This Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake has a cinnamon roll crust made from store-bought canned cinnamon rolls and swirls of brown sugar and cinnamon throughout the vanilla cheesecake. It's topped with a cinnamon roll frosting for a finishing touch. It's a crowd-pleasing cheesecake that can be made for any occasion.
What could be better than cinnamon rolls and homemade cheesecake?! This cinnamon roll cheesecake recipe is definitely one of my all-time favorite desserts. The cinnamon roll crust, creamy vanilla cheesecake with swirls of cinnamon and brown sugar throughout the cheesecake is truly amazing.
- Store-bought cinnamon rolls - reserve the frosting that comes in the canned rolls for the top of cheesecake
- Butter - I used salted butter. The butter helps bind the brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour.
- Brown sugar - I used light brown sugar, but dark brown sugar will do in a pinch.
- Ground cinnamon - I enjoy the McCormick brand.
- All-purpose flour - This helps bind the cheesecake and the cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Cream cheese - Your cream cheese needs to be softened or at room temperature otherwise it will be clumpy.
- Granulated sugar - Also called white sugar.
- Sour cream - Use full-fat sour cream for this recipe. It's thicker than a lite sour cream.
- Vanilla extract - Use your favorite store-bought or homemade vanilla extract.
- Eggs - Use large eggs for my recipes unless it specifies a different size.
How to Make Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake
Making a cinnamon roll cheesecake is as simple as making a regular cheesecake. In fact, it might even be easier! That is because my recipe uses Pillsbury cinnamon roll dough to make the cheesecake crust. No need to blend graham crackers together for this recipe!
To start the recipe, pop open the can of cinnamon rolls. I have found the 8 count of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls is the perfect amount. Set the frosting in the can aside and separate the cinnamon rolls, laying them in the bottom of your cheesecake pan. The rolls should completely cover the bottom of the pan. Pinch them together to help them really fuse together as they bake. Bake the cinnamon rolls and then let them cool. They will be puffy and much higher than a traditional cheesecake crust but that is part of the appeal of this recipe! You get a whole, fluffy cinnamon roll with every slice of cheesecake.
Blend together the melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour to make a crumbly mix. This will be sprinkled in the center of the cheesecake, making a surprise cinnamon layer. Set this mix aside for now while you make the actual cheesecake.
Cream the cream cheese, sugar, and flour together until very smooth. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as you mix to really get the cream cheese soft. Blend in the sour cream and vanilla. Last but not least, add one egg at a time. Beat in each egg and scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure any egg remnants make it into the batter.
Once the cheesecake batter is nice and smooth, pour half of it over the cinnamon rolls in the pan. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mix over the cheesecake evenly and then spoon the rest of the batter into the pan. Spooning the batter is essential as it keeps the cinnamon sugar layer evenly distributed in the center of the cheesecake. If you pour the batter in, the cinnamon sugar mix will all push to the sides of the pan rather than make a nice middle layer.
Wrap your cheesecake pan in foil and place it in a water bath to bake. The cheesecake does take a while to bake and set in the center. My oven bakes a perfect cheesecake in about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Gently tap the center of your cheesecake to see if it is set. It should no longer look liquid but just jiggle slightly when touched. Let the cinnamon roll cheesecake cool completely before adding the cinnamon roll icing and slicing and serving.
Tips and Tricks
I have made cinnamon roll cheesecake lots of times and have found these few tips to really help make this dessert come out perfectly. Take a look at these tips before you start baking so that your cheesecake will also be perfect!
- Spray or grease the cheesecake pan well. The cinnamon roll crust sticks to the pan if not well-greased.
- Pinch the cinnamon rolls together before baking. They will bake together better and make a nicer, flatter crust.
- Do not use “jumbo” cinnamon rolls as they will bake too large and high in the pan.
- Be sure to spoon the cheesecake batter on top of the cinnamon sugar sprinkle. If you pour the batter, the cinnamon sugar mix will just push to the sides of the pan and bake around the edge of the cheesecake. This can make the cheesecake hard to unmold and it will also lose that delicious center layer of cinnamon filling.
- Wrap the pan in 2 layers of foil to prevent water from the water bath from seeping into the cheesecake as it bakes. You don’t want a soggy cinnamon roll crust!
- Check the water bath halfway through the baking time and refill the water as needed.
- Gently jiggle the springform pan to inspect the cheesecake before removing it from the oven. It should jiggle slightly in the center but not be liquid. If the cheesecake center still looks very soft and liquid, it needs more time to bake.
- If the top of the cheesecake starts to get too dark but the center is still not cooked, loosely cover the cheesecake with foil. This will prevent the top from browning but keep the cheesecake center baking.
