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Kirsten Turk

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Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls with Orange Cream Cheese Icing (Pillsbury Grands Upgrade)

December 24, 2023

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– a small town, midwestern girl living in sunny South Florida with my husband and our two golden doodles.

Welcome to my lifestyle blog dedicated to good food, better drinks, easy entertaining ideas and laid-back living. 

Sharing a cocktail, hosting a party with good friends, trying new recipes, making memories over a thoughtfully laid out grazing board; these are the moments I love to live and share with others.

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Hey, I'm Kirsten

This will be the 4th year in a row these cranberry cinnamon rolls with orange cream cheese icing have been on our Christmas morning menu. And for good reason… They are so yummy and simple, thanks to pre-made pillsbury cinnamon roll grands. It all started with leftover cranberry sauce, and these delicious (yet, so easy!) upgraded pillsbury cinnamon rolls were born.

I came up with this Pillsbury Grand Cinnamon Rolls upgrade in 2020 the day after Thanksgiving. I had all of this homemade cranberry sauce leftover that I wasn’t sure what to do with… that’s when I saw the can of cinnamon rolls sitting in my fridge. Next thing I know, I’m unrolling the cinnamon rolls and spreading a layer of cranberry sauce before I roll them back up to bake them.

Since the cinnamon rolls were upgraded, of course I had to upgrade the icing too. And who doesn’t love cream cheese icing? So I mixed the icing from the can in with half a block of cream cheese, a little orange zest (because that pairs perfect with cranberries), a splash of vanilla, and that’s it! I beat all those ingredients together with my hand mixer, let my cinnamon rolls cool just a tad, and then spread the icing on top.

They were delicious. I’ve been making this same “recipe” ever since with little to no tweaks. My whole family has fallen in love with them. Everyone looks forward to having these cranberry cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning now! I knew I had to finally share them on the blog.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

I even shared the recipe on the back of our Christmas cards this year! How cute?!

Pair these with: Holiday Brunch Punch Perfect for Christmas Morning

If you try these, tag me on Instagram @kirstenturk! I always love seeing what you make.


Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls with Orange Cream Cheese Icing (Pillsbury Grands Upgrade)

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These upgraded Pillsbury Grands Cinnamon Rolls are so festive and delicious, perfect for the holiday season. They’re a great way to use up leftover cranberry sauce, too!

  • Author: Kirsten Turk


Units Scale
  • 1 can Pillsbury Grands Cinnamon Rolls
  • Homemade cranberry sauce (about 1/2 a cup)
  • 4 oz of cream cheese
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Unroll cinnamon rolls and spread a layer of cranberry sauce onto the rolls. 
  2. Roll the cinnamon rolls back up, pull apart and place in a cast iron skillet or round baking dish. 
  3. Bake according to package instructions (you may need to add a few minutes to the bake time). 
  4. Combine your icing from the can with cream cheese, orange zest and vanilla extract. 
  5. Allow cinnamon rolls to cool slightly before icing and enjoy!


This recipe can easily be doubled. I always make a double batch on Christmas morning!

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us @kirstenturk — I love seeing your creations!

Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls with Orange Cream Cheese Icing

Throughout this blog are affiliate links including, but not limited to, links from Amazon Associates and LTK. If you use one of these links to make a purchase, I have the opportunity to earn money from your qualifying purchases.

Editor's note: Affiliate links
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simple lychee martini

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