Fun and colourful rainbow sprinkle Funfetti Cinnamon Rolls. These birthday cake cinnamon rolls, inspired by the classic Funfetti Cake, are super soft brioche dough packed with sprinkles, a simple cinnamon sugar filling and a creamy vanilla frosting, topped with even more confetti sprinkles!
Why you'll love these rolls
- Rainbow sprinkles - fun and colourful rainbow confetti sprinkles make these rolls the ultimate birthday cake inspired treat! Perfect for celebratory brunches, or just for the funfetti lover in your life!
- Super soft homemade brioche - these rolls are made with my standard brioche cinnamon roll dough, as used in my Classic Brioche Cinnamon Rolls, Biscoff Cinnamon Rolls and Coconut Caramel Cinnamon Rolls. It might be jazzed up with colourful sprinkles, but it is still incredibly soft and fluffy.
- Creamy vanilla frosting - the frosting for these rolls is made super thick with heavy cream and extra extra vanilla. If you love a classic vanilla cake frosting, you'll want to eat this one by the spoonful!
- Did I mention sprinkles? - there are sprinkles in literally every layer of this recipe, from the dough, to the filling to the frosting!
Ingredient Notes for the Dough
So this recipe uses essentially my standard brioche dough, with the addition of sprinkles for that extra rainbow confetti kick!
- Milk - you'll want full fat or whole milk here. The fat content helps the yeast to activate and to enrich the rolls. The milk needs to be warmed (either in the microwave or over a stovetop) to about 104°F (40C).
- Dry active yeast - you can also use 'instant' or 'fast action' yeast in this recipe. Most dried yeast recipes can be substituted with fresh yeast, but this recipe has not been tested with fresh yeast alternatives.
- Sugar - either granulated sugar or caster sugar work best in this recipe.
- Flour - all purpose flour or plain flour.
- Bread flour - sometimes called strong flour. Using a combination of all purpose and bread flour helps to give these rolls a better structure. You can make them with just bread flour, but you may find the dough a bit drier and less soft/fluffy as a finish.
- Eggs - large eggs at room temperature.
- Butter - unsalted butter, softened at room temperature and cut into small pieces. You can use salted butter here instead, but be aware that this will add salt to the overall recipe and the flavour will be impacted (albeit not usually massively).
- Sprinkles - the key to a funfetti style bake! You'll need a good amount of rainbow sprinkles for this recipe. The brighter the better for the sake of imparting colour in your bread.
How to Make Confetti Brioche
The process for making this sprinkle filled brioche dough follows the same fundamental steps as my standard brioche, with the additional step of adding the colourful sprinkles!
- Start by sprinkling yeast and a teaspoon of your sugar into the warmed milk. Give this a stir and set it aside for about 10 minutes. This should allow the yeast to develop a good foam on top.
- Meanwhile, place the flours, salt and remaining sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Give these a quick stir.
- Once the yeast is ready, add this mixture to the flour, immediately followed by 2 whole eggs and one white. Reserve the leftover yolk for an optional egg wash (or for another recipe!).
- Knead on a low setting for about 15 minutes until the dough has formed and is pulling itself from the sides of the bowl.
- At this stage, with the mixer still on low, add the butter a few bits at a time. Once all the butter is added, continue kneading for a further 7 or 8 minutes.
- Finally, add the sprinkles and continue kneading for another 7 minutes or so, until they seem distributed in the dough and the dough is again pulling itself from the sides of the bowl.
- Scrape the dough into a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set in the refrigerator for about 8 hours (or overnight) during which time it should double in size.
Ingredient Notes for the Filling
You'll need just four ingredients for the filling here:
- Butter - more unsalted butter, softened at room temperature. Again, you can substitute with salted butter here, but it will add overall saltiness to the bake.
- Sugar - granulated sugar or caster sugar works best in this recipe.
- Cinnamon - this recipe uses a bit less ground cinnamon than some of my other rolls. This is because I didn't want to completely overpower the vanilla and sprinkles in these confetti birthday cake cinnamon rolls. You can off course add more cinnamon to suit your tastes.
- Sprinkles - some more rainbow confetti sprinkles will add a touch of colour and sweetness straight to the filling.
How to Make Funfetti Cinnamon Rolls
If you're familiar with my other cinnamon roll recipes, the steps for making these funfetti birthday cake cinnamon rolls won't come as any surprise!
- Just before your ready to take the dough out of the fridge following it's first slow, overnight proof, line a square baking pan with parchment paper. This step isn't absolutely essential, but personally, makes life a lot easier!
- In a small mixing bowl, mash together the butter, cinnamon and sugar until you has a spreadable spiced butter paste.
