It’s been a while since we’ve included some sprinkles in our lineup here. The sprinkles, birthday cake flavor, and bright colors that make up these funfetti rolls make me feel like we’re celebrating, and you guys know how much I love a party. Our mornings deserve something extra-special, extra-festive, extra-fun, don’t you think? If you ask me, these funfetti rolls are just the ticket.
With all of the breakfast recipes we’ve been sporting on this site this month, mornings have been seriously special in my house lately. The other morning I prepared my kids what is, to use, a normal healthy breakfast and they were appalled. Like, where’s the cinnamon rolls, Mom? Where’s the chocolate bread and pound cake and muffins? WHERE IS THE SUGAR IN THIS BREAKFAST? Clearly I need to send the little sugar junkies to breakfast bootcamp for a little reset.
These funfetti rolls really do not help the cause. Aimee caught a glimpse of a test round of these buns on the counter and literally lost all chill. Within 3 minutes she had dragged a stool over to the counter, climbed onto the marble, and was nibbling on sprinkles from the sticky tops of these treats. The look on her face was equal parts guilt and delight, because, let’s be honest- there’s not a kid (read: human) in the world that doesn’t get a little bit excited by the site of sprinkles. They’re so special that I really couldn’t blame her.
So these funfetti rolls are maybe the most fun you can have in your morning. Yes, they take time to prepare, and , yes, there’s several steps involved. But are they worth it? Yes. Will they make your kids/roommate/BFF feel like the most special kid on the block? For sure. And do they taste ridiculously close to the funfetti box cake mix you grew up loving? Yep. If you’re tracking with me let’s chat the ins and outs of these rolls. You’re going to love them.
To make these funfetti rolls we start with the dough. I adapted my overnight cinnamon roll dough to work for this recipe. It’s the same fluffy, lightly sweetened yeast dough that I’ve grown to love, and while it does take some time to rise and roll, you can certainly follow the instructions from that original recipe to space out the work overnight. While we wait for the dough to proof we can go ahead and prepare the birthday cake crumb filling.
You might remember these crumbs from the funfetti ice cream cake I made a while back, but these little beauties are the same recipe that Christina Tosi made famous at NYC’s Milk Bar. With little more than cake flour, sprinkles, and sugar, we whip up a wet, crumbly dough that bakes into crispy, cake mix-favored crumbles. The essential ingredient here is the clear vanilla extract. Regular vanilla simply will not do if you want to recreate that box cake flavor. You can find the extract at your grocery store, craft stores, or online here. Follow the instructions to create the little crumbles, allow them to cool, and then whiz them in a blender or food processor to grind them to a coarse sand consistency. If you’d like to shorten the day-of baking process, feel free to make and freeze these crumbs in advance.
When your dough is ready to roll, use a lightly floured surface and rolling pin to flatten out a large rectangle of dough. Spread your melted butter all over the dough to serve as the glue for your birthday cake crumbs, sugar, and sprinkles. Roll the dough into a long log and slice 1-1/4-1-1/2″ segments to turn out into your pan. For softer, gooier rolls, you can snuggle them into the pan closely, but if you’re looking for those perfect spirals, space them out about 2″ apart in your baking dish. Bake until the tops are barely bronzed and the internal temp reads 180 degrees. Do not overbake! Underbaked cinnamon rolls taste way better than dried out overbaked ones, so if you have a thermometer, now is the time to use it!
These funfetti rolls finish nicely with a sweet cream cheese frosting and a dusting of sprinkles. You can use your extra birthday cake crumbs as a garnish as well, but if you’re anything like me those little guys will already have long been consumed. These breakfast treats put the FUN in FUNfetti and are worth every ounce of the effort they require. Give them a try and let me know what you think! Happy baking, y’all!
If you like these funfetti rolls you should check out:
These funfetti rolls have all the birthday cake flavor wrapped up in a morning roll. Topped with a sweet cream cheese and sprinkle frosting!
- Prep Time: 60
- Cook Time: 60
- Total Time: 240
- Yield: 14
- Category: Breakfast
For the dough:
- 1 cup (240 gm) milk, lukewarm
- ¼ cup (60 gm) water, lukewarm
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 6 tablespoons (85 gm)unsalted butter, melted but not too hot
- 1 large egg plus 2 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon of clear vanilla extract
- ½ cup (100 gm) brown sugar
- 2-3/4 cups (385 gm) all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 cups (210 gm) bread flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
For the funfetti crumbs (recipe adapted from Christina Tosi):
- ½ cup (100 gm) sugar
- 1-1/2 tablespoons (25 gm) brown sugar, packed
- ¾ cup (90 gm) cake flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles
- ¼ cup (50 gm) canola oil
- 1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract
For the rolls:
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 3 tablespoons sprinkles
- 2 tablespoons sugar
For the frosting:
- 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- ¼ cup (55 gm) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup (115 gm) powdered sugar
- 2+ tablespoons of milk
To prepare the dough:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl, combine the milk and water and sprinkle the yeast over top of it. Allow the yeast to dissolve, about 5 minutes. Stir in the butter, egg, egg yolks, clear vanilla extract, and sugar until smooth. In a small bowl, combine the flour, bread flour, and salt. Dump about half of the dry ingredients into the yeast mixture and stir until combined. Pour in the remaining dry ingredients and knead in the bowl using the dough hook attachment until smooth and slightly tacky, about 7 minutes. If you notice your dough isn’t pulling away from the sides of the bowl or it’s too wet, add flour 2 tablespoons at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and forms a little dough “tornado” around the dough hook. Once done kneading, place the dough into a large lightly greased bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap to double in size, about 1-1/2 – 2 hours. Meanwhile, prepare the crumbs.
To prepare the crumbs:
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or silicone baking sheet. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar, brown sugar, cake flour, baking powder, salt, and sprinkles on low speed. Add the oil and extract all at once and continue to paddle on low speed until small clumps form throughout. Spread the crumbs out onto the baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, stirring twice throughout. Allow to cool completely and then use a food processor (or a plastic bag, rolling pin, and brute strength) to pulverize the clumps into a coarse, sand-like crumb. Set aside while you wait for your dough.
To prepare the rolls:
- Once the dough has risen, dump it out onto a lightly floured surface and use a floured rolling pin to roll it into a 10” x 22” rectangle. Spread the melted butter all over the dough and sprinkle on the sprinkles, sugar, and about ¾ of the funfetti crumbs. Starting with one of the long ends, tightly roll the dough from end to end and pinch the edges together to seal. Cut the dough into 1-1/2” sections and lay them out 2” apart in a lightly greased baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel and allow to rise on the counter for about 30 minutes or in the fridge overnight. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake in the oven for about 22-25 minutes or until the edges are barely golden and the internal temp is 190 degrees. Remove from the oven and prepare your frosting.
To prepare the frosting:
- Cream the cream cheese and butter in large bowl at medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the powdered sugar and milk and beat to combine. Add additional milk to thin out the frosting or more powdered sugar to thicken it. You can also gently warm the frosting to pour over the rolls as a glaze. Sprinkle with remaining funfetti crumbs or sprinkles, if desired.
- Crumbs cake be made in advance! You can even make double and use the rest as an ice cream topping, cake filing, or just to scarf down on your own.
- Clear vanilla extract is ESSENTIAL for getting that funfetti/ birthday cake flavor. You can find it at most grocery or craft stores.