter? Adds natural sweetness and nuttiness to the creamy frosting.
How to Make Banana Bread Cinnamon Rolls with Peanut Butter Frosting
If you’ve never made homemade cinnamon rolls before, the process is as rewarding as it is delicious. There’s something magical about rolling out that pillowy soft yeast dough.
Time needed: 2 hours and 30 minutes
Pillowy soft banana bread cinnamon rolls are crowned with sweet and tangy peanut butter cream cheese frosting.
Add the honey, yeast, warm water (110 degrees), and half of the sugar to a bowl and mix to combine. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes.
Add the butter, remaining sugar, and milk to a saucepan over medium heat. Let it begin to bubble but not come to a boil. Remove from the heat and allow it to partially cool.
- Time To Mix
Add the banana to a mixer fit with a paddle and mix until smooth. With the mixer running add the yeast mixture into the bowl. Slowly pour in the milk mixture while the mixer is running. Add half a cup of the flour in at a time, letting it incorporate before you add the next. Once the flour has been incorporated allow it to mix for an additional 3 minutes.
- Roll It Out
Lightly flour your work surface and the dough. Work it by folding it over about 5 times, careful not to press all of the air out. Roll it out until it is about 9×12. You can add additional flour as needed.
- Fill It UP
Mix together the ingredients for the filling and spread it over the dough. Tightly roll it into a log and cut it into 9 rolls. Place the rolls in a buttered 9×11 baking dish. Cover it with plastic wrap and a towel and allow them to rise for an hour. Remove the towel and plastic wrap and pour the heavy cream over the top.
Let the cinnamon rolls bake for 30-35 minutes or until they are golden brown. Let cool completely before frosting.
Add all of the ingredients for the frosting to a bowl and mix until smooth. Spread over the top of the rolls.
This recipe can be made with Gluten Free 1.1 baking flour such as Bob’s Red Mill. It can also be made completely Dairy Free. This recipe can be made with regular all purpose flour and full dairy milk, butter, and cream cheese. Feel free to customize it to what fits your lifestyle and dietary needs the best.
The Secret To Cinnamon Rolls
Introducing heavy cream to your cinnamon rolls is like adding a secret ingredient that takes them to the next level. The cream brings a luxurious tenderness to the rolls’ texture, making each bite soft, moist, and incredibly satisfying. As the rolls bake, the cream works its magic, creating a golden, slightly caramelized exterior that adds a subtle richness to every bite. It’s an insider’s tip to crafting cinnamon rolls that are not just good but exceptional.
How much do we add?
When pouring heavy cream into the pan for cinnamon rolls, you don’t need to entirely submerge the dough. The goal is to provide a generous amount to ensure moisture and flavor enhancement, but not so much that it drowns the dough. Aim to cover about 2/3 of the dough with the cream, leaving some parts exposed.
Top It Off
Peanut butter and bananas are a classic pairing. However, you don’t have to stick to using this recipe for peanut butter cream cheese frosting. You can swap it out for your favorite frosting. Here are a few ideas.
- Cream Cheese Frosting
- Nutella/Chocolate Hazelnut Frosting
- Vanilla Buttercream
- No Frosting
- Other Nut Butters
Storage for Banana Bread Cinnamon Rolls
These cinnamon rolls are perfect for making ahead and then feasting on throughout the week. If you do not devour these the first day, keep them stored in an airtight container. If you add frosting, they should be refrigerated. They will last for up to five days.
To reheat your cinnamon rolls you can either microwave them or warm them up in the oven on a low setting between 275-300 for five minutes.
How to Make This Recipe Nut Free
With so many allergens and food sensitivities, I am always looking for ways to make my recipes accessible to everyone. If you or one of your friends or family have a tree nut allergy, the peanut butter in this recipe can be replaced with sunflower seed butter.
In addition to providing its own unique flavor that is a great swap for peanut butter, sunflower seed butter also offers up additional nutrients. It’s rich in protein, vitamin E, fiber, zinc, and iron.
How to Measure Bananas
We’ve all made banana bread or seen recipes that call for half a cup or a cup of bananas. But how much do you actually need when it comes to measuring bananas themselves? When it comes to measuring bananas, a recipe can state whether it’s chopped, or mashed, as in most banana bread recipes. However, they both measure slightly different! Keep in mind that when adding bananas to a recipe more banana doesn’t equal more flavor. Instead, it could leave you with a dense or mushy finished product. Instead, you want to use the ripest bananas possible for the most intense banana flavor.