- Scrape the dough out of its bowl and on to a well floured work surface. Press this into a rectangle with your hands before rolling with a rolling pin into a large 12" by 15" rectangle.
- Spread the butter mixture over the surface, leaving a small gap around the edges. Then top off with your sprinkles. (Image 1 below)
- Roll the dough into a tight log. For the best rolls, you want to roll along the 15" length - the longer the length, the more spirals in each the roll.
- Use floss to trim the ends, removing uneven and unfilled dough. Then divide into nine rolls and cut these with the floss. (Image 2 below)
- Place the rolls in the lined pan and cover with a clean kitchen towel. This should now proof at room temperature for about 2 hours, until doubled in size. (Image 3 below)
- Near the end of the proof, preheat the oven and make a quick egg wash with the reserved yolk and a splash of milk.
- Brush the rolls with the egg wash and bake in the centre of the oven until well risen and golden!
- Remove and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before frosting. (Image 4 below)
Funfetti Cream Frosting
To make this creamy thick birthday cake vanilla frosting, you'll need:
- Powdered sugar - sometimes called icing sugar or confectioner's sugar. This doesn't normally need to be sifted for this recipe, but sifting will help if your sugar is very lumpy.
- Heavy cream - the key to this super thick and creamy cinnamon roll frosting is heavy cream. This ingredient is sometimes called double cream or whipping cream. You want the type of cream that you would use to make homemade whipped cream, like my Stabilized Vanilla Whipped Cream or my Homemade Chocolate Whipped Cream.
- Vanilla extract - this is a super vanilla frosting! It uses proportionally more vanilla extract than most of my other frostings, such as the one I use with my Cookie Dough Cinnamon Rolls or my Vanilla Glazed Cinnamon Roll Donuts. You therefore, want to ensure you use a good quality vanilla more than ever - there's nowhere to hide and the flavour will come through!
- Sprinkles - it wouldn't be a Birthday Cake Cinnamon Roll without a load of sprinkles on top too! You can use the same type of sprinkles you used in the rolls or different ones. The sprinkles on top are really just for decoration, so go wild!
To make this frosting, all you need to do is whisk or stir the powdered sugar with the cream and vanilla until smooth. Spread it over the warm rolls and top with plenty of sprinkles!
Just like any other cinnamon roll frosting, you may run into some issues with the consistency of your glaze. This is usually because of slight variations in different brands of products being used, but might also happen do to the climate in your kitchen - high humidity in particular.
To adjust the consistency, follow these steps:
- If too thick - slowly add extra cream, a teaspoon or two at a time. Cream doesn't thin the frosting as quickly as milk would, but adding the liquid should still be done cautiously, mixing after each addition to test if further adjustment is required.
- If too thin - you can alway thicken the frosting by using powdered sugar. This should be added relatively slowly a tablespoon or so at a time, and stirred to incorporate before adding more. Test as you go and don't rush to overadd or you will start impacting the overall flavour.
- If your yeast doesn't activate in the 10 minutes you leave it set in the warmed milk with some sugar, you will likely want to restart as something has gone wrong. The yeast activating is a key step and important to the proofing and rising of the rolls later on. Failure to activate can result from many things, see my Brioche Cinnamon Roll recipe for some more tips on the topic.
- One of the eggs will be divided into yolk and white. The white is added to the dough while the yolk is reserved for an egg wash. The egg was is really optional - it won't impact the flavour and the glossy finish will be covered by frosting. If you have another recipe that needs a yolk, this is a good recipe to pinch one from!
- Brioche is a wet and sticky dough. Don't be worried if it is not pulling itself completely clean from the sides (and especially the base) of the bowl even after all this kneading.
- Sprinkles have a tendency to stick to the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl. When scraping into your greased bowl for the first proof, use a rubber spatula or dough scraper to ensure you get as much of the dough and sprinkles as possible.
- Be aware that the sprinkles mixed into the dough will lose their shape in the baking process. This means fun shapes like hearts, stars, dinosaurs, etc. won't be likely to be visible in the baked rolls. Fun shapes are more useful to the frosting where these will be preserved and visible.
- Change up the sprinkles - sprinkles are a great way to add colour to your bake and means you have infinite versatility. You can make these sprinkle filled cinnamon rolls with just about any sprinkles you like. Some will hold their colour better than others. Just keep in mind that any flavoring in the sprinkles will add a flavouring to your rolls (which might be something you want!).
- Spices - you can't really have cinnamon rolls without cinnamon! But you can opt to change up the spicing in these rolls quite easily. Cardamom in particular goes really well here - try substituting half or even a whole teaspoon of cinnamon for ground cardamom!
