Cinnamon Roll Hearts Recipe

Valentine's Day is the perfect day to shower your loved ones with homemade goodies. Who doesn't love receiving treats? And who wouldn't love receiving adorable, heart-shaped treats? These heart-shaped cinnamon rolls from recipe developer and registered dietitian nutritionist, Kristen Carli, MS, RD, are the classic cinnamon rolls that you know and love, but instead of wrapped up in a spiral, they're formed into cute hearts. Kids and adults go nuts over these!

We recommend making these on Valentine's Day morning to delight your entire family. You'll need to allow for an hour of easy prep work, including time for the dough to rest, then just 10 minutes in the oven. Carli notes that "you can prepare the dough ahead of time and store it in the fridge, just be sure to bring [it] to room temperature before rolling it out."

Gather your ingredients for the cinnamon roll hearts

To start, let's gather the ingredients. You'll need whole milk, unsalted butter, flour, sugar, active dry yeast, one egg, brown sugar, cinnamon, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. We recommend placing everything in "mise en place," or measured out, so you can jump right in and get cooking. Once you have your ingredients, you're ready to create these scrumptious cinnamon roll hearts. Prepare to have your home smell of cinnamon and sugar — how delicious!

Add butter, milk, and yeast

First up, go ahead and preheat your oven to 350 F. Then to prepare your cooking equipment, spray two large baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray. In a small bowl, add ⅓ cup of melted butter, milk, and active dry yeast. Using a whisk, combine this mixture until little air bubbles arise. This lets you know that the yeast has been incorporated and is alive. We want the yeast to be living to provide a nice rise to the dough.

Make the dough and let it rest

Next up, we want to make the dough. To do this, add flour, sugar, salt, the yeast mixture you just mixed, and an egg to the bowl of a stand mixer. Secure the bowl into the stand mixer and put on the dough hook. Use the dough hook to mix the dough on medium-low. This will take a few minutes. You can stop mixing when the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.

Roll out the dough and top it with cinnamon sugar

After the dough has rested, roll it out on a cutting board using a rolling pin. Aim to make a rough rectangular shape. Then, spread the remaining melted butter over the top of the dough using a pastry brush. In a small bowl, add brown sugar and cinnamon and stir well. Once combined, evenly sprinkle this mixture over the butter-topped dough. Press down with your hands to force the cinnamon-sugar mixture to stick well.

Cut the dough and form the hearts

Now, using a bench scraper or a butter knife, cut the dough into eight long pieces. Carefully peel up each piece and form them into heart shapes. Once in the desired shape, pinch the two ends together so they'll stick together. Adjust the heart shapes to your liking and place them on the baking sheets. Be sure to place these hearts about a half inch apart so they don't stick together when baking.

Let the hearts rest, then bake them

Now, the dough needs to rest again. Place a dish towel over the baking sheets and allow the hearts to rest for 25 minutes. This allows the dough to calm down and rise slightly. Once the 25 minutes are up, place the baking sheets in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes. Carli advises "the cinnamon rolls might not appear golden by the end of the ten minutes, but trust me, they will be done. If you continue to bake, they might lose their doughy texture."

Glaze the cinnamon roll hearts

What good is a cinnamon roll without the glaze? To make the cinnamon roll glaze, add the powdered sugar, the remaining ¼ cup of whole milk, the remaining 3 tablespoons of melted butter, and the vanilla extract to a small bowl. Using a whisk, mix until a smooth texture is formed. Drizzle the glaze over the warm cinnamon rolls and serve. If you're saving any leftovers, Carli notes that the "glaze will harden when cooled in the refrigerator, which is where I recommend they are stored."

Cinnamon Roll Hearts Recipe
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You'll make your loved ones feel especially special when you whip up a batch of these easy cinnamon roll hearts. They're perfect for Valentine's Day.
Prep Time
Cook Time
cinnamon roll hearts
Total time: 35 minutes
  • 1 cup whole milk, divided
  • 11 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, melted
  • 3 ¼ cups flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray 2 medium baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, add ⅓ cup melted butter, ¾ cup milk, and yeast. Whisk to combine.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flour, sugar, salt, yeast mixture, and egg. Using the dough hook attachment, mix to combine. Mix until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  4. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Roll out the dough into a rectangle on a large cutting board.
  6. Spread the remaining melted butter over the top of the dough.
  7. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon with a spoon.
  8. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the melted butter.
  9. Using a bench scraper or knife, cut the dough into 8 pieces.
  10. Roll up each piece of dough into a heart shape, pinching the center together. Repeat with all the dough pieces and place the hearts on the baking sheets.
  11. Cover the baking sheets with a dish towel and let the hearts rest for 25 minutes.
  12. Bake the hearts for 10 minutes until golden.
  13. Mix the powdered sugar, remaining ¼ cup milk, remaining 3 tablespoons melted butter, and vanilla extract together in a small bowl. Drizzle the glaze over the warm cinnamon rolls.
Calories per Serving 554
Total Fat 17.9 g
Saturated Fat 10.9 g
Trans Fat 0.6 g
Cholesterol 65.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 91.9 g
Dietary Fiber 2.6 g
Total Sugars 50.7 g
Sodium 174.5 mg
Protein 7.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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