Birthday Cake Cinnamon Rolls

I have to say, I really love making cinnamon rolls with cake mix.  While still the traditional cinnamon roll (yes, you still have to use yeast) they save a few steps and I have been really happy with the taste of each batch I’ve made.   Last night I decided to give yellow cake mix a try and in my head yellow cake means birthday cake, which means sprinkles are required.   This seems like a pretty fun way to start a birthday (or any random day!).

Birthday Cinnamon Rolls

Start your day with cake?  I say yes.   Back in February we started my daughter’s 9th Birthday with some festive cinnamon rolls that used Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon roll recipe

I love Ree’s cinnamon roll recipe, but for a smaller and quicker batch of cinnamon rolls, I am a pretty big fan of going the cake mix route.

To make these I used the same recipe that I used for the Cake Mix Cinnamon Rolls With Cinnamon Roll Frosting

I stuck with a vanilla frosting for today’s cinnamon rolls.

Another fun twist is using a chocolate cake mix


Birthday Cake Cinnamon Rolls

Birthday Cake Cinnamon Rolls

Fun and festive cinnamon rolls to celebrate a birthday or special occasion!


    Cinnamon Rolls
  • 1 box of Duncan Hines white or yellow cake mix
  • 2 packages of dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups of warm water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 cups flour
  • Filling
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • 1/2-1 cup butter, softened
  • Frosting
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon half and half (milk can be used)
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Sprinkles
  • Sprinkles of your choices, as little or as many as you like!


Cinnamon Rolls

1. Mix yeast and warm water until dissolved.

2. Combine cake mix, salt and flour in a large bowl.

3. Add warm water/yeast mixture and vanilla to cake mix, salt and flour mixture. Mix well. This may require kneading with your hands a bit to completely combine ingredients.

4. Cover tightly. Let rise for one hour. Punch down and let rise again for another 30-60 minutes.

5. On a floured surface, roll dough into a rectangle shape, approx 1/4? thick.

6. Once dough is rolled out, brush with softened butter. I found that one stick was adequate for this recipe, but you could use more (or less) if desired.

7. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Sprinkle with cinnamon – use as little or as much as you like.

8. Starting at end opposite from you, roll the dough towards you until all dough is rolled into one long piece.

9. Slice dough into 24 equal sized pieces.

10. Place rolls in two greased 9×13 pans. Cover and let rise until doubled in size. I usually sit my rolls on my stovetop while my oven preheats to 350 degrees. This allows them time to rise and provides a bit of warmth from the oven warming.

11. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-25 minutes or until golden brown. My rolls took approx 22 minutes. This will depend on your stove and your preference for how brown you like your cinnamon rolls.

12. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.


Beat cream cheese and butter with a mixer until creamy. Add in vanilla and milk, mix until well combined. Slowly add in powdered sugar and salt and beat until fluffy. Spread onto cinnamon rolls while they are still hot, allowing frosting to melt into the cinnamon rolls.

Finish with a dusting of sprinkles!

Recipe adapted from Duncan Hines

Remember to check out this post for the cake mix cinnamon roll recipe.    On Friday I will be headed back to the Duncan Hines Test Kitchen for a visit and will hopefully bring back even more fun ideas and ways to use cake mixes!  :)


  1. says

    Wow…amazing! I’d love to hear your pros/cons of truly homemade rolls, i.e. Ree’s recipe vs. using a shortcut. Like is one an 8 and the other is a 9. Are they both 10’s? Because if they’re really neck and neck, I am all about a shortcut. ALWAYS! :)

  2. Nellie says

    I was dying to try and make my most favorite breakfast/dessert treat – cinnamon rolls so when I found this site, I knew I had to give it a try despite my fear of yeast!

    Anyway, my first hand at this was on my daughter’s 5th birthday, June 5th and I made the birthday version and even though it was my first trial and error at it, they were absolutely, unbelievably….DELICIOUS!!! I can’t wait to try this again and especially the chocolate version with maybe caramel replacing the cinnamon in the mix?

    Thank you again and so happy I found this site – you ROCK!!!

  3. Linda says

    If I made these at night would they be fine to sit in the fridge and then pop them in the oven the next morning? Would they have to cook longer?

    • says

      I would try and take them out about 30 minutes prior to baking, which will let them be a bit closer to room temp. You might have to add a few minutes, just watch them, I think that is always the best way to go with baked goods. :)

  4. Alisha says

    Great recipe! I made these today for my daughter’s 9th Birthday and she loved them!!! Thank you for sharing.


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