- Different frostings - the rainbow sprinkle frosting for these rolls is thick, creamy and full of vanilla. It is intentionally intended to mimic the style of the Pillsbury vanilla frosting that is paired with Funfetti Cake.
I will always maintain that there is no better way to enjoy a cinnamon roll than freshly baked!
That said, you can certainly keep and enjoy leftovers of these rolls. They will store well if wrapped thoroughly or placed in an airtight container. Due to the cream in the frosting, it is safest to store these in the refrigerator, though refrigeration can speed up the staling of the rolls themselves.
This recipe is for an overnight sprinkle-filled brioche dough cinnamon roll. This means that a lot of the work will be done in advance anyway. But, if you want to get further ahead and intend to bake the rolls a day before serving, this can be achieved.
Simply bake as directed, ensuring the rolls are risen and golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Then wrap well and store at room temperature. The following day, you can unwrap and return to the oven to rewarm (I usually bake at 350°F for about 15 minutes, but this will be oven dependent - keep an eye on them). Then, frost before serving.
Don't frost in advance or you won't be able to rewarm.
Different sprinkles will bake and impart colour differently. This is particularly relevant between US and UK baking due to regulations surrounding food dyes.
I recommend using a good vibrant mix of sprinkles for best chances of these showing up well, but there's no strict rule of specific types. I used these Fiesta blend Sprinkletti for my rolls.
Looking for more birthday treats? Try some of these:
Funfetti Cinnamon Rolls
- stand mixer fitted with a dough hook
- 8" square baking tray
Ingredients for the Funfetti Brioche Dough
- ¼ cup full fat milk or whole milk, warmed to 104°F (40C)
- 2¼ teaspoon dry active yeast
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar or caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup all purpose flour or plain flour
- ¾ cup bread flour
- 3 large eggs ideally at room temperature, one divided into yolk and white
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened at room temperature and cut into small chunks
- ¼ cup sprinkles
Ingredients for the Filling
- 6 tablespoon unsalted butter softened at room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar or caster sugar
- 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoon sprinkles
Ingredients for Frosting
- 1½ cups powdered sugar or icing sugar, sifting not necessary
- 3 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoon heavy cream or double cream
- 2 tablespoon sprinkles
Instructions for the Funfetti Brioche Dough
- Begin by sprinkling the yeast and one teaspoon of sugar over the warmed milk. Stir this and set aside for 10 minutes until the yeast develops a good foam on top.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a dough hook, place the flour, bread flour, salt and remaining sugar. Give this a quick stir.
- Once the yeast is ready, pour this into the flour mixture immediately followed by two whole eggs and one egg white. Reserve the remaining egg yolk for an egg wash before baking.
- Knead on a low speed for about 15 minutes until your dough is formed and is pulling itself from the sides of the bowl (see note).
- Next, slowly add the butter a few bits at a time, while the mixer continues on a low setting.
- Once all of the butter has been added, knead for about 7 or 8 minutes before adding the sprinkles. Then continue for about 7 or 8 minutes until the sprinkles have distributed within the dough and it is again pulling itself from the sides of the bowl.
- Scrape the dough into a greased mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to proof for about 8 hours (or overnight), during which time the dough should about double in size. (see note)
Instructions for Filling and Second Proof
- Line a square baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl mash together the butter, sugar and cinnamon until you have a thick spreadable paste. This can usually be done with a spatula and doesn't require beaters.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and scrape it out onto a well floured work surface. Press into into a rectangle using your hands, then roll out further with a rolling pin until you have a large rectangle about 12" wide by 15" long.
- Spread your butter mixture over the surface of the dough, leaving a small gap around the edges. Then sprinkle over your rainbow sprinkles.
- Roll the dough from the bottom to the top, forming a tight log.
- Using flavorless dental floss or thin kitchen twine, trim the ends of your dough, removing an inch or two on each end of uneven and unfilled roll.
- Mark out 9 roughly equal rolls from the remaining log and cut using the floss.
- Place these in the lined baking pan and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Set aside at room temperature for about 2 hours or until doubled in size.
Instructions for Baking and Frosting
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175C/155C Fan) and prepare an egg wash (if using - see note).
- Brush the rolls with the egg wash and bake in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes, until risen and golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes while you whisk up your frosting.
- To make the frosting, stir together the powdered sugar, heavy cream and vanilla extract until smooth.
- Spread this over the still warm rolls and then top with a generous coating of sprinkles (the measurement given here is just a guide - feel free to use less or more to your heart's content).
- Serve while still meltingly soft and warm, either straight from the pan or use the parchment to remove and transfer to a serving plate.