Here is an easy guide to use the next time you need to measure out fresh banana for a recipe.
- 1/2 banana: 1/3 cup chopped | 1/4 cup mashed
- 1 banana: 2/3 cup chopped | 1/2 cup mashed
- 1-1/2 bananas: 1 cup chopped | 3/4 cup mashed
- 2 bananas: 1-1/3 cups chopped | 1 cup mashed
- 3 bananas: 2 cups chopped | 1-1/2 cups mashed
- 4 bananas: 2-2/3 cups chopped | 2 cups mashed
Top Tip for Banana Bread Cinnamon Rolls with Peanut Butter Frosting
When mixing your dough for these cinnamon rolls, use a paddle attachment on your mixer. This will allow all of the ingredients to come together while also incorporating a little air into the dough without over working it. This will give you that light and airy texture.
Banana Bread Cinnamon Rolls with Peanut Butter Frosting
- 1 mixing bowl/mixer with paddle attachment
- 1 saucepan
- 1 Rolling Pin
- 1 9×11 baking dish
Banana Bread Cinnamon Rolls
- 6 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/2 cup warm water, 110 degrees
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 pkg instant active yeast
- 1 cup ripe bananas, about 2 medium bananas
- 3 1/2 cups flour, plus 1/2-1 cup for working the dough can use Gluten Free 1.1 flour
Filling and Topping
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 4 tbsp butter, room temperature
- 1 cup heavy cream, optional if you want a Cinnabon style cinnamon roll
- 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 4 tbl *May need up to 4 additional tablespoons of milk to make frosting smooth, depending on Peanut Butter used.
Banana Bread Cinnamon Rolls
- In a mixing bowl, combine 110 degree warm water, honey, yeast, and half of the sugar. Allow it to rest for 5 minutes until bubbles form. NOTE: Top should be really foamy and this will show the yeast has activated. If the yeast is not foamy it has not activated.
- Heat milk, remaining sugar, and butter in a saucepan over medium/low heat until it's scalded – bubbles forming on the edges, but not boiling. Remove from heat and let it cool partially.
- In a separate mixing bowl add the bananas and mash well with a fork.Add a dough hook attachment or paddle (not a whip) If mixing by hand I recommend a wooden spoon.
- Turn on the mixer to low, and while the mixer is running add the milk mixture to the banana mixture.
- With the mixer still running, incorporate the yeast mixture into the bowl.
- Mix flour, salt, and spices separately, then add to the mixing bowl in half increments. Allow each addition to mix before adding more. After all flour is added, mix for an additional 3 minutes. NOTE: This dough is extremely sticky. Use a spatula to remove from the mixing bowl.
- Lightly flour both your work surface, a rolling pin and the dough, as it will be sticky.
- Gently fold the dough about 5 times, being careful not to deflate it.
- Roll out the dough to a 9×12" rectangle.
- Combine butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl, then spread the mixture evenly over the dough. NOTE: I use my hands for this part. It will be a little crumbly in texture.
- Roll up the dough tightly and cut into 9 rolls. TIP: you can use dental floss to cut each roll or a sharp knife. If you use a knife wipe the blade off after each cut.
- Place the rolls in a buttered 9x11x2 deep baking dish or a 12” skillet. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel, allow the dough to rise until doubled in size. (It should be almost pillowy looking) A warmer area in the kitchen that is not drafty will allow the dough to rise quicker. Approximately 1-3 hours for rise time. Rise time will depend on the moisture in the house and temperature. TIP: I use a dough rise heat pad that I highly recommend if you have it available. It will speed up the rise time.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Uncover the baking dish and pour the heavy cream over the top if desired.The heavy cream will make the exterior of the cinnamon roll more soft vs crunchy.
- Bake the cinnamon rolls for 30-35 minutes until they're golden brown.
- For the frosting, combine all frosting ingredients in a bowl and mix until smooth and creamy. NOTE: if you find that the frosting is too thick add milk until its soft like a frosting. The texture will vary on the brand of peanut butter being used.*May need up to 4 additional tablespoons of milk to make frosting smooth, depending on Peanut Butter used.
- Spread the frosting over the cooled cinnamon rolls.