- Let the cheesecake cool completely before unmolding. A soft cheesecake will fall apart if unmolded when warm.
These tricks will ensure your cinnamon roll cheesecake bakes perfectly every time.
How Long Will Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake Last
If you have extra cinnamon roll cheesecake, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge. The cheesecake will keep for about a week. After this, the cheesecake may start to get moldy or taste a little sour. This cheesecake is so delicious though, you should have no problem eating it in a week!
How to Freeze Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake
Make this cheesecake recipe in advance, let it cool in the fridge then wrap it tightly and store it in the freezer. Make sure you take the cheesecake out of the pan before wrapping and freezing for the best results. The cheesecake will keep in the freezer for 1-2 months. When you are ready to enjoy the cinnamon roll cheesecake, take it out of the freezer and place it in the fridge overnight to thaw slowly. It will be ready to slice and serve the next day!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use homemade cinnamon rolls instead of canned?
You can use homemade cinnamon rolls instead of canned. When your cinnamon roll dough is rolled, stuffed, and sliced, simply layer the rolls in the bottom of the springform pan and bake! It will take about 8 small cinnamon rolls to make the crust for the cheesecake.
It may also take longer to bake up. You will need to make sure the cinnamon rolls are baked fully before adding the cheesecake batter otherwise you will have a doughy crust.
What can I top this cinnamon roll cheesecake with?
You can top this cheesecake with almost anything! Think about what goes well with the cinnamon flavor and then pile the toppings high! Here are some of my favorite cinnamon roll cheesecake toppings:
- Whipped cream
- Caramel sauce
- Apple pie filling
- Chocolate sauce
- Ice cream
- Crushed peanut butter cups
- Chopped toffee pieces
- Strawberry pie filling
Why is my cheesecake not smooth on top?
This is a great question. The top of the cinnamon roll cheesecake will not be perfectly flat and smooth. This is because the cinnamon roll crust is not flat and the cinnamon and sugar mixture causes craters. As the cheesecake bakes, it will melt into the divots and dips in the crust, causing the top of the cheesecake to also dip down in places. Don’t worry though- the top does not need to be flat to be delicious! You can always add a layer of frosting, whipped cream or your favorite cheesecake topping to smooth it out.
More Cheesecake Recipes
Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake
- 12.4 ounce can (8 count) Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls reserve frosting for the top of cheesecake
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Lightly spray the sides and bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick baking spray. Place a 9-inch parchment paper circle in the bottom of the pan and a 3-inch wide strip of parchment paper against the sides of the pan.
- Press the 8 cinnamon rolls into the bottom of the pan. Be sure to pinch together the cinnamon rolls where there are any holes and continue pressing down until the entire bottom is covered. Set the frosting aside to top the cheesecake with.
- Place the crust in the preheated oven and bake for 18 minutes. The crust will be puffy. Set aside.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
- Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour to a small bowl. Stir to combine.
- Pour in the butter and stir until the sugar is coated with the melted butter. It should look somewhat dry and clumpy.
- Add the cream cheese to a large mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat on medium until creamy.
- Add in the sugar and flour. Continue to beat until combined.
- Add in the sour cream and vanilla extract. Beat just until the sour cream is worked into the batter.
- Add in the eggs one at a time and beat each egg just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl before adding the next.
- Just before adding the cheesecake mixture, wrap the outside of the springform pan with 2 layers of heavy-duty tin foil. You can skip the tin foil and add the cheesecake in a slightly larger pan to keep the cheesecake dry and then place the two pans in a third pan that's filled with about 1 inch of hot water.
- Pour half of the cheesecake batter on top of the cinnamon roll crust.
- Sprinkle half of the cinnamon sugar on top of the cheesecake batter.
- Spoon the remaining cheesecake batter on top of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Make sure to cover all of the cinnamon sugar. *See notes
- Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar on top of the cheesecake batter.
- Place the cheesecake in the preheated 325 degree F oven and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 40 minutes or until the edges of the cheesecake are set and the center slightly jiggles like jello when the pan is wiggled back and forth and not like wet batter. This time may vary so always give it the jiggle test and bake longer if needed.
- Once done, leave the cheesecake in the oven, turn the oven off, and leave the door slightly ajar until the cheesecake has cooled to room temperature.
- Once the cheesecake has cooled, move to the fridge and allow to chill overnight to set up.
- Add the frosting that came with the cinnamon rolls in a sandwich bag and cut a small hole in one of the corners.
- Drizzle the frosting back and forth on the top of the cooled or chilled cheesecake. The frosting will spread if you do it while the cheesecake is still warm.
(Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.)